Boat Storage Cost

A boat contains a set of materials that evolve differently under the aggression of external factors. Taking into account the relatively high value, periodic maintenance is mandatory, realized by specialists, under the necessary conditions, and with quality materials.

More and more boats are left on the dock, uncovered, unpreserved, and completely abandoned, during the winter, and this seriously affects (and even destroys) all materials: gel coat, upholstery, onboard instruments, stainless steel, teak, etc. There are not a few who don’t even maintain their engines, don’t disconnect the batteries, don’t empty the bilges, or leave (if applicable) their refrigerators full of various foods (from over the summer).

But others choose to keep their boats in specially designed spaces, protected from the bad weather during the winter.

How Much Does Boat Storage Cost?

Be prepared to spend anywhere between $35 and $2,200 per month for boat storage facilities. You will have to pay more if you want more in terms of premiums. For instance, the most expensive facilities will store your boat inside a warehouse where the temperature is kept over 50 degrees, while the cheapest facilities may not offer any temperature control as your boat is stored outside.

In general, indoor boat storage will be more expensive than outdoor lots due to the high-end facilities they have to offer. Be prepared to pay a minimum of 50% more for indoor storage than indoor boat storage.

For example, for outdoor storage, the costs will be based on a per-foot measurement, with prices starting at $4 and going up to $7 per foot, per month.

According to members of the online forum City Data, if you want to dry store your boat close to Lake Norma, you will have to pay anywhere between $170 and $230 per month.

You should be prepared to spend more than a thousand dollars per month to store a large boat, while the costs for storing a small boat on a trailer in an uncovered outdoor lot would be anywhere between $45 and $90 per month, according to RVLife blog.

In the table below you will find the average costs of different types of boat storage.

Type of Boat Storage Description Average Price (per month)
Indoor The average indoor boat storage facility will look pretty similar to a normal airport hangar and only a handful of boats will usually be stored inside. This is the go-to method for storing a boat that is larger than the average. $120 (less than 15 feet) to $500 (40-45 feet)
Stack/Dry Storage The stack/dry method is one of the most common methods for storing a boat. Although this method will have your boat exposed to outdoor elements just like in the case of an outdoor parking spot, it is one of the cheapest methods because the boat won’t actually leave the water. It can be anything from a stacked storage facility to a lift that only lifts the boat above the water level. Most facilities have rules that cap the length of the boat to 35 feet when using a dry rack. $350 to $700, depending on the rack height.
Outside Storage Just as the name says, you will have your boat parked in a designated parking spot, outside. While you can expect some spots to be converted, others will only be similar to a parking spot. You will usually find these types of storage facilities close to rivers, lakes, and marinas. $30 (less than 21 feet) to as much as $95 (35-40 feet)
Boat Storage This is usually among the cheapest options that will help you keep your boat safe from outside elements. In this case, your boat will usually be kept in a private garage. $175 to $375

Boat storage overview

The majority of the storage facilities, if not all of them, will include a security gate that needs a passcode, an indoor garage, or a designated parking spot if stored outside. At some facilities, you may be allowed to visit the unit 24 hours per day, while others may have a strict schedule. For instance, higher-end storage units will offer 24/7 security, electric gates, a wash-down area, and dumpsters, while at lower-end storage units, you will only be allowed to park your boat in the parking lot surrounded by barbed wire and that is all.

You might also like our articles on the cost to winterize a boat, build a boat dock, or build a boat lift.

In general, indoor designated facilities will be climate controlled, typically anywhere between 50 and 60 degrees.

At the majority of boat storage facilities, you will be let to store your boat on a trailer, except for the case when you are using the stack storage method or the storage company picks up the boat for you.

What are the additional expenses?

If you want to lock up your personal belongings such as life preservers, electronics, and others, you can reserve a personal locker for a cost of anywhere between $85 and $220 per year.

You may have to pay a fee for boat transportation if you don’t have the necessary equipment to get your boat to the storage facility.

You may be asked by most storage unit owners to pay a deposit that covers the locks, setup, and cleaning fees. Of course, this deposit will be refunded to you when you leave the storage place as nice and clean as it was when you received it.

Also, some storage facilities may offer premium services like performing repairs, winterizing your boat, shrink wrapping, and/or detailing your boat.

Important things to consider

Indoors Boat StorageIt is recommended to take pictures of your boat before leaving it at the storage facility. This way, in case you find any damages when you pick up your boat, you could file an insurance claim.

Make sure you know what is the difference between an uncovered and covered space. When going for uncovered spaces for storing your boat, you may find out that in colder states the snow may cause moisture buildup and damage, while in sunny states like Florida, the UV rays may fade and affect the boat’s body.

It is a good idea to take the battery out and store it in a cool place to prevent it from failing if you are planning to store your boat for more than two to three months. Also, regardless of how long you are storing your boat, it is always recommended to check your boater’s manual for storage instructions.

Before storing your boat, you should always wash it thoroughly. The boat may be damaged by any residues, which may contain chemicals, that sit on it for a few months during the winter. Also, you should make sure that the boat is covered and wrapped well enough to keep insects and spiders out of the boat. The best option for this precaution is shrink-wrapping.

How can I save money?

When looking for a storage service, take into consideration talking with a minimum of three companies in your area. You will see that each of these units has something different to offer and the prices will be different as well. You will just have to decide which features are the most important for your location and your boat.

You will be able to save more money if you choose to pay more money up front.  For instance, you can save up to 25% if you have available cash to pay up to six months ahead of time.

Also, if you pay your storage rates up front for six to twelve months at a time, some storage facilities will offer a discount.

It is not necessary to purchase options such as a locker. You can take home with you your personal belongings and electronics, instead of leaving them there and paying for it. You can greatly cut down on your costs by saving money on little things like these.

Alec Pow
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