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Boats covered and stored in water

Winter boat storage tips

The colder months mean it is that time of year again when boats need to be pulled from the water to be safely stored over Winter.

But how and where should you store your boat? There are a variety of ways and places you can do so, each with their pros and cons.

  • Boat storage facilities (indoor and out)
  • Staked storage
  • Self-storage
  • Garage / at home storage
  • Wet storage (in water) – covered or uncovered

Boats stored inside a warehouse

There are a few things you should consider before committing to expensive Winter storage.

Do you want to be able to access the boat at all or do you want it to be put away until Spring? What sort of budget do you have? If your boat requires a lot of work, you will want to find somewhere to store it that has a good amount of space and access for you to work on it etc…

So, which is best for you?

Boat Storage Facilities – Indoors

Both indoor and outdoor boat storage facilities are the most common ways people store their boats – regardless of the type of boat they own. Although it can be one of the most expensive ways to store your boat (especially if it is stored indoors and in a temperature-controlled room) it is one of the safest and best options.

If your boat is being stored in an indoor boat storage facility, you will have easy access to your boat and so can usually come and go as you please. This is particularly helpful if you are needing to work on your boat. Most facilities will also make sure that there is a member of staff around at all times when open for added security.

The main problem with interior boat storage facilities is the cost. However, if you have spent a lot of money on your boat, it is usually a good investment.

Boat Storage Facilities – Outdoors

Boats wrapped up and stored outside

The other most common way people store their boat is in a storage facility but outside. This can also include the boat being placed under a shelter, but more commonly the boat is simply wrapped up and left outside neatly in the storage yard.

Although a good option (and a bit cheaper than being stored indoors) you are limited to the time you can spend working on your boat before wrapping it up for the Winter months. Although this isn’t necessarily a problem if you are quick to the task, there are a few other problems you may come across.

The most common issue people run into is not wrapping/covering their boat properly. If it is not done correctly, come the Spring you will find that your boat covered in mould – inside and out. Some people will cover their boat themselves, but the best airtight way to cover it is to get a professional to come and shrink wrap your boat for you.

Staked storage

Boats stacked for storage

This is another one that can be both indoors and out but is much more cost-effective. This is a very handy way to store smaller boats that do not require maintenance and instead can simply be wrapped up and left alone.

Self Storage

Another way of making sure your boat stays clean and dry is to use a self-storage unit. There are many pros to having your boat in a self-storage facility;

  • Easy access whenever you want
  • Free from any problems of storing in water, such as barnacles and algae
  • The ability to work on your boat without the weather holding you back

However, this can be expensive and is only really an option for those who have small boats as most units aren’t that big.

Garage / at home storage

We are sure this option would be ideal for everyone if they had the availability to do so! However, if you are lucky enough to have the space available, you could use it to your advantage. If you have a smaller boat that can be stored inside your garage not only will you have a place to safely store your boat with room to work on it but it is also free!

You could even go one step further – if you have space available in your garden, you could build a purpose-built storage unit!

Wet storage (in water) – covered or uncovered

Boats covered and stored in water

Although common in some of areas of the world, this is not recommended for areas that regularly drop below zero. This is because freezing water can cause damage to your boat.

There will usually also be problems with barnacles, algae and the potential for thieves and vandals. It also eliminates the possibility of working on your boat’s hull which we recommend doing at least once a year.

Winter-proofing your boat

Once you have chosen how and where to store your boat, you now need to get it Winter-ready. There are many things you will need to do to before tucking it away. For more information on what you should do, take a look at our previous blog post ‘How to winter-proof your boat’.


We hope you have found this post helpful. If you have any other tips or advice, please feel free to leave them below. We love hearing from you!

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Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol US has the solution you are looking for.

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