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Does anyone have any suggestions on a boat cover. I could use some experienced input on what thickness, material, price range is reasonable. I am not wealthy and cant just order a $1000 cover. I need a best bang for the buck kind of deal. Looking around the web these things get into stupid $. The boat I need one for is a SeaArk ZX180 18ft Bass boat. Im in Texas so its not like it has to keep 3ft of snow out of the boat but we do get our share of sun, rain, and wind.

Thanks for any help. :)  

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We are fortunate in our part of the country to have some Amish that make custom covers.  The ones I had made for my 17' Lund were in the $400 neighborhood.  First one lasted 9 years of towing and being stored outside, winter and summer.  I'm on year 3 of the new one.  They are made of TopGun Canvas.

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Canvas is probably the best most durable and best material for a boat cover.  Some nicer boats come with really nice canvas covers but after you add some items like a bow mount you'll need to have it altered and re-stitched so it fits better.  Standard boat covers that don't cost an arm and a leg are made of a thinner plastic-type cloth material.  They're standardized for the type and length of boat. This is what I would recommend for you living in Texas.  They generally cost anywhere from $100 - $200 bucks and can be bought at sporting goods stores or online.

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http://www.cabelas.com/product/boating/boat-covers/semi-custom-covers%7C/pc/104794380/c/104703480/sc/104559480/cabela-s-ratchet-lok-boat-covers-150-bass-and-walleye/727574.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fsemi-custom-covers%2F_%2FN-1100621%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104559480

 

I've had one of these for over 3 years on my 20 ft stratos. GREAT cover and Cabela's can get you the right one for your boat. Just look for the RATCHET LOK style. Easy to tie down and untie when ready. Has a good warranty as well!

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Before I got my carport installed......I made sure to put a tarp over my boat cover.

the sun is very hard on the covers and I have read that keeping the sun off the cover will greatly increase the life of the cover.

just a FYI.

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Even if a $100 cheapo only lasts a year, its unlikely a $1000 one will last 10 years of outside use.. Probably cheaper in the long run to use cheapos and patch them with an old one when needed.

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Which is the better option, a carport or a cover? I have heard that covers will create moisture and lead to a lot of mildew.

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You just need to keep it from getting wet and keep the sun off of it. Carport, garage, or cover is all personal preference. Sad to say that garage is my only option.. While i live in a good neighborhood i feel my electronics and prop would not last a week with a cover on. 

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1 hour ago, Kevin22 said:

You just need to keep it from getting wet and keep the sun off of it. Carport, garage, or cover is all personal preference. Sad to say that garage is my only option.. While i live in a good neighborhood i feel my electronics and prop would not last a week with a cover on. 

Don't leave electronics on it. I use a prop lock to slow them down.

i have a good cover on it ( to keep dust/dirt off the boat and help keep critters off of it.  And a carport to keep the rain and snow off.....and keep the sun off the cover.  Boat has an alarm and a camera trained on it 24/7. Won't stop thieves but might deter them, slow them down and at least I will see who it was.

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You've got a couple of options.

A lot of awning places here actually do boat covers.  However, this option is typically pretty pricey.  Not quite 1000 (depending on the boat of course) but the good places here measure everything and you have an awesome cover that perfectly fits your boat made out of nice material.

If you feel handy at all you could also attempt to do it yourself.  We've got a ton of fabric stores here that sell "sunbrella" (I believe thats a brand name but it's basically UV protected fabric) material.  You could measure your boat out, buy some grommets, and save a lot of money that way.  

I helped my buddy make one for his aluminum boat.  He bought the material, we measured it out and made our cuts.  Straight lines weren't super important because we folded the edges back over themselves and stitched it that way.  Installed some grommets and voila, custom boat cover.

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I bought a custom-fit Carver Sun-Dura cover for less than $285.  It's in it's third season and in perfect shape.

Tight lines,

Bob

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