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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Trailer with boat cover on or off?
|Author||Topic: Trailer with boat cover on or off?|
posted 05-29-2003 09:33 AM ET (US)
I have been boating my entire life but have almost zero trailer experience. Next week I am taking my boat with me to Emerald Isle (North Carolina), about 4.5 hours primarily on 55mph roads. My 2000 Dauntless 16' has a boat cover, which I would like to use there. Should I trailer with the cover on or off? The cover fits snugly over the top of the center console down to just below the rub rails, and is secured with a rope hidden in the perimeter seam. There are several additional tie downs on the sides, so I can provide a bit of extra security with a few lines underneath the hull. It sure would help with packing if I could throw some light bulky items (beach chairs, toys, etc.) into the boat.
posted 05-29-2003 12:29 PM ET (US)
Of course, the true but totally un-helpful answer is "it depends". My daysailer had a cover that seemed to fit well at rest, but above 40 MPH or so the aft half ballooned enormously. I always took that cover off.
The Mills cover on my 160 Dauntless, on the other hand, fits like a spandex glove. There is no visible ballooning or flapping when I trailer it, even up to 50 MPH or so. So far I haven't had an opportunity to drive faster than that with the cover, but I wouldn't expect a problem. I'd be sure to use those tie-down loops though, and not rely just on the drawstring.
posted 05-29-2003 01:45 PM ET (US)
Trailered my 18 1200 miles with the Mills Mooring on with no problem at 65 mph
posted 05-29-2003 03:47 PM ET (US)
RL Smith - My cover is very similar to yours and I leave my cover on when towing the boat. I have never had any problem. ---- Jerry/Idaho
posted 05-29-2003 07:50 PM ET (US)
Every canvas shop I have spoken with has told me that they can make a "trailerable" cover, but towing at highway speed will always shorten the life of the cover. The one time I towed the Montauk a short distance with the cover on, I didn't like it. The reason: My visibility for backing up was reduced considerably. I've never seen the benfit of towing a Whaler with the cover on, but I do swear by keeping them covered when stored. My conclusion: A few trips probably won't kill it if it's a well made cover with enough tie downs, but why beat it up? Stow it in the boat or the truck and put it on when you arrive.
posted 05-30-2003 12:12 AM ET (US)
I neglected to mention that my cover is not of canvas, but of a waterproof!, UV blocking, material (I don't recall the name of the material mentioned by the tent outfit I had make the cover). And then, all wear points (bow rail on my 17 OR, wind-shield rail, down-riggers mounts, et.al) are reinforced with what I call "Herculite".
Herculite is a waterproof!, tear proof, burn proof, rot proof, vinyl imprenated nylon. This is good stuff! Herculite is (at least was) the only material certified for naval hatch covers and is frequently used by truckers for tarps. ----- Jerry/Idaho
posted 05-30-2003 08:49 AM ET (US)
My experience towing a '80 Montauk has been:
Of the several covers I have tried, only the Mills fits well enough to survive a 1500 mile tow at interstate speeds without visible damage.
Fuel mileage on the tow vehicle is about 3mpg better with a cover than without.
Red sky at night. . .
posted 05-30-2003 08:56 AM ET (US)
Take all this advice and more...I have a cover I purchased from Amer-brand covers. I use it while trialering primarily, since I keep my boat in the garage when not in use. I would think, unless you're planning on keeping the cover for a long number of years, use it for what it was intended. To me it makes sense to place whatever you can fit in the boat and cover it to your satisfaction. I have done the exact same thing and have found that it makes the trip much smoother. I have found that taking a few extra tie downs and perhaps stopping a time or two more to check everything is needed. By the way, mine does have the critical places reinforced...
posted 05-30-2003 11:30 PM ET (US)
Thanks to all for the advice. The boat is in the driveway, covered and full of beach chairs, boogie boards, and beach toys. I will be leaving tomorrow morning.
I did run into an unexpected problem at the last minute. I have never secured the cover unless the motor is down. I can't trailer with it down, but the cover interferes before the motor is up high enough for the safety stops. Until I figure this out, I am using a strategically placed 2x4 sandwiched between the lower unit and the bracket. This might prompt me to purchase an adjustable transom saver but I have read mixed opinions about them on the forums. I thought covers were designed to be used even when boats are moored. Perhaps my Suzuki head is bigger than the standard Mercury pre-rigs?
Jerry - my cover is also reinforced at various places on the inside with a thick black vinyl-looking material. That sounds similar to your Herculite. Unfortunately I can't find a name tag anywhere on the cover so I don't know what brand it is, or what material it is made of. It looks like canvas, but it seems to be waterproof.
posted 05-31-2003 01:15 AM ET (US)
RL Smith - I have never seen a label on it - but you can see the nylon mesh pattern from either side. The interlocked nylon mesh is, however, a lot coarser weave than canvas. It is my material of choice when I want durability, indestructability (to coin a word), waterproof, et.al. and have used it for - floor of my hunting tent, panniers for packing with horses, packs for pack frames for a Boy Scout troop, et.al. I have seen it in several colors. Frankly, the material can't be beat for the outdoors applications - a bit expensive, but it is a top-notch fabric. ----- Jerry/Idaho
posted 06-02-2003 03:34 PM ET (US)
I do not tow my Outrage with the cover on. My cover is sunbrella but not a Mills (maybe someday)I do however tow with the center console cover on. I guess I feel better having the radio, fishfinder etc. covered at highway speeds and under cover if we stop for lunch or something while on the road. The biggest problem for me to trailer with the cover would be what to do with it when I got to the ramp. Wadding it up and just stuffing it in the front seat works but I have found it easier to just leave it home. Joe
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