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Carver Boat Cover Materials–So Many Choices!

Susan J

When purchasing a boat cover, sometimes all the choices can be overwhelming. What type of material will offer the best protection for my boat? What color will not show dirt/bird droppings while still keeping my boat cool? Will a cover keep my boat dry on the inside?

Before choosing a material, you should do your homework. Maybe you can utilize this blog as a type of “cheat sheet”. Hopefully it will help make purchasing a cover much less intimidating.

Here at Boat Covers Direct®, we offer covers by two different manufacturers—Carver and Westland. For the sake of this article, I will only be addressing boat cover materials offered by Carver Industries. (Keep an eye out for future articles with more information on Westland covers.) The majority of Carver’s covers are offered in four materials:  Sun-DURA, Performance Polyguard, Poly-Cotton, and Cotton Duck.

red and white boat covered beside a lake


Sun-DURA is a new marine fabric we are proud to offer. It is made from 100% marine grade polyester and is extremely water repellent and UV resistant. Sun-DURA is a solution dyed material, which means the color is part of the polyester fibers instead of the material being dyed after it’s made. At 7 oz. per square yard, Sun-DURA is the most lightweight material available, but don’t let that fool you. It is extremely strong and has very high tear strength. Sun-DURA is a breathable fabric and it is available in nine vivid colors. This material carries a 7 year warranty.

Sun-DURA Banner Sun-DURA swatches shown in all the available colors

Performance Polyguard

Polyguard is also a marine grade fabric. It weighs in at 8 oz. per square yard and is highly water repellent as well as UV and mildew resistant. The fabric is breathable to allow any interior moisture and excessive heat to escape. It is suitable for all climates and works great for travel, mooring, or storage. Performance Polyguard is available in haze gray, beige, and white and is guaranteed for 5 years.

black carver cover on a beige boat


If you’re looking for a balance of softness and strength, Poly-Cotton is the way to go. This 11 oz. material is 65% polyester and 35% cotton and treated with double-applied water repellent. Poly-Cotton contains a UV and mildew resistant finish and is breathable. It is great for travel and storage and is warranted for 3 years. It is only available in haze gray.

swatch of gray polycotton material

Cotton Duck

Made of 100% cotton, Cotton Duck is an excellent material for indoor storage or covered outdoor storage. It is breathable and has a 1 year warranty. This basic cover material, available in haze gray, is not recommended for trailering. Cotton Duck weighs 10 oz. per square yard.

swatch of gray cotton duck material

The Basics

Truthfully, a great cover made from any material is better than no cover, but there are some things to look out for.

• Make sure your cover is breathable. This is very important to ensure that moisture is not trapped inside the cover.
• Watch for the word “waterproof” in cover descriptions. Materials can’t be adequately breathable AND waterproof without some sort of venting system.
• A built-in UV inhibitor will help extend the life of your cover.
• Most people choose a lighter color to help hide dust, dirt, and bird droppings. Lighter colors will also keep the interior of the boat slightly cooler, but from a performance standpoint, they all perform the same.

Hopefully, this will help you make the best choice for your situation. Still need assistance? Give Boat Covers Direct® a call at 1-866-626-8377. We are happy to help you!

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