Row of boats in outdoor storage

Where to Store Your Boat: The Best Indoor & Outdoor Storage Options

One major aspect of boat ownership is deciding where to store your boat when it’s not being used. Boat storage options typically fall into two categories: dry boat storage (out of the water) and marina boat storage (in the water). Each storage option requires unique steps for prepping exteriorsengines and electrical, and batteries.

So how do you choose the best storage option for your boat? We’ve compiled a list of the various indoor and outdoor boat storage options with their pros and cons to help you decide!

Indoor Boat Storage Options

Keeping Your Boat in Dry Stacked Storage

Dry stacked storage is a dry boat storage option that keeps your boat protected inside a warehouse. These facilities store multiple boats at a time, which are stacked and removed with forklifts. They’re also covered, keeping your boat safe from the weather. Not only do they offer good security features, but dry stacked storage facilities also handle the heavy lifting in retrieving your boat, so all you have to do is call ahead to make sure your boat is ready to go!

Pros

  • Your boat is protected from wind, rain, and UV damage
  • Dry stacked warehouses have security measures to prevent theft
  • Convenient storage option for smaller boats
  • Save money on trailer maintenance
  • Less expensive than keeping your boat in a marina

Cons

  • You may not be able to get to your boat when you want it
  • Some facilities may limit the number of times you can take your boat out
  • This storage option can be pricier and harder to find outside coastal areas
  • Larger boats may not fit in dry stacked storage

Before You Store

  • Keep your boat protected with a waterproof cover
  • Make sure all valuables and other items are removed from the boat
  • For extended storage periods, consider removing batteries and placing them on trickle chargers
  • Check with the facility about fuel tank requirements for fire prevention

Storing a Boat in Your Garage at Home

Home garages are a convenient and affordable winter boat storage option that allows you to keep your boat on your property. Attached garages absorb heat from your house, preventing sub-zero temperatures from damaging your boat while in storage. Without storage fees or the hassle of driving to a facility check on your boat, this is an excellent way to keep your boat safe all winter long!

Pros

  • Your boat is on your property and easily available
  • Storing your boat in your garage is free
  • You can keep up on maintenance without having to pull it out of storage
  • A garage offers protection from weather, wind, and UV damage
  • Your boat is protected from thieves and vandals

Cons

  • Garage space could be limited for other vehicles
  • Protection from rodents and other pests is not guaranteed

Before You Store

  • Prepare your boat for winter by filling and flushing your boats systems with antifreeze
  • Protect your boat from rodents by repairing any holes in the garage foundation
  • Charge your battery and test it monthly on a trickle charger
  • Tarping a boat for winter storage is crucial to keeping it safe from dust and pests, even inside a garage

Indoor Boat Storage at a Self Storage Facility

If you can’t store your boat in a garage and dry racked storage isn’t available in your area, a self storage facility is a great option. Indoor vehicle storage at a storage facility is highly recommended as the best way to protect your boat during harsh winters.

Pros

  • Storage facilities are located throughout the nation, so it’s easy to find a storage unit near you
  • Amenities like drive-up access make it easy to pick up and drop off your boat
  • Facilities often have good security features like video surveillance and gated access
  • Some indoor boat storage options may come with climate control

Cons

  • Enclosed storage units for vehicles can be more expensive than other options
  • Some units may be too small height and length-wise for your boat and trailer

Before You Store

  • Protect your boat seats, upholstery, and other accessories with a waterproof cover
  • Unless you have climate control, make sure to remove electronics to prevent them from damage
  • Empty your water tank and run antifreeze through your system

Outdoor Boat Storage Options

Parking Your Boat on a Trailer at Home

For a simple boat storage solution, you can store your boat on a trailer in your driveway or along the side of your house. Not only is storing a boat at home convenient, but it’s also affordable. As with any outdoor boat storage option, make sure to winterize your boat to prevent damage from cold temperatures.

Pros

  • There are no storage fees for keeping your boat at home
  • Accessing your boat is easy when you’re ready to head out
  • It’s easier to keep an eye on your boat

Cons

  • Some homeowners associations may not permit you to park a boat in your driveway
  • Limited protection from the elements
  • Storing your boat outside leaves it vulnerable to pests, vandals, and thieves

Before You Store

  • Shrink-wrapping your boat is a must to protect against moisture and mildew
  • Fill boat trailer tires to prevent flats while storing
  • Make sure your boat is completely dried out to prevent ice damage
  • Run antifreeze through the boat’s water systems and put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank
  • Remove the battery and use a trickle charger

Covered Boat Storage at a Self Storage Facility

Free up your garage or driveway by storing your boat in a covered outdoor storage space. Many facilities will have covered outdoor parking spots that can accommodate boats of many sizes. What’s great about this option is that it provides some coverage for your vehicle, making it more reliable than uncovered outdoor storage.

