A Boater’s Guide to Dry Boat Storage

While wet slips may be a popular boat storage option in coastal areas, dry boat storage provides more options for a wider variety of needs. You can store your boat on a rack, in a boat yard, in a storage unit, or on a space featured on Neighbor. Dry boat storage can protect your boat year round at an affordable cost when compared to other boat storage options.

There are many logistics when it comes to owning a boat. The cost of purchasing a vessel and maintaining it are at the forefront, but where you’ll be storing it and how much it’ll cost is just as imperative. When it comes to boat storage, Neighbor is an industry expert. We know there are many types of boat storage solutions out there, so this guide is dedicated to provide everything there is to know about dry boat storage, including how it compares to wet slips, common types of dry storage options, average costs, and why Neighbor is the best solution to find dry boat storage near you.

What is Dry Boat Storage?

Dry boat storage is any boat storage that is out of water. While wet slip storage has a convenience factor, dry boat storage has a cosmetic upside. Keeping your boat out of the water will help keep the exterior clean. It also reduces the chance of mildew and other water induced inconveniences.

Difference Between Wet Slips vs. Dry Storage

While dry storage for boats is any storage option where the vessel isn’t left to stand in the water, wet slip storage is when you park a boat directly in the water. A slip is actually the space between walkways at the marina. Wet slips are highly trafficked and well lit areas. They may be secured by video surveillance or other security, but this varies between marina facilities. The main benefit of wet slip storage is convenience – if you want to use your boat, it’s already in the water ready to sail, no towing required to get it into the water. Afterwards, you can then park it back in the slip at the marina when you’re done. The biggest downside to wet slip storage is the price. The cost for such a convenience isn’t cheap. Typically, you have to pay a docking fee to reserve a wet slip, which can easily reach over $1,000 a year depending on the size and what’s available. If you live in warm climates and are out on the boat a lot, the fee may be worth it.

Types of Dry Boat Storage

At some marinas, dry boat storage means lifting your boat out of the water onto a rack. The boat stays close to the water or in a warehouse. Sometimes, these warehouses are even heated. However, this kind of storage is mostly found at the coasts especially in warmer areas like California, Texas, or Florida. You may although also find dry rack storage in places like Chicago or popular boating areas like Lake Tahoe.

If you’re like most boat owners, a trailer is a close companion to your boat. You take the away from the lake or ocean and find storage somewhere inland. This is especially true for boat owners in the Midwest and Mountain West. Long winters make west slip storage impractical and unnecessary. Plus, you’ll never take out the boat in the middle of January.

Even storage on a trailer can have some different options. Many boats are shrink wrapped to keep out dirt, water, and animals. There’s also the question whether to store the boat outside or indoors in a garage or storage facility. Of course, these different storage methods have different costs.

How Much Does Dry Boat Storage Cost

The cost to dry storage a boat will vary depending on the type and size of boat you want to store, what amenities you need, how much covering you require, and overall availability. Based on the type of dry storage you choose, the general range of affordability looks like this:

  • Store on a rack – Most expensive
    As you might imagine, storing on a rack has some hefty costs. Many of these are absorbed in the fees of a yacht club or a marina group, but you’ll still ending up paying by the size of the boat. Fees can run up past $20/foot but most stay around $10/foot per month. That can add up quick depending on your boat. If you have a high performance boat, these fees could rocket into the thousands every month.
  • Store at the marina – Moderately expensive
    Some marinas or lakes offer their own boat storage without racking. The prices are more affordable, but you’re also paying for the services. Besides storing your boat, the marina can have it ready for you when you show up. Some even guarantee a launch. This means you don’t have to worry about getting a slot on a holiday or popular weekend.
  • Store in a storage unit – Moderately affordable
    Another option is storing the boat at a storage unit. If your boat is very small, it could fit into a 10×15 unit. Otherwise, you’ll need to rent a bigger area such as a 10×20, 10×30, or even bigger. Prices on these storage units run close to $100 a month while the bigger units get up to $200 or even higher. Expect to pay more if you want a climate controlled unit. See our storage cost guide for typical price ranges and cost factors.
  • Store in your garage or driveway – Free, but with potential downsides
    If you have the property, storing your boat at your own home can be the most affordable option. However, a boat will displace other vehicles or recreational equipment in your garage or on a pad. A boat, while nice on the water, isn’t the most attractive thing in a driveway and will detract from the look of your home. Some neighborhoods, especially those with a HOA or community governance may not even allow you to store a boat where it is visible.
  • Store with Neighbor – Most affordable
    Neighbor is also more affordable than a storage unit. Whereas you could spend past $200 a month at a storage facility, you’ll be looking at spending anywhere from $50-$80 a month with Neighbor. It’s also super convenient because you have your choice between different listings in any location – find storage somewhere on your route home to the lake so you don’t have to make any detours. Storing through Neighbor doesn’t require a six month or year long contract. You could store your boat for a few weeks in the summer, all winter, or any amount of time you choose.

Use Neighbor for Dry Boat Storage

A solution to all the hurdles that come with the stress of finding boat storage that meets all your needs is to store your boat with Neighbor. Storing with Neighbor means your boat stays at someone else’s home in the community. If you don’t have the space at your own home or don’t want to frustrate your wife parking it next to her roses, storing with Neighbor is a better option.

 Another benefit to storing your boat with Neighbor is the convenience to find a space that works for you. Maybe you don’t need covered storage, or maybe you want a place that will let you come and go with easy access. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something secure, convenient, and affordable to store your boat through Neighbor.

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