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Waterproofing tips & tricks


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 coating 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 to make your boat 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.

How 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 without causing additional damage.

Alternatively, you can 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 a Waterproofing Spray

The quickest and most convenient method to make your boat cover waterproof is to use dedicated waterproofing solutions for boat covers.

Avoid using sprays for outdoor gear as they cannot fully seal your boat cover.

Instead, use liquid solutions designed for sail covers, which also provide a UV protection coat.

This is particularly beneficial considering that your boat is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.

To waterproof your boat cover, you can use Starbrite’s Waterproofing, Stain Repellent, and UV protection solution.

This product is highly effective as it safeguards the canvas against stains and UV rays.

Additionally, you can utilize this solution for various items such as car covers, tents, jackets, backpacks, outdoor boots, patio covers, and more.

In essence, if you require a reliable waterproofing solution for diverse objects, the Start Brite waterproofing solution is the ideal choice.

Importantly, this product does not impact the color or breathability of the canvas.

Regarding coverage capability, one gallon (or 3.8 liters) of waterproofing solution is sufficient to cover an area of 465 square feet. Naturally, coverage may vary depending on the amount of product used.

You can apply this waterproofing solution using a sprayer, brush, or sponge. Ensure that you thoroughly wet the entire surface for optimal results.

As an alternative, you can also consider using KIWI Camp Dry. Many boat owners have confirmed its effectiveness, making it a suitable and more affordable option.

Step 3: Let the Waterproofing Spray Dry

After applying the waterproofing coat on your boat cover, wait for at least 6 hours before taking a boat trip. Ideally, let it 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 precautionary 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, heat the wax until it becomes liquid. Alternatively, you can use a different type of wax that doesn’t require heating.

Next, spread the boat cover on a smooth surface and apply a coat of wax. If you’re using wax that doesn’t require heating, simply rub it onto the material you want to water seal.

Ensure that you cover hard-to-reach areas as well.

This solution is suitable for the rainy season. It’s not as convenient during hot summer days since wax tends to melt under direct sunlight.

By the way, you can also use wax to waterproof straw hats or t-shirts.

Should My Boat Cover Be Waterproof?

Your boat cover should definitely be waterproof. Having a waterproof cover means you can keep your boat safe and dry even when it’s raining cats and dogs or there’s a snowpocalypse happening.

It keeps all that moisture out, so your boat and everything inside stay nice and dry.

Plus, it helps your boat last longer, so you can enjoy those awesome boating adventures for years to come.


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, 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 July 2023 to add additional information.

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