Your boat is an investment that should last for years and deserves to be appropriately protected, so you shouldn't underestimate the importance of using the best boat cover for each situation.

But how do you know what type of boat cover to use and when? 

Our experts at Canvasworks break down the different types of boat covers, their purposes, and the various attachment methods that make protecting your boat easy and effective. 

3 Main Types of Boat Covers

Based on what you’re doing with your boat, you’ll need specific covers that can handle traveling, various weather conditions, or different storage methods. Your covers should be made from high-quality materials designed for their purpose and their design will be specific to their purpose as well. 

Using the wrong cover for the job can damage your boat and the cover, so it’s vital to ensure you’re using the right one. Here are the three main types of boat covers our team fabricates and recommends all boaters should use.

Mooring or Summer Storage Covers

These covers are designed to be used while your boat is not being used during summer. 

When you leave your boat at the dock, it needs to be protected from summer storms, wildlife, and anglers, so mooring covers have a high pitch. While the angle makes them ill-suited for traveling, it keeps your boat well-protected and sheds water effectively.

Summer storage covers are generally made with breathable material and venting systems to allow moisture to leave the boat, too. So, the cover keeps unwanted elements out while preventing mold and mildew from growing inside.

Travel Covers

These covers are made primarily for protecting your boat while on the road. They have a more streamlined design with a lower pitch, so they can easily travel at highway speeds while protecting your boat from wet weather conditions or from gravel and debris flung up while driving. 

Travel covers still shed water, but the lower pitch can lead to some pooling, especially with pontoon covers. Watch out for excess water when removing the cover to stop it from leaking into your boat. 

Like mooring covers, they are made of breathable fabric to allow moisture to leave your vessel and keep the inside dry and clean.

Winter Storage Covers

Winter covers are expertly designed to withstand harsh winter conditions and protect your boat through the cold months

They have a much higher pitch than summer storage or travel covers and use a laminated material that allows ice and snow to slide off the cover more readily. The frame is made from heavy-duty materials to allow it to stand up to winter winds and snow loads. This is unlike summer storage or travel covers that just use lightweight telescoping aluminum poles that cannot withstand heavy snow or ice loads.

3 Boat Cover Attachment Methods

Along with different types of boat covers, multiple styles of attachments make putting on your boat cover easier or create better protection for your boat. Here are the three methods we recommend.

Tie-Down Boat Covers

These are the old standard for travel covers. Tie-down covers take longer to install but are easier to use if you have hand issues. 

Never use bungee cords in place of tie-down ropes because they allow the cover to jump around on your boat, leaving rub marks on your boat and causing your cover to develop wear holes. 

Tie-down covers are used for travel and are unsuitable as mooring covers since you don't have a trailer to tie them onto.

Snap-On Boat Covers

Snap-On covers are generally more convenient than tie-down covers. They are best suited for mooring or summer storage but are also a very popular option for travel. They can sometimes be hard to use if you have problems with hand strength, but several options make installing your snap-on cover easier. 

We offer EZ grab loops to assist in installing snap-on covers that are used exclusively for mooring or summer storage. There is also a tool called Top-Snapper that makes it easier to install and remove a snap-on cover. J-clips and the Stay-put fasteners are other similar attachment systems. You can learn more about these methods in our blog post about boat cover attachment systems.

Ratchet Strap Covers

Quickly becoming our most popular option, our ratchet strap covers are the fastest and most easily installed boat cover we make here at Canvasworks!  

These covers are most suitable for travel covers but can be used as mooring covers in some situations. Check out the video below to see just how easy it is to put on and take off!



In the Market for a New Boat Cover? Canvasworks Has You Covered!

Our dedicated team has been fabricating custom covers for over forty years, and we have the knowledge, experience, and technology to keep your outdoor equipment and toys covered! 

We use heavy-duty, name-brand materials for all of our custom covers and heat-weld our seams to eliminate thread rot concerns, so your cover will provide long-lasting protection. Keep your covers clean and store them correctly, and you'll get years of use out of them. 

Call us today at 320-559-0165, email us at, or message us online to get started on your custom boat cover.