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The Basics of Boat Storage

Jon Fesmire | August 24, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

When you first get a boat, you may be thinking only of the fun you’ll have out on the ocean or lake—and that’s great! However, at some point, due to weather, traveling, or other reasons, you may need to put your boat in storage. When that time comes, what are the options?

At Home

Depending on the size of your boat, you could store it at home. Perhaps it’s just big enough to fit in the driveway, or in your garage. You could get a good boat cover so that it’s protected from the elements. That will save you money. However, it comes with a few drawbacks. First, if you keep it outside, it’s not secure. Criminals could vandalize or steal your boat. Second, a boat in a driveway simply doesn’t look attractive, which could bother your neighbors and make you feel embarrassed. Third, if you put your boat in your garage instead, you will probably have to move a lot of other things out.

At the Marina

Your local marina may be a good solution for you. Your boat will be near the water, so you won’t have to transport it far, or the marina may transport it for you. It will be kept on a giant rack, where boats are safely stacked in their own spaces. There are two downsides to this type of storage. Often, the cost is surprisingly high. Also, your boat will be exposed to the weather and can take damage from the elements.

Self Storage

When looking into self storage facilities with boat storage, you’ll find a wide range of offerings. Each comes with its own ups and downs, with different prices attached. Let’s look at them.

  • Outdoor Lots: Some boat storage locations are essentially protected parking lots. That might not sound appealing, but consider this: the rent will be low, you can still put a protective cover over your boat, the price will be low, and the facility will have various layers of security. If you choose this type of boat storage, make sure the facility has a high, stone or concrete outer wall, gated access, a camera security system, and good lighting. Some outdoor lots have ceilings over the spaces.

  • Individual Units: Some vehicle storage facilities have large individual units for people storing cars, RVs, and boats. Alternately, if your boat isn’t too bit, you may be able to store it in an ordinary large unit. Of course, the unit would have to have a roll-up door and open to the outside. Check your boat’s dimensions, and ask various facilities if they allow boats stored in such units. This option would give you a private space to keep your boat safe at a reasonable price.

  • Warehouse Storage: Due to the large size of many boats, some vehicle storage facilities have warehouse buildings. With this solution, you’ll be assigned a space big enough for your boat. It will be kept inside, safe from the weather, along with many other vessels. The price should be comparable to an individual unit, possibly a bit less. The facility might even transport your boat to and from storage without you ever needing to visit. More on that below.

  • Dry-Stack Storage: This is similar to the stacking storage done at the marina, except that the racks of boats are contained in a tall building, rather than kept outside. Chances are, any dry stack storage facility you find will transport your boat for you.

Other Possible Services

Though you may find a good outdoor lot facility, or individual unit, you may want something more for your boat. Two great additional services you may find are boat transportation and boat maintenance.

For the warehouse and dry stack options, facilities may have boat transportation. For a fee, they’ll pick up your boat from the dock or from your home, take it to the facility, and store it. They will then bring your boat to you when you’re ready to use it.

Some boat and vehicle storage facilities actually have maintenance shops on-site. It’s a good idea to have a maintenance check on your boat before you store it, anyway, but even if you need work done on it during the regular course of the year, you can have it serviced at the same place you store it.

Finding the right facility to store your boat may take time and research. However, with the various options available, it will pay to know what’s out there, and to choose what works best for you.

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