To maintain the appearance and sheen of a pontoon boat, protect it from being damaged by elements of nature such as rain, dust and snow and to increase its life expectancy, a boat cover is an absolute necessity. An investment in a boat cover can pay high dividends by protecting the equipment and furnishing and saving costly repairs and hence a person should opt only for the best pontoon boat cover.
Choosing the Best Cover
There is a plethora of options available when it comes to boat covers. These are manufactured by different brand and have different materials. Choosing the best pontoon boat cover comes down to a few basic considerations.
Pontoon boats come in different styles and designs. Whether the boat has a bimmi top or a fold down top, the size of the rails and if they enclose the deck fully or partially, and presence of fishing chairs at front or aft end of the boat will all factor in while choosing the best pontoon boat cover.
Type of Cover
Mooring Covers: As the name suggests, mooring covers are used when the boat is not in use and is moored. The cover may fit the boat tightly or it may be a little loose. A mooring cover is generally not suitable for towing the boat.
Trailerable Covers: Trailerable covers are designed aerodynamically and allow a boat to be towed. These reduce the drag of wind due to high speeds. The may also be used for mooring depending on their design.
Console Covers: Console covers are specially designed to cover the console of the boat that houses equipment and gadgets. These may at most cover the helm chair but leave the rest of boat exposed.
Custom Fit vs Universal Covers
A custom fit cover is manufactured exactly to the dimensions of the boat. They mirror every curve and bend of the boat and fit tightly. Every make or model of a boat will have a different custom fit cover. The cover is ideal for both mooring and trailering. A universal cover is designed to accommodate maximum number of boat models while minimizing the deviation from shape of the boat. These covers maybe used for mooring but are not recommended for trailering as some part of the cover might be loose and flap about in high wind, damaging the boat surface. Choosing the best pontoon boat cover between custom fit and universal covers comes to the individual preferences and whether the boat will be towed or not.
Boat covers are available in different grades of fabrics. Each grade has varying resistance to water, heat, mildew, sun and UV rays. The cover’s durability and life-expectancy also depends on the fabric. The higher the quality, the more expensive the fabric will be. Fabrics are covered by different length of warranties. The right fabric will depend on the environment the fabric will be exposed to, the budget and the best quality available for the money one is willing to spend.
Manufacturers of Covers
There are a few companies that manufacture the best pontoon boat covers.
Carver Covers is one of the best manufacturers of pontoon boat covers with an experience of over 30 years. They have the Styled-to-Fit and Specialty pontoon boat cover series. Fabrics they use include the Sun-Dura with 7-year warranty, Performance Poly-Guard with 5-year warranty and Double Duck with 3-year warranty.
Westland is a well acclaimed fabricator of the best pontoon boat covers. They have the Exact Fit and Select Fit ranges of boat covers. Fabrics used include the Sunbrella with 10-year warranty, Sharkskin Supreme with 5-year warranty and Sharkskin Plus with 3-year warranty.
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