Spring has arrived and all thoughts tend towards outdoor activities. Whether you are a boating enthusiast or a camping enthusiast or a fishing enthusiast, we are all drawn to the water once the winter breaks. Whe spring finally arrives, t's time to take steps to take off the watercraft covers and get on the water.
My first foray on to the lake is generally a tentative paddle around the lake in the canoe. It's generally too cold to risk the splash of the seadoo and the bigger boats are not in the water yet. I love to see the signs of animals and birds awakening to spring and starting to clean out new homes for themselves. Speaking of cleaning up, I usually take this time to do a quick rake of my lawn and then I turn my entire attention to the spring cleanup or tune up of my boats.
I always questioned the best methods of winter storage of boats. I have found over the years that a good watercraft covers saves hours of cleaning, scrubbing and sweeping out of my boats each spring. There will always be the odd spider to deal with but eliminating a winter's worth of dust and leaves is a godsend.
On my larger boats, such as my pontoon boat and ski boat, I use specially fitted watercraft covers. At my local marina, there is a former tent maker for the army and he will custom design a pwc cover that is durable and easy to put on and take off. You can choose from blue, green, black and red. For not much more money he was arrange to have the name of your boat embroidered at the back the the watercraft cover. The whole thing is a bit of a splurge but every fall when I walk away from my recently cleaned boats and I know they are protected by that custom made cover, I never regret the cost. The peace of mind I get from having a protected boat is worth every penny as it lets me sleep nights and protects the re-sale value of my boat.
If you don't want to splurge on a custom made watercraft cover you could have your local marina shrink wrap your boat for the winter. You may not be familiar with this process but I'm sure you have passed by marinas with fields of boats wrapped in blue plastic wrapping. I used to think new boats came this way to the marina but I have since discovered that those are boats being stored for the winter.
For my seadoo I use a store bought seadoo cover. This is really the most cost effective type of cover for a seadoo. They are reasonably priced and durable and super easy to put on and remove. If you keep your eyes open you can likely pick up a seadoo cover second hand for half of the original price.
For my smaller boats, such as my canoe, peddleboat and kayak I use less official watercraft covers. My canoe and kayak are stored upside down in the rafters of my garage. I generally try to wrap them in a tarp before storing. My peddle boat is wrapped in a large tarp and stoed under the front porch. Needless to say the peddleboat needs the most cleaning in the spring.