Gone Outdoors

How to Waterproof a Boat Cover

by Will Charpentier

Boat covers made from synthetic fibers are treated with a waterproof finish. While these covers may last longer than natural fiber canvas, like canvas boat covers, they have to be re-waterproofed about every five years. They also require treatment after a very thorough scrubbing. Fortunately, they don't require scrubbing except in extreme circumstances and, fortunately, boat cover waterproofing kits are available through most marine supply houses and boat supply stores.

Clean the boat cover according to the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. If you apply the waterproofing treatment to a dirty cover, you won't be applying the waterproofing treatment to the boat cover but to the dirt on the boat cover.

Allow the boat cover to air dry in an open, well-ventilated area. A well-ventilated area will allow the cover to dry more quickly and, once the cover is dry, you won't have to move the cover to treat it.

Spray a thin, even coat of the waterproofing product onto the boat cover. Allow the waterproofing product to dry completely, then spray a second coat onto the boat cover. After the second coat dries completely, the cover may be put on the boat or stored.

Items you will need
  • Aerosol can of waterproofing product


  • Different boat cover manufacturers may recommend different fabric treatment products for re-waterproofing their covers. Your supplier or boat supply store will have the specifics on re-treating the boat covers they sell.


  • This project involves working with aerosol chemicals. Appropriate cautions, including adequate ventilation, should be taken.

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