When it comes to owning a boat, one of the biggest questions that potential new boat-owners have is, “Where do I store it?”
There are plenty of variables involved including availability, budget, space, and convenience.
Tips on Storing a Yacht:
Boat owners typically store their boats in a rack storage facility, in a slip at a marina, or on their own property. During the winter it’s safest to have it stored in a dry place.
Here’s everything you should know!
Where To Store Your Boat During The Summer:
Storing your yacht in the spring and summer can be fairly easy if you know your options. There are two main options in these warm seasons: storing your boat in the water (at a marina) or dry storage.
Depending on where you live, dry storage might be the safest place for your boat, but it isn’t as convenient as just tying it off in your own slip.
How fun is it to be able to just decide to go out on the boat one afternoon and not have to call a facility to get your boat out of storage.
If it’s an especially nice day out, you’ll definitely be waiting in line to get to your boat.
There are a number of different options for summer storage. Generally speaking, storage can cost anywhere from $200 – $400 a month depending on the size of your boat.
1. Rack Storage:
One option for smaller boats is called dry racks or rack storage.
A rack storage facility will keep your small boat in a shed (covered and protected from the elements). The shed is filled with cradles that look like trailers.
At the facility, they will use a forklift to retrieve your boat from your trailer or from the water and place it up on the trailer-like cradles.
They are then suspended in the rack.
Call the facility to make sure there is an open slot for your boat. When you are done boating for the day, take it to the storage facility and just tie it to the dock.
The shed attendees will return it to your slot in the shed for you.
There are a few downsides. Sometimes, you are only allowed one launch/retrieval each day. Also, most facilities won’t let you just mess around on your boat.
You might get in the way of a forklift or another cradle.
2. Trailered on Your Property
The most inexpensive way to store your boat during any month of the year (summer or winter) is on your trailer, in your driveway or in the backyard.
If you have the space for it and if you take the proper precautions, this is a viable and safe option for your yacht.
Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle to make sure it can tow both the trailer and the boat safely.
Most recreational outboard boats come with the appropriate trailer needed to tow them from one body of water to another. But if yours doesn’t, make sure you get the appropriate trailer for it.
3. Buy/Rent a Slip or a Spot on a Dock
If you have a bigger yacht, a rack storage facility might not suit your needs.
As such, you might not be able to keep it on your property because of the size as well. For bigger boats (and smaller boats as well), the other option is to buy a slip at a marina.
Generally speaking, slip rentals cost about $1500 to $2500 per year.
Of course, this depends on your marina, the size of your boat, and the state you live in.
How Much Does it Cost to Store Boats in Marinas or Rack Storage Facility?
Dry boat storage varies by the marina and the size of your boat.
However, to get an average cost, we have gathered a number of prices across the US as examples:
|State||Marina or Storage Facility||Price per month|
|California||Delta Boat Storage||$165 for a 24’ boat|
|$190 for a 30’ boat|
|$215 for a 35’ boat|
|$245 for a 40’ boat|
|$270 for a 45’ boat|
|Pennsylvania||North East Marina||$16 per foot in rack|
|$21 per foot on trailer|
|Texas||Cove Harbor Marina and Drystack||$216 for a 18’ boat|
|$240 for a 20’ boat|
|$300 for a 24’ boat|
|$375 for a 30’ boat|
|$400 for a 32’ boat|
|Maine||Long Lake Marina||$35 per foot per month|
|Virginia||Vining’s Landing Marina||$13.40 per foot for up to 30’|
|Washington||Swantown Marina and Boatworks||$7.75 per foot per boat|
|Oregon||Fern Ridge RV and Boat Storage||$140 for up to 30’ boat|
|$225 for up to 55’ boat|
|Florida||Gateway Marina||$17 per foot for a 20’ to 27’ boat|
|$18 per foot for a 28’ to 31’ boat|
|Georgia||Fort McAllister Marina||$11 per foot for up to a 42’ boat|
|Michigan||Pier 33||$8.95 per square foot (without a trailer)|
|$7.95 per square foot (with a trailer)|
|Wisconsin||The Bayshore Marina||$2.25 per square foot|
|Louisiana||Sea Brook Harbor and Marina||$224.25 for a 23’ boat|
|$292.50 for a 30’ boat|
|$331.50 for a 34’ boat|
Where Can you Keep your Yacht in the Winter?
Winter weather storage is a little different than summer storage because the best thing for your boat is to get it out of the water (and preferably in covered storage).
This means that you’ll either need to find a place on your property, a storage facility, or a full service marina.
Can you Leave a Boat Outside in the Winter?
Yes, you can definitely store your yacht outside in the winter.
However, there are plenty of precautions you will need to take before you leave your boat outside for storage:
Winterize Your Boat:
This is important no matter if you’re storing your boat outside or inside a garage or facility.
A few things you’ll want to do include:
- Fog the engine. Fogging the oil prevents outboard and inboard engines from corrosion when they are stored for long periods of time.
- Change the oil. You can do this in the spring, but it is ideal to perform an oil change while you’re winterizing your boat.
- On inboard engines, check your antifreeze rating and fill the raw water cooling system with non-toxic antifreeze. This will keep the leftover water from freezing and cracking the engine block.
- Top off the fuel tank.
- Stabilize the fuel. This helps prevent the formation of varnish and gum in the gasoline, as well as preventing phase separation.
- Drain the fresh water tank and the water lines.
- Protect the sanitation system against freezing.
- Prevent mildew and mold buildup by keeping the cabins ventilated, reducing humidity with moisture-absorbing crystals, and treating the cabin with chlorine dioxide technology.
Extra Tips for Winterizing your Boat on the Water:
Make sure to inspect your dock lines.
Check your lines after you get some dicey weather. Inspect them for wear and replace them if you need to. Better safe than sorry, after all.
You may even need to add some chafing gear and/or double up some of the lines.
Install a de-icer. Depending on where you live, you may need to install a de-icer. Ice jacking (when water invades a small space, freezes, and causes a fracture) can brutally damage a boat and can be heartbreaking.
A de-icer in your boat’s slip can prevent ice from even forming.
Don’t skimp on a good boat cover since you’ll be using this outside, for multiple months out of the year.
The boat cover will be taking the brunt of the elements and bad weather.
When it comes to outside storage, weather and pests are the most concerning issues. Make sure to keep your boat clean and place pest deterrents accordingly.
Checking on your yacht every month or so will help catch problems before they worsen.
This leaves the last option on our list for types of yacht storage:
Locally-owned or commercial self-storage facilities aren’t just for storing your extra couches and your family heirlooms.
There are normally parking areas for RVs, extra vehicles, and yachts. Some storage units are large enough and have outside access so you can store your boat indoors.
These units are often heat controlled as well. Bonus!
The most important thing you can arm yourself with is knowledge.
Know what you have to do to keep your boat safe and secure.
Know what to expect when you go into a storage facility or marina. Make sure you jot down any questions to ask them.
Finding the right dock (or storage facility) will depend on a number of different factors:
- The size of your yacht
As to convenience, you may have a range of locations available to you, so an important consideration is where you want to use your boat.
Many people leave their boat at a marina at a beautiful location that requires a distant drive, but it is worth it.
Make sure to ask around to see what the other boater’s experiences are like. Yacht owners are a friendly bunch, after all. If you belong to a yacht club or have other boating friends, you can always ask for recommendations.
You can even just spend some time at different marinas to see what the daily activities are like to help you make the best decision.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.