If you own a boat, one of the biggest ongoing expenses is storage. This guide will walk you through the cost of boat storage and the factors that impact boat storage costs so you can find the most affordable option to safely store your prized vessel.
Key Takeaways on Boat Storage Costs
- Boat storage can cost anywhere from $50 to over $1,000 per month
- Indoor, in-water slip, and dry stack storage provide more protection but cost more than basic outdoor storage. Evaluate your needs.
- Bigger boats require larger spaces which translates to higher storage fees.
- Where you store your boat also impacts rates. Storage costs more near water and in metro areas.
- Various amenities like 24-hour access and climate control add to the costs. Opt for what you really need.
- Get quotes from multiple facilities before choosing one. Look at both monthly and annual rates.
- There are ways to reduce costs like sharing a space, joining a boat club, or compromising on location.
How Much Does Boat Storage Cost?
Boat storage can cost anywhere from $50 to over $1,000 per month depending on the size of your boat and the type of storage you choose. Here are some estimates for average monthly boat storage rates based on popular locations and types of storage:
- Indoor storage in a major metro area (NYC, LA, Chicago): $200-$400/month
- Indoor storage in a rural area: $125-$250/month
- Outdoor storage lot in a major metro area: $100-$200/month
- Outdoor storage lot in a rural area: $50-$150/month
- Dry stack storage in a major metro area: $150-$350/month
- Dry stack storage in a rural area: $75-$200/month
- In-water slip storage in a marina near a major city: $150-$500/month
Of course, costs vary widely within each region and storage type. The condition/features of the storage facility, demand for storage in that area, and the size/value of your own boat will shift prices higher or lower.
Why You Should Care About Boat Storage Costs
Owning a boat is a big investment, so you want to protect that investment by storing it properly when you’re not using it. The wrong type of storage can lead to damage from the elements, pests, and other hazards.
Paying more for secure, climate-controlled storage can prevent thousands in repairs and maintenance over the life of your boat.
On the other hand, you don’t want to pay more than you need to. Boat storage costs can really add up in you keep your boat in an expensive storage facility, so understanding what impacts the price will help you balance protection with affordability. Read on to learn what goes into determining boat storage rates.
Factors That Impact Boat Storage Costs
There are several key factors that influence how much you’ll pay to store your boat:
Type of Storage Solutions
The main options are:
- Indoor storage – Storing your boat inside a covered building protects it from rain, snow, sun damage, etc. Indoor storage is the most secure and ideal for preventing mold/mildew. It’s also the most expensive option. It’s similar to renting a storage unit.
- Outdoor boat storage – This exposes your boat to the elements but costs much less than indoor storage. Outdoor storage lots are the most affordable option.
- Dry storage – Boats are stored in racks in a building but without climate control. It’s pricier than outdoor but less than indoor storage.
- In-water slip storage – Your boat stays docked in a marina slip. Convenient for frequent use but higher risk of damage.
Size of Your Boat
Larger boats require more space which translates to higher storage fees. Storage costs are usually calculated by the linear foot. A 25-foot boat generally costs twice as much to store as a 12-foot boat.
Like real estate, storage costs vary by area. Storing your boat near a major city will be pricier than rural locations. Storage near waterfronts is also costlier due to high demand.
Indoor storage with climate control, 24/7 security monitoring, on-site maintenance, etc. will be more expensive than a basic outdoor lot. Consider which features you really need.
Monthly vs. Annual Costs
Many facilities offer discounts for paying annually rather than monthly. You can save 10-15% this way.
Fiberglass boats are cheaper to store than wood boats, which are more vulnerable to moisture damage. Simple fishing boats are less costly than luxury yachts.
How to Estimate Your Boat Storage Costs
The easiest way to estimate how much you can expect to pay is to call storage facilities in your target area and get quotes. Let them know:
- Boat length and type
- Time of year (seasonal rates may apply)
- Whether you want indoor/outdoor
- Any special needs like electrical hookups
Some facilities list pricing on their websites, so you can get a ballpark range. For indoor, outdoor, and dry stack storage, the cost is usually calculated by the linear foot of your boat. The national average is around $3-$4 per foot but can be $2/foot up to $8/foot depending on the factors above.
For in-water slip storage, marinas usually charge by the linear foot plus additional fees for electricity, dock services, etc. This option averages $10-$20/foot.
Don’t forget to ask about any one-time fees like registration charges. Get quotes from multiple boat storage facilities before choosing.
You may have to pay a fee for boat transportation if you don’t have the necessary equipment like an RV to get your boat to the storage facility.
Tips for Finding Affordable Boat Storage Options
Here are some tips to help you find affordable options for storing your beloved boat:
- For outdoor storage, look for facilities that are further from the waterfront – rates are usually lower.
- Ask about any discounts for long-term contracts, prepayment, or new customer specials.
- Consider sharing a storage space with a fellow boat owner to split costs.
- Joining a local boat club often includes lower storage fees at their facility.
- Inquire about DIY indoor storage where you do basic maintenance/cleaning yourself.
- For dry stack, opt for upper racks which are cheaper than ground floor spots.
- Store your boat on its trailer if possible – this takes up less space than a rack.
- Compare the cost of shrink wrapping versus indoor winter storage for cold climates.
- Be willing to compromise on location or amenities to save money.
Final Words on the Cost to Store Your Boat
Carefully weighing all of your boat storage options will help you find the ideal balance of protection and affordability. Properly storing your boat saves money over the long run by keeping it in great shape for seasons of sailing to come!