Boat Storage Options
Boat storage during prime boating season and during the colder winter months is a crucial decision for boaters and can raise many questions. As a boat owner, you want to know how much different boat storage options will cost each month. What boat storage option is best for you? How to find a reputable boat storage establishment near you? Boat storage options usually fall into two categories: marina boat storage (in the water) and dry boat storage (out of the water). There are benefits and disadvantages to both boat storage options.
Luckily, the expert team at Rocket Marine is here to guide you through the storm and help you dock safely in the ideal boat storage harbor of your choice! So let’s begin with discussing your boat storage options.
Marina Boat Storage
Some boaters who live in more temperate climates, like Southwest Florida, opt to keep their vessel in the water year-round. However, if you enjoy boating in a colder climate where the water regularly freezes, keeping your boat in the water year-round is not advised. If you go with this option, it is important to completely winterize your boat and add an ice eater (also called an agitator). An agitator serves to keep the water around your boat from freezing during the chilly winter months.
Storing your boat at the marina is a convenient boat storage option. But first, you must purchase a boat marina slip, similar to a parking space.
- No need to worry about a boat trailer.
- Some marinas offer socializing opportunities for you to meet other boat owners.
- You can easily get right out on the water come boating season.
- Certain marinas provide amenities, including electrical hookups.
- Sometimes dock fees are on the pricier side, depending on where you live
- Potentially increases the odds of boat damage
- Invasive aquatic species like barnacles or algae can wreak havoc on your boat.
- Security is often minimal.
Another Marina Boat Storage Option
If you only need short-term boat storage at the marina, a boat lift is an excellent option to keep your boat dry while keeping it easily accessible. There are three kinds of boat lifts: suspending, bottom standing, and floating. The kind of boat lift for you depends on whether the marina dock is floating or fixed, what the local climate is, and how deep the water is.
- No need to worry about a boat trailer.
- No delays – you can easily get out on the water as soon as the first breath of summer hits
- Easy access to your boat
- Boat lifts sometimes malfunction in extreme weather.
- Only works as a short-term solution.
- Leaves your boat more vulnerable to invasive aquatic species, the elements, and flooding.
Outdoor Dry Boat Storage
Outdoor dry boat storage tends to be the more popular choice. It is a reasonably inexpensive option compared to many alternatives and still offers some protection for your boat. While we can’t tell you the exact quality, affordable dry boat storage spot, we can tell you that anywhere you find boats, you can find outdoor dry boat storage. Most marinas, commercial storage facilities, and boatyards offer it.
In popular boating areas like Southwest Florida, you can find plenty of fenced boat storage lots to keep your boat for the winter and your boat trailer in the summer.
Store Your Boat on a Trailer at Home
This is the most simple boat storage solution. Not only is storing your boat at home convenient, but it is also very affordable. Please note: It is important to check with your city’s ordinances and homeowner association regulations concerning storing your boat on the trailer along the side of your house or driveway.
- You don’t charge yourself rent to store your boat at your own home!
- You can easily monitor and check on your boat.
- Quick access to your boat whenever you need it.
- There is little to no protection for your boat from the elements
- Certain city limits and certain homeowners associations will not allow you to park a boat in your driveway
- Leaving your boat outside leaves it more susceptible to thieves, vandals, and pests.
Store Your Boat In A Self-Storage Facility
If you simply don’t have the space or can’t store your boat in your own driveway, you can keep your boat in a covered or uncovered outdoor storage facility. Many places offer covered outdoor parking spots that can accommodate various-sized boats. This option also provides some protection for your boat from the elements. However, if you live in a place where the weather is milder, uncovered outdoor storage is a cost-effective option too. An outdoor storage facility provides a space for your boat regardless of its size and offers more safety and security than keeping it in your driveway at home.
- You don’t have to worry about most weather damage in covered storage.
- Uncovered storage is one of the cheapest options.
- Self-storage facilities have good security, like surveillance cameras and keypad entry.
- It can be more cost-effective than indoor boat storage.
- Lack of full enclosure in covered self-storage means your boat is somewhat vulnerable to the elements
- Uncovered self-storage means your boat is fully exposed to the elements.
- Your boat is more susceptible to pests and rodents.
Indoor Dry Boat Storage
Indoor dry boat storage is the pricier option. However, it offers the most protection for your boat. It improves the performance of your boat and offers the best protection from the outdoor elements, including wind, rain, frost, and the sun. Let’s talk about several indoor dry boat storage options below.
Storing Your Boat in Your Garage at Home
The obvious and most convenient location to store your boat is in the inexpensive safety and comfort of your own garage. A home garage is a convenient and affordable space for your winter boat storage. It also enables you to keep your boat on your property, where you can easily keep an eye on it. In addition, if you have an attached garage, chances are the heat from your house will prevent the garage from reaching sub-zero temperatures. This means there is very minimal (if any) risk of boat damage because of freezing temperatures.
- Your boat is easy to access because it is on your property.
- Don’t worry about how much it will cost you. It’s your property, so storage is free!
- It is easy to keep up on important maintenance because you don’t have to pull it out of storage.
- Your garage deters thieves and vandals from messing with your boat.
- The garage will ensure your boat is safe from sun, weather, and wind damage.
- You won’t have as much space in your garage to park your other vehicles.
- Rodents and other pests might still mess with your boat.
Storing Your Boat in Dry Stacked Storage
Some boat owners opt for a “dry stack” facility (also called a boatel). In these facilities, boats sit on large racks inside a covered building. Some boat owners find it challenging to find indoor dry boat storage without going to a boatel. Your boat is safe inside a warehouse where other boats are also stored. A forklift will stack and remove your boat. The facility keeps your boat safe from the weather and offers excellent security features. In addition to having protection from the elements, dry stack boat storage sometimes offers concierge services. These services can include shrink-wrapping and winterization for your boat. They also provide first-rate security and accommodations for larger boats. Keep in mind that these extra boat storage features can add up quickly!
- The storage space guards your boat against wind, rain, and UV damage
- There are plenty of security measures to help deter and prevent theft.
- An easy and convenient option if you own a smaller boat
- More affordable than keeping your boat in the marina
- Will save you money on boat trailer maintenance
- You won’t always have quick access to your boat right when you want it.
- Large boats sometimes will not fit in a dry-stacked storage warehouse.
- There are occasionally limits on the number of times you can take your boat in and out.
- Is more difficult to find and a pricier option
What Will It Cost To Store My Boat?
The exact cost of storing your boat will depend on two big factors: your boat’s size and location. Boat storage prices usually reflect what’s going on in your local economy. If your current location features a low cost of living, the expense for your boat storage will be less than in areas with a higher cost of living. Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from several hundred dollars for a small, trailerable boat parked in a fenced field to thousands of dollars for indoor boat storage to tens of thousands for very large boats stored in the water at your local marina. We don’t recommend you take this number to the bank, but as a rough estimate, you can expect to pay $50 per foot of boat for minimal indoor or covered boat storage costs. However, in more expensive areas, it can cost as much as $200 per foot for the winter season!
Storing Your Boat For The Winter Is Worth It!
We hope that you now have a better understanding of the options for boat storage each boat owner has. However, we do want to note that regardless of where you store your boat for the winter, it is important to prep your boat before you store it. Your boat is a big investment and taking the best care of it ensures you can enjoy being out on the water for many summer seasons to come! At Rocket Marine in Southwest Florida, we are passionate about educating our customers on the best boat care practices. In fact, our commitment to your safety and your boat’s safety in and out of the water inspired our top-quality boat trailers.