The Complete Guide to Boat Storage Costs

Covered dry stack boat storage that can offer reasonable boat storage costs and convenience

Owning a boat can change your life in more ways than one. Whether you simply want to fish at a nearby body of water or use it for longer vacations, a boat is a massive boon to your spare time. At the same time, owning a boat is also a massive responsibility. Given the cost of purchasing a reliable vessel, you need to make sure you treat it right and maintain it well. Of course, part of that equation is boat storage costs for when you’re not using it.

Storage solutions come with plenty of caveats. Chief among them, naturally, is the cost to store your ship. In this boat storage costs guide, we explore the various options you have and how much your finances will be impacted.

How Much Does It Cost to Store Your Boat?

On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $250 per month to store your boat. That relatively wide range largely comes down to a few central variables:

  • The location in which you want to store your boat
  • The size of your boat and, as an extension, the size of the storage space you need
  • The type of storage you prefer for your boat
  • The service through which you rent your storage space

Let’s break each of these distinctions down into more details to determine the price of finding the right boat storage option for your needs.

How Location Impacts Your Boat Storage Costs

The location impacts the price of boat storage primarily due to simple supply and demand. For example, if you live in a popular coastal area like Florida, you will likely find more options to store your boat. At the same time, some of the more desirable types of boat storage (like in-water storage directly at a popular marina) will likely also be more expensive due to the high number of vessels that need this type of service.

In a landlocked location like Pennsylvania, on the other hand, highly specialized boat storage tends to be more expensive simply because less of it exists. But, because not as many people need to store boats in this region, the more general types of storage units are typically less expensive than they would be in coastal regions.

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How the Size of Your Boat Impacts the Price of Boat Storage

The size of your boat primarily matters for storage costs because it impacts the type of spot, or lot, you need to consider. When storing your boat on land, these costs tend to be similar to the price of RV storage, largely due to similar length requirements. Consider these different sizes and their associated costs:

Boat Length (in feet) Ideal Storage Size Average Monthly Cost Average Cost With Neighbor
8 feet to 15 feet 15 feet to 20 feet $90 to $200 $50 to $150
15 feet to 25 feet 25 feet to 30 feet $100 to $220 $70 to $170
25 feet or more 30 feet and up $150 to $250 $100 to $200

When in doubt, ask the storage facility whether it stores boats and what unit size it recommends for vessels that are similar in size to yours.

Pro Tip for Choosing the Size Requirements of Your Boat Storage Space

Always plan with at least five feet of wiggle room around your boat to make sure that you have easy access and can potentially perform maintenance tasks while the boat is in storage.

4 Types of Boat Storage and Their Costs

Marina boat storage options that are convenient but potentially expensive

The next variable can make perhaps the biggest difference in your exact boat storage costs. Depending on your location, you have four options to store your boat:

  1. In the water
  2. Outside and uncovered
  3. Outside but covered
  4. An indoor facility

Each of these comes with its own cost considerations, as well as both advantages and disadvantages.

The Cost of Storing Your Boat in the Water

Storing your boat in the water is the most expensive option, typically costing between $25 and $50 per foot of length for each month the boat is in storage. For a 20-foot boat, that could mean a $1,000 storage cost.

Many marinas offer this option, using so-called “wet slips.” It’s a convenient option because you can continue to use your boat all year long. Also, you don’t need to figure out how to transport it to a different facility.

However, in addition to its expense, this option can also be problematic when it comes to maintenance. Boats need to be out of the water at least once per year for maintenance and upkeep on the exterior, which in this case will require an extra cost to move the vessel to a facility for its annual check-up.

The Cost of Storing Your Boat Uncovered Outside

Dry boat storage comes in many different forms. Uncovered outdoor storage is the cheapest option for boats and costs between $50 and $100 for most lots. You won’t find many uncovered outdoor storage spaces specifically designed for boats, so this is also the option with the most caveats.

To start with, your boat will not be protected from the elements. As a result, using a cover or wrap is absolutely essential to avoid wearing down or damaging the interior. You also have to store it on a dedicated trailer to make hauling it from and to the lot easier.

However, outdoor and uncovered storage might be your only option. This is an especially common scenario if you are in a landlocked area without much dedicated boat storage. But the low price means that you should be able to more easily afford the cover, trailer, and other secondary costs you will need to consider.

The Cost of Storing Your Boat Covered Outside

A popular option for people not comfortable with no protection at all is covered boat storage. This option costs between $75 and $150 for most typical boat and lot sizes. The storage is still outdoors. But it has a layer of protection through a cover or roof that minimizes exposure to the sun and other elements.

In your own home, a carport can easily replace or come close to this storage option. If you don’t have that space available, covered self-storage is easily available through services like Neighbor. For many boat owners, this is a good middle ground between protection and a reasonable price.

The Cost of Storing Your Boat Indoors

The final option to store your boat is at an indoor facility, which costs between $100 and $250 for most common sizes. As with the other storage types outlined above, you have a few different options if this is the route you want to go. These options include:

  • Indoor self-storage, which includes spaces like a garage or simple storage unit
  • A larger warehouse, which is typically offered by marinas and other facilities close to the water
  • Dry stacked storage, in which boats are stored in a warehouse on racks

While indoor storage tends to be on the higher end of the range of boat storage costs, it also is a preferred option for many boat owners. That’s because it allows you to complete annual maintenance tasks without having to move the boat. At the same time, these options provide full protection against the elements the entire time your boat is in storage. Self-storage is more common in landlocked areas, while warehouse and dry stacked storage are popular close to bodies of water.

Saving Boat Storage Costs by Renting Through Neighbor

When determining boat storage costs, the final variable is how you find and rent the space in which your vessel will spend the off-season. Almost every marina offers its own options or storage space partnerships, but they can quickly become expensive.

A service like Neighbor can play a large role in bringing those costs down because it cuts out the middleman. Individuals can advertise their own storage solutions, free for others to take, making it an ideal solution for boat owners who are looking for the best storage without breaking the bank. Look for affordable boat storage options in your area by searching through Neighbor today.