While a Mercury outboard’s cowl is the most visible part of the engine – and often the most noticeable area of the vessel itself – it probably doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
Think of all that’s asked of it: It must be strong enough to protect the powerhead from impacts while still light enough for one boater to handle on their own. It has to be removable, of course, with a latching mechanism that’s secure in every trailering or boating situation, yet easily released for inspection, maintenance and cleaning. Your cowl also plays a big role in managing engine temperature, keeping water away from key components and providing proper airflow to support efficient combustion.
And, as one of the primary calling cards of your boat, it’s made to look good.
If you’re the type who does everything possible to keep your cowl looking shiny and new, season after season, then the Mercury Tow-N-Stow Storage Cover might be just what you’ve dreamed of. As the name suggests, it’s made to be used while off the water to cover and protect your cowl from the damaging and unsightly effects of the sun, birds, insects and road debris. It’s also the perfect combination of 95 percent waterproof, and 5 percent breathable to both shed rain and avoid moisture buildup between the soft liner and your cowl’s mirror factory finish.
That’s all great, but it’s all for naught if the installation and removal are more trouble than they’re worth. Fear not: The Tow-N-Stow Storage Cover is made to doff and don quickly and easily, so you can use it every time, confident in the knowledge it won’t hold up the show at the boat ramp. In this Mercury Quick Tip Video, we’ll show you how simple and fast installation can be.
- Appropriate Mercury Tow-N-Stow Storage Cover model for your outboard
- Mercury All-In-One Spotless Shine cleaning solution
- Clean microfiber cloth
- Before initial use of the cover, carefully read the installation and care instructions that came with it.
- Use the microfiber cloth and All-In-One Spotless Shine to clean the cowl and all other areas of the outboard exterior, especially the surfaces that will contact the cover. It’s important to remove all dirt and salt from the cowl and other finished surfaces as even small particles can scratch and mar the finish over time. For more complete cleaning instructions, check out this previous Quick Tip video.
- Remove the cover from the package, then open the zipper and hook-and-loop closures on the cover itself.
- From inside the boat, feed the cover over the top of the cowl, taking care that the bottom of the cover isn’t folded up underneath and that the cover’s gussets are properly matched up with the curves, points and corners of the cowl. Once the cover is in position, close the zipper. If there is resistance, it probably means that the cover is not quite in the right spot, so move the cover around until it’s in the correct position.
- The cover is notched to accommodate the outboard rigging tube (or if there is no tube, the collection of cables and hoses that goes from the front of the outboard into the boat). Locate the hook-and-loop closure that is just below this notch and close it snugly around the rigging tube.
- Standing on the ground on the port (left) side of the outboard, locate the cover’s leg strap and feed it through the tilt/trim mechanism. Moving to the starboard side of the engine, pull the strap snug and secure the hook-and-loop closure at the end of the strap to the main part of the cover. You may need to trim the engine up a bit to complete this step.
Your properly covered outboard is now ready for the drive home or to go into storage. The cover will not interfere with the use of an outboard support device, but whether the support should be installed before the cover or vice versa will depend on the design of your support, trailer and boat. It’s important to note that the Tow-N-Stow cover is not made to be used while the engine is running or while the boat is in operation. (For covers made to use while the engine is in operation, click here.) But if you’re tired of seeing bird droppings, rock dings, dust and dirt from towing and storing your boat, the Tow-N-Stow cowl cover should be the very next item on your boating wish list.