Cleaning boat cover

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Douglasdzaster

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Messages
736
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Location
Smithville,Texas
LOCATION
Smithville, Texas
Hello everyone, I’ve got a question.
In December I finna got a decent boat cover. It’s a Sun Dura from Carver. It’s one step under Sunbrella. Does anyone have any advice on how to clean it? I keep it from being under any trees but the last week no matter where you are on our place there’s oak pollen on everything. And we have a small tree next to the house that gets these little purple berries on it this time of year. The robins went nuts and one day last week they where taking the berries to where I’m working on my wife’s car and dropped whole berries and pooped berries to. The car was covered. I got my far share dropped on me too. The boat cover didn't catch to many. But it’s got pollen stains and purple stains. I have a pvc pipe assembly I built to make a ridge the length of the boat and it works great for rain and other things to run ri off. I have some 303 that’s supposed to be safe on covers. I’d like to clean it while it’s on the boat because I can rinse it off easily.
 
Followiing.

My cover has been on the boat about 5 years and is pretty grody. Last year I tried to use a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush while the cover was on the boat. It was superficial at best.

I think the staining is probably there to last. Nonetheless, I would love to toss it in a washing machine if I could find one big enough.
 
Talk to the cover mfgr, depending on the material they would have the best recomendations. My last few covers were made by a truck tarp company, they used the rubbery type stuff they use for semi tarps. Tough stuff, you can clean it with anything, snow, ice, wind, nothing harms it!! Also had an atv cover made from same material, that was 20 years ago, still looks like new, no tears, rips or wind damage from going down the highway at 75 mph.
 
Airshot, that is great advice. The following is part of what Carver says about cleaning (glad I didn't use the washing machine):

To keep your boat cover looking great much longer, make sure to support your cover using boat cover support poles. Supporting your cover properly will prevent water from pooling on the cover. When trailering (or even just for storage), use a tie down kit to prevent damage to your cover.

Never wash your boat cover in a machine. You can use a hose and a soft bristle brush for cleaning. Allow the cover to dry completely before folding for storage.

For more stubborn spots on your Carver boat cover, you can use the following:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup Borax powder
  • 2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients in a bucket or in a spray bottle. Apply to the spot of concern and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse--allow to dry thoroughly before folding.

For more stubborn spots on your boat cover, you can clean the cover with a soft bristled brush and a mild detergent such as Dove or Dreft.
 
I always ckeaned my covers on the boat, stretched tight by poles or adding blow up toys under it to make it taught. Much easier to do some scrubbing on the really dirty areas. Also helps the water run off and dry quicker..
 
For stubborn stains/dirt.....While on the boat, you can't put enough pressure while using the scrub brush. When I previously used a cover, I would remove, place cover on ground, and scrub, rinse thoroughly, and place on boat to dry. A lot of work, but I could get it much cleaner by scrubbing harder. The recipe posted by LDUBS should clean most stubborn areas.
 
Airshot, that is great advice. The following is part of what Carver says about cleaning (glad I didn't use the washing machine):

To keep your boat cover looking great much longer, make sure to support your cover using boat cover support poles. Supporting your cover properly will prevent water from pooling on the cover. When trailering (or even just for storage), use a tie down kit to prevent damage to your cover.

Never wash your boat cover in a machine. You can use a hose and a soft bristle brush for cleaning. Allow the cover to dry completely before folding for storage.

For more stubborn spots on your Carver boat cover, you can use the following:


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup Borax powder
  • 2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients in a bucket or in a spray bottle. Apply to the spot of concern and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse--allow to dry thoroughly before folding.

For more stubborn spots on your boat cover, you can clean the cover with a soft bristled brush and a mild detergent such as Dove or Dref
Airshot, that is great advice. The following is part of what Carver says about cleaning (glad I didn't use the washing machine):

To keep your boat cover looking great much longer, make sure to support your cover using boat cover support poles. Supporting your cover properly will prevent water from pooling on the cover. When trailering (or even just for storage), use a tie down kit to prevent damage to your cover.

Never wash your boat cover in a machine. You can use a hose and a soft bristle brush for cleaning. Allow the cover to dry completely before folding for storage.

For more stubborn spots on your Carver boat cover, you can use the following:


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup Borax powder
  • 2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients in a bucket or in a spray bottle. Apply to the spot of concern and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse--allow to dry thoroughly before folding.

For more stubborn spots on your boat cover, you can clean the cover with a soft bristled brush and a mild detergent such as Dove or Dreft.
This is the same information they sent me. But when I purchased my cover I saw on the website 303 cleaner that claims it’s safe on boat covers or any fabric. Also the 303 protectant to keep it water repellent. So I bought both then I couldn’t find the stuff on their site anymore so I contacted them and got the diy cleaner information which I’m going to mix me some up. My last cover was a $60 special and I used Downy when I cleaned it. It lasted one year.
 
For stubborn stains/dirt.....While on the boat, you can't put enough pressure while using the scrub brush. When I previously used a cover, I would remove, place cover on ground, and scrub, rinse thoroughly, and place on boat to dry. A lot of work, but I could get it much cleaner by scrubbing harder. The recipe posted by LDUBS should clean most stubborn areas.
I just don’t have a good place to spread it out. No concrete. And I’d get more stuff on it if I laid it on the ground out here. I have a little 14 foot utility trailer I tried with my las cover and it was a real pain because I couldn’t lay it all out at once.
 
