So, you decided to purchase a pontoon boat. Give yourself a pat on the back as this watercraft is a great recreational vehicle meant for fun with friends and family. But, buying a pontoon boat isn’t the only thing that you should consider. Take care of your water vessel by purchasing the best pontoon boat cover.
Pontoon covers reduce and prevent wear and tear, which would otherwise shorten the lifespan of your boat. Still, it doesn’t mean you should buy random pontoon covers on water or land you see. But, the myriad of options on the market can make it difficult for the untrained individual to buy the right model.
Thankfully, you’re here right now as I give you a rundown on the best pontoon boat covers money can buy.
Table of Contents
Best Pontoon Boat Cover Reviews of 2023
1. iCOVER PB6303 Pontoon Boat Cover
I have seen and used many pontoon boat covers with snaps over the years, but only a few can stand up to this product’s waterproof ability. Made with 300D PU marine grade polyester, this boat cover’s fabric does more than a good job in repelling water.
I left my boat outside when heavy rains started pouring. The heavy moisture pooled into the cover’s center area, which should be a relatively normal occurrence because of the heavy downpour. But, my surprise came when I opened the cover to see that the watercraft’s internals were bone dry.
Aside from being waterproof, the 300D material is also tear and UV resistant. It grazed against some branches and twigs during travel, and the fabric remained relatively scratch-free.
Cleaning is also a breeze, seeing that all I needed was to brush debris off the fabric. A quick hosing is also necessary to maintain this material, albeit I don’t have to do it often.
There’s also a heavy duty elastic cord sewn around this product’s hemline. With it, this cover provides a secure and snug fit on my pontoon boat. Installation is also quite easy and can be done with minimal effort. But, make sure to search for the tag that says FRONT. Otherwise, covering the boat with the fabric reversed can promote issues.
Once installed properly, this cover is quite roomy. The space it produces is large enough to allow room to make my boat into a temporary storage facility.
2. Vortex Pontoon Boat Cover
Vortex is a brand known by many pontoon boat owners with good reason. The company’s dedication to providing high quality boat covers shows in this product.
It should be specified first that this boat cover comes with a fairly long 5-year warranty. In contrast, many similar products only have a 1-year warranty. Some may even only have warranties that last for 30 days while certain models don’t have guarantees at all.
Made with a heavy duty marine grade canvas material, this pontoon mooring cover is fit for other applications, such as trailering and storage keeping. I left my boat covered by this material for a few days under a hot summer sun, and it did a good job in preventing UV damage to the watercraft.
Like other Vortex direct boat covers, this model also sports reliable waterproofing. It effectively kept most of the water outside the vehicle during those sudden summer rains.
3. North East Harbor Pontoon Cover
Keeping a pontoon boat protected without exceeding a tight budget has been made possible with this model. This 24 ft pontoon boat cover joins the ranks of the least expensive variants to find on the market.
But, don’t think that this fairly inexpensive model cannot protect boats. On the other hand, it does more than a good job in providing sufficient protection and security to appropriately-sized watercraft.
This 600D polyester cover is resistant to scratches and sheers. It’s also pleasingly waterproof and breathable.
Additionally, the product neatly folds into a portable structure that easily slides into an accompanying storage bag. Therefore, I don’t need to be troubled to look for a place to leave the cover while using the boat.
The install process is also fairly reasonable, thanks to the QuikSnap strapping system. The cover provided adequate coverage and security to a 20-ft. watercraft. Ultimately, these straps securely hold the cover in place, especially during travel.
UV protection provided by this product is also quite decent. Leaving the boat with the cover under the sun for an entire day does protect the watercraft’s paint from fading.
4. Budge P-600-2 Pontoon Cover
I was looking for good custom pontoon boat covers with snaps. But, that journey came to an end upon buying this product from Budge.
Unlike other boat covers that fly from strong winds, this model securely stays in place. The reason behind this excellent security is its heavy shock cord hem. Upon closer inspection, it seems that this component provides a semi-custom fit. Further, the straps are sewn into the fabric as opposed to being separate entities, providing extra security.
Aside from testing the cover in windy conditions, I also experimented with the fabric’s durability against the hot sun and heavy rain. My investigations provided satisfying results as the marine grade 600D polyester material stood up to the harsh weather conditions.
