Why do you need an awning on PVC boat?

Published: 29.06.2023

In order to store, transport or protect the boat from various damages, and its crew and cargo from splashes of water, oncoming wind, insects or adverse weather conditions, a boat awning is needed.

What is an awning?

Let’s understand in general what an awning is. An awning is a cover or canopy made of fabric, which is tailored to the size of the boat, put on the hull or fixed thanks to special loops, hooks and an aluminum frame on stretchers. The awning can have transparent “windows” for a better view, zippers or fly-paper fasteners.

Types of awnings

Conventionally, several main types of awnings for PVC inflatable boats can be distinguished.

  • Overall cover or storage awnings
  • Removable dodgers
  • Bimini Tops
  • Protective canopies

Overall covers serve to protect inflatable boats during transportation and storage. Such an awning is put on a fully inflated boat, repeats its shape and has special slots for side handles.

Removable dodgers protect the crew and cargo from splashes of water and the oncoming flow of wind at speed in the bow of the boat, without disturbing the aerodynamic characteristics of the vessel.

Bimini Tops, their name speaks eloquently for itself. Such awnings serve as a light roof from the sun and light rain, protecting the cockpit only from above. Against wind or insects, such canopies are powerless, but they have their specific purpose, which they cope with perfectly.

Protective canopies provide more complete protection of the boat, turning the cockpit into a closed cabin. They work both when parked and at speed, protecting against wind, splashes, rain, sun and insects. They have folding panels with zippers, transparent “windows”.

There are many different types of inflatable boat awnings from different manufacturers. These awnings have certain sizes and are suitable for a specific boat model. The transport awning from SC «KOLIBRI» was also no exception, it was also produced for a specific boat model, but this season it turned into a multipurpose awning.

The essence of the «KOLIBRI» multipurpose awning is that it is suitable for any inflatable boats of different manufacturers. Unlike the usual standard overall cover or storage awning, which is designed for a certain size. It is enough to know the dimensions of your boat – and you can already choose the right size of the awning.

For example, you have a boat, the dimensions of which are 310 x 140 cm, the diameter of the tube is 40 cm, then a multipurpose awning of size M will fit your boat – the length of the awning is from 290 – 330 cm. It is enough to pull the awning over the boat and tighten the elastic cord “expander” under boat size

In the stern part of the awning there is a soft pocket for the engine, which protects the cockpit from rain. Auxiliary loops are installed along the entire length of the awning for convenient and reliable use during transportation.

Dimensions of the multipurpose awning:

S – awning length from 245 – 280 cm;

M – awning length from 290 – 330 cm;

L – awning length from 340 – 360 cm;

XL – awning length from 370 – 400 cm;

XXL – awning length from 410 – 450 cm.

Basic requirements for the design of the awning

What should a boat awning be in order to last a long time, be light, easy to assemble and dismantle? 

  • Model

First, the design of the awning must be suitable for a specific model of the boat. An exception is the multipurpose awning from the «KOLIBRI» company. Seats, hooks and loops must be in their standard locations and fit together.

  • Installation

Secondly, the awning should be such that it is easy to put on and take off, but at the same time be resistant to oncoming air flow, jerks at speed or during sharp maneuvers.

  • Fabric

Thirdly, the fabric from which the awning is sewn must meet the requirements of       operation in rather extreme conditions of water travel with various temperature fluctuations. Be strong enough, have waterproof properties.

What materials are used to make a boat awning?

Several modern materials meet the strict requirements for fabrics used to make reliable awnings for inflatable rowing and motor boats.

These are such polymer fabrics as:

  • Ripstop
  • Oxford
  • Taffeta
  • Cordura

Features of these materials are described in our article “Choosing a canopy for an inflatable boat“.

Now here we just note that multipurpose awnings for «KOLIBRI» boats are made of Ripstop fabric, which has proven itself well over many years of testing and operation and is, in our opinion, optimal for protecting the boat from all the adverse conditions described above.

Multipurpose awning, made of waterproof ripstop fabric, comes in two colors: dark gray and camouflage. 

How to choose an awning for a PVC boat? 

We advise you to familiarize yourself with the article on our blog on this topic, called “Choosing a canopy for an inflatable boat“, which describes in detail the features of all types of awnings we produce.

Here we will note only the main points of choosing a certain type of awning for your inflatable boat. 

Selection of an overall cover 

If it is an overall cover or storage awning, then your choice will consist in its correct correlation with the size for a specific boat model. It should be convenient to use, have auxiliary fasteners during transportation on a carriage.

Selection of the removable dodger 

The KOLIBRI removable dodger should be chosen according to the type and model of the boat.

The KOLIBRI removable dodger has a special shape thanks to the aluminum frame and is fixed in the bow part of the vessel. The awning has a stayput attachment with a hook that attaches to the mooring beam of the boat. This attachment ensures a reliable and strong fixation of the awning. There are two types of nose awnings – small and large. The large removable dodger is equipped with a transparent frontal “window”. Available in two color versions – gray and black.

Selection of the bimini top

The bimini top can fit several models at the same time. So you need to tell the manufacturer the size of your boat and the manager will select the necessary size of the awning. As for KOLIBRI bimini tops, there are four types – for rowing and motor boats. Each of these types can come in three color options – white, dark gray or camouflage.

Selection of the protective canopy

The protective canopy will reliably protect you in the storage position or while driving – it covers the entire boat, has a pocket for the motor and hinged “doors” with fasteners. Choose this protection option if you value comfort and a comprehensive approach to protecting the crew, belongings and equipment inside the cockpit. KOLIBRI awnings are also structurally tied to ship models. We manufacture ten types of such awnings for «KOLIBRI» motor boats and five types for rowing boats. Each of them can be of two colors – dark gray or camouflage.

How to extend the life of a boat awning

How to store the awning? Any inflatable boat awning should ideally be stored in a dry, ventilated area.

It is enough to clean the transport awning from dirt, dry it and carefully roll it up. Bimini top, removable dodgers or protective canopies will last longer if they are stored in a folded form and will not be associated with folds in the fabric, or if they are pressed by something heavy. Then they will serve you for a long time, and the fabric will retain its qualities. This will significantly extend the life of the boat awning.


There are many different types of inflatable boat awnings from different manufacturers. Each manufacturer makes various accessories for their boats, among which awnings occupy an important place. But few people produce multipurpose awnings that can fit boats of different manufacturers’ brands.

Where to buy an awning? On our website, in the “Dealers” section, you will find a list of verified certified sellers of boats and other products of the «KOLIBRI» company, and our technical specialists will always be happy to give you answers to all the questions you may have about the selection and operation of our products.

Our Dealers