There are so many storage options for a car, and in the same way, boats also have multiple storage options (places where boats are kept). Here are a few places (most common places) where boats are kept.
Boats are kept mainly (most commonly) at four places, and they are at home (either in the garage or outside), at the marina, at an indoor or outdoor self-storage facility, and dry-stacked storage. These are the most common places where the boats are kept (either for storage or general purposes).
There are no rules like a boat should be kept or park here or there. And it is based on the convenience of the boaters. Meaning if they have parking spaces at home (either in the garage or outside), they can keep there; otherwise, the best option is to go for other storage options.
And sometimes, where boats are kept depends on the boat size as well. If the boat size is big (around 25 feet or 25+), they are kept at outdoor storages such as at the marina or any other outdoor storage to avoid trailering problems because trailering big boats is hard & challenging, and it requires big vehicles.
For keeping the boat at the outdoor storages such as at the marina, dry-stacked storage, and indoor or outdoor self-storage facility requires money, and it can take anywhere between 7 – 8 or 9 dollars per foot. Mostly it depends on the place where you live (prices can change significantly from place to place).
Okay, let’s see those storage places one by one and their benefits & drawbacks along with it.
1. At home (in the garage or outside)
Keeping or storing the boat at home (either in the garage or outside) is common. And a survey tells that more than 30% of the boats in the USA are kept or stored at home than other storage options, such as dry-stacked, indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities, and at the marina.
Mostly all the boaters keep their boats at home (in the garage or outside), but this might only apply to the ones who have small boats and have enough space at home to keep their boats. And generally, big boats (around 25 feet or 25+ in length) are kept at the marina or at any other storage facility.
Trailering a big boat needs a big vehicle, and it is hard as well. So most big boats are kept either at the marina or at any other storage facility. And a trailer plays a crucial role in storing the boat at home because a boat should be placed on the trailer.
Without a trailer, the boat needs to be placed on blocks (AKA blocking the boat), which is difficult to do than others. In the above picture, you can see that, and to know more about that, check my article on Storing a boat without a trailer.
Benefits of keeping or storing the boat at home
- Keeping the boat at home is free of cost, and you can check the boat’s condition regularly and easily instead of going to the marina or storage places.
- You can go boating whenever you want. There are no time restrictions, such as in the case of storing at dry-stacked storages or indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities.
- Keeping the boat on the blocks (AKA blocking) doesn’t require a trailer (but to bring the boat from the lake or shore requires one).
Drawbacks of keeping or storing the boats at home
- Storing the boat outside at home may require extra care or maintenance for the boat, such as covering the boat properly to prevent any damages from rain or snow or sunlight and theft as well.
- If the boat is kept for a long time on a trailer without using it, the trailer needs to be appropriately maintained to prevent any problems, such as a flat tire.
- And you need to trailer the boat to the lake or sea in order to use it. Whereas keeping the boat at dry-stacked or at the marina doesn’t require trailering at all.
2. At the marina
Marina is one of the common places where boats are kept, and it is very convenient for boaters as well because they can right away take the boat from the water quickly. And there is no need to trailer the boat from the home or any other storage place to the lake or shore.
But, keeping the boat at the marina is a bit expensive compared to keeping the boat at home, and the price can vary from place to place. And generally, people who have big boats keep their boats at the marina to avoid trailering problems and expenses.
Other than the price, keeping the boat at the marina is a good option. And there is one more concern about that, which is storing the boat for a long time in the water can damage the hull either due to algae growth or corrosion, which is extra maintenance.
And an alternative for that problem is keeping the boat on a boat lift instead of keeping it in the water at the marina. This is a bit expensive than keeping the boat in the water at the marina. You can see that in the above picture where the boat is kept on a boat lift.
Related post – Check my article on How long can you leave a boat in the water (opens in a new tab) to know how different water types will affect the boat hull and how long it will take to from algae on the hull.
Benefits of keeping or storing the boat at the marina
- The essential benefit of keeping the boat at the marina is you can take the boat right away from the water quickly, and you don’t have to worry about a boat trailer and its expenses.
- Keeping the boat on a boat lift at the marina will keep the boat out of the water, which makes the boat less likely to get damaged by algae or barnacles, or corrosion.
- In many places keeping or storing the boat at the marina is inexpensive compared to other storage options such as dry-stacked storage and indoor or outdoor self-storage facility.
Drawbacks of keeping or storing the boat at the marina
- Storing the boat at a marina might be expensive in some places. Bad weather and sunlight can damage the boat if it is not placed in a marina’s covered slip.
