How to Store a Boat: The Best Long-Term Boat Storage Options
Taking the boat out for the first time all season is a feeling that all boat owners can look forward to. Once the seasons change, it is time for the boat to go back to storage. But where exactly are you storing your boat?
Where to Store Your Boat
Leaving the boat in the driveway while it’s not in use for short periods of time — like in between weekends — is common. However, this isn’t the best storage option for those wishing to store their boat for months at a time.
Before storing your boat for the season, it is important to know what storage options you have available.
Indoor Boat Storage
There are three ways to store your boat indoors:
- Dry stack boat storage;
- Garage storage;
- Indoor self-storage facility.
Stack boat storage warehouses are available to individuals who want to store their boats inside without having to purchase a unit for themselves. What makes these warehouses different from a typical storage unit is that stacked boat storage units store several boats owned by several individuals.
If there is room, storing your boat in a garage is a great way to save money. However, if you have little to no storage space, investing in a storage unit that has the amenities that you need is probably the better option for you.
Pros of Indoor Boat Storage
Storing your boat indoors allows for protection from outdoor elements like dust, UV rays, wind, and rain.
Benefits of storing your boat in a stacked storage facility include:
- Fewer chances of your boat being stolen due to the intricate stacked design of the storage units;
- Increased security-protection (typically, these facilities are guarded and a pin number/key is needed to access the location).
Aside from being the most cost-effective storage solution, other benefits of storing your boat in a garage include:
- Being able to protect it from harsh, winter weather;
- Having easy and instant access to your boat — which can be helpful if your boat requires frequent winter maintenance.
If choosing to store your boat at a self-storage facility, you’ll find that:
- If the unit is large enough, you can store your vehicle, boat, and other personal belongings;
- Some indoor self-storage units will have climate control, which can help maintain the longevity of your boat’s appearance;
- The process of finding a storage unit and storing your boat is easy and stress-free;
- You will still have 24/7 access to your boat.
Cons of Indoor Boat Storage
While there are numerous benefits of indoor boat storage, there also may be some disadvantages. For example, some individuals may find that storing their boat indoors (in locations other than their garage) can make it more difficult to instantly access. Other cons of storing a boat indoors could include:
- Having to take more time to hook up your boat and travel from the storage unit to the lake (compared to storing your boat at a marina);
- Possibly being more expensive than other storage options;
- Not being able to find a storage unit that is big enough and/or has spots available.
Outdoor Boat Storage
Storing a boat outdoors during the off-season may not be as common as indoor storage, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t multiple outdoor storage options to choose from. You can store your boat outdoors is by:
- Keeping it at a marina slip;
- Leaving it parked in your driveway with a boat cover on top;
- Leaving it at a storage facility that allows you to store items outdoors;
- Placing it under a cover at a local storage unit;
- Storing it on a boat lift.
Pros of Outdoor Boat Storage
There are different benefits associated with each outdoor boat storage option.
Benefits of storing your boat in your driveway include:
- Avoiding any costs associated with storage units;
- Instant and easy access to your boat.
Benefits of storing your boat at an outdoor storage facility or covered boat unit include:
- Being able to still cover your boat without having to pay for an enclosed unit;
- Paying less than you would if you were to invest in an indoor storage unit;
- Increased security protection.
Benefits that come with storing your boat at a marina include:
- Access to electrical hookups and other necessities required when maintaining a boat that;
- Little to no delay of getting your boat in the water once off-season ends;
- Not having to worry about purchasing and hauling a boat trailer.
Cons of Outdoor Boat Storage
Storing your boat outdoors may be more cost-effective, however, there are multiple disadvantages that also come along with this storage option. These disadvantages include, but aren’t limited to:
- Being more exposed to weather and more vulnerable to thieves, pests, and vandalism;
- Not being able to store your boat in your driveway due to rules established by your Homeowner’s Association or other rental agreements;
- Not having the room to store your boat.
Tips for Storing Your Boat
Regardless of where you store your boat for the winter, it is important to prep it before you store it. Tips to keep in mind when preparing to store your boat include:
- Changing the oil;
- Covering the boat with a boat tarp;
- Flushing the motor;
- Freshening up the interior;
- Giving the boat a tune-up;
- Making sure to check on it about once a month;
- Removing and charge the battery;
- Rinsing it off after its last use;
- Taking out any personal belongings;
- Winterizing the engine.
Purchasing a boat is a big investment. To make the most out of your money, it is crucial to know where to store your boat long-term. Doing so not only helps prolong the life of the boat but can also help prevent any unnecessary damage that may be caused if left unmaintained or not stored correctly.