How to Waterproof Your Boat Cover for Less Than $70

There are many ways you can water seal your  boat cover. Over time, sun rays, water droplets and especially salty water droplets may wear off the waterproof coat of your boat cover and you may need to repair it or replace it altogether.

In this guide, we’ll list the steps that you need to follow in order to make your boar cover waterproof again. Moreover, you don’t have to break the bank for this. If you follow the methods listed in this guide, the whole process will cost less than $70.00.

So, let’s dive right in and see how you can waterproof your  boat cover.

Steps to make your boat cover waterproof

Step 1: Clean your boat cover

Before taking any action, it’s important to thoroughly clean your boat cover. To do that, grab a soft  brush and scrub the canvas/nylon. If there are any stains that you cannot remove with a simple brush, you can also hose down the cover and even use some mild detergent.

However, try to use as little detergent as possible. You want to clean the cover, not cause additional damage.

You can also take your boat cover to a cleaning service and have it cleaned there.

| Read more: Why can’t I wash waterproof items?

Step 2: Use waterproofing spray

The quickest and most convenient method  is to use waterproofing solutions for boat covers. Don’t use sprays for outdoor gear as they cannot fully seal your boat cover. Use liquid solutions for sail covers which also add a UV protection coat. This is very useful taken into account that your boat stays under direct sunlight for days.

To waterproof your boat cover, you can use Start Brite’s waterproofing, stain repellent and UV protection solution. As you can see, this product is very useful as it also protects the canvas against stains and UV rays.

Moreover, you can use this solution for car covers, tents, jackets, backpacks, outdoor boots, patio covers, etc. Basically, if you need a reliable solution to waterproof various objects, the Start Brite waterproofing solution can help you do just that.

Most importantly, this product does not affect the canvas color or breathability.

As far as the coverage capability is concerned, 1 gallon (or 3.8 litres) of waterproofing solution is enough to cover a surface of 465 square feet. Of course, coverage may vary depending on the quantity of product that you use.

You can apply this waterproofing solution with a sprayer, brush or sponge. Make sure that you thoroughly wet the whole surface to get the best results.

As an alternative, you can also use KIWI Camp Dry. Many boat owners confirmed it works great, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, then this is the right choice for you.

Step 3: Let the waterproofing solution dry

After applying the waterproofing coat on your boat cover, wait for at least 6 hours before taking a boat trip. Ideally, let is dry overnight. Also, make sure that the cover does not fold until it dries completely.

Waterproofing solutions for sail covers take longer to dry compared to regular waterproofing sprays for outdoor boots or jackets.

Needless to say, use this solution only in well ventilated areas. Waterproofing solutions are toxic so it’s best to take all the precaution measures to protect your health while using them.

Alternative method: Use wax to waterproof your boat cover

As an alternative, you can also use wax as a waterproofing material. First, you need to heat the wax until it turns liquid. You can also use a different type of wax, one that doesn’t require heating.

Then, spread the boat cover on a smooth surface and apply a coat of wax. If you’re using wax that doesn’t require heating, then simply rub it onto the material you want to water seal. Make sure to cover hard to reach areas as well.

Use this solution in the rainy season. It’s not that convenient in hot summer days because, well, wax melts under direct sunlight. By the way, you can also use wax to waterproof straw hats or t-shirts.


If you’re looking for a cheap way to waterproof your boat cover, use the Start Brite waterproofing, stain repellent and UV protection solution. First clean your boat cover, then spray the solution and let it dry.

Alright, I really hope this quick guide was useful to you. If you’ve got additional tips and suggestions on how to waterproof boat covers, share your ideas in the comments below.

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Last updated in October 2021 to add additional information.

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