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3 Tips for Keeping Your Boat Lift Canopy in Good Condition

Your boat is a big investment, and it's in your best interest to keep it in top condition. One way to protect your boat is by maintaining your boat lift and using a boat lift canopy – a type of cover that protects your boat from the elements while it's on the lift. The canopy keeps ultraviolet rays from damaging your paint, and wind, rain, and debris from scratching the boat or destroying anything on board. Of course, while the canopy is protecting your boat, it is exposed the elements itself. If you don't want to end up replacing your canopy frequently, you need to perform some periodic maintenance on the cover. Take a look at some tips that can help.

Use an Anti-Mold Spray to Clean

One of the biggest risks facing your boat lift canopy is the risk of mold and mildew growth. During a rainy season, your canopy may spend more time wet than dry, and mold and mildew love moist conditions. If allowed to grow, mold can cause your canopy to rot and tear in places, leaving your boat exposed to the elements. Furthermore, your boat will pick up the smell of mildew and mold from the cover may be transferred onto the boat.

You will need to clean the cover periodically to prevent mold growth and remove any mold or mildew that's started to grow. If there is no mold, scrub the cover with hot, soapy water. If mold or mildew has started to grow, you may need an anti-mold spray to get rid of it. You can make your own anti-mold spray by combining one cup of distilled water and one cup of vodka with ten drops each of tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil. Not only will this recipe remove mold, it will help prevent mold from growing in the future.

Use Vinyl Protectant

Another thing that can help keep your boat lift cover in good shape is the application of vinyl protectant. This is especially important if your cover will be near salt water; salt in the air can cause vinyl to deteriorate more quickly than it would otherwise. You can find liquid vinyl protectant in most boating supply shops.

The key to applying vinyl protectant to your boat lift cover is to make sure that the cover is entirely dry before applying. Choose a sunny day to clean your boat cover, so that the sun can dry the cover quickly, and be certain there are no remaining wet spots when you apply the protectant. Don't apply the protectant directly to the vinyl—pour it onto a paper towel or a clean rag, and use that to spread the vinyl protectant over the surface of the vinyl.

Store Carefully

Improper storage of your boat lift canopy can render it unusable the next time you need it. Therefore, it's important to store the canopy properly when it's not in use, like during the winter season while your boat is in dry storage. A common mistake is folding the canopy the wrong way. You need to fold the canopy inward when you're getting it ready to store. Folding it outward can lead to tearing the parts of the canopy that connect the cover to the boat. Before you fold it for storage, ensure that the canopy is completely dry.

Once you've folded the canopy, you should store it in a waterproof bag or container for safekeeping. Ideally, you should use the container that came with the canopy, but any similar container will do. Put any hardware into a separate clear plastic zippered freezer bag so that it doesn't become lost. Label the freezer bag and attach it to the container that you're storing the canopy in for easy access when you need it again. Store the canopy in a cool, dry place.

It's much easier and less expensive to keep a canopy clean and mold-free than it is to repair paint damage and other physical damage to your boat, so it's worth putting in the effort to make sure that you keep your boat lift canopy in good shape. For more info, contact boat maintenance professionals.