Anyone lucky to have a boat knows that its protection is crucial, particularly during cold winter days. Therefore, you should consider purchasing or sewing an adequate boat cover. It will protect your vessel from dirt accumulation, moisture, and harmful UV rays.
The best cover model will depend on the boat type and size and your preferences. As you can guess, how much does a boat cover cost will depend on the desired features. Plus, you should determine the cover quality you need and the approximate budget you have at your disposal. Let’s take a look.
You can find various boat covers on the market that cost differently. The only way to choose the best product for your vessel is to consider a few factors:
- Always pick out a cover made of marine-grade, high-quality material
- Find the cover style that tightly fits your boat’s make, model, and size
- Keep in mind weather conditions in the area where you live
- A reputable brand is often the best option you have
- Spend time reading reviews to check other users experiences with a particular model
Boat Cover Types and Prices
This full cover will provide an air-tight cap, entirely protect your boat, and ensure nothing gets inside during the storage period. It is convenient for storage facilities and manufacturers, but you can see that many marinas use it during the off-season. Depending on your boat model and size, you can buy one for $100 to $350.
Bow-to-stern cover (mooring cover)
This storage model made of plastic or hard-wearing fabric will cover your vessel from bow to stern and can use it for both inside and outside storage.
The tight-fitting cover used for inside storing will protect your boat from dust and mice. External use will keep the vessel safe from UV rays, dirt, and harsh weather.
Boat cover price
|Mooring (bow-to-stern) cover||$90 to $180|
|Custom fit boat cover||$700 to $1,200|
|Universal fit boat cover||$50 to $170|
|Bow (tonneau) cover||$48 per 1 foot (30.5 cm)|
|Cockpit cover (aft cover)||$45 to $61 per 1 foot (30.5 cm)|
|Bimini top||$200 to $600|
|Camper top||$2,500 to $7,000|
|Pontoon and deck boat cover||$150 to $210|
|Shrink-wrap cover||$100 to $350|
Be prepared that achieving a tight fit is possible only with a custom cover that is typically more expensive. On the other hand, a universal cover style is cheaper but generic and fits a few boat models.
Both options have merits and downsides, so you should choose the option that works for you the best. You have three mooring covers at your disposal, including:
- Custom-fit boat cover
A custom-fit boat cover is the best but most costly option for your boat. In most cases, you should set aside $700 to $1,200 for the model which adheres to your vessel in the best possible way.
The manufacturers create a cover type for the exact boat make and model produced in a particular year. It comes with snaps or a draw rope to tightly secure the cover and sometimes with support poles for lifting.
When you order one in a local shop, you should know that labor is the determining cost factor of this cover type. For instance, sewing a mooring cover for a 24 feet (7.3 m) ski boat containing a Wakeboard tower takes approximately 9 to 13 hours.
Since an hourly rate is $60 to $125, depending on the region you live in, it is uncomplicated to add other expenses and make a calculation. You can expect this cover to last about 5 to 15 years.
The best thing with this option is that such a cover also protects the boat accessories, like a Talon and swim platform. Nowadays, most new boats, such as cuddy cabins, bass boats, and cabin cruisers, come with a custom cover.
- Semi-custom fit boat cover
Manufacturers make semi-custom covers based on the boat size and hull style, and they fit several makes and models with the same hull type.
You can find an adequate model for virtually any boat type, including fishing boats, deck boats, runabouts, and pontoon boats. The trick is to select your hull style and then find the closest size that fits your boat.
Unfortunately, be prepared for more wind movements while trailering it. Plus, it won’t perfectly fit boat accessories. You should count on approximately $300 for this cover type.
- Universal fit boat cover
Whatever the name, these one-size-fits boat cover models won’t be a perfect solution for every vessel. They come in several dimensions that fit different hull styles, including the most typical:
- 12 to 14 feet (3.6 – 4.3 m)
- 14 to 16 feet (4.3 – 4.9 m)
- 16 to 18 feet (4.9 – 5.5 m)
However, you can also find bigger models when needed. These covers are durable and affordable polyester products that cost $50 to $170 and last for years. Unfortunately, the loose fit can be unsafe while driving since they may turn into a parachute at higher speeds and detach.
Cockpit cover (aft cover)
A well-set cockpit cover should entirely protect seating and onboard electronics in the area from the boat windshield to the stern. However, you can order a customized model to cover the windshield itself.
You should attach it to your boat with snaps, straps, or clip system, and an adjustable pole will provide the necessary tension to prevent water accumulation.
It is always purpose-designed for the particular boat model, so you will get it when purchasing the vessel. Since its lifespan is about 7 to 12 years, you can buy a new one for $45 to $61 per 1 foot (30.5 cm).
Unfortunately, this cover won’t protect the rest boat parts. Therefore, combining it with a tonneau cover for bow protection is a wise solution.
Bow cover (tonneau cover)
The bow cover is designed to attach to the boat bow. It is useful when you have a vessel with an open bow, like a bowrider or deck boat. As I have already mentioned, the best option is to combine it with a cockpit cover.
Bow cover will tightly snap around the open area and prevent water and dirt from collecting when you purchase the model that precisely fits the exact boat make, model, and production year. In some cases, you will have an option to buy it along with a new vessel.
Their price is approximately $48 per 1 foot (30.5 cm), and you can pick out the fabric of your choice. Some manufacturers incorporate a vent and an adjustable pole to get the necessary tension and eliminate mold development.
A Bimini top is a canopy attached to a metal frame. Its function is to protect you from rain and provide shade on the open sea.
Be careful when choosing the fabric, and always buy the marine-grade, solution-dyed, and UV resistant type. That way, you will get a long-lasting material resistant to color fading.
Depending on the bow’s number, an average Bimini top will cost you $200 to $600. Remember that it comes in 2, 3, and 4 bow types, depending on the boat size.
If you are skillful, you can put it in place by yourself or choose to pay an additional $100 for installation.
This enclosure attached to the Bimini top or convertible boat top back should fully cover the cockpit and seating. That is an excellent way to protect your boat from harsh weather, dust, and insects. Plus, you will get enclosed storage space.
This cover can be costly, but you can choose to buy a complete set or only the necessary parts. For instance, side panel curtains will cost you $300 to $380 for boats long 18 to 24 feet (5.5 – 7.3 m).
The back panel curtain price is $380 to $495 for an 18 to 24 feet (5.5 – 7.3 m) long vessel. The cost of the front windshield will be $320 to $420 for boats of the same length. Finally, you need to add $85 to $145 for side and back windows. Their prices will depend on the dimensions.
DIY boat cover
You can make a DYI cover for your boat if you want to save some money. In such a case, you will need a Sailrite machine that will cost you about $700. Then, it is necessary to measure your boat and buy water-resistant fabric at an average price of $20 to $25 per 1 yard (0.9 m).
For instance, you will need about 5 yards (4.6 m) of 46 inches (1.2 m) wide Sunbrella for 14 feet (4.3 m) long wherry, which will cost you $100 to $125. Even after buying needles, thread, and other trifles necessary for sewing, this is a cheap way to protect your boat.
Finding the right boat cover size, style, and features to suit your vessel can be tricky. You should know your boat type and its measurement.
Then, it is necessary to fit them with the weather in your region and the cover model, quality, and price. Depending on your creativity and budget, you can pick out a commercial cover, order a custom type, or find a DYI solution. Good luck!