Maintaining your boat canvas:

The canvas package on your vessel, whether power or sail, can amount to a considerable amount of money and has a significant influence on the look of your boat. Having it made by a reputable maker will ultimately save you money and increase the value of your vessel, and knowing how to maintain it is even more important. Here are some tips from Shane Beashel of SB Marine Trimming:

Keep the covers tight

    • Make sure the covers are fitted properly – check all press studs, clips, ties, zips etc are secured and in place. Unsecured covers flap in the wind and will shred and tear quickly.
    • Check for any movement in frames and adjust accordingly – frames will shift due to constant pressure and movement during sailing. Holes for stay wires will no longer line up if the frame or rigging has moved.
    • Double check covers are secured before leaving the boat – it is usually when you are not using the boat when covers come loose and become damaged.
  1.    Keep the covers clean

A cleaning and maintenance program is very important to the performance and longevity of your covers.

  • Acrylic canvas – mould and mildew grow on bird droppings, dirt, and salt that accumulates on your covers. The canvas must be cleaned off regularly to avoid this happening. Hose the dirt off then use a mild detergent in cold water using a soft bristle brush to clean. Rinse thoroughly with clean cold water and air dry. Never use heat on acrylic canvas. More information is available via the Sunbrella website.
  • Clear PVC windows – yellowing, clouding, and pitting may occur prematurely if clears are not kept clean. Hose off dirt and loose particles first, then apply a mild soap and water solution using a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth or chamois. Never rub windows when dry, and do not use cleaning products containing silicones or alcohol.
  • Follow materials manufacturer/supplier guidelines on cleaning and maintenance – we have care information available for all of the materials we use, so please let us know if you would like a copy. It is very important to read the recommendations before any cleaning is carried out.
  1.    Keep the boat tidy
    • Secure all loose items – ropes, straps, unsecured booms, bird netting etc will wear holes in your covers wherever they are touching. Keep them tied up and not resting on the covers.

Check for signs of wear – at the first signs of a hole, tear, or thinning area, have the area patched to avoid further damage and ultimate failure of the cover.

Maintaining your covers is just as important as maintaining your boat. Covers are there to protect your boat, but they also need care. Look over your covers every month and check your stitching, zips, fittings, straps, and for any wear points or small tears. All of our materials are UV rated, but unfortunately they don’t last forever. Keeping on top of any small problems immediately will keep your covers looking good and lasting much longer.


SB Marine Trimming have been building high quality boat canvas for 12 years and are a founding member of the Marine Fabricators Association. Here is a link to their website