I always ckeaned my covers on the boat, stretched tight by poles or adding blow up toys under it to make it taught. Much easier to do some scrubbing on the really dirty areas. Also helps the water run off and dry quicker..
That’s what I like about my pvc pipe frame I built. It looks like a long tent and the cover fits snug to where I think it should work well for cleaning also.
 
I like to clean mine when on the boat, too. Berry stains are a pain, and will often not come out, no matter what you use. Sometimes they fade in the sun, sometimes they are permanent. Hopefully, it's a blue cover and not a white one.

Try that recipe that LDUBS posted. Might be effective. I'm going to try that one.
 
I was looking at this old popost and realized I left y’all hanging.
Carver also recommended 303 all purpose cleaner approved by Sunbrella.
It got all the stains out with a soft brush. After it dried I hit it with 303 marine fabric guard. My cover was khaki again and all I’ve had to do is dust it off a couple times a week. Rinse it off now and then to keep it clean.
Until now that is. Check out the new post I made about oak tree sap. Now the cover is black.
 
I haven't found much that lasts more than 3 years or so in the sun before it is too weak or destroyed. Cheap replacements have been the order of the day. The covers last longer when they are covered, if that makes any sense. I wish I had a barn or shed instead.
 
I haven't found much that lasts more than 3 years or so in the sun before it is too weak or destroyed. Cheap replacements have been the order of the day. The covers last longer when they are covered, if that makes any sense. I wish I had a barn or shed instead.
This one has a seven year warranty but after reading it I’d just about have to keep the boat in the house.
I keep saying I’m going to clean up and rearrange my shop and see if I can have a hole to stick it in. When we first moved hear I had the shop organized and neat. I kept my sister’s little 16’ bass boat in it while I fixed it up. But I’ve accumulated a lot of tools and equipment since then.
Once I get rid of the clutter I’ll know.

It would be nice to store the boat and pull it out when I work on a vehicle so I’m on concrete Instead of laying in the gravel. Be able to polish and wax out of the direct sunlight etc.
 
I haven't found much that lasts more than 3 years or so in the sun before it is too weak or destroyed. Cheap replacements have been the order of the day. The covers last longer when they are covered, if that makes any sense. I wish I had a barn or shed instead.
3-4 years is about right, the trick is to keep the sun off it. Long before I had a pole barn, I built a lean to from privacy fence and some sheets of Fabriel steel sheet roofing. Just a simple 2x4 frame attached to a 6ft tall privacy fence and back the boat under. After that, my last cover was over 8 yrs old and still in great shape!! Even these self standing car ports will do the job. My lean to cost less than 400 bucks, with the cost of covers, that could be paid back quickly.
 
3-4 years is about right, the trick is to keep the sun off it. Long before I had a pole barn, I built a lean to from privacy fence and some sheets of Fabriel steel sheet roofing. Just a simple 2x4 frame attached to a 6ft tall privacy fence and back the boat under. After that, my last cover was over 8 yrs old and still in great shape!! Even these self standing car ports will do the job. My lean to cost less than 400 bucks, with the cost of covers, that could be paid back quickly.
At $35 a cover it would take over 30 years to pay off in my case. I probably won't be here when that time comes. I can't even keep the boat at home due to HOA and it stays at my daughters house instead.
 
I have a Carver Flex Fit cover. I had it parked under an oak tree for a couple of years while the normal space on the other side of the house was being used for something else. That gooey fall-out makes mess of everything. The cover is stained by still holding up well after 5 years.

Oak trees can be a pain if you have to park under them. If acorns were worth anything I would cash them in for a shed! haha.
 
3-4 years is about right, the trick is to keep the sun off it. Long before I had a pole barn, I built a lean to from privacy fence and some sheets of Fabriel steel sheet roofing. Just a simple 2x4 frame attached to a 6ft tall privacy fence and back the boat under. After that, my last cover was over 8 yrs old and still in great shape!! Even these self standing car ports will do the job. My lean to cost less than 400 bucks, with the cost of covers, that could be paid back quickly.
That would bring up another conflict. I have been supposed to be building a green house for 2 years now. Conversation the other day kinda ended with the feeling I don’t start nothing els until I break ground.
She don’t want any kit either. 2X4 framed walls and a covered area coming off the back.
 
That would bring up another conflict. I have been supposed to be building a green house for 2 years now. Conversation the other day kinda ended with the feeling I don’t start nothing els until I break ground.
She don’t want any kit either. 2X4 framed walls and a covered area coming off the back.
Make it twice as big so half will enclose the boat...kill two birds with one stone !! A lean to can be built in one day, less if you have help.
 
At $35 a cover it would take over 30 years to pay off in my case. I probably won't be here when that time comes. I can't even keep the boat at home due to HOA and it stays at my daughters house instead.
That is a super cheap cover, my cheapest cover was almost two hundred bucks, mabey that is why they lasted so much longer. My custom made covers were made from a material similiar to convertable car top material. My lingest lasting cover was made of semi truck tarp material. Over 18 years old and dirty but still like new, no rips, cracks, tears, no loose stitching and completely waterproof! Actually the best covers I have ever owned and the price was cheaper than a custom boat cover.
 
I put the cover on and throw a heavy duty silver tarp over that. Let the tarp take the sun and the cover lasts much longer, in my mind anyway. It has worked on my hot tub cover that suffers the same fate from the sun. Going to build a pvc frame for the boat, cover and tarp.
 
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