The 2 Best Pedal Boat Covers For Transport and Storage (Any Boat)

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My love for pedal boats is well-known among my family and friends. Because of this, I’m often asked to go with them to look at used pedal boats when I finally convince another person that they need one in their life.

Of course, I’d love to find that the pedal boats we’re looking at have been stored in a garage, flat, and off the ground. That’s almost never the case.

Instead, they’ve been stored outside (“There used to be a cover on it…I don’t know what happened…”), leaned up against the wall, or (I kid you not…) under piles of junk.

For some reason, people are under the impression that, since their boat is meant to be outside, it is impervious to the elements.

Which simply isn’t true.

If you want your pedal boat to last as long as possible (and look good) then you have to get a decent pedal boat cover and keep it covered when it’s not in use. However, most boats don’t come with a cover (especially if you’re shopping used) which leaves you to find a good aftermarket one. Luckily, I’ve done this a dozen times and can offer a bit of insight.

Why You Need A Pedal Boat Cover

There are a couple of things that will kill any pedal boat over time, no matter how much you love it.

First, the almighty power of the sun.

You might have a canopy to protect yourself while you’re out on the lake but your poor little boat gets roasted. This is especially true if you store your boat outside (such as on the beach, tied to a dock, or next to your garage).

Over time the UV rays break down the resin of the boat, leaving it brittle. 10-12 years of use is typically about how long it takes your boat to suffer the effects of extreme sun exposure. But it will start showing wear long before that point.

The second killer is water. Shocking, right?

Resin boats are particularly prone to water damage. RAM-X and HDPE boats (the proprietary methods used by Pelican Sports and Sun Dolphin respectively) are at risk of losing all usability within a couple of years in not cared for properly. What is this silent boat killer exactly?

Mold.

Both Sun Dolphin and Pelican make the hull (bottom) and the deck (top) of their pedal boats separately and then, for lack of a better term, staple them together with a gooey sealant. Over time, water works its way into the inside of the boat, infiltrating and breaking down the foam inside. This leads to the boat riding low in the water and providing you with an overpowering mold stench.

Even if your boat has a drain plug, drying out this foam can be a difficult task.

In other words, save yourself and the trouble and don’t make a problem for yourself. In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In this case, the cure for both pedal-boat destroyers is the same: a great cover. The best pedal boat covers will keep your boat safe from mildew, rain, UV rays, etc.

If you’re comfortable with your boat getting crappier over a couple of seasons and then replacing it, don’t bother. But, if like me, your pedal boat is pretty much a member of the family (even though it’s stored outside) and you want it to last for years, cover it!

I’ve bought a couple of different covers for my pedal boat and have a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Here are the ones I’d recommend you get:

Explore Land Fade Resistant Pedal Boat Cover - Waterproof 600D Heavy Duty Outdoor 3 or 5 Person...
iCOVER Pedal Boat Cover, Fits 3 or 5 Person Pedal Boat Water Proof Heavy Duty Paddle Boat Cover,...
Brand
Explore Land
iCover
Material
Treated Polyester
Treated Polyester
Waterproof?
Fastening
Elastic w/ Buckle Straps
Elastic
Colors Available
Black, Blue, Gray, Tan
Black, Blue, Gray, Sand
Max Boat Size
112.5" x 65"
112.5" x 65"
Explore Land Fade Resistant Pedal Boat Cover - Waterproof 600D Heavy Duty Outdoor 3 or 5 Person...
Brand
Explore Land
Material
Treated Polyester
Waterproof?
Fastening
Elastic w/ Buckle Straps
Colors Available
Black, Blue, Gray, Tan
Max Boat Size
112.5" x 65"
iCOVER Pedal Boat Cover, Fits 3 or 5 Person Pedal Boat Water Proof Heavy Duty Paddle Boat Cover,...
Brand
iCover
Material
Treated Polyester
Waterproof?
Fastening
Elastic
Colors Available
Black, Blue, Gray, Sand
Max Boat Size
112.5" x 65"

What makes a great cover:

When looking for a cover, you want to check off a few boxes. If either of the ones above work for your application then I’ve already don’t it for you.

