What is a Playpen Cover for a Pontoon Boat?

what is a playpen cover for a pontoon boat

Maybe your pontoon boat didn’t come with a cover out of the dealership. Or maybe your cover’s getting too old and you need something a little newer. Welcome to the wonderful world of pontoon boat covers where there are way more options than you probably thought in the first place.

During your search, you’ll find that there are tons of options, including mooring covers, winter covers, towing covers, and just every other kind of cover you probably didn’t even know existed. But in this guide, we’re talking about playpen covers. Exactly what is a playpen cover for a pontoon boat and why do you need one? Find out here.

What is a Pontoon Boat Playpen Cover?

Also called a snap cover, the playpen cover is likely the kind of cover that came with your boat when you bought it. The design’s edges just fold over the rails, and it covers everything except the front deck.

That’s kind of why they’re called playpen covers, because they can still let you access a part of your boat’s deck while restricting access to other areas, the same way a playpen would work in a space.

The playpen cover can be used in all storage conditions including when in water, a boat house, a garage, or even on a trailer. But because it leaves a part of the boat open, you can’t use it to cover a pontoon boat that’s being towed. That’s because the wind would get under the cover and cause ripping and tearing if it gets too strong.

There are benefits to using a playpen cover compared to other types of pontoon boat covers you might find. These include:

Easy Placement and Removal

Let’s be real. A lot of the full coverage options available can be a chore to put on and remove. That’s actually one of the reasons why some boat owners might leave their boat uncovered despite the risks. The playpen cover is fairly easy to snap in place though, so it becomes easier to stick to putting it on.


Compared to any other cover on the market, the playpen cover has to be the cheapest. But then again, if you own a pontoon boat, you probably have more than enough to shell out for a cover even if it costs over a hundred bucks.

Air Circulation

Covers that completely cover up your boat leave little room for ventilation. This makes the boat a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew, that can cling to all the parts of your deck due to increased humidity under the cover. With the playpen cover being partially opened, it gives your boat a better chance to dry up in storage.


Unlike other covers that tend to cover up your whole boat, playpen covers leave a part exposed. That means that if you ever need to hop on your boat to check something, you won’t have to go through the task of removing the cover and putting it back.

Then again, it’s still not a perfect solution. There are a few downsides to the playpen cover, including:

Not Full Coverage

Leaving the front deck exposed means that the cover won’t protect your boat from dirt, dust, and even pests. That’s also why the cover was designed for instances when you might not expect to keep your boat in storage for too long.

Not as Durable

It’s more of a temporary cover for those times when you want to keep your boat for a while, but not for long. For that reason, playpen covers are typically built to a lesser degree of durability compared to more robust covers that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Playpen Cover vs Mooring Cover

The main difference between a playpen cover and a great mooring cover is that the latter provides much, much more coverage compared to the playpen. Mooring covers’ edges cover much of the boat’s side walls, and the cover comes with a drainage system so that water doesn’t pool on top of it in moist conditions.

The mooring cover is also typically more durable, intended to protect your boat while you’re moored. They’re great if you want to keep pests like rats and otters at bay, or if you want to keep your boat docked for a few days or weeks.

You may also want to consider a console cover for your pontoon boat, to keep the console protected.

We’ve Got You Covered

It might not be too obvious what is a playpen cover for a pontoon boat, especially when you find out how many kinds of covers are actually available on the market. But these basic covers provide important protection in a variety of situations when you might need the extra barrier minus the effort it takes to get it on. So, are you looking to get a playpen cover? Check the web for affordable options and keep your pontoon effortlessly protected until your next getaway.

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