Snap-on boat covers are a convenient and popular option for both travel and mooring covers. They’re less time-consuming to remove and reinstall than tie-down travel covers and are the best option for mooring covers.

The biggest problem with snap-on covers is the inherent weakness of having the pressure point of a small snap holding the cover on the boat while traveling or during storms. Snap-on covers have hems reinforced with webbing to decrease the possibility of snaps ripping out of the cover, but it is still a vulnerable point. It’s essential to keep this in mind when caring for your snap-on boat cover.

The team at Canvasworks provides guides for taking care of all of our custom boat covers, and for best practice care that keeps your snap-on cover in good condition. Here are our tips, tricks, and what not to do when caring for yours!

Use All of Your Snaps EVERY Time

If you’ve ordered a custom boat cover, snaps have been installed on your new cover to fit the existing snapline on your boat to ensure a tight fit. Properly fitted boat covers prevent the boat cover from flapping, protecting your expensive boat from damage.

It’s important to ensure you use all the snaps every time you install your boat cover. Failing to do so can damage both your cover AND your boat. As we already noted, improperly snapped covers will flap in the wind, whipping back and forth on your boat and damaging the finish.

This flapping also puts a lot of stress on the remaining snaps on your cover, which can lead to more snaps coming out of your cover, multiplying your problem. It can also cause rips or fraying of the cover, which leads us to our next point.

Replace Broken Snaps & Snap Studs Right Away

Neglecting to replace broken snap studs on your boat (or, more commonly, snap caps on your cover) right away can lead to the same sort of damage to your boat as not using all of your snaps.

If the snap stud on your boat has been stripped out, oversized snap studs are available to replace the old snap without having to consider fiberglass repair. Bent snap studs are even simpler to replace with a quick stop at your local canvas shop.

If you have the correct tool, replacing snaps on boat covers is very simple. However, if you don’t want to purchase a snap fastener tool, many boat cover companies will replace a few snaps while you wait, and quite a few will do it for free. But if you would rather do it yourself, we put together a quick video for you to watch.

Clean Your Snap Studs Regularly & Replace Corroded Ones

Snap studs can quickly become clogged with dirt, wax, and other debris throughout the season. Corrosion can also take its toll over the years. All of these lead to snap-on covers that don’t fasten correctly, causing the problem outlined above. The picture below illustrates the difference between a dirty, a corroded, and a clean snap stud.

The solution is to clean your snaps regularly throughout the year. When you’re winterizing your boat or boat cover in the fall or getting it ready for the summer, it is the perfect time to clean your snaps. In addition, always clean your boat’s snap studs right after you have polished or buffed your boat. The polishing compounds fill up the snap studs' center and edges, so cleaning them out keeps the compounds from hardening into the stud.

If you’re not sure how to clean your snap studs, check out this video where Duane goes over the simple method for cleaning them.

Always Remove & Reinstall Your Snap-On Cover the Right Way

This isn’t as important to the longevity of your boat cover, but it can definitely help reduce your stress. When installing your cover on the trailer, you’ll lay your cover over the boat with the front and back at the correct locations.

If you have one of our covers, you will slide the cover into the awning rail at the front of your boat. Then, snap the front snaps on each side and the rear corner snaps. Doing this aligns the snaps and allows you to quickly and easily snap the cover on the boat. Pull firmly and evenly, making sure each snap is snapping tightly into place. This video goes over this process in greater detail.

Now is also a great time to inspect your snaps for damage! If you have difficulty snapping your cover into place, try a tool such as the Top-Snapper tool. We also offer EZ Grab Snap Loops for our pontoon mooring covers to make the job easier.

Check out this video for tips and tricks on installing your snap-on boat cover while on the water, too.

Winter Is Coming! Repair Your Boat Covers Now

Time flies and summer is quickly drawing to a close. As you start closing up your cabins, lake properties, and docks, it’s the perfect time to repair your boat lift canopies, boat covers, and other canvas covers. Get it done now so you’re ahead of the crowd next spring!

Don’t forget to check out our reusable winter storage covers if you’re looking for outdoor winter boat storage solutions. They’re the green alternative to shrink-wrapping your boat!

Call us today at 320-559-0165 or email us at to get started.