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Discussion Starter #1
Any suggestion for buying a raft cover to protect from UV while trailered in the driveway. Don't want it to look too ghetto . so a blue tarp is out.

Saw one on Cascade Outfitters but it was $320 (looked sweet). NRS doesn't sell any.

thanks folks....rafting sucks
 

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Yeah, what he said ^^^

It may be kind of ghetto but for my 14' boat I just get a gray 10'x20' tarp every year that covers the boat and lashes down with bungee cords on the corners and 2' camstraps in the middle. Its $20 at the Great Satan of Retail. Put steel soup cans on the oarlocks to protect the tarp or they'll poke right through it. When I go boating, the tarp gets folded and tossed it into the back of the car to either use as a rain tarp in camp or to cover the boat if I have to leave it parked in a public place overnight. Another good thing about a tarp is the "out of sight, out of mind" factor - a whitewater raft attracts a lot of attention and usually has lots of shiny, expensive looking things just sitting out for the taking. Living on a corner lot, I've noticed that when I've got the boat uncovered almost every driver that passes by gives it a glance, with the boat covered it just blends in with the shrubbery.

The tarp gets replaced yearly at the start of the season - it gets beat up enough over the year to be rotated to camp kitchen floor tarp and then goes into lawn & garden use.

I can't imagine hitting the highway with a fabric cover on a boat - it seems like the wind would just beat the hell out of it during the drive. Getting road muck on the boat isn't much of a concern as I usually take it to the boatwash when I'm on the river anyway.

Here's what it looks like (you can decide if its worth the extra $300 for the custom cover):




-AH
 

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Andy, do you ever have issues with the tarp being non-breathable? Seems to me to put it away wet, might leave it too wet. Perhaps even staining of my pretty yellow boat? That's one thing I like about car covers (breathability), but those stupid things just tear so easy. I just bought an upgraded car cover, about $60, and it seems quite a bit more beefy, especially in the elastic. But I was disappointed that there are no grommets, and my home grommet system causes the metal to split and I don't want that near my boat. Time to look for another grommet system. Great idea on the cans for oar towers, but I think I'll try big pop bottles, even smoother on the more delicate car cover fabric. I might even cut holes in it and sew in tower sleeves, maybe. I like the color I got, tan, not too ugly, and not too nice.
 

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Laura,

I don't know how it'll work in that humid Montana climate :) but with the oar towers sticking up there's plenty of room for air to circulate under the tarp and after I get home and put it all to bed. After getting to the put-in a couple of times and realizing the throwbag was still hanging up by the water heater, I just started arranging soggy items like the strap bag & throwbags by draping them across the flipped-up seat etc. so they can dry out under the tarp. This way that stuff never leaves the boat. I prop the cooler and drybox lids open so they can stay aired out as well - this is particularly important for the cooler as I usually just give it a quick washing out and leave left over canned drinks in it between trips. Nothing's mildewed so far.

-AH
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went Laura's route and bought the Wally $65 car cover recommended by EagleMapper. Size 3 fits the 14' cat nicely (the pointy tubes may wear into it over time.

As said it is thin...but has better UV protection than the cheaper model. We had 40-50 mph winds this weekend, as i live on an exposed 8300' ridge. It held up so far (with just the bottom perimeter elastic and one strap that it comes with), but i fully expected it to be ripped to shreds....time will tell. I only trailer it in the summer.

thanks for everyones help.
 

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I use the same grey / brown 10x20 tarp as Andy. Most of the time mine is on the trailer, without the frame (I paddle more than I row). I used to bungee it down, then last year ran a piece of nylon rope in and out of the grommets with a loop on one end. I tie the loose end through the loop to secure it. To take it off, I have to pull the rope out about 8 grommets. Total cost: $35

Never had an issue with wet gear, but my trailer is elevated off the bottom of the trailer and just the tubes sit on 2x12 boards.
 
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