No, a jon boat cover isn't an optional jon boat accessory that you can get if you want one. Storage will be one of the biggest hurdles you'll face in owning and maintaining a jon boat. With proper storage techniques, you can guarantee a long, problem-free service life for your beloved boat and zero wear and tear during the off season.
Although you might think that jon boat covers are one and the same, there's a world's worth of differences between each choice. Considered by many jon boat owners as a major investment, purchasing a humble cover should never be done without some careful consideration.
Why is it Important to Have a Jon Boat Cover?
You'd be surprised just how much damage a jon boat can sustain during storage. Haphazardly tossing your beloved boat into a shed or garage during the off season (or even just after a day of use) serves as an invitation for all sorts of unsavory visitors.
So how does a job boat cover come into play? Here's how it might help preserve your personal watercraft:
Protect Against Pests
From spiders to raccoons and everything in between, the list of pests that can inhabit your boat during the off season goes on. Cozy, covered jon boats can look like the perfect place to call home especially if you're an animal in survival mode during the winter.
Something as simple as a cover can block pests and vermin from creeping their way into your boat. In fact, the best jon boat covers can even create a tight seal around your boat to keep out the smallest of insects.
Keep Out Debris
That's not just for the outdoors. Even keeping your jon boat in a garage will usher in debris, dirt, and filth. Over time, all of those nooks and crannies may become filled with the remnants of heaven knows what. And unless you're ready for a deep clean at the start of spring, a cover should do you some good.
Keeping your boat covered can maintain clean interiors for the duration of the off season. High quality jon boat covers that wrap tightly around the edges of your boat can help prevent dirt build up and maintain your boat squeaky clean.
Prevent Moisture Damage
Keep in mind though that not all covers work well to prevent moisture damage. Cheap, inexpensive, low quality covers are made to keep dirt and pests out, but might not do much to regulate moisture.
Then again, premium jon boat covers can properly circulate air by way of strategically installed air vents. These little embedded vents allow fresh air to flow through the boat's interiors to keep mold and mildew at bay.
The Best Jon Boat Covers
1. Classic Accessories Storm-Pro Heavy Duty Boat Cover - Best Overall
The Storm-Pro Heavy Duty Boat Cover from the Classic Accessories brand provides sufficient, reliable coverage for jon boats from 12 ft to to 24 ft in length from bow to stern and varying width measurements. Made from water resistant material, the cover also features incredible UV protection that keeps your boat safe from damage caused by direct sun exposure.
Coming with a 5-year warranty, this Classic Accessories cover is made heavy duty 600D polyester materials with integrated buckles and straps to tie the fabric down securely to your boat. It also comes with its own stuff sack for when the cover isn't in use and a cover support pole to prevent snow and water from pooling.
2. GOODSMANN Marine Grade Heavy Duty Jon Boat Cover - Best Budget Jon Boat Cover
The GOODSMANN Marine Grade Heavy Duty Jon Boat Cover offers excellent waterproof coverage against the elements at a fairly low cost. With options for boats measuring 12, 14, 16, and 18 ft in length from bow to stern, this cover provides sufficient coverage even for boats with an outboard motor. It's made from high quality, heavy duty, marine grade materials for optimum safety.
Unlike other covers with sewn in shock cord straps, this choice from GOODSMANN comes with six flat webbing strips and buckles. This allows you to more accurately fit the cover over your boat, as opposed to covers with fixed straps and cords.
3. iCOVER 12 ft Jon Boat Cover - Best 12 Foot Jon Boat Cover
If you've got a 12 foot boat, this pick from iCOVER is for you. The weather resistant cover is made from 300D polyester materials that features exceptional coverage against UV rays. It's also durable and completely waterproof, preventing any sort of moisture from seeping into the boat and causing moisture damage, mold, and mildew.
Double stitched along all the seams for added durability, the marine material cover comes with a large bag for keeping during the off season, as well as five flat tie down straps and buckles. With a 12-month warranty and a 100% money back guarantee, there's no need to worry about buyer's remorse with this pick.
4. RVMasking Heavy Duty 600D Jon Boat Cover - Best 14 Foot Jon Boat Cover
As one of the few choices that comes with a separate outboard motor cover, this choice from RVMasking is made using upgraded 600D marine polyester material that touts a UV coating to prevent damage from UV rays. It has two built-in vents that let the interior breathe to prevent moisture from building up underneath the fabric when you tie it down.
What's clever about the RVMasking cover is that the accompanying storage bag doubles as a motor cover. It's also backed by a lengthy 3-year warranty that guarantees protection against any manufacturer or quality related issue.
5. Seamander Heavy Duty Boat Cover - Best Jon Boat Cover for Trailering
If you're most comfortable storing your boat on its trailer, then the trailerable Seamander Heavy Duty Boat Cover could be your best bet. This choice comes with 11 straps that are specifically designed to tie your cover securely against a trailer boat. Several nylon loops attach directly to the hem, and that's where you loop through the shock cord for added stability.
This weather resistant cover is made from 600 denier marine grade polyester which offers rugged protection against UV rays, snow, rain, debris, wind, and more. Covered by a 2-year manufacturer warranty, this cover comes complete with an adjustable support pole to prevent pooling on the surface.
Different Types of Covers for Jon Boats
Everyone wants a jon boat cover that fits in the best way possible. That's why manufacturers make sure to produce a variety of options to fit every kind of boat. And that's where the different types of boat covers come in.
