With winter weather right around the corner, Minnesota boat owners are starting to winterize their boats in preparation for winter storage. Storing your boat correctly for the winter after it has been winterized means your boat will be protected through the snow and freezing winter temperatures. However, all too commonly, boat owners find their boats in poor condition or even nearly filled with water at the end of the off season during the first major spring thaw due to mistakes made when storing their boat for the winter.
At Canvasworks in Cokato, Minnesota, we specialize in creating custom marine products including a wide range of products designed for boat protection. In this article, we break down some of the most common mistakes boat owners make when storing their boats for the winter. Give us a call to learn how we can help you protect your boat this winter.
1. Using the Wrong Cover for Winter Storage
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. Summer mooring and travel covers are not meant for outdoor winter storage. Each is constructed in a very different manner; travel covers are streamlined for easy traveling, mooring covers have a higher pitch, and winter storage covers have the highest pitch of all. The types of materials used to manufacture winter covers is very different than that of covers used during the summer months, such as travel covers and mooring covers.
Winter storage covers utilize a heavy-duty wood framed construction to stand up to heavy snow loads and winter conditions. The expandable aluminum poles used for summer covers are simply not designed for the job. The material used for the covers themselves is also very different. Outdoor winter storage covers are made from a slick, waterproof polyester laminate material. This protects your boat from the elements and allows snow to slide right off the cover. Summer storage covers are made of breathable materials that tend to have more of a textured surface that holds snow and ice if used in the winter.
2. Not Using a Cover When Your Boat is Stored Indoors
Most boat owners understand the importance of covering their boats during the winter months if the boat is stored outside. But many boat owners make the mistake of thinking if their boat is stored indoors for the winter, it doesn’t need a cover.
Unfortunately, that is not the case, even while stored indoors your boat’s interior can end up covered in dust and debris by spring time. This is especially the case if there are birds roosting in the indoor storage area. Failure to cover your boat over the winter can lead to some very unpleasant surprises come spring!
3. Leaving Bimini Tops and Enclosures Up Over the Winter
Sometimes, boat owners leave their bimini top or enclosure up during the winter months, either underneath the shrink wrap or on its own, hoping to protect their boat further from the winter elements. Bimini tops and other boat enclosures are not meant to protect your boat from ice, snow, and the other elements of winter. In fact, exposure to extreme winter weather will cause your Bimini to deteriorate much more rapidly. Leaving your bimini top or boat enclosure up underneath the shrink wrap puts too much pressure on the framework, causing it to deteriorate. As you’re winterizing your boat and preparing it for storage over the winter, be sure to properly store your Bimini top and other enclosures for the season.
4. Using the Wrong Boat Cover Size
One of the most common mistakes boat owners make is purchasing a universal boat cover. This is usually done for budget reasons, but some boat owners simply don’t realize the importance of having a cover that fits precisely to a boat’s specifications. While winter storage covers don’t fit the same as a summer boat cover, proper fit is still important. Too large and your winter cover will flap in the harsh winter winds, rubbing against your boat, causing damage to both it and the cover. Too small and your boat won’t be completely covered, allowing snow, ice, and debris into your boat.
5. Waiting Too Long to Cover a Boat
Boat owners who wait too long to cover their boats before the snow flies can increase the risk of damage to their boats’ interiors. Snow, ice, and debris can all get into your boat and damage your seats and carpet over the winter months when your boat is stored. As temperatures change in the spring, that snow and ice will melt, giving mold and mildew a perfect opportunity to breed. It’s not uncommon for boats to come out of winter storage filled with mold and mildew.
6. Not Being Careful with Upholstery
Winter damage to upholstery is not limited to snow, ice, and debris. Surprisingly enough, boat owners are often their own worst enemy when it comes to upholstery damage. Freezing winter temperatures cause your upholstery vinyl to freeze. This makes your boat’s upholstery very susceptible to damage caused by the pressure of someone standing on it. Every spring we see upholstery that cracked over the winter when someone stepped on it getting into their boat.
Contact Canvasworks to Get Your Heavy Duty Boat Covers
Minnesota winters can be beautiful, but they can wreak havoc on your boat’s interior if you fail to take the right precautions. With winter just around the corner, don’t wait too long to make sure your boat is properly stored for the coming cold season.
At Canvasworks in Minnesota, our custom winter storage covers for boats are made of a heavy duty, 18 ounce laminated vinyl with heat welded main seams to protect your boat all winter.
To view our marine products, visit our gallery on the web. Then give us a call at 320-559-0165 or contact us via email to speak with a member of our team about designing your custom boat cover.