Like other reliable pontoon boat covers, this model is also waterproof while maintaining its breathable characteristics. The water stayed out of the boat while still allowing vapor to seep through the material. Once the rain was over, my watercraft’s deck blissfully remained dry. The taped seams also add to its superb water-protecting trait.
This level of durability also makes the material fit for different applications. I used it for mooring, trailering, and storage without a hitch.
5. North East Harbor 96″ Pontoon Cover
Sufficiently waterproof, this product excels in keeping pontoon boats dry. Made with a durable 600D polyester material, its build quality excels and beats many competing models.
Aside from being completely waterproof, this pontoon boat cover has been sunray treated for optimal longevity. With this trait, it holds well against long-term exposure to the sun’s harsh UV rays.
However, the color faded from a cool gray to a questionable lavender from continuous UV exposure. Despite this change in appearance, it continued to be an excellent performer in whisking water and sunlight away.
Furthermore, the accessories that come with the pack make this kit a great choice for trailering. The straps held well onto the cover and watercraft. These components are also easy to tie down as they did not require too much of my valuable time to lock them in place.
As for its compatibility, it’s fairly adequate, considering that this cover can fit relatively all pontoons with lengths from 17 to 19 ft. Further, the fabric is quite breathable as mold and mildew did not grow in my boat after a heavy downpour.
6. Classic Accessories Pontoon Boat Cover
This pontoon boat cover can become a watercraft’s best friend during storage. It prevents damage to exterior elements with its hard-wearing yet suitably lightweight construction.
Made with 100% polyester, this high strength boat cover for pontoons is lighter than most competing products. It only weighs about 6 lbs., unlike other models that tend to go beyond the 20-lb. mark. Hence, the installation and removal of this model are reasonably convenient.
The fabric is also treated with a special UV color inhibitor, as per the product’s description. It claims to provide optimal protection against UV and high heat. During my experience with this product, it seems that this claim is more than crafty advertising. It’s because this cover prevented the color of my boat from fading, which would otherwise be the case when leaving the watercraft under the sun for days.
I would also like to point out that there are no grommets in this kit. Instead, it uses a sturdy rope system that attaches to durable D-rings that promote scratch-free experiences. In my tests, the rope and D-rings are fairly easy to operate, which adds additional points for convenience.
7. Transhield Pontoon Boat Cover
The last item on this list is not to be belittled as it is still an excellent contender to beat the competition, thanks to its noteworthy characteristics and features.
Starting off its list of traits is its all-weather resistant construction. I subjected the fabric to different weather conditions, including rain, sun, and snow. All experiments returned with positive results. So, this durable polyethylene material does not joke about its hard-wearing traits.
This kit also comes with multiple underbelly sewn-in straps. With these components, they offer a tight and secure fit to pontoons from 18 to 26 ft. in length. Also, the range it covers is slightly better than others as some models can only cater to lengths of about 21 to 24 ft. or 18 to 21 ft.
As for its breathability, it is nothing short of impressive. The soft interior wicks away moisture while enabling proficient pass-through for water vapor. This translates to the reliable prevention of mold and mildew growth. Kindly note that my pontoon remained dry after a heavy downpour, which is a good sign.
I did find that the water pooled at the center. Still, removing the stagnant water is easy and doesn’t take too much of my time.
8. Pyle PCVHP440 Boat Storage Cover
This list is not short of excellent pontoon boat covers with elastic cords, especially after seeing this model. With this product, it provides top-notch quality and a 2-year warranty at a fairly sufficient price point.
Starting with its design, this cover is compatible with relatively any pontoon boat with 17 to 20-ft. lengths and 96-in. widths. I find its size to be more than enough to allow extra room for the watercraft to act as an extra storage facility during travels.
While other boat covers have conventional storage bags, this brand takes it one step further. The included bag is made of high-quality polyester fabric designed to withstand harsh weather from hot summers to freezing winters. I’m even amused by how the massive boat cover perfectly fits inside this carry-on container.
As mentioned earlier, this fabric has an elastic cord sewn at the hem. This component provides a tight yet custom fit for optimal compatibility.
Its locks and straps are also marvels that I can only describe as a “see it to believe it” experience. The straps snap with a satisfying click to signify that they’re securely locked in place. Furthermore, one press will release these components for easy removal.
9. Vortex Blue 1922 Pontoon Boat Cover
Yet another product that exudes astounding quality and value for pontoon boat owners is this product from Vortex. Touted as the Blue pontoon cover, this boat-covering fabric is made of a heavy duty 600D waterproof fabric. It works as advertised as water from heavy rains did not penetrate the material.