The universal fit jon boat cover doesn't really take any specific model into account. These are store-bought covers that you can get straight off the shelf with no frills or fuss. They're designed to fit any kind of jon boat model coming a variety of lengths, widths, and bow styles, but don't always expect a snug, perfect fit.
Semi custom covers are made to conform to specific boat models -- usually the most popular ones. They specifically adhere to unique model dimensions so you can get a more accurate, precision fit. Lots of times, semi custom covers come from the manufacturer of the boat model itself.
As you might have guessed, custom jon boat covers are made to fit your specific boat. Some boat owners like having a cover that's tailor made to match their boat and all of the unique custom work they've got installed. So although a custom cover will set you back a significantly steeper cost, they guarantee a perfect fit.
Choosing the Best Jon Boat Cover
By now, you probably already know that jon boat covers are definitely not all made the same. So how can you narrow down your choices to find a cover that's truly a fit for your needs? Here are the factors worth considering.
What is it made of? To protect your boat from damage and debris, the cover itself should tout durability. Weatherproof water resistant heavy duty polyester or marine canvas materials are your best choices to guarantee supreme coverage and lasting performance.
Covers that are made from 300D materials or higher often last the longest. Lightweight fabric, although easier to install over your boat, might not last for more than a few months especially when used outdoors.
Constant tugging and pulling on your jon boat cover will wear away its seams. Low quality covers will easily rip and tear just after a few uses, so it pays to check the stitching.
You might also want to consider how a sewn in elastic tie might affect durability over time. A separate tie with quick release buckles may provide better performance over the long haul versus a cover with the cord sewn in.
Covers that trap moisture inside boats will encourage bacteria, microbes, mold, and mildew to thrive. So whenever available, opt for a cover that incorporates air vents embedded into the fabric.
Just make sure to check that the vents are properly fitted as cheap covers may have vents that easily fall out, leaving a gaping hole in the material. It's also worth mentioning that a cover should incorporate more vents the bigger it gets. For instance, a 12 foot length cover may only need two or three vents, while longer ones could require four or more.
A jon boat cover features trailering strap, shock cord straps, elastic bands, or a combination of them. Usually, you'll find covers with its trailering and shock cord sewn in to reinforce the design. These cords help keep the cover on in transit against strong wind, and provide added security when you want to store your boat on a trailer.
See the best jon boat trailers.
A good marine cover should come with more than just a strap or two. Accessories like a cover pole to prevent pooling, a storage bag, a separate motor cover, and extra buckles and straps help make a cover more relevant and useful.
If you've got other equipment and additions attached to your boat, you might want to consider a cover that takes that into consideration. Some jon boat covers are made to protect both boat and outboard motor so you don't have to worry about getting a separate cover for it.
Covers are made in a variety of sizes from 12 feet to 24 feet and beyond. If you plan to use the same cover to extend all the way to your outboard motor, then you'll have to add a few feet of length to encompass both boat and motor. Beam width and bow style is another consideration. Make sure to read specific measurements to guarantee a snug fit.
When a company willingly offers a warranty with their products, you can bet they're going to be a better choice than others without the payment protection. Warranties for jon boat covers typically range between one and three years. If it sustains any damage within the scope of the coverage during the warranty period, you can have it repaired or replaced for free.
Of course, we've got to talk about prices. As with most other purchases, the quality of a jon boat cover will be directly proportional to its price -- but not in all cases. Read through reviews to find out whether a more expensive choice is truly worth the cost. Also consider the material its made of, its features, and any accessories. The more features, the steeper the final cost.
Other Considerations When Buying and Using a Jon Boat Cover
Aside from the essential considerations listed above, there are a bunch of other factors you might want to take into account when you buy and use your cover. These include:
When storing jon boats outdoors over the off season, it's possible for snow, rain, and debris to pool on the cover. This won't only cause condensation underneath, introducing moisture into the boat, but may also damage your cover with the constant tug of weight bearing down on the seams.
A cover support underneath will tent the sheet and prevent contaminants from pooling on the surface. Although you can buy a cover support pole specifically for this purpose, there are lots of DIY patterns you can follow online. If you have a pedestal seat installed, leaving it upright under the cover should also work just fine. See some of our recommended jon boat seats and which ones work well for storage.
Your jon boat cover will only likely find purpose during the off season. Any other time, you probably won't need it unless you're going on a long vacation. So a bag for your cover should make perfect sense.
The sack that comes with a cover typically uses the same material as the cover itself. With sewn in straps and zippers to keep things nice and secure, a bag just helps to prolong your cover's usable lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes the best boat cover?
There are lots of brands that manufacture and sell covers for jon boats. In terms of being the best however, all brands bring something unique to the table so it's tough to name just one as the overall champ. But names like GOODSMANN, iCover, Classic Accessories, and Seamander typically come out as the most popular brands you'll find on the web.
Also check out some of the best camo jon boat covers in our guide.
How do you cover a jon boat in the rain?
Ideally, you'd want to get the cover on before it starts to rain. Keep your boat in an enclosed space like your garage while you secure the cover on. Make sure you support the cover from underneath to prevent water from pooling.
If you plan to store your boat outdoors during the rainy season, you might also want to consider placing a bowl of charcoal in the boat under the cover. This helps to improve moisture control on top of the air circulation achieved by the air vents.
We've Got You Covered
The best jon boat covers don't only prevent dirt and debris from collecting in nooks and crannies, they also promise to protect your boat from damage. A reinforced, weather proof, durable cover can help keep your boat ready to use even after months of safekeeping.
Consider buying the best jon boat cover for your beloved watercraft today and give yourself the gift of peace of mind during those harsh, off season months.