A major aspect of owning a boat is finding a place to store the watercraft while it is not being used. There are typically two categories of boat storage options. Out of water (dry boat storage) and in water (marina storage). Both of which requires specific steps for the engine, electrical, exterior, and battery preparations.
But, how do you know what storage option will work best for your particular boat? Here’s a line-up of the different outdoor and indoor boat storage options:
Dry Stacked Boat Storage
A boat kept in dry stacked storage is well protected inside of a warehouse with other boating vessels; and usually, are removed with a forklift. Thus, keeping safe from weather elements. The best thing is they provide the manpower and you don’t even have to lift a finger!
The Pros & Cons of Dry Stacked Storage
• Never will have UV, wind, or rain damage
• Saves you the hassle of having to maintain a trailer
• Is cheaper than putting the boat in a local marina
• Are highly secure and prevent theft
• Is perfect for storing small boats
• Many dry stack facilities limit the number of times one is allowed to take their vessels out.
• Is a boat storage option that’s more expensive and more difficult to locate outside of coastal areas.
• Puts limitations on when you can get your boat out and use.
• Dry stack storage usually does not have the capacity for storing large vessels.
Dry Stack Storage Preparations
1. Remove any items of value from the boat prior to storing it.
2. Find out the facilities fuel tank regulations towards fire prevention.
3. Place a waterproof cover over the boat for added protection.
4. When putting your boat in storage for an extended period, it’s best to remove the batteries and place them onto a trickle charger.
Car Garage Boat Storage
Keeping your boat in a garage is convenient and makes it handy when you want to go on a boating venture. Because the car garage absorbs heat from your home; it protects from bitterly cold temperatures. This also eliminates any storage fees or the need to check on your vessel. It’s a great boat storage option that keeps it safe throughout the winter!
The Pros & Cons of Garage Storage
• Provides protection from weather elements.
• Protects your vessel from theft and vandalism.
• Is a cost-effective storage option that saves you money.
• Keeps the boat on your property and gives you easy access.
• Allows the boat to be maintained while sitting in your garage.
• Might be damaged from mice and various other outdoor pests.
• Leaves very little room for cars and other items to be stored in the garage.
Garage Storage Preparations
1. Charge up the boat’s battery and do monthly testing on it with a trickle charger.
2. Winterize your vessel by flushing and filling its systems with antifreeze liquid.
3. Place a cover or tarp over the boat for winter storage, which also protects it from pests and dust particles.
4. Patch up any holes within the garages foundation for protecting it from rodents.
Self-Storage Boat Storage
When dry stack and car garage storage are not an option, self-storage facilities are the next choice for storing your boat. Putting the vessel in an indoor self-storage facility is another great way of protecting it from the harsh winter weather.
The Pros & Cons of Self-Storage Boat Storing
• Drive-thru access to pick up and drop off your boating vessel.
• A climate controlled storage environment.
• High-quality video surveillance security protection.
• Since there are usually many self-storage facilities located in every town, it’s quite easy to find one nearby.
• Tend to be small and less roomy.
• Is a more expensive storage option.
1. It is still a good idea to cover your boat even though it is in a shelter.
2. Contact the storage company and ask if their units are climate controlled. If not, then you’ll want to winterize any tanks and engines.
Trailer Boat Storage
A quick and simple way of storing your boat is on a trailer parked in the driveway. It’s not only super convenient but is also a cost-free method as well! Just don’t forget to protect it for the long winter ahead.
The Pros & Cons of Trailer Boat Storage
• Easy access to your vessel.
• No Service Fees.
• Is susceptible to weather damage.
• The neighborhood may require prior authorization for parking the boat in your driveway.
• It’s more vulnerable to common pests and unsavory characters.
Trailer Storage Preparations
1. Fully inflate your trailer’s tires to prevent any flats during storage.
2. Shrink-wrap the boat to prevent moisture and mildew damage if you can, otherwise a boat canvas cover will work just fine.
3. Take out the battery and place it on a trickle charger.
4. Use a fuel stabilizer in the boat’s fuel tank and run antifreeze liquid through the vessel’s water systems.
Marina Boat Storage
Storing your boat in a marina is a convenient storage option. Of course, in order to do this, you’ll first need to purchase a marina slip for docking your boating vessel. Depending on your personal location; boat marina slip rates may vary according to its size. Winter storage is also usually included in slip pricing.
The Pros & Cons of Marina Slip Storage
• Most marinas have electrical outlet hookups and special amenities.
• Provides easy access to your vessel for the upcoming boating season.
• Gives you the opportunity to socialize with other boating enthusiasts.
• Eliminates the need for having a boat trailer.
• Some marinas charge large docking fees and will charge extra to leave it in the water all winter.
• Your boat is susceptible to aquatic vermin like algae and barnacles during the summer.
• Is risky and can be an easy target for thieves and vandals.
• The odds of your boat getting damaged increase with marina storage.
Marina Storage Preparations
1. Winterize your boat by flushing out its systems and filling the vessel with antifreeze liquid.
2. Turn off the boat’s breakers and top off the wet-cell battery with electrolytes.
3. For added protection place a waterproof tarp or covering over your boat.
4. Do monthly checks of the vessel’s battery.
5. Pay a visit to the marina at least once a week to make sure your boat is safe and secure.
Each method of boat storage has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the above gives a few ins and outs of what to expect. Good luck and enjoy those future boating endeavors headed your way.