Even though boats are sturdy, harsh weather conditions slowly take a toll on them. When you leave your boat uncovered when not in use, furniture, deck, and other parts of the boat would deteriorate much faster.
To slow the deteriorating process down and expand our boat’s lifetime, we need to protect it the best way we can. And the best way I know how to do that is to buy a heavy-duty marine-grade boat cover. If you do that and you buy the best pontoon boat covers you can, it will help you:
- Keep your pontoon boat clear from dust and debris
- Guard against the Sun and prevents fading and cracking
- Add a level of security to your boat from possible theft
- Keep creatures and bugs out of your boat when not in use
- Deflect moisture and water, keeps mold and mildew out
Whether you’re transporting your boat to the water or need to keep it protected while it’s moored, buying a quality pontoon boat cover should be your priority. To help you out with that decision I’m going to tell you what I think is the best pontoon boat cover and what you need to look at when buying one.
I will also detail what you need to look for when buying a pontoon cover and which material is best for your particular situation. This is an important point, so don’t forget to read that part before deciding which boat cover to buy.
And the last thing I am going to talk about is custom pontoon covers. Is custom boat cover a way to go, and if so, how much will it cost you?
So let’s get after it.
Best Pontoon Cover: Budge 1200D Cover
- PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS: Made from 100% waterproof 1200 denier polyester, strong enough to protect your boat from rain, snow, dirt, dust, tree sap, leaves, pollen, bird droppings and other environmental pollutants. Excellent UV protection keeps...
- WATERPROOF INSIDE AND OUT: Reinforced, waterproof seams keep moisture out. Sewn-in air vents keep condensation from accumulating
- COVER STAYS IN PLACE: Our elasticized hem, sewn-in straps and buckles keep your cover in place. Great for trailer use and outdoor storage
Some will say that Budge is the best pontoon boat cover on the market today, and I completely agree with that statement. The best thing about the Budge 1200D is these covers’ extreme durability. The covers have 1200 denier thick fabric that can easily handle any weather condition.
These exceptionally tough pontoon boat covers come with pocket vents, which allow moisture to escape and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Plus, they are 100% waterproof.
You can be sure that water will not find its way into your pontoon boat to cause damage to your outboard motor, bow, cuddy, console, top, and hull. I would definitely like to recommend this product. You should check it out; it’s great. And it’s conveniently available on Amazon.
- 1200 denier polyester waterproof, breathable material.
- Pocket vents & a sewn-in strap system protect your outboard motor, console, top, cuddy, bow, and hull.
- Boat trailer-friendly
- 7-year warranty, possibly the long warranty in the business.
- Premium price, compared to others.
- It can rip quickly if not used correctly.
Best Budget Pontoon Cover: MSC Trailerable 300D
- Made of marine grade polyester canvas with double PU Coating
- Designed for both long-term storage, mooring and highway travel
- Includes adjustable straps and storage bag; 1 Year limited warranty
The next product on the list is the MSC trailerable cover and the best budget cover (around $120 at the time of writing). There are various reasons why you should go with the MSC trailerable pontoon boat cover. This pontoon boat covers features a double PU coating and superior marine grade denier polyester fabric.
Even though it is only made from 300D cover fabric, the high-water resistant coating gives it great weather protection. The material used here does not shrink even after extensive use. You can’t say that about many other pontoon boat covers out there. These covers are resistant to ultraviolet lights, which can damage the outer layer of boats.
MSC marine covers come with double stitching seams and elastic cord that run along the bottom of boats. This makes these covers perfect for quick and easy covering, even if you are doing it alone.
Amazon has a good selection of these covers; check it out below.
- Resistant to mildew and UV effects.
- Reinforced with double stitched seams and elastic hem.
- The fabric does not shrink.
- Come with a 2-year limited warranty.
- Not made for trailing.