Otherwise, look for:

  • A Snug Fit –
  • Waterproof & UV Protection –
  • A Light Color Option –

That’s really all there is to it. It’s just choosing a pedal boat cover, not rocket surgery.

Best Pedal Boat Covers – A Closer Look

1. Explore Land – Best Overall Option (Most Secure)

iCOVER Pedal Boat Cover, Fits 3 or 5 Person Pedal Boat Water Proof Heavy Duty Paddle Boat Cover, Black

Explore Land’s pedal boat cover is an outstanding choice for those seeking to protect their 3 or 5-person pedal boats from the elements. Crafted from 600D marine grade polyester with waterproof undercoating, this universal fit cover offers full coverage and is designed to fit most pedal boats up to 112.5″ L x 65″ W. The high-level double stitching and sealed taped seams provide impressive waterproofing, guarding your boat against sun, rain, wind, snow, fog, dust, and scratches.

Where this cover really outshines the competition, however, is that it comes with nylon corner straps (secured by a buckle) to keep the cover in place. While this doesn’t make it suitable for towing, it’s much more secure in wind and rain.

This makes it ideal for off-season outdoor storage and mooring. It also comes with a 2-year warranty for any quality-related issues.

iCover – Best Coverage At The Dock

Explore Land Pedal Boat Cover - Waterproof Heavy Duty Outdoor 3 or 5 Person Paddle Boat Protector, Blue

The iCOVER Pedal Boat Cover is another solid option that will keep your boat out of the elements.

The main difference here is that it is secure only by the elastic perimeter (meaning no straps).

While this means it’s slightly less secure it’s the perfect option if your pedal boat is store at the dock or pulled onto the beach as you won’t have to run any straps underneath.

Made from 210 Denier Marine Grade reflective polyester, this waterproof and tear-resistant cover provides all-weather protection and is designed to fit most brands’ pedal boats (including Sun Dolphin) with dimensions up to 112.5″ L x 48″ W.

This cover also comes with a storage bag which makes it easy to throw in the truck or your boat’s caddy when you’re not using it.

Pedal Boat Storage Tips

Just as important as getting the right cover for your pedal boat is storing it properly. If you are super limited in garage space like I am (I don’t actually have a garage…) then you’re probably left with storing your boat outside.

Given the fact that I have to store my boat in pretty extreme condition (Utah…) I have a pretty good idea about how to keep it in ship-shape.

Here are the best tips I can give you for storing your pedal boat:

  • Get it out of the water!!! Even if you have a cover for your pedal boat, the water will still find a way to get inside. If it doesn’t, it will start taking its toll on the outside. Plant growth can damage and slow your craft, making it much more difficult to take out of the water and clean in the future. Even pulling your boat up onto the shore is better than leaving it in the water (even though sand eats resin-constructed boats).
  • Store it flat (but off the ground). If you are storing your pedal boat short-term, turn it upside down or on its end so that water can drain out (open the drain plug). For longer-term storage, store your pedal boat flat but make sure to keep it off the ground to avoid damage, mildew, etc. I store mine on a square of pallets. Be sure to avoid setting it on something like 2x4s as the focused pressure in small spots can dent or deform the plastic.
  • Keep it clean. I’ve mentioned it several times already so I’ll just mention it again for good measure: mildew and mold kill boats. Not only that, but having a dirty boat means that you’re less likely to take it out and, when you do, it’s more likely that you transfer some nasty aquatic wildlife to new ponds where it shouldn’t be. Just spraying your boat off with water from your hose is usually sufficient to keep it clean.
  • Dry it before storage. After you’ve finished hosing off your pedal boat, give it a quick dry with a towel or leave it in the sun for a bit before sticking your new cover on it. Mildew kills after all.

Conclusion

So whether you decide to store your boat in the water (don’t), outside (if you have to), or in the garage (lucky you), you’ll want to get the best pedal boat cover that you can buy.

It protects your investment and makes sure that it stays clean and fun for many seasons of fun to come. See you out on the water!