Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This Website's Got You Covered - Literally

All about boat covers - why you need one, where to get one, and more...

Covering a boat at home or on the road is a good idea. Photo © Tim McCaig/istockphoto

After spending thousands and thousands of dollars on your boat, are you going to leave it sitting in your yard or driveway uncovered - exposed to the elements? Of course you’re not. You are going to keep your boat covered when you're not using it, but that leads you to the next question… What is the best way to keep your boat covered? A boat garage? Shrink-wrap? Fitted covers?

Why Boat Covers
First let’s talk a little more about why you need to cover your boat. Not just for winter storage (which, believe it or not, is coming way too soon!), but for all those days you’re not using your boat during the season. After all, boat owners typically only use their boat an average of 20 to 30 days out of the year - even less in some parts of the country. That leaves your boat sitting idle for well over 300 days, each and every year.

What could happen to an uncovered boat in your driveway or yard? It’s painful to think about what eats away at your boat - acid rain, bird droppings, bugs (and bigger critters), snow in the winter, and the harsh sun all year long. Acid rain does not make the news as much as it used to, but it still packs a punch. Exposure to acid rain can lead to the corrosion of metals and the deterioration of paint according to the EPA. Of course it’s not just the acid that will get ya… a boat’s interior will soon smell like a musty basement if continually exposed to moisture. When it’s not raining, the sun will fade your paint and upholstery. And rain or shine, even an uncovered boat provides shelter for crafty critters looking for a home. Covers for your boat are not sexy or exciting, but they certainly can help prolong the life and maintain the value of your boat.

Cover Options
Shrink-wrap seems effective at first, but it is a one-time use product – leaving you with a dumpster full of plastic to throw away every year. Does that sound good for the environment to you? And what about covering up your boat for what is sometimes several weeks between each use? You can’t go shrink-wrapping your boat every time you use it. Canvas has always been a popular boat cover fabric because it is relatively inexpensive, but at best it is only water resistant… and you are often limited to covers that don’t fit your boat properly. Of course you can get a fully custom cover to fit your boat to a tee, but custom covers are very costly, take a long time to get produced and delivered, and they are not necessarily waterproof.

Semi-Custom Fit Boat Covers
We like semi-custom fit boat covers because they are patterned to a specific style of boat, not a particular model or brand. They are very effective at protecting your boat, easy to put on and take off, and best of all, they are a tremendous value.

Sites like empirecovers.com makes it easy to find the right boat cover.

One company we found makes waterproof versions of semi-custom fit boat covers, and the firm has been in the vehicle cover business for several years. Empire Covers seems to have figured out exactly what boaters need to protect their investment, and their website (www.empirecovers.com) makes boat covers very quick and easy to buy – with a configurator that lets you click your way through to the perfect cover for your boat. For example, if you are looking for a pontoon boat cover, you can click on the picture of the pontoon boat, and then narrow your choices down by the size of your boat.

In our opinion, when it comes to protecting your boat while it’s not in use, Empire Covers has you and your boat covered. Find them on the web at www.empirecovers.com.