View Full Version : Cockpit cover help.

04-03-2015, 08:11 AM
The cockpit cover has been folded up in a box for the last 7-1/2 years. When I bought the TR, it fit very well. Maybe a bit snug, but there were no problems getting it snapped on or off.
Fast forward all this time and I can't quite get the darn thing on. Yes the windshield has come off and is back on, but using all the original screw holes. Ditto the snaps.
So the STBD side fits great, the port side, not so much. The corners have pull loops sewn into them so I tied a rope from the Port aft corner down to the port bunk mounted "Boat Buckle" and cranked (ratcheted) it into place (see picture).
I've tried wetting it down, heating it, but I've gotten very little give from it.
Other than leaving it on in an overstretched position for several months and hoping for the best, does any one have any suggestions?




04-03-2015, 08:35 AM
George did you by any chance restore that beauty into a 23' Classic?

That is just weird, my only thought was water as well. I guess since they are designed to repel water that may just not work so well.

Someone will have a brilliant idea for you I am sure.

Good luck.

04-03-2015, 10:52 AM
Nothing stretches them out better then snow. No snow in the garage so just use some weight and let it sit on it for a few days.

Morgan's Cloud
04-03-2015, 11:03 AM
Is it a fabric cover ? If it is , I've found that they get funky a lot faster than a vinyl type one .

Other than leaving it on , installed and maybe out in the sun for a few days I don't know what else to suggest .. other than maybe tossing it in a bucket of water with some viagra thrown in .

Carl C
04-03-2015, 01:21 PM
Snap extenders!

04-03-2015, 02:15 PM
That's cool Carl!
But extends a bit too much....
I'm making progress. When I started on it the other day, I was a little over an inch shy, and Carls extender would have been about right. I cranked the corner out to the snap (ya should have hear it creak and groan), but now it's about 1/4" shy and I can now actually get it on w/o ratcheting it out.
I'll leave it on all the time I'm not working on it and maybe it'll eventually fit.

04-03-2015, 02:33 PM
Another question........
If I put some 2" wide blue masking tape across the front of the cover at the deck in front of the windshield, should it stay on while towing?

04-03-2015, 02:38 PM
I'm betting it won't stay on. And putting my $0.02 forward again to tow with canvas off regardless.

04-03-2015, 02:51 PM
Another question........
If I put some 2" wide blue masking tape across the front of the cover at the deck in front of the windshield, should it stay on while towing? depends on the tape... the blue 4" masking is what I use and it stayed on for a couple thousand miles the last time.... the blue pvc tape, not so much..

04-03-2015, 06:07 PM
Can't tell by the pics if that's fabric or vinyl cover.
I'm guessing it's vinyl and that's why it's shrunk.....and why you should never store a convertible with the top down. Vinyl will shrink, even when stored....especially in your hot climate. Heating the vinyl, then cooling it is the best way to "tighten" vinyl.

Stretching vinyl is a pain and difficult to get it back to size once it's shrunk. If it's vinyl, you're doing all you can. Hopefully you can get that last 1/4 inch.

If it's fabric, you have to get it saturated. Soak it in the tub overnight, then try stretching it.

04-03-2015, 09:10 PM
Hey, how often do you get a chance to give Mr. Carter advice? I have found from experimenting with my 22' (which has a Sunbrella type cockpit cover) that the only way to make it stay on was to sew in a couple of vents (kind of like clam shells made of plastic that are designed to be sewn into covers etc.) with the opening facing back so the wind creates a vacuum under the cover and sucks it down. I first discovered these in a SeaDoo (pwc) cover I had and when towing the vents caused the cover to suck down against the PWC. I had two of these sewn into the canvas (I think sunbrella) cockpit cover on my 22 and it finally stayed on when towing. I tried this after having to turnaround on and go back to find an escaped cockpit cover along the side of the road -- I think 65mph was the approximate escape velocity. I located mine about a foot back from the windshield and a foot in from the side of the boat. Without them the wind would scoop in from in front of the windshield and balloon up the under the top. Ed

04-03-2015, 11:08 PM
It seems to be some sort of coated/treated/plasticised fabric.
It's been too many years since I've seen a sample of something labeled "Sunbrella" to know if that's what this is.
I do know it's tough as nails. Very strong stuff.
In the picture above, there is a vent built into the fitting for supporting from underneath.
I've wondered if it were enough to do the job Ed is talking about.....
It's round and vaned in a 360* manor. There's a socket molded into the bottom of it and it came w/an adjustable height pole that plugs into the socket. W/the support/pole in place, the vent is 5"-6" higher in the middle.

04-04-2015, 04:38 AM
Left like you have it, my guess is that it stretches noticeably within a day or two.

Greg Guimond
04-04-2015, 10:53 AM
Put a tiny electric heater in the cockpit on low setting under that cover. Then get a bunch of thick beach towels, soak 'em in hot water then wring them out, but just a bit. Lay them out on top of the ENTIRE cover and let sit for 2 days out of that Florida sunshine. When dry, repeat. In a week you will be back in business. :yes:

04-04-2015, 03:25 PM
It seems to be some sort of coated/treated/plasticised fabric.
It's been too many years since I've seen a sample of something labeled "Sunbrella" to know if that's what this is.

Definitely not Sunbrella. Sounds like you have what is typically used in older boat tops. It was a very, very, popular material for boat tops, before Sunbrella and better fabrics came along. Still used today, but not very often....for the exact reason you just discovered.

That stuff is tough, tough, tough, to re-stretch, but with only a 1/4" to go, I think you'll get it back to proper size. You'll always fighting the "shrinking" isssue though. I know it'll be hard to do in your climate, but it's best to take the cover off when it's cool. When it's warm and you remove it, it'll shrink as it cools. Always put the cover back on as soon as possible and always store the boat with the cover on. That'll help keep its size

04-05-2015, 09:11 AM
Seems like you should get there with heat and weight.

My cockpit cover has eyelits in sted of snaps along the front portion of the windshield that have a tongue that twists 90* locking the cover down. Once the front can't break loose, the remaining stay while towing.
( I forget what they are called)