By Sigrid Tornquist
When a customer tells one of Charles Webster’s sales people that he doesn’t like snaps on his boat covers because they break and are difficult to manage, and he’s sick of needing support poles—that’s the beginning of product development for DOWCO® Inc. “Sometimes things can be defined by what they are not,” Webster says. “What that information told us was that we needed to design a poleless, snapless boat cover.”
The product development team came up with a prototype in spring 2014, worked out the kinks and patented the poleless, snapless boat cover in October 2014. The design uses clips that span the perimeter of the cover and fit into the extrusion on the bottom of the gunnel. That gunnel lock holds the cover in place in lieu of snaps. For the poleless design, rather than use a pole to push a cover up so that it sheds water, Webster and his team incorporated a patented system into the cover design, which funnels water down the middle of the cover toward the bow and stern of the boat.