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Old 10 July 2013, 21:55   #1
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Trailering: Cover on or off?

My 4.65 m SIB will be put on a trailer in the next few days, and I've never done this before.

Are rock chip punctures an issue, or do they just bounce off, as the dealer informed me?

I'm told not to trailer it at highway speeds with the boats protective cover on. Apparently it wasn't designed for that (even though it's called "Trailerable" - I kid you not) and it billows out, can tear, or come off. I don't like the idea of the boat exposed to the sun and elements at highway speeds without any kind of protection. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10 July 2013, 22:57   #2
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Hi Projectile,

In the winter I trailer snowmobiles and only leave the covers on if the roads are slushy and salty and sanded. This stuff flies up on the sleds and ruins the aluminum and is a problem to clean up when it's freezing out.

I plan to by a fitted cover for my Zodiac but I won't be trailering with it. The covers flap and rapidly wear, soon tearing at the stress points. Unless it is fitted drum tight I expect you won't get much life out of the material. The sled covers are a denier polyester, tough stuff but wears out when flapping down the road. Just my thoughts
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Old 10 July 2013, 23:50   #3
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I've got a project in progress along these same lines. I sometimes drag my boat & trailer through some forestry roads/trails. I want to provide some protection to the boat fabric from twigs & branches of saplings that encroach on these roads.

I picked up some surplus awning fabric (weather & waterproof cordura-like stuff) at Princess Auto and am working to stitch it up so it would fit like a glove while the boat is on the trailer. I have metal grommets through the edges with 3/4" nylon webbing passing through them and extending to the trailer frame. The boat is secured in place on the trailer prior to putting the tarp over it.

The webbing that is attached to the tarp have quick tensioning male fastex type buckles which clip to the female buckles that stay attached snugly to the frame. Time will tell if the fastex buckles are sufficient, although they should be since there are several anchor points along the perimeter. As Projectile mentioned, it will be critical that the tarp fits as closely and snugly to the boat as possible.

One thing I soon realized is that there needs to be at least 3-4 holes (~3" diameter) in the tarp above the aft floorboard area. One or 2 holes are needed very near the highest point of the cover for venting of fuel & oil vapours. The other 2 holes should be on each side of the mid-line of the boat at a low spot to allow rain water to pass through the cover onto the floor boards (and out through the transom bungs). This way the cover will not get weighed down by accumulated rain water.
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Old 11 July 2013, 02:47   #4
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Unless it is tight and supported underneath ( by webbing across the tubes ) it WILL push and pull itself to pieces over time.

Prepare a "bed" of straps across the tubes first. Then put the cover on. Then straps over that at all points.
If you can, first fill your RIB with big bulky but lightweight stuff you'll be taking with you, to stop the cover being pushed down.


Importantly, make sure it is firmly any tightly attached front and rear as that's where main stresses occur.
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Old 11 July 2013, 04:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Projectile View Post
My 4.65 m SIB will be put on a trailer in the next few days, and I've never done this before.

Are rock chip punctures an issue, or do they just bounce off, as the dealer informed me?

I'm told not to trailer it at highway speeds with the boats protective cover on. Apparently it wasn't designed for that (even though it's called "Trailerable" - I kid you not) and it billows out, can tear, or come off. I don't like the idea of the boat exposed to the sun and elements at highway speeds without any kind of protection. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
Think you'll do more damage towing with a cover on than the elements will ever do towing without. The drag of a cover at highway speeds would exert all kind of forces on the boat and trailer. I tow without and cover at all other times.
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Old 11 July 2013, 05:07   #6
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It May end up over the windshield of the car behind
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Old 11 July 2013, 05:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggypaddle View Post
It May end up over the windshield of the car behind
Have a search here for trailering with cover on or off. Lots of info.

Opinion is polarised, some trailer with cover on, some off. My own experience is never trailered without it: thousands of miles, waterproof, no problems, no rips in cover, no scuffing on boat, motorway crap stays on the cover not boat. BUT, it's tailor made to the boat and cost 500

It has three under hull ratchet straps and elasticated lower edge that fits under tubes and tightens to transom eyes.
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Old 11 July 2013, 05:40   #8
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Quote:
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The drag of a cover at highway speeds would exert all kind of forces on the boat and trailer
Keep hearing this. Can't see the logic. Why does a cover that streamlines the lumpy bumpy shape of a RIB seating and console create all kind of forces???
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Old 11 July 2013, 06:27   #9
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Keep hearing this. Can't see the logic. Why does a cover that streamlines the lumpy bumpy shape of a RIB seating and console create all kind of forces???
Bit like a sail if its loose at all.
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Old 16 July 2013, 07:18   #10
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I have a generic runabout cover from Canadian Tire. Nylon straps with Fastex buckles are tightened snugly under both boat and trailer frame for a drum-tight fit. Ends are tucked around the tube ends and tightened underneath. Trailers nicely.
Keeps UV off the boat for those long trips. Keeps rain and road dirt off and out too.
I stretched it right over the motor but it rubbed a little paint off the corners of the cowl.
Haven't tried it yet with my newer bigger motor, but I have a padded motor cover now.
Sorry, no pics. Yet.
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