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Old 06-29-2015   #1
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 27
Raft cover

Finally set up the raft for the summer (yeah... I know... I'm a bit late to the game).

I want to keep it covered when sitting on my property on the trailer on its day's off. I popped it on the trailer and i read a few threads about covers for the rafts. Some folks said use tarps, of which I have tried, but they tear pretty easily. I even bought the heavy duty ones from Big-R (pricey) and they tear... I practically cried when my $70 tarp shredded after a few tugs to tie it down.

So I was thinking about getting one of these:

Pop Up Camper Covers Cover Fits 13' to 14' | National Discount RV Covers

Anyone use one of those for a 14ft raft with oarlocks on and frame for covering for UV protection for the summers? It looks like it would work and is big enough, but wanted to get input from other people if they have done this and if it works. It also looks big anough to cover the trailers during the winter when I put my baby to bed for the season. I just want something that will last a few years... but don't want something that will break the bank.

Also, any additional ideas for covering it and keeping it out of the sun for UV protection would be great (no keep it in the garage comments... it not possible). Im open to tarps if they can last at least 1-2 seasons... I'm guessing remove the oar locks...

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Old 06-29-2015   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I keep a regular 10x20 tarp (silver/brown) with 4 bungee cords on my boat year-round and just put old 18-oz bean cans over the oar locks to keep them from punching through the tarp. Never had the tarp tear or any other problems other than it getting blown off part of the boat during heavy winds. Then I just use some 2' straps to hold everything down around the trailer.

I have to drop $20 at the Great Satan of Retail to replace it about every other year, then the tarp becomes a kitchen tarp for overnights. Don't ever try to travel more than about 20mph with the tarp or you will shred it. If you've got lots of $$ you can get some pretty extravagant setups that'll look more spiffy than the tarp and have little sleeves for the oarlocks, and be tailored to your boat. Don't overthink it though.

Good luck!


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-29-2015   #3
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
Cover the oar locks or oar towers with plastic containers for yogurt, butter, etc. Then your tarps won't tear on those points. You might also be able to cut up some foam from a thin mattress pad or yoga mat. Duct tape it into the shape you want to cover the locks or towers.
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Old 06-29-2015   #4
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66

I've been using a Cabelas boat cover for the past year. I have been very happy with it. It has a dozen or so tie down points with straps provided. It has some kind of a bungee cord perimeter so it is easy to put on and it grips the boat well. The tie downs don't have to by cinched down hard so the cover doesn't get stressed.

Anyways, I ordered a size too small for my 16' boat and had to order a larger size. I forgot to send the first one back so it's been sitting in my storage room for the past year. I bet it would be perfect for your 14' boat. I bought it for $120 and would happily sell it for $50 plus shipping. PM me if you're interested and I can get you the specs/model, etc.
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Old 06-29-2015   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 6
I've used the basic small car covers and they have worked pretty well keeping sun and debris off the boat as well as being affordable. I am currently on cover #2 after my oar locks tore through my first cover. The built-in elastic band tucks in nicely around the boat. $30 at O'Reilly's.
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Old 06-29-2015   #6
Breckenridge, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 40
I've been using a cheap Wally world car cover. It's large enough to cover my trailer as well. Water passes through if it rains hard enough, but debris from the trees and sun are kept out. It tore once when shaking water off, but a 5 minute stitch job fixed it

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