Storing boat outside- covered or uncovered

Jim B.

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I moved my boat to South Florida in October and keep it outside in storage yard. Had a brand new expensive mooring cover made this Summer. When I went down in early December, cover looked good and kept boat dry. My son went to use the boat today and cover had multiple pockets on standing water despite the fact that all 4 poles and every snap was perfectly in place. Carpet is saturated and seats are mildewed in just 3 weeks! Needless to say I am beside myself. I only get down to FL every 4-6 weeks from Oct thru May. Curious if anyone else is storing their pontoon outside and if so do you keep mooring cover on or just leave it uncovered. Appreciate any and all replies as I am at my wit's end. May need to just sell my boat.
 

Jack M

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I have a custom Sunbrella cover ,the only time I have had an issue with pooling water on the cover is when the screw on one of the poles had loosened and collapsed .
 

rodsfields

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I moved my boat to South Florida in October and keep it outside in storage yard. Had a brand new expensive mooring cover made this Summer. When I went down in early December, cover looked good and kept boat dry. My son went to use the boat today and cover had multiple pockets on standing water despite the fact that all 4 poles and every snap was perfectly in place. Carpet is saturated and seats are mildewed in just 3 weeks! Needless to say I am beside myself. I only get down to FL every 4-6 weeks from Oct thru May. Curious if anyone else is storing their pontoon outside and if so do you keep mooring cover on or just leave it uncovered. Appreciate any and all replies as I am at my wit's end. May need to just sell my boat.
I live in Cocoa Beach, and keep the Bennington mooring cover on. The mooring cover is NOT water proof and after a heavy storm the boat is wet inside. That being said, I keep a fan running under the cover. Have never had a problem with mold or mildew. But I also use the boat at least once a month.
 

kaydano

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Apply some 303 waterproofing to the cover. You'll need a gallon.
 

kaydano

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Our 24SSL has 4 poles and two buckles sewn into the cover where water tends to pool. These buckles are pulled upward via a strap that goes from one buckle, up over and wrapped around the Bimini a couple times, then down to the other buckle. Then you tighten the strap and it raises the cover where the two buckles are sewn in. The two buckles give two more points of support, just like 2 more poles would. I hope that description makes sense.
 

lakeliving

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When I moved to FL (Palm City) it was January and the boat was shrink wrapped from the drive down from MI. We had to store the boat in a storage lot for a couple months until we closed on our house. I figured the Shrink wrap would keep it dry from the rain which it did, but what I didn't plan on is the air vents letting in humid air in during the day, then the cool nights there would be a bunch of condensation on the seats. I stopped by after a couple weeks and had mildew forming on the seats and my gut sank. Cleaned it all up but this time I taped all the vents off and tried to make it as air tight as I could. Surprisingly it helped a lot.

Now the boat is kept on a lift and I use the factory mooring cover on it every night. I leave the back gate and port gate open for air circulation and although I still get some mildew spots, they are minor and not as frequent.
 

GWLK

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Do you have snap in carpet? If so, when leaving the boat unused for 4 - 6 weeks, you can: Pull up the carpet, roll it up and place in a large plastic bag and then place in the floor storage compartment, if you have. Once the carpet gets wet it stays wet for a long period of time when the boat is not in use. This causes the mold growth. Starbrite makes a Damp-rid for boats that you could use.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Apply some 303 waterproofing to the cover. You'll need a gallon.
This is one of the best options. It does NOT make it waterproof, but it makes the water bead and run off like car wax. I also used to put backer rod underneath my fence as driving rain would soak my carpet from edges in. Now with seagrass I love life ... ;)
 

lakeliving

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We leave our snap in carpet in the house, water runs right off the back with the vinyl floor. We have the older mooring cover that covers the bow deck as well which is nice.
 

Nautical

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The problem could be in your "brand new expensive" cover. Boat covers are intentionally designed NOT to be completely water repellent (but I might still do the 303 treatment). If a little water didn't get in then the little water that makes it in CANNOT GET OUT. You might have yourself a nice little petri dish there and the extra heat and humidity in your area doesn't help. The fan might be your only hope.

Another issue you might have keeping it covered long term is the top of the seat backs. The cover makes direct contact there and transfers all of the sun's energy directly and literally BAKES the vinyl. Buy a pack of cheap, white towels and place them on all of the seat backs where the cover contacts them.
 

Jim B.

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Sorry for the delay in replying but thanks to everyone who replied with helpful sugestions. Will be implementing a few of them when I get back down to FL in a few weeks.
 

BigKahuna

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Getting back to your original question. Definitely keep your boat covered. The hot Florida sun would tear it up eventually. You mentioned expensive cover. What kind of cover do you have? The reason I ask this is I had a Sunbrella cover made a few seasons ago. This fabric breathes and I have never had a mildew problem because of it. The company who made it didn't even put vents in it. I also waterproof it at the beginning of every season. Like Semp said the water just beads up and runs off like a newly waxed car. Don't give up it'll be fine. You'll figure out what you have to do to minimize the mildew. It's all airflow. Like Lakeliving said leave the doors open. Or maybe a fan would help or some canisters of Damprid. There's alot of options......
 

kaydano

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