Rethink the Shrink

As we all enjoy the summer heat, and the fun it allows us to have, we can’t avoid the fact that winter is coming. With the season inching closer to colder and harsher weather, we all grapple with identifying the most cost effective way to protect our boating investments from the elements. This year is your chance to rethink the shrink! Many of us are on “autopilot” when it comes to the winterization process, and freely plunk down $200 – $400  to shrink wrap our boat thinking the expense is worth it and forget about the price until the next year.

Although a properly installed shrink wrap cover is a great way to protect your boat, a well built storage cover should provide the same protection for your boat as shrink wrap does. When you open the boat in the spring, the boat should look just like it did when you covered it up. The most overlooked benefit of having a good storage cover is the protection it provides in the summer months, the UV is as hard (If not harder) on the boat (gel coat) than the winter is. With a good storage cover you also get the added benefit of access to the boat any time.

A large part of the resilience of a good canvas boat cover depends on a good fit with reinforced stress points. In addition to the key components of a well made cover. Good synthetic fabrics with good UV, water and mildew-resistant quality’s i.e. Acrylic with a 5-10 year guarantee, you also want a fabric that breaths (or integrated vent/s), proper support and fastening system to keep the cover free from areas where water could accumulate, and probably the most overlooked component is the thread that holds it all together you should expect to get a good UV resistant “PTFE” thread that is guaranteed to outlast the fabric if not at least a good bonded polyester UV thread. Or better yet the new technology that allows custom shops to weld the fabric together creating a waterproof seam.

Don’t be mistaken with generic in a “box” storage covers equal in price to the 1 year cost of a shrink wrap OR at ½ to 1/3 the cost of a custom cover. The protection, fit, and quality do not begin to compare to a good custom built cover.

Part of The debate of custom vs. shrink depends on how long you are going to keep the boat. Over time a well built custom cover can pay off. Consider that an average cost to shrink a 23′ boat would be around $250 per year and a GOOD custom made storage cover would cost around $1250, but more often than not a good Storage cover would last 10+ years making your annual investment only $125 per year (saving over $1250 in the first 10 years) Plus the added benefit better protection in the summer. Not to mention that the potential resale value of a boat that has been covered all summer could potentially be a lot more.

Custom Covers in SLC is the leading provider of innovative marine canvas and custom winter boat storage covers.

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