Use additional boat cover tie downs for trailering.
Making sure your boat and cover are secure while trailering is important not only to prevent damage to your boat but to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road.
Tie downs serve two important functions: securing the boat to the trailer (typically at the bow, gunwale and/or transom) and securing the cover to the boat.
Boat Trailer Tie Downs
The bow strap secures the bow of the boat to the trailer tongue. Do not rely on the winch strap to secure the bow. The gears and cable on a trailer winch—whether electric or manual—are not designed to hold a load and may fail during trailering. Always use a tie down other than the winch strap to secure the bow to the trailer.
Gunwale straps stretch over the width of the aft section of the boat and secure the boat to the trailer, preventing the boat from bouncing on the bunks or rollers.
Transom straps secure the boat transom to the trailer and restrict vertical and lateral movement of the boat while trailering.
Tie downs with ratchet straps and padding are the safest way to secure your boat to the trailer. Ratchets ensure a tight fit, and padding protects your boat’s finish from scratches and wear. Make sure the tie downs do not cross any sharp edges that could fray the straps and compromise the safety of your boat.
Boat Cover Tie Downs
Before using your boat cover for trailering, make sure it is approved for trailer use. Trailerable covers are generally made from thicker material and offer a tighter, more secure fit that is able to withstand the forces of high speed travel.
The number of cover tie downs needed for trailering varies, depending on boat size and how the cover fits. As a general guideline, use additional cover tie downs for trailering, as compared to how many straps you use for storage. Make sure the straps do not cross over any sharp edges that could damage the strap and boat cover.
Pontoon Boat Cover Installation Diagram
One of the best ways to protect your investment in your pontoon is to shelter it from the elements with a pontoon cover
. A cover is quick and easy to install, and it’s a small price to pay compared to the cost of repairs from sun damage, moisture damage, and other factors. Take a few minutes to properly install your pontoon cover, and you could save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.
The following instructions are designed specifically for the DuraShield Pontoon Cover, but they apply universally to many other covers on the market. See your owners manual for more detailed instructions.
- Cover any sharp points or edges on the pontoon with a cloth or sponge to avoid rips or tears when the cover is strapped tightly across the pontoon.
- Find the yellow label with arrows sewn into the hem of the cover that indicates “Front.” Drape the front of the cover over the bow. Then roll the cover back over the pontoon and pull down the sides.
Pontoon cover strap system
- Use tie down straps to secure the cover to the boat. Each tie down system works differently. The following instructions apply specifically to the DuraShield Pontoon Cover tie down system, which includes eight tie down straps with quick-release buckles.
- Connect four straps (A) to the four lower buckles (C) on one side of the cover and run the straps underneath the trailer beam to the other side of the pontoon. Connect the other end of the straps into the lower buckles (C) on the other side of the cover.
- Connect four straps (B) to the four upper buckles (D) on one side of the cover and run the straps over the top of the cover. Connect these straps to the upper buckles (D) on the other side of the cover.
- After connecting all of the straps, cinch the straps down tight for a secure fit.
Be sure to use, tighten, and secure all straps and hooks when transporting your pontoon on a trailer or open vehicle. Failure to do this may cause the cover to blow off and cause injury to others. It may also result in damage to the cover.
After driving a short distance, stop and check to make sure the pontoon and cover are secure. Tighten the straps as needed. Continue to check the pontoon and cover at all rest stops along the way. We recommend the use of additional tie downs for high speed travel.
How durable are DuraShield Boat Covers?
Our trailerable boat covers are made from heavy duty, tight weave polyester, made to withstand the forces of nature and the stress of highway travel. Our boat covers come with a 5 year warranty, so you have the assurance that if anything does go wrong with your cover during normal use, we will replace your cover for free.
Will it cover my outboard motor?
The DuraShield boat cover is not designed to protect your outboard motor; however we do sell a separate Trailerable Boat Motor Cover for 2-25 hp outboard motors.
How do I secure my cover for towing my boat on a trailer?
Tie-down straps are provided with your DuraShield boat cover. Secure the straps over the cover and underneath the boat to secure the cover for trailering. Use all of the straps provided for the best protection.
How can I prevent mold and mildew from growing on my boat cover?
Keep the cover clean. Avoid letting water, snow, dirt, and other materials accumulate on top of the cover. Do not roll or fold the boat cover for storage unless it is completely dry. Also, do not cover the boat cover with a plastic tarp or other material, as this will compromise the breathability of the cover.
