Not sure where to keep your boat when you aren’t using it? Don’t fret. There are a number of options for storing a boat. To determine which option will work best for you, here are some pros and cons that you may need to consider.
Storing a Boat? Know Your Options
There are a lot of places where you can store your boat during the long winter months. You can keep it in the driveway or in the garage, store it at a boatyard or at a self storage facility, or dock it at a marina. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
Keeping your boat in the driveway. While this is the least expensive option, leaving your boat in your driveway exposes it to the elements which can ruin your paint job and do all sorts of damage to your favorite watercraft. It also makes your boat vulnerable to theft and vandalism. In addition, some neighborhoods prohibit storing a boat in plain view.
Storing a boat in the garage. Some boat owners choose to store their ride in the garage to keep it safe from the elements. While this option also helps you save money, keeping your boat in your garage significantly reduces your available storage space. And since rodents and other small critters are always on the lookout for warm nesting places during the cold winter months, you need to take the necessary precautions to avoid any potential infestations.
Storing at a boatyard. Boatyards, which are found mostly at coastal areas, feature indoor or covered racks capable of accommodating dozens of boats at any one time. Storing at a boatyard allows you easy access to your boat while protecting it from the elements, but this option can often be expensive.
Keeping your boat in a self storage facility. Unlike boatyards, self storage facilities can be found all across the country. This option gives you 24-hour drive-up access to your boat and provides advanced security features so you can be sure that your boat is protected at all times. However, price ranges considerably so you may need to do some research before making a decision.
Docking at a marina. If you live in a place where temperatures don’t go below freezing, you can dock your boat at a marina. This may give you an easy access to your boat but it is also the most expensive option. In addition, your boat will be exposed to the elements and barnacles.
All of these options offers a unique set of pros and cons so you need to carefully choose one that will best suit your needs. But no matter which option you choose, keep in mind that you need to properly winterize your boat before putting it in storage.
To do this, you need to consult your user’s manual, give your boat a thorough cleaning, and remove all electronics and gear from your boat. You should also top off your gas tank, add a fuel stabilizer, and lubricate all your systems to prep your boat for winter storage. As an added layer of protection, use a high quality semi-custom boat cover whether you’re storing a boat indoors or outdoors.