Outboard Motor Covers Buying Guide

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Outboard Motor Covers Buying Guide

Once a consumer invests the money in a boat and outboard motor, it only makes sense to protect that investment. Outboard motor covers can provide protection while the boat is on the water, being trailered,, or during the time it is in storage. Having a better understanding of the different types of covers and the purpose they will serve can assist the consumer in making the best choice in outboard motor covers. Knowing the type of material that offers the best protection without creating damage while it is on can save the boat owner from expensive repairs. Even knowing how to properly cover the motor with the cover will ensure the boat owner’s investment will be safe and able to continue offering service for years.

After making the choice to purchase an outboard motor cover, the consumer needs to determine where the cover will be purchased; Internet sites like eBay Motors offer varied and convenient options that can be compared to what is available in standard marine stores.

Purpose of an Outboard Motor Cover

The overall purpose of an outboard motor cover is to protect the motor whether it is being transported, on the water, or being stored during the winter months. By investing in a cover, the owner may find the outboard motor requires fewer repairs, and resale value is maintained. When looking for outboard motor covers, the consumer should keep certain desirable features in mind. A consumer should expect an outboard motor cover to:

  • Offer UV protection to minimize fading and sun damage
  • Be waterproof
  • Be made from a breathable material with a soft backing to avoid scratches to the motor
  • Protect the motor from road grime and rock chips while trailering
  • Material should be strong to resist tearing, offer weather resistance, and keep dust particles out of intakes to protect internal workings
  • Simple to clean when it becomes necessary
  • Able to customize so the cover coordinates with the boat
Once the consumer knows what is desired from the outboard motor cover, the next step is to determine which fabric choice is the best. By covering the motor with just any type of material, a boat owner may end up doing harm to the motor instead of protecting it.

Fabric Choices for Outboard Motor Covers

Each company that produces outboard motor covers offers its own special fabrics and reasons its fabric is the best. The common thread among the various manufacturers is the use of polyester material that is resistant to shrinking or stretching. Most professionally made covers are constructed from a heavy woven polyester fabric that is lined with a soft polyester backing. The polyester material assures that the cover can "breathe," which protects the motor from condensation buildup and mildew. The heavy fabric is strong, waterproof, resists tearing, and the soft backing keeps accidental scratches off the motor cowling.

Some people believe it is easy to make a cover at home out of vinyl or even a padded vinyl that would be just as good, but this is a mistake. Unlike the polyester fabric, the vinyl does not allow air to pass through the fabric and damage can occur to the paint and decals on the outboard motor as condensation builds up from the sun beating down on the covered motor. With time this condensation will be held against the motor and mix with salts; ultimately resulting in corrosion.

Types of Outboard Motor Covers

Determining the type of cover that will best meet the needs and pocketbook of the boat owner is the next step in the process of purchasing an outboard motor cover. Some covers are universal and made to fit either a range of dimensions taken from the outboard motor, or a specified range of horsepower. Other covers are custom made to fit specific years, makes, and models of outboard motors. To make an educated choice, the consumer needs to know the types of covers available and the basic features they offer.

Cover Type


Special Features

Splash cover

Cowl cover that is vented and can stay on the motor while on the water

Protects cowling from UV fading, bird droppings, scratches, salt corrosion, lure damage, and ski rope burns

Full cover

Covers the whole motor from top to prop

Protects during towing and storing; can deter theft of propeller during storage

Combo Covers

Purchase combination of splash cover and full cover

A possible money saving option if the boat owner wants both types of covers

Cowl or Mooring Covers

Covers only the cowl, or upper section of the outboard motor

Offers above water protection while boat is moored; resists weather, salt, and UV rays that can damage the motor

Universal Covers

Generic cover based on motor size and dimensions

Offers UV, water, and mildew protection; fits over motor and is tightened with a drawstring and cinch lock

Universal covers tend to be less expensive and come in limited design and color choices. They are made to fit motors as small as 5hp, and as large as 255hp. Custom covers are made from patterns that will fit the specific body style based on year, make, and model of the outboard motor. They are more expensive, but offer perfect fit and more design and color choices.

How to Cover an Outboard Motor

There are several inherent advantages to covering an outboard motor. It keeps the motor clean and away from things like dust and bird droppings. The harmful effects of sun and weather are minimized, and it offers a degree of security for the expensive propeller section of the motor. Putting a full cover on an outboard motor can be accomplished in just a few steps.

  1. Slip the cover over the propeller and the lower part of the motor unit. Be sure the cover is over the propeller and anti-cavitation plate and the opening in the cover faces the stern of the boat.
  2. Pull the cover up the "leg" until the bottom of the opening in the cover reaches the mounting bracket.
  3. Grasp the sides of the cover that will fit over the motor cowling and pull it up, around, and over the top of the motor until the cowling is completely covered.
  4. Wrap the hook and loop fastener around the exhaust housing below the mounting bracket, and fasten it to the other side of the cover.

By following these steps, a boat owner can have the outboard motor securely covered and ready for the off-season quickly and efficiently.

Purchasing Outboard Motor Covers on eBay Motors

Purchasing an outboard motor cover on eBay Motors is simple. A general search can be made by typing "outboard motor cover&" into the search bar provided on any page of the eBay Motors site. You can then click on the search button or hit the enter key to see what is currently available. If you are interested in a specific make of outboard motor, you can narrow the search by typing something like "yamaha outboard motor cover&" into the search bar. It is also possible to extend the search by typing "outboard motor storage cover&" or "200 hp outboard motor cover&" into the search line before hitting enter. Searching in a variety of ways can produce differing results.

Favorite Seller List

As you shop on eBay Motors,, you might find sellers that you prefer to deal with for one reason or another. You have the option of clicking on a hot link that says, "Add this store (seller) to favorites." This takes you to a page where you can write notes to yourself about a particular store or seller and the services and products offered. Later, you can view these notes under My eBay and revise or remove them when you are ready. There are also options to request email alerts from any favorite store that you want to keep up with.


Whether a boat is used for fishing, cruising a lake, river, or bay, or water skiing, it is an investment that needs to be protected. It would be unwise for a boat owner to protect their boat, but not protect the outboard motor that propels it. There is a wide variety of covers and styles to choose from, and they can be as simple or customized as the boat owner wants to make them. For those owners on a tighter budget, a universal outboard motor cover may be the best option to provide protection without breaking the bank.

For those consumers that have the ready funds and a flare for design, customized outboard motor covers allow the boat owner to color coordinate the cover to the boat while having a cover that is a perfect fit for the year, make, and model of the outboard motor. While shopping for motor covers, the consumer has a variety of options that include boat dealerships and other brick and mortar stores. Keeping the Internet shopping option open allows consumers the opportunity to find a wide variety of outboard motor covers from the convenience of home.

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