How do I measure my boat to find the right size cover?
Measure the center length from bow to stern. Do not measure up and over windshields. Then measure the beam width from side to side at the widest part of the boat.
Will the boat cover fit over my windshield?
Yes. Our boat covers are designed to fit over the standard windshield on most boats.
Will the boat cover fit over my cabin or center console?
No. Our boat covers are designed for V-hull, fish/ski, inboard/outboard boats, and other similar boats. The cover will not provide proper protection for cabin or center console boats.
Watch this video for tips on how to unload your boat. This video covers how to back your trailer down the ramp, how to disconnect the boat from the trailer, and how to launch the boat into the water.
Your regular storage cover may not hold up to the demands of trailering. Here’s why.
Not all covers are alike. You may think that a storage cover could pass as a trailerable cover, but the truth is that storage covers designed solely for storage may not hold up to the wear and tear of highway travel. The three main features that set trailerable covers apart from the pack are material thickness, tie down straps, and a secure fit.
When you travel at high speeds down the highway, the wind can whip your cover around something fierce. Thinner, less durable materials will tear under the force of the wind. In order to withstand the wear and tear of highway travel, your boat cover or ATV cover must be constructed with heavy duty materials. Trailerable covers are thicker and more durable than storage covers, making them able to withstand constant wind, rain, and other forces during travel.
Tie Down Straps
With the force of wind speed, your cover needs to be securely strapped down in order to stay in place. Tie down straps ensure that your cover stays in place on your boat, jet ski, or four wheeler. You can adjust these straps as needed for a tighter fit.
Without a secure fit, the wind can whip under the cover and “parachute” your cover. Getting whipped around by the wind can damage your cover. Make sure the trailerable cover for your boat, jet ski, or quad ensures a snug fit to reduce the wear and tear on your cover during trailering.
Trailerable covers make excellent storage covers as well. If you plan to use your cover for both storage and trailering, look for a cover that will work for both purposes.
Yesterday I got passed by a truck pulling a trailer loaded with 2 jet skis wrapped up snug as a bug in their jet ski covers. Looked good–except that the trailer was swaying back and forth like a drunk driver. Stuff like that makes me nervous–and I’m not even the one pulling a drunk trailer!
In the thick of summer, with more boat trailers and ATV trailers on the road, it’s not surprising to see a few wobbly trailers out there. What can you do to prevent trailer sway? The best way to prevent trailer sway is to stop it before it starts. Take the time to check over your trailer, hitch, and tow vehicle before hitting the road.
Make sure you have the proper equipment and hitch parts, including the right ball and coupler sizes, to tow your trailer. Check the weight distribution to make sure it is evenly balanced. Never exceed the weight capacity of your tow vehicle or trailer tongue. If the trailer tongue is too short or the suspension on the tow vehicle or trailer is too soft, this can also cause trailer sway. If you’re having towing trouble, check out the most common causes of sway and rule these out first before looking for other culprits.
When the end of another boating season draws to a close, it’s time to start preparing your boat for storage. Choosing a quality boat cover will protect your boat during storage by repelling rain and moisture, eliminating sun damage, and keeping your boat clean.
The boat cover should have a snug fit, keeping out dust, grime, bird droppings, and dirt. A tight cover also discourages small animals or rodents from hibernating in your boat.
Weatherproof and Water-Resistant
A weatherproof, water-resistant boat cover should repel rain and moisture, keeping your boat clean and dry and discouraging mold growth.
A specially coated UV-resistant material protects your boat’s finish and interior from harmful UV rays. Over time, exposure to the sun’s rays will deteriorate the boat’s interior.
Most covers for boats are made with breathable material to allow any condensation inside the boat to evaporate. Polyester is the best material for boat covers because it resists water, will not stretch or shrink, and is highly durable.
A trailerable boat cover allows you to protect your boat on the road. Straps secure the cover during transportation or in strong winds. Using a trailerable boat cover shields your boat from the rain and sun. For longer travel, which may involve rest stops, a trailerable boat cover also discourages thieves by keeping any gear stored in your boat out of sight and out of easy reach.
An outboard boat motor cover provides protection from the elements.
A mesh storage bag allows your boat cover to drain and dry after use.