How To Make A Boat Cover Frame For Winter (10 Easy Steps)

Coming into winter, you want to make sure your boat is covered and protected from the elements. A frame is a great way to do this, and it’s easy to make one yourself.

Making a boat cover frame is important for protecting your boat during the winter months. A properly made cover will keep snow and ice off of your boat, as well as provide ventilation to prevent mildew and condensation.

While it is possible to purchase a cover frame kit, it is generally cheaper and easier to make your own.

How To Make A Boat Cover Frame For Winter

How to Make a Boat Cover Frame for winter? Winter is fast approaching, which means that boat owners have to take great care of their boats.

We all know that winter is a tough time to keep your boat safe from harsh weather. Maybe your boat has been covered during the winter, but it still needs extra protection from snow, leaves, and other debris. An excellent way to do this is by making a frame for the cover.

So that you can easily take it off when spring arrives. Creating a custom boat cover is essential because it ensures that your boat is adequately covered. You can indeed buy custom-made ones, but it’s not cheap.

If you have basic carpentry skills, creating a custom boat cover is something that you can do yourself and save a lot of money in the process. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, follow these simple steps!

Why Do You Need a Boat Cover Frame

Winter is coming, and that means you need to store your boat until springtime. If you have a Biminis or hard top cover on the boat, it makes this more difficult.

Not only does the winter wind tear at your winter cover, but there is no easy way to secure anything if it is not attached to the boat. Boats are an excellent way of life that allows people to enjoy the water in a new and exciting way.

Boating can be used for pure relaxation, spending time with friends, or enjoying an activity such as fishing or waterskiing.

While there is no substitute for being on the water, boaters must protect their boats from inclement weather with a boat cover frame when not in use.

Cover frames not only protect freshwater boats from corrosion caused by heavy moisture when they are stored for long periods.

But saltwater vessels also need protection against rust from salt damage when the boat is not being used.

Protecting a boat’s exterior from rust and corrosion is particularly important when the watercraft is kept outside in salt or brackish waters because salt will damage metal over time without any protection whatsoever.

In addition to preventing rust caused by saltwater damage, a cover frame prevents dust and other debris from collecting while your boat is covered up outside; this helps maintain the vessel’s appearance and keep it looking new for many years.

Material Required to Make a Boat Cover Frame for Winter

Here is the list of things you need to make a boat cover.

  1. Boat to cover
  2. Studs and screws
  3. Plywood
  4. Glue and sheets of sandpaper
  5. Weatherproof paint
  6. Drill and saw
  7. Sandpaper, gloves, composter, wire, and jigsaw
  8. Scissors, pencil, and tape measure
  9. Staple gun, staples, mallets, and grommets
  10. Screws and screwdriver
  11.  Sprays foam insulation, zip ties, and bungee cord
  12. Carpenter’s square, hammer, dowel rod, and box cutter

Step by Step Guide


Lay your boat on a flat surface with the keel (bottom) facing up at you and the transom (back end, where it is widest) away from you. Mark out two rows of holes along the centerline of your boat at either side; make them between 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart and about 4 inches long each. Drill your holes sideways through your ship.


Make a hole at the back of each line, about 2 inches from the transom, and another one on the top of each row about 2 inches from your front. Now Use these holes to attach long pieces of plywood that will form new decks for you Cut enough new decks so that they fit snugly into your boat, and put them in place.


Measure and cut some smaller plywood pieces so that they fit between your new decks and lay across your old topsides. Screw two of these small pieces together on either side of the centerline of your boat so that they stand up.


After that, put another piece of plywood on top of these and screw it down all around to your new decks. Next, measure the widest point across your boat from the transom to where you want your cover to end at the bow.


Cut two plywood pieces that are as big as those measurements plus an inch or two for overlap. Lay one across each deck, caulk any seams with a waterproof sealant, and screw them down. Then, Turn your boat back over (keel facing up) and measure out a rectangle above where your front decks will be. Use this measurement to cut four more pieces of plywood.


Put one at either side, another in the centerline, and the last one right in front of where your bow will be. Measure the center of each side piece and drill a 1/4 inch hole through all four elements to line up perfectly. Now, Insert a bolt through these holes, add a washer and wingnut on the other side, and tighten. Repeat this step for both sides.


Drill another set of matching holes just above these. Thread two more bolts into each hole to form crossbeams. Stand back to admire your boat’s new structure. Cut plywood pieces for decking over the beams you’ve mounted.


Measure out strips of plywood that will fit across your transom. Cut long strips that go from side to side and cut shorter strips to fit in between. Affix these with wood screws. Measure out a rectangle that will cover your new decking from front to back. Now, cut four plywood pieces that size. Lay two of them at either side, drill holes through the top of all four elements, and affix them with bolts. Stack another pair on top.


Drill holes along the centerline and insert a bolt through each set of boards. Moreover, add a washer and wing nut on one side. Tighten the nuts until they are flush against the boards. Stand back and admire how much sturdier your boat is.


Use aluminum grommets to attach bungee cords across the bows and Fold up your boat cover; use bungee cords to attach it in between the grommets so that it stays in place. Now, enjoy your boat for another year.

Addressing Issues Unique to Building a Frame for Your Cover

Building a frame for your boat cover is not an easy task. However, it is essential if you want to protect your boat from the harsh cold winter.

The following are some of the issues that you may come across while building a frame for your boat cover:

(a) Doors and windows on the opposite side of where you want to install the frame can be hard to reach.

(b) The positioning of the door or window on the opposite side will interfere with direct sunlight coming in through it.

(c) Wind will keep blowing away any insulation you put inside of it.

(d) It may be difficult to install this type of frame when there are trees nearby.

Self-Made Boat Cover or Ready Made- Which is Better

Many people like outdoor activities on the water. A boat can be an excellent way to enjoy nature and relax on the water.

However, if a ship is used for a long time, it needs to keep well. One of the essential parts of a boat is its cover to prevent its deck from getting wet.

There are two types of boat covers, self-made and readymade. There are pros and cons for both.

Readymade boat covers are more expensive than self-made ones. However, self-made boat covers can be repaired and modified to fit any boat size, and they can be customized in colors, fabrics, and patterns.

Readymade covers are ready to use right out of the box when it arrives at home. However, self-made covers can be more durable and long-lasting.


In conclusion, whether to make a boat cover by yourself or buy it is your preference. For more practical people, self-made covers would be better to have.

Readymade boat covers are not bad at all, it’s just a matter of choosing and deciding which better suits your purpose and needs.

A custom boat cover frame is essential if you love the water and want to keep your boat in pristine condition.

Not only will it protect your vessel from corrosion caused by heavy moisture when stored for long periods.

The saltwater vessels also need protection against rust from salt damage when not being used. In addition, a custom-made frame will ensure that the fit of your cover is perfect for your specific type of vessel.

You can also customize how much coverage you want by adding or removing material around the perimeter and bottom hemline to cover only parts of the hull. In contrast, others remain open to allow fresh air access on hot days.

Although there are many benefits to building a frame yourself versus buying one off-the-shelf at your local marine store, we’ve provided step-by-step instructions on how to make one yourself. We hope that you found this handy guide helpful.

Leave a Comment