- Keeping the boat for a long time in water can cause many problems such as algae or barnacle growth. So, it requires additional maintenance such as bottom paint to prevent barnacles or algae, or corrosion on the boat hull.
- You can’t ensure the security of your boat. There is a high chance for boat damage due to bad weather or while docking.
Related Post – How Much Does It Cost To Store The Boat At Marina? Check this article to know the average costs of storing the boat at the marina along with the prices of 15 popular marinas across the country.
3. Indoor or Outdoor self-storage facility
Indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities are another option to keep the boat. This storage option is different from the marina and the home. The indoor self-storage facility gives extra protection to the boats from sunlight and rain than outdoor, which eventually increases the cost as well.
But the majority of the people who store their boats at outdoor storages will keep their boats either at the marina or dry stacked storage. Because it gives more convenience to them and they can get into the water quickly compared to Indoor or outdoor self-storage and at home storages.
And mostly indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities may not be located near the lake or shore. That makes it a less convenient option for boaters because they need to go near the storage first and then to trailer it from the storage to the lake or shore, which is double work.
You can see an outdoor self-storage facility in the above picture, which is a bit closed compared to the open outdoor self-storage facility. And there is one more self-storage, which is indoor self-storage, which is completely closed like a warehouse and a bit expensive as well.
Benefits of keeping or storing the boat at the indoor or outdoor self-storage facility
- Outdoor self-storage facilities are cheaper than storing at the marina or dry-stacked storage, and if the boat is at an indoor self-storage facility, it gives protection for the boat from sunlight, rains, snow, etc.
- Most of the self-storage facilities will have CCTV’s to keep an eye on your boat to avoid any thefts.
- You can find self-storage facilities anywhere because they are many self-storage facilities in the country.
Drawbacks of keeping or storing the boat at the indoor or outdoor self-storage facility
- If the boat is kept at an outdoor self-storage facility, you may need to take extra care, such as covering the boat from the rain, snow, sunlight, etc.
- If the self-storage facilities aren’t located near the marina, you might need to rent or borrow a trailer to take your boat from the self-storage facility to the lake or shore.
- Storing the boat at indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities is expensive in some places.
4. Dry-stacked storages
Dry stacked storages are another common storage option for boat storage, and mostly dry-stacked storages will be located near the shore or lake, making it convenient for the boaters.
Dry stacked storages are reasonable compared to other storage types because they only keep the boat in the water, and they will remove it from the water, and we don’t need to do anything.
You can see that in the above picture, how the boats are kept in dry-stacked storage. They use forklifts to keep the boat on the top. Basically, there are two types of dry-stacked storages; open and closed ones.
Open dry-stacked storage
Open dry-stacked storage can damage the boat from the sunlight and the rain if the boat isn’t covered properly. And open dry-stacked storage requires more maintenance (covering the boat) compared to the closed one since the boat is exposed to sunlight and rain.
Closed dry-stacked storage
Closed dry-stacked storages are entirely closed, and it protects the boat from the sunlight and rains. And closed dry-stacked storage is a bit expensive in some places compared to open dry-stacked storage since it is closed and protects the boat from sunlight and rain.
Benefits of keeping or storing the boat at dry-stacked storage
- Dry-stacked storages are safer than marinas because, at the marina, you store the boat in water, and barnacles or corrosions may form on the boat hull, or bad weather can cause any damage to the boat.
- People working at the dry-stacked storage will keep the boat in the water if you call them in advance, and they will remove the boat from the water. Meaning they will take care of the boat entirely from keeping the boat in the water and taking the boat out of the water.
- In dry-stacked storage, they will secure the boat properly using CCTV or some surveillance to avoid theft.
Drawbacks of keeping or storing the boat at dry-stacked storage
- Generally, all dry-stacked storages will have timings. Meaning you may not be able to take the boat out of the dry-stacked storage whenever you want.
- Storing the boat at dry-stacked storage is expensive in some places.
- Some dry-stacked storage may limit the number of times you can take your boat out of the storage. If you exceed that limit, you may need to pay extra to take the boat out of the storage.
- If the dry-stacked storages aren’t located near the lake or sea, then you might need to rent or borrow a trailer to take your boat to the lake or sea.
- Mostly, all the dry-stacked storages are for small boats, not for big boats.
Boats are kept at four places, which are at home, at the marina, dry-stacked storage, and indoor or outdoor self-storage facility. Keeping the boat at outdoor storage requires money, and it is not free.
People who have small boats and have enough spaces at home will keep their boats at home, and most big boats (around 25 feet or 25+) are kept at outdoor storage either at the marina or I/O storages.