To put a canvas cover on a sailboat, first measure to include all equipment and accessories that are stored on the boat. Purchase a cover that fits those measurements snugly, as rainwater causes a loose cover to sag and wind might cause it to tear or be removed completely. Place the canvas cover over the sailboat. Use rope, bungee cords or straps to fasten each of the cover's tiedown loops.
When covering the sailboat with a canvas cover, make sure to place padding underneath any area where the cover may not fit as snugly. Use padding on the sides of the boat to prevent damage from any metal on the straps holding the cover in place. Avoid using ratchet tighteners, as they can pull canvas covers too tightly and cause them to rip or stretch.
Alternatives to canvas covers exist, but canvas has proven to be the best material to use when covering a sailboat. Consider plastic covers, which are the most popular alternative to canvas. While they are less expensive, they are not custom-fitted. Plastic covers typically last only a year, as they flap in the lightest breeze and wear out the grommets; as they are unable to be repaired, they require annual replacing. Canvas covers are custom-fitted, heavier, and, in the event of damage, can be patched and repaired to last for years.