Posted on December 22, 2022
A boat is one of the best ways to enjoy everything the outdoors offer. Not every part of nature is idyllic and peaceful; however—there are a surprising number of things that can cause damage to your boat. Despite being designed to be outside and in the water for lengths of time, the elements can damage your boat in expensive and potentially catastrophic ways. Wind, water, sun, pests, debris, and other naturally-occurring hazards can wreck a beautiful boat and harm your enjoyment as well as your wallet. The water, wind, and sun are the worst offenders for boat damage, and here’s why.
Despite being made to go on the water, water can have a major negative impact on your boat’s health. Given enough time and exposure, water can work its way into any material, even when it’s designed for water. Water can get into the hull, which can cause unsightly cosmetic damage as well as harm the structural integrity of your boat. If you’re not careful to remove the stops from your boat or empty and maintain the bilge, water accumulation can lead to sinking. If you’re in an area where the seasons change, ice damage can also impact a boat that’s stored on the water.
A refreshing breeze for you might spell trouble for your boat. Enough wind and waves can push an unsecured boat into your dock or shore and cause damage. The wind can also carry debris that, in the best-case scenario, can make a giant mess of your boat, but in the worst-case scenario, it can damage it. This risk becomes even greater if you’re in an area with a lot of extreme weather events or storms that can bring stronger winds and larger, more dangerous debris.
Marine flooring and materials like vinyl are built to handle the sun and weather and won’t degrade as fast (aluminum is an even better material for boat docks and boat dock decking because it reflects the sun’s rays). However, marine fabrics can be damaged by the UV light that manages to get through the atmosphere from the sun, and heat can cause chemical reactions that lead to similar changes. While marine materials are generally designed to resist UV light, it still degrades over time without protection in ways that can’t be truly fixed, which is bad news for your boat’s interior. Boat interiors subject to the sun and heat can change colors, crack, or dry out. A canopy cover is the best way to keep the sun off your boat while it’s in storage.
The best way to protect your boat from the elements is to store it where the elements can’t get to it. Whether you’re just storing your boat until the next time you go out or putting it away until the snow and ice thaw in spring, there are plenty of secure dock and boat lift storage options available depending on your needs and the space you have on your waterfront.
For those who can have outdoor storage on their own property, ShoreMaster boat lift and canopy systems are a great way to keep your boat ready to go during the boating season. High-quality construction and materials make the aluminum boat docks that we pioneered a great long-term investment for boat owners looking to protect their boat in the best way. Adding a canopy cover helps protect the boat from the elements above the water as well as the water itself, keeping it safe but accessible. For more information on our premium docks and what system would work best for your shoreline, reach out to a local ShoreMaster dealer.