Boat Covers: Dannu, Bag Lady etc

It looks like indoor storage for my kayak may come to an end as the chief domestic officer would like that space in the garage. I know I can build stands for the yard and cover it with contractor’s tarp. I’m also considering a form fitting cover from one of the makers listed in the title. I notice that some of them expressly say, “Not waterproof, purposely breathable” and I understand why. I don’t want mold either.

My questions for those that have one of these covers:

  1. How much moisture gets through the cover? My boat will be in the back yard in direct sunlight and in the path of rain.

  2. How do you keep water from getting into the cockpit and hatches and not stretch out the rubber covers? Fabric covers, I presume.

  3. Any concern using the bags and heat build up in sunlight for a 'glass/kevlar boat?


I have the old Bag Lady bags so I am not up to date on the latest material I had a Dannu before and the flappage was awful. They are for storage only not transport.

If you store the kayak upside down there is no way water can get in. You do know that boat hulls were meant to get wet.

My Bag Lady bag is not rubber so I don’t know where the thought of rubber enters. Its a poly jersey that does help decrease UV exposure. Its also tailored to your boat not generic so it fits closely but does not ask you to wrestle with it. More to the point it helps avoid nice hulls from getting pounded by road debris and bugs during transport. Yes it is permeable to water. Not a big deal. If you store upside down you also reduce the chance of nesting critters. You can also use a waterproof cockpit cover if you have to store deck up.

Poly tarp never had mold in 12,+ years on multiple hulls. Cockpit cover and 4 buck ball inside to keep it up like a stay. Even Sunbrella used on boats will let water pass but it will last 10-15 years if taken care of. Tarp 25 bucks 3 or 4 years of life. I fold a 6x20 in half so you have 4 surfaces for sun to hit if you cycle it. Six bungees and you’re done. No tying stopper knot and a loop.

Google Photos

Never a critter or bug inside.

Google Photos


This woman does a fantastic job also

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Remind me again what type and dimension of lumber you used there.

Just out of curiosity and not to be weird, but can people see your boats from the front of your house? I ask because although I have a big backyard, large portions of it can be seen from the sidewalk. The obvious place to put the racks is also a dangerous space: power lines run through our backyards and have twice fallen into the yard and caused a fire on the grass and my neighbor’s fence. Absurd, I know. But the other spots are visible from the street and I worry (needlessly perhaps) about people stealing them.

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Can’t see them from the street. I use PT 2x4, 3.5" SS screws.

Everything is just 45°angle cuts.

Have a miter saw?

All said under 40 bucks for everything used last time I made some. Weathered one is 12+ years old. Cleanup like new if you pressure wash them I did some PT wood by my docks.

If not in a super rush and you’re near I can make one up in 25 minutes for what it cost me.


Perfect! I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow. Especially since my wife brought home two thrift shop plastic boats.


3 or 4" webbing available on eBay by the foot.

Buy military spec webbing it holds up better.


I have used both Danuu and Bag Lady (the new Red Leaf designs version). As someone else mentioned, the Danuu covers are for storage only, and since they only cover the top of the kayak, you can’t store it upside down. In the Florida sun I got about 2.5 years out of one before it completely disintegrated. I had a new one made from Sunbrella using the Danuu as a pattern. Works great (I need a top only cover in this particular situation) and the Sunbrella will last far longer.

The Bag Lady cover is great - I had one made for my Tiderace when it was being stored outside (somewhat covered from wind and rain). Since the boat was partially protected and also stored on its side I didn’t need to keep a cockpit cover on it, but it would do quite well without if stored upside down.

The price point between the Danuu and Bag Lady covers is pretty close. For the money, I’d go with the Bag Lady cover unless you have a setup like I do where a partial (top only) cover is functionally easier than a full zippered cover.

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If I had a Sunbrella cover made for my near 19’ kayaks by a shop I’m sure it would be 1200+ each. More than I paid for the kayaks except two of them.

I had to replace the seat cover on my 19’ Boston Whaler Montauk because someone stole it when it was getting warranty service and it was 600 and they had the pattern already.

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Just to be clear, I’m only exploring options to the humble tarp. Not looking to p!ss money away unnecessarily. My previous experience tarping the kayaks (years ago) was sometimes it got a little funky under there: yard clippings would get accidentally blown underneath, some stickiness on the underside of the tarp.

I bought a couple Sunbrella like fabrics about 4 years ago to cover/protect from the sun my outdoor kept kayaks on racks similar to those shown above. Cost was under $100 for the fabric and a few PVC pieces to shade 4 kayaks - a single craddle for my #1 CF kayak and a four station craddle for the others with an empty space to fill when the right kayak “deal” comes along, were built using wood & PVC i had left over from other home projects. Instead of webbing, cotton covered fire hose is a strong craddle.

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My neighbor who makes boat canvas as a retirement job made my replacement cover. Cost was almost exactly the same as the Danuu cover - about $200 for a 12.5 foot boat. My Bag Lady cover for my 18’ Tiderace was about the same price as well, but Sunbrella will last longer in full sun, especially in the subtropics.

Years ago many 17+ guy made a cover for my boat cooler 28” x 16” came down 3” from top 4 snaps 85 bucks.

I just bought a Peterborough Canvas covered cedar strip canoe that was protected outside by a Dannu canoe cover. It had not been attended to for at least five years. The sun had really damaged the Dannu cover. BUT, I took some heavy canvas type material used for outdoor canopies and hot glued it tothe underside of the cover in all the places it had ripped and torn due to sun damage. Then I sprayed it with silicon waterproofing and left the canoe outside all summer. The Dannu cover worked perfectly and kept the canoe dry and weather protected.
I can’t answer all your questions but on the inverted canoe it worked just great!

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Hi, we store our ancient bathtub on a set of pulleys. Works a treat, out of the way, lots circulating air, not on show, and easily accessible.

My wife, the handy person in the home, made a set of stands for me for Christmas. A nod to Spinal Tap and the Stonehenge set.


I use standard tarps with bungie cords to hold down. One trick I think that is really important. I put pool noodles under the tart to raise it up and allow an air space between the tarp and the kayak. I figure this will help reduce the potential heat and solar deterioration for the kayak. We can get 40c or 100f temp and that in direct sun will get the kayak surface really hot. The noodles and air help keep it a little cooler. Noodles are cheap. I use 6 on my 17’ kayak and have done so for years.