Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

I am planning a long trip (6500 miles or so) in the Spring and want to take my Mill Creek 16.5. I have a cockpit cover and will use that if I don't get a full cover for it. The boat will be on top of my Jeep which I tow behind an RV. Anyone have suggestions or better yet experience carrying a CLC boat long distance with/without a full cover? Right now I am leaning toward just using the cockpit cover and leaving the rest of the boat exposed. One concern with using a full cover is that it seems to me that fluttering of the cover in the wind might do some damage to the varnish while leaving it uncovered leaves it susceptible to UV and occasional flying debris. I did carry my Chesapeake 17 on a similar trip about 20 years ago with just a cockpit cover and had no damage. But on that trip the boat was on top of the RV I had at the time so was several feet higher than it will be on the Jeep. The RV I have now has no space on the roof for a kayak even if I wanted to wrestle it up there ( that was easier 20 years ago - maybe gravity is getting stronger?).

thanks for any suggestions and/or war stories



5 replies:

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RE: Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

   On long trips I have always cartopped my boats with just a cockpit cover. The type with a strap that goes around the boat. I've tried using full covers but found them to be unwieldy and not worth the effort. Also, I use the boat to hold my paddling gear to free up space in the vehicle.


RE: Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

   Me too Dan. Did 6200 miles in July Aug on top of truck. This summer. A full boat cover is a thing that must be form fit. Any looseness and the wind will flap it taking the finish off the boat.

RE: Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

   .....full covers are things that racers sometimes use but not universally. It is also used by builders delivering high and custom boats, but they are done once, and tight.

RE: Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

   I'm convinced - cockpit cover only - I was leaning that way anyhow after considering the extra work of using a full cover and the potential for damage to the finish.

RE: Cover boat for long distance cartopping?

   I have a fairly tight fitting tailored cockpit cover that I made for my Mill Creek. I have put in a lot of miles at highway speeds without any issue. I carry the leeboard, rudder, lifejacket etc in the cockpit. I do put an additional elasticated strap on the front of the cover to ensure it doesn't lift up. It's probably not necessary, but it reassures me !

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