Classic Accessories Stellex Cover
- TRAILERABLE BOAT COVER: Fits pontoon boats 21' - 24' L, beam width to 102" W
- MARINE GRADE BOATING ACCESSORIES: Tough polyester Stellex fabric designed for durability and weather protection
- PROTECTIVE COVER FOR BOATS: Adjustable transom flap and an elastic cord gives a tight, custom fit while fabric coating technology resists dirt, stains and provides water-resistance
The Classic Accessories Stellex marine cover is made from tough polyester cover fabric. These covers are designed for extreme weather protection (of your marine boats, their hull, bow, cuddy, bimini top, outboard motor, and accessories) and durability.
They are treated with a special ultraviolet inhibitor. It provides max protection from UV and sun damage for your marine boats.
Thanks to adjustable transom flap and elastic cord, which are sewn into the bottom hem, boats get a tight and custom fit.
Choose these tops when you want to effectively protect your pontoon’s hull, bow, outboard motor, console, cuddy, bimini top, and awesome boat gadgets and accessories.
Product reviews on Amazon are great, the price is affordable, so I recommend you take this cover into your consideration, provided you will buy a cover soon.
- It can fit most pontoon boats.
- 20% lighter than most covers.
- Provide a tight and custom fit while protecting your boats.
- You get a 4-year warranty.
Steeper price, compared to other marine covers.
Classic Accessories StormPRO Cover
- TRAILERABLE BOAT COVER: Fits pontoon boats 21' - 24'L, beam width 102"W
- MARINE GRADE BOATING ACCESSORIES: Won't shrink or stretch, designed for extra durability, fabric coating technology for max water repellency and all-weather protection
- PROTECTIVE COVER FOR BOATS: Adjustable transom flap and an elastic cord gives a tight, custom fit while the integrated buckle and strap system allows for easy fitting and trailering, adjustable straps snap into quick-release buckles on the cover
The Classic Accessories StormPRO Pontoon Boat Cover is the last cover on this list that you can find on Amazon. It is made from a water-resistant StormPro 600D marine boat cover canvas.
These are heavy-duty trailer-friendly tops that come integrated with buckle and strap systems for easy boat fitting. These covers have adjustable straps that snap into the boat cover’s quick-release buckles.
StormPro covers have an elastic cord sewn into the bottom hem. This elastic cord gives the StormPro a secure, custom fit around your pontoon, its hull, bow, outboard motor, console and bimini top, and accessories.
If you are a buyer of this product, you will also get a storage bag, transom flap tie-down rope, two stern-fit elastic cords, and trailer straps.
They are equipped with dual air vents that lessen inside moisture and ballooning. These custom pieces make it resistant to mildew and UV damage.
- Made from water-resistant StormPro 600D fabric.
- Quick-release buckles.
- Tight and custom fit around your boat’s hull, bow, outboard motor, console, and top.
- Mildew and UV damage resistant
- Color fades quickly. If you’re not too concerned about the aesthetics of boats, then these marine covers will do!
North East Harbor Pontoon Boat Cover
- Marine-Grade 600 Denier Heavy Duty Pontoon Cover
- Quick Release Strapping System for Fast/Easy Installation and Trailering
- Heavy Duty Shock Cord Hem Provides a Secure Fit
These resemble the New Vortex Boat Cover. The fabric is a 600 denier waterproof material.
It comes with elastics around the edges and straps to buckle it down around boats (perhaps around the hull, bow, and outboard motor of your boat).
One valuable feature of North-East Harbor is that they have several more straps to secure the pontoon.
This offers more flexibility, as the straps can go either under entire boats (including the hull, bow, bimini top, and outboard motor) or just the pontoons.
- Heavy-duty 600D Polyester Waterproof, breathable fabric.
- Large canvas; this will fit any boat and with room to spare for accessories.
- Light and easy-to-use even for one person.
- Quick-release buckles and elastic straps system.
- Long sun exposure will damage the color quickly.
What is the Best Pontoon Boat Cover Material
Not every pontoon cover is made equal. It’s essential to ask the following questions to protect your boat properly.
- Where do you use your pontoon boat, sea, or saltwater?
- Is your boat stored indoors or outdoors?
- Do you live in areas with changing weather patterns: Sun, rain, wind, snow?
- Do you live in an area of high humidity?
- Are your boat components UV resistant?
Once you have answered those questions, let’s look at the materials you should consider.
