Sunday, September 27, 2015

Boatbags kayak cover review

During the spring, summer and autumn I leave a GRP kayak on the beach at the Solway Firth. It is normally left higher up the beach than this under an old oak tree for shade. Unfortunately the tree drips sap and green slime not to mention leaves in the later season. The birds that roost in the tree drop bird poo and the sand blows everywhere. Finally the occasional strong sun wrecks UV damage.

The ideal solution is a cover that is light to reflect heat, waterproof and breathable to keep it dry, easy to put on and off and a good fit. I have tried to find such a product for years and two companies that promised to make me one never did. This year I found a solution....

Boatbags make a variety of made to measure bags for kayaks and other watercraft. A quick email confirmed that they could make me a cover rather than a bag and it would be supplied with 4 underhull straps with locking buckles.

I filled in Boatbags' detailed measurement chart for my Aries 155 and for clarity pasted the measurements onto the above photos. I wanted to leave the Flat Earth kayak sail on the kayak and to leave a paddle over the cockpit to prevent water pooling. I placed an order on May13th 2015. For a custom cover in their breathable "fabric D",  I was given a price of £190 (delivered) and a manufacture date of 20th July 2015. It arrived on 22nd July. It has been in constant use since then.

The fit was just perfect. The material is great quality and to me seemed an excellent compromise between weight and robustness. In use it is obviously very breathable so you are unlikely to run into any problems with osmosis if you have a GRP kayak. The workmanship was excellent.

The open bottom cover I requested is exceptionally easy to fit over the kayak sitting on a trolley. Even when the kayak is put away wet, it is usually dry after a short dry spell. The material is easy to clean. A quick hose down soon gets rid of any bird poo or green slime.

You can order the cover as a bag with an open end and carry handles if you want to transport your kayak in a bag. A whole lot of other options are listed on the Boastbags website.

Boatbags make a first class bespoke product which I think represents excellent value for money. I recommend it to anyone who stores a kayak out of doors.