Cockpit Covers

I store my boats outside on racks. I use cockpit covers and they tend to fill with water. I’ve thought of several methods to prevent the water from pooling but thought I would throw out the question asking if others have already solved this.

I have thought of cutting a couple of fiberglass or wood strips which I could bend and wedge in the cockpit, leaving a hump at the top.

Or, cutting a thin piece of wood or plasic the size of the cockpit and placing it on the coaming before installing the cover.

What have you done?


Cover those QCC’s
dont store your boat in the sunshine. Even if it’s in the shade there is a good bit of UV bouncing around and getting into them. Looka at Nystroms rack on his webshots page. Cheap, sturdy and effective.

Get a tighter cockpit cover and you…
won’t have anymore pooling. Flip the boat upside down if you can. Depending on what boat you have, Immersion Reasearch makes a good one.


Beach Ball
Just get a plastic beach ball and blow it up and place it in the seat before you put on the cockpit cover. When not needed it will fold up and store easily in a hatch.

or ya could put a kickball
on the seat , acts same as a batten . Also use the kiwi waterproof spray on stuff from the shoe dept. , works usually for a season , as well on my nylon spray decs .—M , I’ve left a couple o yaks up in NY outside this way an not had any damage when returnin in the spring .

Another possibility
How about clamping some slats to your outdoor rack and then rigging a giant tarp over the whole thing? You’d get both UV protection and waterproofing.

Is flipping them over too simple?
Keeps bungies, lines and straps shaded too. The hull gelcoat can handle the UV pretty well - and easy to polish up if it fades. It’s the other stuff the sun really bats up over time. (cover’s not a bad idea though - just ensure airflow).

Some Good Ideas
thanks for sharing your ideas.

I did sew covers for my two boats, mostly for UV protection. But, I dont normally put the covers on if I am going to use the boats within a day or so. The covers are just marine canvas socks that zip up at one end. And I did sew a couple of 4" strips of nylon screen in the bottom for vents.

I certainly could have made the rack cradles differantly so that the boats would store hull up. I will have to give that a bit of thought and maybe modify my four cradles.

The cockpit covers still fill with water even with the sock covers installed. (Yep, I could have sewn them a bit tighter but was not thinking about water in the cockpits then.)

I think that the beach ball idea is better than anything Ive thought of and I think Ill give it a try.

thanks again,


Great Idea.
Thanks Mark for asking?

and thanks Kayak-Ken for the suggestion.

Even though I have inside storage for our yaks, I have been leaving them in the driveway right beside the vehicle.

I had to remove a little snow this am from one.



I use a cardboard sheet under the cover
Hi Mark!

I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the cockpit combing, and I keep that under the cockpit cover. I even spray painted a coat of paint on the cardboard to keep moisture from affecting it. It works nice, as it then makes it easier to put the cover on, as it keeps the cover flat and close to size when stretching it onto the cockpit.

I want to find a piece of sheet plastic, and cut a piece from that instead of the cardboard. Maybe I’ll get to it this winter! Brrrrr 8 degrees here this morning! :frowning:


That is similar to what I was thinking with a small piece of plastic or plywood.

I wonder, If you used your cardboard and just painted a coat of resin on it if it would be a little more durable. I have often coated pieces of wood with resin to seal and waterproof the wood. I bet that the same could be done with cardboard.



I used cardboard…
I used cardboard for two reasons…

One is that it was free! I got a sheet from the local Costco, from between layers on a skid.

The other reason is the side profile of my cockpit combing is curved from front to back, so I needed something that would flex easily. I just cut it so the corrugations ran sideways, to give it stiffness and keep it from sagging.

I had an old can of brown spray paint, so I just finished off the can spraying a coat on both sides. This waterproofed the board against dampness. when we go camping, my kayak stays on the roof rack when I am not paddling, and this keeps rain out well.

I had to chuckle, you are getting lazy just like me. I have been taking the boat off the top of the car and setting it on the grass right beside the car on occations when I’ll be using it the next day.


I have a beach ball you can have.
Flotsam from Jocassee.

Bring it to Jocasee and maybe I can re-find it.