Different Boat Cover Materials
There are various fabrics that pontoon boat covers are made of. However, the most common materials are vinyl, acrylic, mesh, and canvas.
- Vinyl – the most popular fabric, very durable and flexible. This durability makes vinyl covers long-lasting, and its texture is excellent dirt repellant.
- Acrylic – a laminate material that is fully waterproof and fire-resistant. This laminated feature makes acrylic antibacterial and impact-proof. It might not be as good as Vinyl, but it makes for an excellent choice.
- Mesh – although not as good as the other two materials, the mesh is still popular because it can enhance your boat’s appearance due to various designer looks. It is not fully waterproof, but it is water-resistant and quick drying.
- Canvas – natural textile made from the cotton base. Its tight weave makes this a robust and waterproof material. However, the canvas is one of the heaviest materials, and you may not like that.
Now that you have answered the main questions and know which materials work best for your situation let us look at some boat covers individually.
How to Buy Pontoon Boat Cover
If you don’t want to spend upwards of $1500 for a fitted custom pontoon boat cover, you should look at the aftermarket covers, which will cost you far less. Just make sure to follow these tips:
- Buy Bigger Cover – A larger boat cover means easier installation and more area of the boat covered. You don’t want to go too big; 5 inches is good enough.
- Don’t Buy Boat Cover Based on Price – Many boaters buy an incorrect cover because they first look at the price. Understand what kind of boat cover fits your pontoon and the weather conditions in your area and buy the cover based on that, not its price.
- Avoid Bright Colors – The color can bleed onto your upholstery and can stain it for life. I recommend you pick a neutral color, gray or white, or something that resembles your upholstery.
- Water-Resistant is NOT Equal to Waterproof – Water-resistant cover will help stop the water from getting inside your boat, but it will not prevent it entirely. If you are leaving your boat outside over the winter, you need to buy a waterproof cover.
- Buy a Cover That Best Fits Your Pontoon – Make sure the cover you are buying fits your boat’s design. Is your boat open or closed bow? Even the universal pontoon boat covers might not fit properly, so find the one specially made for your pontoons design.
- Pick the Right Material – Material is as vital as any other part of the pontoon cover, so make sure you pick the absolute best.
How Much Does a Custom Pontoon Cover Cost?
A question that many boaters ask is how much will a custom cover cost. The truth is, it’s not a simple answer because it depends on various things, like the length of your boat, the type of material you chose and also where you buy it.
But let’s try to answer that question this way.
The average cost for a custom pontoon boat cover is $1,400 for a boat that is 20′ in length. The cost will increase or decrease depending on whether you are buying a bigger or smaller cover, type of material, denier count, and additional features the cover might have like coating technology, storage bag, etc. One thing is for sure, though; it’s going to cost you a lot more than one of these universal pontoon covers listed above.
- 16′ pontoon cover – $1,000 – $1,200
- 18′ pontoon cover – $1,200 – $1,300
- 20′ pontoon cover – $1,300 – $1,500
- 22′ pontoon cover – $1,400 – $1,600
- 24′ pontoon cover – $1,500 – $1,800
- 26′ pontoon cover – $1,700 – $2,000
The truth is, the custom is always better, but unless you live in an area where weather conditions change rapidly and temperatures fluctuate severely, you don’t need a custom pontoon boat cover; covers on the market described above will do just fine.
To protect your boat adequately, you need to find the best pontoon boat cover you can. I believe that the covers I’ve listed here are going to make a huge difference in the longevity of your boat. But even if you do not like my selection and decide to go with something else to cover your pontoon, make sure you are buying a cover made from marine grade polyester fabric, has air vents, and is UV resistant. Ensure that the cover is waterproof to protect your boat from mold and mildew and the musty odors they create.
Also, think about the way you are going to use your boat cover. Where are you going to keep your pontoon? Are you going to keep your pontoon in the marina, or do you need to buy a trailerable pontoon boat cover?
All these questions are important, and you must know the answer to all of them to keep your boat safe. Cover your boat the best you can because boats are not cheap, and a little bit of upfront cost can go a long way.