Before proceeding, I would like to point out that this boat cover is a good shield for pontoons against harsh UV rays. But, I noticed that its color faded over time. It was a dark blue color upon purchase. Now, it’s light purple. However, this color fade does not seem to adversely affect its wonderful UV and waterproof performance.
I would also like to applaud this cover’s versatility. Aside from providing sufficient coverage during storage and trailering, it’s also a pontoon snap on mooring cover. In other words, I can leave my boat at the dock with this cover protecting the watercraft’s deck.
The marine grade polyester canvas construction also keeps moisture out, reducing the risks of mildew growth. It even has a polyurethane coating, and is about two times thicker than many similar products.
10. labworkauto Waterproof Boat Cover
Joining the ranks of reasonably-priced waterproof boat cover bargains is this product from labworkauto. Despite its lesser-than-average price point, it provides more than excellent features to keep many pontoon boat owners happy.
This product starts separating itself from the crowd by using a different material than polyester or nylon. Instead, it takes advantage of a soft aluminum for the outside and an ultra thick yet still plush cotton lining inside. These materials translate to great durability and longevity.
The aluminum exterior also takes advantage of a fabric coating technology, which works great against dirt, stains, and excess moisture. Despite frequent downpours, the boat cover remained relatively spotless and dry after the wet weather.
It’s also satisfying to know that this model doesn’t stretch or shrink, which tends to be an issue in some pontoon boat covers. The fabric’s form factor and function stayed the same, even when exposed to harsh elements.
The next feature to talk about regarding this product is its strap system with quick release buckles. These components make the cover fairly easy to install. A quick press of the buttons on the buckles also makes the removal process reasonably straightforward.
What to Look for When Buying Pontoon Boat Cover
Buying fitted pontoon boat covers requires that you search for reliable models offered by reliable brands. Make the mistake of purchasing the wrong cover, and you will be left with a large piece of fabric sitting in your home.
Take a look at these essential factors before selecting your pontoon boat cover.
- Type of Fabric
Most pontoon boat covers come in one of two fabrics: nylon or polyester. The latter material is generally resistant to UV radiation. Plus, it offers excellent resistance against other exterior hazards that may damage the boat’s structural integrity.
On the other hand, nylon promotes excellent security against abrasion. Further, it has a high compressive and tensile strength, making it a good choice for snap on pontoon boat covers. Nylon is also lightweight, which makes for easy machining and handling.
Both options are great materials for pontoon boat covers. But, at the end of the day, your ultimate decision should depend on specific needs. Nylon is tougher than polyester but also softer. As for polyester, it’s quick to dry and has more pilling resistance.
It’s also possible to purchase canvas pontoon boat covers on the market. Despite its rip resistant characteristics, the market tends to favor nylon and polyester more than canvas. One of the reasons for this dominance is because canvas is usually a water resistant material, which means it’s not waterproof.
- Type of Seal
Generally, a pontoon boat cover support system will bear one of two types of seals: sewn or glued.
Glue is an ideal choice for tight budgets. It’s a relatively inexpensive solution to ensure the fabric stays structurally intact. But, glued covers may not be good for pontoon boat covers for in the water use. Some glues tend to dissolve when dipped in the water. Further, these adhesives also break down after long-term sun exposure.
Therefore, it’s advisable to invest in a waterproof pontoon boat cover with sewn components. Sewn boat covers offer additional reinforcement at locations that are vulnerable to wear and tear.
- Type of Line
You can usually find pontoon boat covers with either heavy duty draw ropes or stretch cords.
Reliable draw ropes tend to be quite unbreakable, thanks to their strong webbing and tough locking buckles. Plus, if you purchase your pontoon cover from a trustworthy brand, you should acquire a model with a rope that can distribute the overall load evenly.
Stretch cords, on the other hand, tend to have lesser costs than draw ropes. Boat covers with these lines might be ideal for interested customers on a tight budget. But, the quality might not be as good as these cords tend to be susceptible to losing elasticity over time.
