mesh cockpit cover

Has any one made their own mesh cockpit cover? I have good neoprene covers for travel. However, often I want to let my boat dry out after a paddle, and don’t want bugs and other critters making their home inside. I see that NRS sells a mesh cover but I am looking for a much less expensive solution. Questions in my mind include - sources for mesh material, bungee cord and how to close the loop, sewing the cord into the mesh, or gluing the mesh to form a tunnel? Ideas?


Mesh hatch covers
Best way to store your boat - mesh, with hatch covers removed - allows the boat to air out, prevents pressure build up and keeps the birds out! Any mesh will work: fabric screening, mesh laundry bags, etc. Can pro’bly find some type of mesh at any fabric store. Just make a bungee loop to hold it in place. Quick & easy. Be sure to leave a “pull-tab” on the bungee so it can easily be removed.

Have made my own neoprene hatch
covers. If I were doing mesh, I would size and knot the bungee, and then get it over the mesh and the cockpit rim. One good mesh might be to sacrifice a Nylon mesh carrying bag. The mesh should be tightened as much as possible before trimming excess.

Perhaps you could used contact cement, bringing portions of the mesh back over the cockpit and contact cementing it to itself. Be neat. Sewing it over with a cord might also work, and then you could stabilize everything with Seamgripp.

Another thought… You could design an open/close vent in a neoprene cover such that air flowing over the vent as you drive would circulate air in the boat.

Perhaps its best
to keep it simple. I have two of the NRS mesh covers that came with second hand boats but have made several others that work almost as well. I just cut a section of old fiberglass window screen about 6 inches larger than the cockpit and used a length of heavy bungie cord scavenged from an old punctured raft found on the riverbank. Not as pretty as the NRS kilt but just as effective. It’s always nice to put old “junk” to good use.

I may go that way - just need to see how flexible of a mesh I can find - something that can go in tight around the cockpit coaming and hatches


a good fabric store
will have stretchy mesh by the yard.

On the ready made side, I’ve seen a couple of cockpit covers with dual layers of neoprene and mesh - the neo can be zipped off and the mesh cover is left to air out the boat.

There are even covers made of double layers of mesh to hold paddle gear bewt. the layers - off the floor of the boat - so that they dry while the boat is in transit. That would be a nice upgrade…

Fabric stores?
They are almost a thing of the past around here but I’ll look - stretchy mesh fabric sounds perfect.

I’m trying to spend the little extra money I have on paddling gear and make anything else I am able to - that’s the motivation here.

Our boats used to hang on the wall in the house and so I could dry them with no hatch or cockpit covers. These days, the boats are in a storage shed that seems to have it’s own wild life reality show :wink: so I really need a mesh cover



look here

– Last Updated: Jun-21-10 8:05 PM EST –

no fabric store needed

choose Power Mesh in product line drop down, that & three related meshes will display on the page.

cargo mesh looks like what you want.
power mesh is finer, but used in pant stirrups, so it s/b tough enough... 4 way stretch, too.

Wow - what a resource!



visit a campground after a summer storm.

We have scavanged mesh screens and other tent materials/parts from the damaged tents put in dumpsters.

Queen-size panty hose NM

I like re-purposing…
great idea. i thought the same thing about old nylon screen windows.

Or the Elephant Man’s hair net NM