Pros

  • Covered storage protects your boat from most weather damage
  • Self storage facilities have good security like surveillance cameras and keypad entry
  • Can be more cost-effective than indoor boat storage

Cons

  • Lack of full enclosure means your boat is somewhat vulnerable to the elements
  • Can be more difficult to find, as it’s not as common as indoor or outdoor vehicle storage

Before You Store

  • Either shrink-wrap your boat or use a waterproof fitted tarp
  • If you don’t want to keep your boat on a trailer, a few adjustable boat stands will do the trick
  • Run antifreeze through the water systems and use fuel stabilizer
  • Take out the battery and test it on a trickle charger

Outdoor Boat Storage at a Self Storage Facility

If you live in an area where the weather is fairly mild throughout the year, uncovered outdoor storage is an affordable option. Not only does outdoor parking at a storage facility make it easier to store boats of all sizes, but it also provides more security than simply storing in a driveway at home.

Pros

  • This option is often the cheapest when it comes to self storage
  • Most self storage facilities have security measures to protect outdoor vehicle parking

Cons

  • Your boat will be exposed to the weather, rain or shine
  • Even with a cover, your boat will be exposed to UV light
  • Your boat will be vulnerable to bests and rodents

Before You Store

  • Remove your battery, keep it at home, and check it monthly on a trickle charger
  • For uncovered outdoor storage, covering your boat with shrink-wrap or fitted tarp is crucial
  • Support your boat with adjustable boat stands if you don’t have a trailer
  • Put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and run antifreeze through the water systems
  • Open drain plugs to prevent flooding

Storing Your Boat in a Marina Slip

If you’re looking for convenient boat storage, keep your boat at a marina (i.e., wet storage). This option is ideal for those who live in an area where temperatures don’t fall below freezing. Unless you own the entire dock, you’ll need to purchase a boat marina slip, which is similar to a parking space. Boat slip rates vary depending on your location, but most are priced according to the length of your boat.

Pros

  • You don’t have to worry about a boat trailer
  • No delay in getting boat season started
  • Because a number of slips are rented out, marinas offer socializing opportunities for boat owners
  • Some marinas offer electrical hookups and other amenities

Cons

  • Dock fees can be high depending on where you live
  • Potentially increases the odds of boat damage
  • Aquatic pests like barnacles or algae can wreck havoc on your boat
  • Security can be minimal

Before You Store

  • Shut off breakers, top wet-cell battery with electrolytes, and check the battery at least once a month
  • Make a plan to check on your boat at least once a week during the off-season
  • Buy a fitted waterproof cover to protect from damage
  • Prepare your boat for winter by filling and flushing your boats systems with antifreeze
  • Protect your boat from pests by repairing any holes in the garage foundation

Storing Your Boat on a Boat Lift

For short-term boat storage at a marina, boat lifts are a great way to keep your boat dry and easily accessible. Boats lifts are available in three types: floating, suspending, and bottom standing. The type of boat lift you’ll need depends on whether your dock is fixed or floating, how deep the water is, and the local climate.

Pros

  • You don’t have to worry about a boat trailer
  • Your boat is easily accessible
  • You can get on the water right away

Cons

  • This storage option is best as a short-term solution
  • Boat lifts may not handle extreme weather
  • Boats are vulnerable to flooding, aquatic pests, and the elements

Before You Store

  • Make sure to keep your boat lift secure above the water line during the winter
  • Winterizing your boat is imperative to keeping it protected while on a lift
  • Shrink-wrapping your boat is a good idea

Now that we’ve covered the most common outdoor and indoor boat storage options, you can choose the one that fits your location, type of boat, and storage preference. Looking for a place to store other vehicles like RVs, campers, or trailers? Check out our guide on where to store an RV!

Need to store a vehicle? Extra Space Storage offers vehicle storage options throughout the nation. Learn more about the different vehicle storage options available and which is best for what you need to store!

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