- Mold and Mildew Prevention
It’s safe to say that any pontoon boat owner doesn’t want to remove the cover only to find mold and mildew spread around the watercraft. Hence, it’s important to purchase a cover with vents in the design to prevent excess moisture buildup, which would otherwise be the precursor to the spread of mold and mildew.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Aside from the essential factors listed above, consider thinking about these additional three things when buying pontoon boat covers:
Some users, which might include you, might find installing and storing boat covers significant wastes of time. So, it should be in your best interest to find a model that reduces the amount of time needed for the setup and removal procedures.
A retractable pontoon boat cover would be an ideal choice in this regard. It’s a system that can open and close within seconds, allowing you to spend more time having fun instead of toughing it out with the fabric.
Many boat owners make the mistake of focusing their attention on the cover while leaving their watercraft to the side. Hence, they find the horrible truth that their purchased pontoon covers do not fit their boats.
Avoid this mistake by taking your boat’s size into consideration as you shop for the cover. Consider the following factors to determine your craft’s size:
- If the boat fits two to six people, choose a pontoon cover between 18 to 20 ft.
- If the boat fits six to ten people, choose a pontoon cover between 22 to 24 ft.
- Boats that fit over ten people should consider using pontoon covers that are 24 ft. or larger.
Finally, don’t forget about the price of the product. In fact, the costs to purchase pontoon boat covers might be the ultimate determinant if you’re going to proceed with the transaction or not.
As a rule of thumb, don’t buy a pontoon cover, or any boating accessory for that matter, that goes beyond your spending allowance. Make sure that the product you’re getting is worth the money spent on it. So, while you’re looking at the price tag, don’t forget to consider other essential factors as well. Ultimately, you should buy a cover that will give you the best value for your hard-earned cash.
What is a Pontoon Boat Cover?
Boats are investments, which means you should do relatively everything to protect those assets. Pontoon boat covers exist to preserve and extend the lifespan of your watercraft.
These accessories work to prevent external damages that might otherwise cause scratches, dents, and other issues. Placing covers on pontoon boats also protects the watercraft paint from fading while blocking harsh UV rays from entering the vessels’ interiors.
How Does it Work?
At its core, pontoon boat covers work to protect the visual and structural integrity of the watercraft. Different cover fabrics can protect against risks like scratches, dents, and messes.
What are the Different Types of Pontoon Boat Covers?
The type of cover to use depends on the pontoon boat. So, consider the type of your pontoon boat when selecting the right boat cover.
Some of the types of pontoon boats include those intended for fishing, watersports, sunbathing, and swimming. Some pontoon boats are even large enough to have bathrooms, changing rooms, and plumbing systems.
So, if you’re shopping for the right cover for your pontoon boat, you can ask the salesperson in charge of your type of watercraft. The expert can direct you to an appropriate cover for your vessel.
Why do You Need Pontoon Boat Cover? (Benefits)
There are several reasons why you should use a cover for your pontoon boat. Here are some of them:
- Perfect for hot and humid climates to protect boats and their components from long-term damage from high temperatures.
- Ideal for cold and wet weather. Covering pontoon boats will help prevent mold and mildew growth by significantly reducing excess moisture buildup.
- Increase visual appeal. Pontoon boats enclosed in covers prevent paint jobs from fading due to the elements.
- Decrease cleaning and maintenance times. Ask yourself this question – do you want to spend a significant amount of time cleaning your boat? Using a high quality pontoon boat cover means you have less mess to deal with, which ultimately means less time and effort spent maintaining the craft.
- Deters thieves. If burglars have a rough time trying to enter your boat, they will most likely abstain from the malicious act. Thus, protect your watercraft and your belongings by using the right pontoon cover.
- Pesky critters and their messes stay out. Bugs, rodents, sea lice, and bird droppings – these are a few pests that may enter your boat uninvited. Let them stay out of your watercraft by using a secure cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Most Trusted Pontoon Boat Cover Brands?
There are several trusted and noteworthy brands in the pontoon boat cover sector. Some companies include iCover, North East Harbor, Vortex, Trainshield, and Classic Accessories.
iCover, in particular, offers many high quality products that do not only revolve around boats and water activities. It’s a company dedicated to selling a diverse product line, which includes, but is not limited to, grill covers, pillow covers, sun shades, and, of course, pontoon boat covers.
How Long do Pontoon Boat Covers Last?
Generally, pontoon boat covers will last about one to one-and-a-half years. Proper care and maintenance may extend the system’s life. Further, some brands offer limited warranties to repair or replace parts damaged by natural means.
How to Care and Maintain?
