How to Secure Your Boat Cover with Sandbags


We just finished making a winter boat cover for Sailrite’s Project Boat. When considering how to secure the cover, we decided to use sandbag weights (although our set-up allows for both weights or belly straps) secured with E-Z Lace Supreme.

E-Z Lace Supreme is a thin fabric strip with reinforced holes that can take the place of grommets. As an attachment point for the sandbag weights, we installed E-Z Lace Supreme around the perimeter of the cover. We like this method because it allows flexibility when placing the sandbags, and it distributes the weight of the sandbags evenly across the cover.

We designed our sandbags to be highly functional and nice-looking! Lace sleek fabric tubes to the E-Z Lace Supreme on the edge of the cover and hide your sandbags inside to create a uniform look. This method allows you to keep the fabric tubes in place year round and just re-insert the sandbags when winter rolls around.

The fabric tubes and sandbags are easy to make for this attachment method. Plus you can add them to your new boat cover or attach them as an upgrade to an existing cover (depending on the current hardware). The outer fabric tube is made from Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric and the inner sandbags are made from Dura Skrim Patterning Material.

Check out this short video excerpt from the Make Your Own Winter Boat Cover DVD to see how we use E-Z Lace Supreme to attach our sandbags.


For complete instructions on how to make your own winter boat cover from start to finish, check out the Make Your Own Winter Boat Cover DVD. This how-to DVD highlights numerous tips and techniques for putting together a custom winter cover that will perfectly fit your vessel and is available exclusively at

  1. why would anyone go to the hassle of testeryear by making sandbags to hold the cover down when you can get self adhesive press studs from lillypad leisure they use them for sticking draught skirts onto motor homes.

  2. Sue said:

    Personally, I would never stick anything on the hull of my boat to secure a winter cover. I would find it unsightly during the sailing season, not to mention they would not be very hydrodynamic and would collect algae and slime. I used grommets and lacing but had to make an effort to keep the metal grommets away from the hull finish. Sandbags are not a bad option, except for lugging around all that sand.

    My main comment to this is… where was this video last fall when I muddled through making a winter cover on my own?!? I am tempted to get the video to learn, but now that I have a cover, maybe I don’t want to know what could have saved me time and effort!!

    • Cassie said:

      Sorry we didn’t get our instructions done in time for your cover project! We’d love to see a picture of how it turned out though! Send one to if you get a chance! :)

  3. I have given up trying to cover my 26′ trimaran! The outer hulls are fixed and the wind can get under the cover at the sides. The initial test with a polytrap shredded inside two weeks! The only solutions seem to be building a boat house or…as I presently do…leaving it exposed and just painting it every Spring.

    • Sue said:

      Tom, for a non-folding trimaran, I would consider three separate covers. (This assumes you can remove the trampoline to secure around the main hull and each ama, and isn’t a hard deck). The key to a winter cover is to have it tight so it will not flog… as you discovered.

  4. JC CHERIS said:

    nice idea but you have to buy the sand bags haul then to your boat int he spring unload the bags and store them for the summer better idea gal milk bottles 8 lbs collect plastic gal bottles about 16. there is bottles every where from people winterising water systems fill bottles with water try onto cover ,,spring untie bottle dump water recycle bottles DONE NO SAND BAGS TO STORE OR HAUL HOME . JCC

    • Steve said:

      You could try these. They are boat cover weights that you can fill with sand, water or lead. If you wish to dump the water and sand, you can easily collapse the bags and store them for next time. I bought a set of 8 and they work great. They also have hooks on them already.

  5. Cassie said:

    That’s a valid point JC! We thought that if hauling the sand is a problem, it would be easy to just get new sand every year. Make simple bags to hold the sand (like we show in the DVD) and reuse the bags year after year with new sand so you don’t have to haul it!

    • Sue said:

      Except, unless you have sand at the boatyard, you still have to haul it from somewhere…

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