If you’ve made the investment in a new dodger or other canvas covers for your boat, a little care can go a long way toward increasing the life of your canvas. Here are some maintenance recommendations for common dodger and bimini materials:
• Rinse your canvas with fresh water as often as possible, particularly if it’s salty after a sail. While most marine fabrics made for outdoor use, like Sunbrella, will resist mildew, mold can grow if dirt and salt are left on the fabric too long.
• If you’re leaving your boat for a few weeks or have it stored for the offseason, take down all the canvas and stow it ashore, if possible, or in the cabin.
• For sailors living in northern climes, keep in mind that freezing temperatures can cause some vinyl window materials to crack.