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Drift boat cover

Posted by bachelez 
Drift boat cover
October 30, 2015 11:59AM
Hi all!

Question for the guys here who have built one of Jason Cajune's Freestone guide boats. I finished mine at last here in VA, the oars are ordered, and the trailer just got done yesterday (hooray).
Here is my problem: I am leaving to move cross country to Vancouver WA in a few weeks (mid december) and am going to need a boat cover for that. With that timeframe and in my area, not sure I will get a custom cover made. Do any of you have experience with some of the commercial covers made for other brands, that would fit this boat? The seats are not removable if that makes a difference (probably does).

Let me know!



Re: Drift boat cover
October 30, 2015 02:09PM
Nice looking boat.

My covers have all been custom made. Don't see why you couldn't strap on a big rectangular Costco tarp for one trip across country....the kind with grommets at the edge.

Then get a good custom cover--that fits nicely over the seats and knee braces--when time allows.

When you do make a custom cover you might want to figure out some way to bend one or two 1" white pvc water pipes upward in a big U-shape, from the middle of the boat. If you live in snow country anyway.

Re: Drift boat cover
November 07, 2015 03:59PM
Three things I have learned about boat covers is the material really matters, some covers aren't meant for towing and lastly protect your boats finish from straps, gromments and such that will rub when you are traveling. To expand upon material choices I recently purchased a drift boat cover from a supplier in Oregon. After a couple of years the material is suffering from UV damage. The fabric is starting to split. It was guaranteed, with some qualifications that I didn't notice when I purchased it. When I contacted the reseller (someone else makes the cover and he resells them) he said the cover shouldn't be used for storage and when I went to the manufacturers site it was recommended that the covers they make shouldn't be used for travel/towing! Wow! If I shouldn't use it for storage or for towing why do they make them? The reseller was concerned that moisture would collect under the cover and potentially cause damage. The manufacturer was concerned about ?????? Enough rant.

Sunbrella brand material has been used for many years where UV resistance is required and long life is important. You get what you pay for, Sunbrella is one of the most expensive fabrics out there. Sandy's concept of some sort of a bow or support that allows movement of air under the boat and prevent snow from collapsing the cover as a slanted or pitched 'roof' will shed snow and water better than a flat roof.

My solution to my cover problems is to make my own cover with Sunbrella. I will use the purchased cover as a start for a pattern and make my own. Along the path of life I have purchased a couple of different sewing machins and taught my self the very basics of sewing. I also have a friend that sews auto upholestry and has stronger commercial machines. Perhaps we can get together and make you a cover too.

I hope that you will be able to attend the McKenzie River Wooden Boat Festival next spring.It should be held on the 29th and 30th of April. Eugene isn't far from Vancouver, you should come down.

Rick N
Re: Drift boat cover
November 08, 2015 04:17PM
Here is a wealth of information for anyone considering sewing their own boat cover and lots of other projects:

They also sell the materials and tools.

A cover is on my to-do list, too.
Re: Drift boat cover
November 10, 2015 04:29AM
I had a custom cover made at a local awning shop. I think it was the sunbrella stuff Rick mentions. It has fuzzy stuff on the inside so it doesn't mar varnish and paint. Several grades are available, I chose a mid to high quality; it cost just over $400. It has lasted over 7 years and is going strong. It was designed and constructed to cover the boat during travel. I use a series of battens to tightening when at home. No snow, but lots of rain. Yes, the cover was expensive, but cheaper than a storage unit or new garage (which I don't have room for), or having leaves and water sitting in the boat all winter.

I've been please with the performance.
Re: Drift boat cover
November 10, 2015 04:35AM
Here's a link to the manufacturer:


Rick N
Re: Drift boat cover
November 10, 2015 12:27PM
Awesome information guys!
Rick I am looking forward to being closer to the gang of boat builders and the wooden boats gatherings will be on my list! Along with some rowing lessons hehe.

So I reached out to Jason and he directed me to a Bozeman company (Custom Canvas Designs). They usually work with the boat in situ, but they explained how to make a pattern for the cover and for the rock guard with tarp and sharpies, and I sent my tarp last week. I will let you know how that goes... I have wanted to learn to use a sewing machine for a while but have been too focused on the sawing machines :)

Finally got the guts to drill two big holes in my hull to put the drain plugs in. That was painful.


Re: Drift boat cover
November 11, 2015 01:57AM
Rowing lessons come pretty cheap for youespecially if you share your Grande Ronde fishing holes! When will you be out west again?

Rick N
Re: Drift boat cover
November 11, 2015 12:50PM
Well, assuming I get the boat cover and rock guard on time, we should hit the road December 14th or so. We will go south this time across, which should put us in Phoenix for Christmas and in Vancouver for New Year's. Then it's unboxing the boxed stuff for a while...

So starting this January basically. Actually Rick I am going to work for WSU the first 2 weeks in December. I'll be very busy but maybe we can find time to get a beverage. If not this time, it'll be soon!


Re: Drift boat cover
November 11, 2015 03:15PM
I have relatives in Oakesdale, Colfax, Rosalia and will be around the area. Let's get together.

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