How to Make a Tent Cover for Your Boat

How to Make a Tent Cover for Your Boat
If you have the money for a boat but not enough for a garage to put it in, you might want to consider making your own boat garage in the form of a tent to cover your boat. You can do this with little cost beyond some elbow grease and time.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Canvas
  • Tent poles
  • Rope
Step 1
Measure your boat both lengthwise and widthwise (at the widest point). Then add 3 or 4 feet to each measurement.
Step 2
Make a decision: Do you want your tent suspended above the boat or held flush to it? Suspending the tent above the boat could prove a little more difficult than simply hitching the cover to the boat. We will explore both options.
Step 3
Acquire your material. Canvas is a good material to protect your boat because you can waterproof it and you'll find it much more difficult to rip than plastic---admittedly a cheaper option. If you're going to pay a lot for your boat, however, you might want to invest in the higher-cost material.
Step 4
Apply those measurements. If you want to suspend the tent over the boat, you'll need to measure the height of the boat as it sits on the trailer. Then you will need to get tent poles that are at least as tall as that. Those poles will go up against the boat. You will likely need four, two on each side. Next, you will need four more poles that are about two-thirds of the height of the boat on the trailer. These will serve as your corners. If you are going to attach the canvas flush to the boat, you'll want to measure from the sides up to the highest point of the boat, then add 2 feet to the sides, front and back measurement (in addition to the 3 to 4 feet you added earlier).
Step 5
Drape and secure the tarp. If suspending the tent over the boat, tie the tent poles to the corners of the tarp. Most canvas pieces have holes into which you can slide tent pole ends. Once you've put the tent pole into the canvas eyeholes, tie them off at each corner by tying a slipknot into one end of the rope and draping it over the tent pole after you've put it through the eyehole. Tie another slip knot on the other end and attach it to a stake in the ground.

If putting the canvas flush to the boat, tie the ropes beneath the boat for more security. Tie slipknots into the eyeholes on each side, then square knots to link the ropes from each side together.

Multiply the sum of the width and height measurements by 2 to calculate how much rope you'll need.

Article Written By Heather Broeker

Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.

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