Taking care of and maintaining your cover for the pontoon boat is not as difficult as it might initially look. But, you still need to follow certain guidelines to ensure you’re doing these tasks properly.
Here are some things to consider to protect the aesthetics and ruggedness of your boat cover:
- Always remove leaves and sticks from the boat cover as these objects increase the chances of scratches and holes.
- Use accessories like bows, straps, and support poles to prevent water from gathering on the cover.
- Make sure the cover is tied securely.
- Check your boat’s design before installing the cover. Windshields, trolling motors, depth finders, and other components may tear cover fabrics. Add paddings so this doesn’t happen.
- Frequently brush off loose dirt from the material. Use a soft brush while rinsing the fabric with lukewarm water to achieve a proper clean.
- Don’t use a fabric detergent as the chemical may invite mildew growth.
- Make sure the cover is dry before folding it for storage.
Where to Buy?
You have two general options to search for the right pontoon boat cover: online or offline shopping.
If you’re planning to buy the product from an online store, it’s best to use the right keywords for your search. Using general keywords like “boat cover” may not give you the right results.
Instead, use specific keywords like “Yescom pontoon boat cover” or “pontoon covers on water” as these terms will most likely direct you to trustworthy retailers. Furthermore, don’t bother scouring the entire Internet to search for the right product. You can stop your search at around the third page of search results before retrying your search using other keywords.
On the other hand, if you’re buying from a physical store, make sure that the retailer has a credible amount of history and experience backing their expertise. If the salesperson or supervisor in charge does not know your pontoon boat cover requirements upon inquiry, consider checking other stores than waste your time in that shop.
Should I Cover my Pontoon boat?
The answer is, “Yes, you should cover your pontoon boat.” However, the primary reason may depend on each person.
Still, many boat owners believe that there are three top reasons why you should cover your pontoon boat, which are:
- Protection from the elements
- Protection from wildlife
- Protection from thieves
Without a reliable cover for your pontoon boat, your watercraft will most likely be subject to the wrath of snow, rain, sun, animals, and burglars. If your boat does not have a good cover yet, there is no time like the present to increase your craft’s safety and security. Hence, start shopping for an ideal pontoon boat cover today or risk facing the consequences tomorrow.
What is the Best Cover for Pontoon Boats?
The term “best” tends to be different for each person. For pontoon boat owners, the best cover is relative to their specific requirements.
For example, one person might think that his or her cover is the best because of the product’s inexpensive price tag. On the other hand, another individual might think their cover is the best because of the fabric’s superior waterproofing.
Overall, the best cover for pontoon boats should offer excellent value to its users. Ask yourself the following questions to check if your purchased cover is worth the money spent on it:
- Does it provide adequate or above average protection?
- Does it fit the boat like a glove?
- Did the price coincide with your spending allowance?
- Is the cover water-resistant or waterproof?
- Can it deter thieves effectively?
- Is it easy to install and store?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may already have a boat cover that is “bang for your buck.” Furthermore, if you gained multiple positive responses acquired from these questions, you might be the proud owner of a cover that is worthy of envy.
How to Install a Pontoon Boat Cover?
Different pontoon boat covers on the market can have different installation procedures. Here’s a quick look at how to install a boat cover:
Step 1: Place the rolled cover near the bow of the boat. Start unfurling the fabric while making sure it sticks to the center.
Step 2: Slip the cover’s front over the bow. Then, pull it open through its sides while working your way to the boat’s rear.
Step 3: Adjust the cover’s fit by tightly pulling the material. This will eliminate sagging areas, which would otherwise invite water to pool.
Step 4: Use reinforced tie-down loops or other fastening mechanisms to secure the cover to your carrier vehicle.
Step 5: To remove the cover, fold it from the sides and work your way to the center. Roll the fabric from back to front. Also, make sure that the material is completely dry before storing it.
Kindly note that the above instructions may not be the same installation process with your purchased boat cover. Check the owner’s manual or ask the manufacturer if you need help with your particular model.
After looking at the different products in this buying guide, you should now have a better idea for your best pontoon boat cover. Remember, purchase the model that fits your specific preferences, especially with regards to your budget.
But, if you want to proceed with my advice, opt for the Vortex Blue 1922. It is rugged, secure, easy to use and maintain. Plus, this product is at a fairly reasonable price point, which makes it ideal for most spending allowances.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.