Waterproofing cockpit cover?

When I bought my Skylark from a Craigslist seller, it came with an Eddyline cockpit cover. I stored the boat on stands down at the beach (hull up) and noticed that after a rainfall, the cover bulged from accumulated rainwater, even though the cover fit snugly.

The boat is now in heated winter storage at our local pool, so I kept the cockpit cover at the house. While wiping it down with a damp cloth, I noticed that the reverse side became as damp as the top. I’m guessing that this cover is as old as the boat (2008) as it feels quite different from the new cover just purchased for my Samba.

Would applying a waterproof spray on the cover help? Spending $10 to add some waterproofing makes more sense than spending $30-$40 for a new one, as the current cover is in otherwise good shape.


I’d try it…
and another thing you may try is to use a cheap inflatable beach ball in the cockpit to give the cover a ‘dome’ shape. Resists pooling, if everything aligns correctly. It works best on smaller cockpits, but I guess you could use two beach balls on larger ones.


I have the same cover
And it’s been water-permeable since new. I keep meaning to buy a better one. I have a Seals cockpit cover on the other boat. It’s thick and rubbery so it’s harder to get on, but it appears to be watertight.

Oh, wait …
You said hull up. In that case, it’s not the water-permeability that’s the issue. When the boat is upside down, rainwater runs down the sides, underneath, gets trapped between the cockpit rim and the cover, and it puddles inside. Been there, done that.

If it’s upside down, you’re actually better off without a cover – no rain will get in boat, although the occasional spider will.

Thanks, George, for the explanation. I have a Seals cover for the Necky - also stored hull up. Never a drop of water in that cover. Think I’ll try a waterproofing spray on the old cover.

Eight-legged hitchhikers (or bugs with wings and stingers, such as yellow jackets) are not welcome paddling companions, so the cockpit covers go on.

I wonder why Eddyline doesn’t make them water-resistant.

common not to be waterproof
I have 4 cockpit covers and only one of them is waterproof (urethane coated nylon) – one, from Perception, is cotton canvas and two are uncoated nylon. I have never presumed that the purpose of them was anything other than to keep debris, birds and creepy crawlers out when stored in sheltered areas, or to cut down on wind turbulence when carried on a roof rack (yes, they are always tethered and lashed.)

I expect that any boat stored out in the weather with a cover on the coaming is going to have condensation inside due to temperature changes and humidity, perhaps the source of the “bulging puddle” you report. Which brings me to a question: I’m puzzled how your inverted cover could be “bulging” with collected water UNLESS it was actually waterproof. Had it not been , would not have any moisture (presumably from condensation or rain seeping in around the perimeter) have soaked through the cover and thence evaporated?

Might be time to spring for a neoprene cover. Immersuon Reaearch makes a nice one. There are others too.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Good point

– Last Updated: Nov-02-14 6:53 PM EST –

About the cover being waterproof/water resistant enough to bulge from water that had accumulated. Thanks for pointing that out.

Why the cover on the Skylark does this while the cover on the Necky (which was also stored hull up in the same area) doesn't led me to the idea of trying a waterproof spray.

Yes, condensation does form, but not a quart or more. Rain is getting under the old Eddyline cockpit cover, but not the newer Seals cover. Have a new Eddyline cover, but won't get to test it till next year.

I'll apply a waterproof spray on the old cover, concentrating on the edges, just to satisfy my curiosity. If it doesn't work, then on to Plan B - whatever that may turn out to be.

@Marshall, thanks for the lead on Immersion Research. Their gear looks pretty good.

neo covers are nice

– Last Updated: Nov-03-14 10:52 AM EST –

I have one. It still gets moist inside due to condensation. I store upside-down just the same.

I don't like using the cover or hatch covers for long-term storage, I like to leave them all off. This season I'm storing outside, so I'm going to remove all hatches and covers, and shrink-wrap the boat around the covers. Where I store, if I don't cover the openings it'll become a critter home in about 2 weeks.

Window screen

– Last Updated: Nov-03-14 11:09 AM EST –

If you're storing the boat upside down and want it open for air circulation but still keep bugs out, you could buy a plastic window screen repair kit and tie or bungee an ellipse of screen over the cockpit opening. One $8 kit would probably be enough 4 covers.

Plan B
Get a mesh cover. It will keep out birds, wasps, cats, and honest squirrels but allow the interior to breath which if you are hull down should be fine.

I was considering that but
wondering if it’d keep varmints out.

Do you think it’d be consequential if the hatches were wrapped airtight?

Hatch covers off?

– Last Updated: Nov-03-14 7:10 PM EST –

I take it this is done during long term storage for ventilation purposes and am now curious if I should do this for the kayaks I have stored at the local pool. The storage area is carpeted and heated - actually, it's one wall of the pool area (fenced and gated).

BTW, I like your Plan B, pirateoverforty.