What is boat storage and how can it assist you
Boat storage refers to the space you rent at a self storage facility where boats can be kept, whether that means indoor boat storage or an outdoor option. This service is especially useful during the off-season when you need a space to keep your boat safe.
Boat storage is the best option to temporarily house your boat as it is well protected and safe inside a storage unit. This is a great option if your garage space doesn't allow the storage of your boat there.
Types of boat storage
Boats can be stored either indoors or outdoors, depending on your needs and the type of storage available in your local area. Dry boat storage is often preferred to keeping your boat in water all year round, even when we're talking about milder climates. Dry boat storage is much more convenient and can be less expensive compared to other options.
Outdoor boat storage
To keep your boat protected, you can opt for outdoor boat storage, which comes with a canopy for your boat, keeping it safe from weather-related damage. Additionally, some facilities also offer uncovered outdoor storage options for your boat. In this case, your boat is fully exposed, which means you should consider a waterproof boat cover if you're going with this option.
Your boat is safe thanks to most self storage facilities having a security system in place and keypad-based access. However, keep in mind that lack of enclosure still leaves your boat somewhat exposed to the elements. You can turn to this option if you live in an area where winters are mild.
Indoor boat storage
If you're looking to make sure you protect your boat during the rough wintertime, indoor boat storage is the best option. Some indoor boat storage units also come with climate control. This means your boat is kept at optimal temperature and humidity levels to avoid any potential damage. Additionally, drive-up access makes drop-off and pickup much easier.
Boat storage unit size
To determine the unit size you will need for your boat, you need to start by knowing the length and width of your watercraft. A lot of boats can be quite long, reaching close to 42 feet or more. You would need a 10'x40' or a 10'x45' unit for a large boat. If your boat is shorter — about 20 ft. in length — you could probably fit it inside a 10'x20' or a 10'x30' unit.
Take into account the rig that you use to connect your boat to the back of your car. This way, you'll be ready to go when you come and pick up your boat from storage.
Boat storage prices
On average, the cost of storing your boat in a designated facility costs $170 per month.
However, the cost of boat self storage can vary depending on location, desired unit size, seasonality and duration of storage. Generally, larger units and climate-controlled ones cost more. Also, indoor storage usually costs more than the outdoor option. Moreover, the more amenities a facility offers, the higher the price.
In March, 2023, the average self storage cost for a 10'x20' unit — which can accommodate a small to average boat — was $202. If your boat is slightly larger, a 10'x30' is a better option — and it will cost you around $267 on average.
How to find boat storage units near you
If you're looking for a storage facility that offers boat storage near you, there are probably plenty that offer this type of service. Make sure to get your boat prepped for storage first and start looking for the best fit for you. Browse StorageCafe's search portal for a storage facility near you.
Narrow down your selection to city, ZIP code and neighborhood and select the “Large” option in the drop-down menu of sizes to check availability and see which facilities offer boat storage. Once you have found a facility that matches your needs, you can contact them to inquire about their self storage rates and unit availability.
Boat storage by the numbers
$170Avg. street rate for boat storage units
2,971Facilities offering boat storage
10'x30'Most common unit size for boat storage
100K+Monthly Google searches for boat storage
12MBoats registered in 2020, - 0.3% Y-o-Y
318KBoats sold in 2020
Frequently asked questions
Where do boats get stored?
During the off-season, boats can be stored in various locations, including your garage or driveway, a marina and a self storage unit. Storing your boat in your garage is possible if you have enough room to fit it in. You can store your boat in your driveway or your backyard if your HOA and city regulations allow it. You can also dock your boat at the marina, but it will likely be exposed to the water and the elements — wind, rain, and UV damage — for months, which can damage it.
The best option to store your boat is in an indoor self storage unit. They not only offer protection from outdoor conditions but also provide the protective benefits of a climate-controlled environment. If you live in a milder climate, you can opt for outdoor storage at a storage facility. Make sure to slip a cover over your boat to protect it from exposure to the elements such as dust, dirt, rain and others.
Can boats be stored outside?
You could store your boat outside only if you live in an area with a mild climate where winters aren't harsh. Even if that is the case, make sure to get a special boat cover to protect it from the damage incurred by natural elements. If you live in a cold area, you should store your boat in a protected environment, such as an indoor climate-controlled unit, which offers the benefits of optimum temperature and humidity that help preserve the watercraft's qualities.
How do I store my boat at home?
If your garage has enough room, you could store it there. However, if you live in a cold climate, your boat could do well in a temperature-controlled environment. If that is the case, store your watercraft in your garage if it's heated. Additionally, if you live in a city with mild winters, you could store your boat in your driveway or backyard if your HOA allows it. Make sure to cover it to avoid damage caused by exposure to the environment.
Do you have to winterize a boat in the water?
If you're opting to store your boat in the water, which means renting a marina slip, you should winterize it. Plan to have it cleaned, then change the engine oil and apply fog oil to it, treat the fuel with fuel stabilizer, replace the antifreeze and disconnect the battery. It's a good idea to wax the exterior of your boat. Whether you're storing it outside or inside, put a boat cover over it to protect it from exposure to the damaging effects of dust or other natural elements. For boats stored outside, the cover will also protect them against rainwater and UV radiation.
What is the cost to winterize a boat?
For an average-sized boat, winterization costs around $250, but if repairs are needed, the price can go to upwards of $500-$600.
How much does boat storage cost?
Boat storage prices can differ based on location, the type of storage you want and the unit size you need. For instance, wet boat storage at a local marina is more expensive than dry storage at a self storage facility. If you go for the latter, choosing indoor or outdoor storage will also affect the final price. Outdoor storage is typically cheaper than its indoor counterpart. As for an indoor unit, a 10'x20' unit costs, on average, $202/month, whereas a 10'x30' unit costs around $267/month. Browse StorageCafe.com to find the best self storage option for your boat.
What is the cheapest way to store a boat?
Storing your boat at home is the cheapest way to store a boat but that comes with challenges. You might not have enough room in your garage, and your garage probably isn't heated. The best way to store your boat during the off-season is to put it in a climate-controlled storage unit where the watercraft is best protected against any potential damage.