Canvas Use and Care Instructions

Boat canvas is subjected to more severe punishment than practically any other type of canvas or fabric item. Although our canvas products adhere to rigid specifications, they should not be neglected for long periods of time, especially during inclement weather. Water-pockets may form in the top if the unit is not assembled and installed taut, which would further add to the load on the frame supports and possibly cause a broken frame as well as fabric leakage. Depending on the fabric, your canvas unit is water repellent and not waterproof. During rain some leakage may occur. Keep objects from touching the inside of the canvas unit. Such objects may cause leakage at the point of contact.

Moisture, dirt, chemicals from industrial fallout (i.e. acid rain), heat, ultraviolet rays and salt water (in some cases) are all factors that accelerate the degradation of your boat canvas and upholstery. These elements can do serious damage if left unchecked. Take a moment to review these elements one at a time to see what can be done to slow down the degradation.

**The materials used to produce your boat top and curtains are the finest obtainable. Reasonable care will assure you of many years of service.**

Things you can do to protect your canvas items for extended years of enjoyment

  • Keep it clean. DO NOT use harsh cleaners. Never use any form of bleach.
  • Clear vinyl curtains and windows demand extra care to prevent scratching. Ideally, they should be washed with clear water, preferably hosed off, wiping with a clean soft cloth at the same time. Do not use a harsh cloth or chamois skin. Any dirt or grit in the cloth may result in scratches. Canvas should be rolled up during storage and kept dry to prevent any cracking or creasing of material.
  • Under direct sunlight conditions do not allow the clear vinyl to come in contact with the top framework. The framework radiates heat and can burn the clear vinyl. Ameritex offers fabric frame sleeves to prevent this from happening.
  • Be sure that the top is completely dry before storing.
  • Keep unit well ventilated when stored. DO NOT STORE IN PLASTIC OR POLY BAGS.
  • Keep tubing, fittings and fasteners clean, lubricated, and waxed.
  • When operating your boat at high speeds, make sure the canvas is in the stowed and secure position.
  • Do not trailer your boat with the canvas erected or installed on boat. There are specific trailering covers available for this purpose. Please refer to your Dealer for these proper canvas accessories.
  • Clear vinyl panels are not intended for use while the boat is in storage or being moored. Clear vinyl panels do not hold up well against ultraviolet light. There are optional mooring covers, cockpit covers and fabric zip-in panels available that are intended for storage and mooring conditions.

Protect Your New Replacement Boat Canvas from These Things


Causes shrinkage and mildew if fabric is not allowed to dry thoroughly while in an open position. Shrinkage can occur anytime an article is allowed to dry while loose. Most shrinkage will occur over the first few months after initial installation. When canvas items are installed on the boat and properly adjusted, shrinkage can only occur in areas of looseness. Stern curtains, cockpit covers or other similar items should be installed to allow for some degree of shrinkage.


Can create a starting point for mildew when moisture is present. Cleaning periodically with a mild detergent and water will extend the life of the canvas and provide a better appearance. Cleaning can be accomplished with a sponge or soft scrub brush. Canvas units should always be erected fully and adjusted to a tight, smooth appearance before washing. Allow canvas to air-dry thoroughly before removing or loosening any canvas.


Can cause decay of vinyl and other fabrics if allowed to accumulate over a period of time. If your canvas or upholstery products come into contact with any chemicals, they should be washed off with clean water immediately.


Under certain conditions, heat can cause cracking and stiffening of material. Any vinyl-coated fabric when enclosed in a polyethylene container and exposed to sunlight is at risk. Polyethylene bags or tubes are meant only for protection during shipping and handling. DO NOT USE THEM FOR STORAGE.

Ultraviolet Degradation

Most synthetic fabrics or fabricated parts today are U.V.R. treated to resist ultraviolet effects. The best protection, however, is to avoid long periods of storage in areas subjected to direct sunlight.

Salt Water

Corrosive effects of salt water can corrode brass, aluminum, or stainless fittings and fasteners. Your canvas has fittings and fasteners made of these materials. These can be protected by washing off with clean water after every use.


Your canvas is not designed to be fully open while the vessel is traveling under rough conditions or at speeds of 35 mph or faster. Do not operate your vessel in these conditions unless your canvas is in the closed position and stowed properly. While under power, your canvas unit may collect hazardous exhaust fumes underneath it causing injury or death, please allow for proper ventilation. Operating your vessel at moderate to high speeds with the top erected may also result in the dismounting of the framework, which may cause injury.