Boating is a fun and unique lifestyle. Unfortunately, unless you live on a houseboat, it’s not practical to be on the water 24/7. So, where do you store your boat in the meantime? Or in the off-season? The answer is a reliable, high-quality boat storage facility.

If you don’t have a boat storage plan in place, that’s okay. This article will cover important points like where and how to store a boat so you can make sure your boat is looked after. If you’re into this outdoor activity, you have invested a lot of time and money into your watercraft. It’s important to protect that investment and make accommodations for quality boat storage. This way, you’ll find peace of mind knowing that your boat is well-protected when you can’t be there.

Keep reading to learn more about where to store your boat so it’s in pristine condition when you’re ready to head back to the water.

3 Main Types of Boat Storage

It probably won’t come as a surprise that there is more than one type of boat storage available to you. After all, different boats have different storage requirements. And, you might have other preferences for how to store your boat than someone else would have.

There are three main types of boat storage options. We’ll go over every kind of storage, including the pros, cons, and cost.

In-Water Boat Storage

Boats stored at docks.

Have you ever wondered how to store a boat outside? If so, you have two options: dry outdoor storage or in-water boat storage. Many marinas will offer the latter type of storage for your watercraft. In-water or wet boat storage can be a great option if you plan on using your boat year-round and want to have it ready and accessible. It is also a convenient option for many because it doesn’t rely on trailering or driving your boat around. This way, you can take your boat out for a spin or perform repairs without too much hassle.

Here’s a look at the cost, benefits, and difficulties of in-water boat storage.

Benefits

  • Convenient — Your boat is on the water and ready to go.
  • Readiness — No winterizing or shrink wrapping.
  • No trailers — Since your boat is staying on the water, you won’t have to trailer from a storage location to the marina.
  • Social — Marinas provide an easy way to get to know fellow boat enthusiasts.
  • Amenities — Marinas can provide amenities like electrical hookups.
  • Options — You have your choice of dry dock storage or slip storage.

Difficulties

  • Climate — You need to be in an area that doesn’t have temperatures below freezing.
  • Safety — Not all marinas offer robust security.
  • Cost — Marinas will charge fees based on the size of your boat, which will cost more than storing your boat in your garage.
  • Pests — In-water storage provides opportunities for algae, water pests, and aquatic hitchhikers to thrive without disruption.

Dry Outdoor Boat Storage

Covered boats outside.

If you want outdoor storage for your boat that isn’t in the marina, you have the option of dry outdoor boat storage. This could include covered or uncovered storage. If you’re wondering how much is dry storage for a boat, there are a few factors to consider. As previously mentioned, boat size can impact storage costs.

Additionally, storage location will play a role. However, with dry outdoor boat storage, you can generally count on the price being less than what you would encounter in indoor storage spaces. Many boat owners prefer this option for its affordability.

Benefits

  • Affordable — This is an inexpensive yet secure storage option.
  • Security — If you’re at a boat storage facility, they will likely have security to protect your boat.
  • Cover — Even though your boat is outdoors, your boat can still be protected from the elements with an overhead covering.

Difficulties

  • Shrink-wrapping — Keeping your boat outdoors means you will need to shrink-wrap it as an added layer of protection.
  • Exposure — If your boat isn’t covered, it is more susceptible to the elements.
  • Prep work — In addition to shrink-wrapping your boat, you’ll also need to winterize it and run checks on the battery.

Indoor Storage

Stored boats inside warehouse.

If you want the best protection for your investment, then an indoor storage facility is the option for you. Indoor boat storage is the most secure and the safest for your boat. There are a few common types of indoor boat storage. And, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “how much space do I need to store my boat?” then you need to understand your storage options. Individual storage options will need to be carefully chosen based on your boat’s measurements. These units are similar to car storage options that you can park your boat in and then secure with a garage-style door. 

Another option is warehouse storage. This could mean either stacked or unstacked storage. Stacked storage is generally the storage of choice when there isn’t a lot of space. This option could be more time-intensive and costly because of the rigorous nature of accessing your boat, which can only be done with the help of the warehouse and its specialized equipment. If you need to pull your boat out during the offseason, for example, for maintenance, this might not be your best option. However, warehouse storage that is not stacked can provide easier accessibility.

Benefits

  • Secure — Indoor storage for boats generally has top-quality security features in place.
  • Simple — The warehouse will do the work, and the stacking, for you.
  • Private — If you want to keep your boat away from other boats or by itself, you have the option to do so with a private unit.
  • Space — If you don’t have the space to store your boat on your property, or if you want to save space at home, then an indoor storage facility can help you do that.

Difficulties

  • Limits — Some facilities limit how often you can remove your boat.
  • Cost — How much is indoor boat storage? If you have a private, indoor unit, the price can creep up. Still, stacked warehouses can be less than marina storage costs.
  • Size — If your boat is larger, sometimes it can be challenging to find a storage space big enough to accommodate your needs.

Getting Your Boat Ready for Storage

After you’ve considered the advantages and disadvantages of each type of boat storage, you’ll need to get your boat ready for storage. A general boat prep checklist includes the following:

  • Wash/rinse the exterior after last use
  • Flush the motor
  • Change the oil
  • Take the battery out and charge it
  • Use antifreeze
  • Tidy the interior
  • Cover your boat
    • How to cover a boat for winter storage: For indoor, well-maintained storage areas, you can use your regular boat cover or a tarp to prevent dust, debris, and pests from getting inside. If you are storing your boat outside, it should be shrink-wrapped for optimal protection.

Are you ready to store your boat? Is your boat prepped?  Germaine Marine can help you get there. We love the boating lifestyle and want to share it with people from all different backgrounds because we know the power the boating lifestyle has in bringing people together. We have you covered whether you are looking to buy a new or used boat, get top-boat service, or upgrade your boat with the latest accessories. Check out our blog for more tips and tricks on boat care. For more information about services, pricing, and how to prepare your boat for storage, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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