How Much Does Boat Storage Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Boat storage is used by those who, due to the size of many boats, cannot keep their boat at home or at the marina during the colder months.  If you live in an area where the weather is mild enough to leave your boat in year round, you will not have to worry about boat storage; however, in the colder states, the lakes can freeze, causing damage to the boat.  The cold temperature of the water, even if it doesn’t freeze, can also do some damage.  Because of this, many people have to turn to a storage facility to store their boat so it can be off the water.  These facilities will charge based on the size of the boat, the type of storage, the duration and if they have to pick up the boat.

NS-01635 - Woods Harbour Wharf by archer10 (Dennis) 97M Views, on Flickr
NS-01635 – Woods Harbour Wharf” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by archer10 (Dennis) 97M Views

How much does boat storage cost?

With boat storage facilities, the prices can wildly vary anywhere from $25 to $2,000 per month.  The more you want in terms of premiums, the more you will have to pay.  For example, the cheaper storage facilities may not provide any temperature control because your boat is outside, while the more expensive ones will keep the boat inside where the temperature is kept above 50 degrees or so.

For outdoor storage, for instance, most will charge based on the foot, with prices ranging anywhere from $2 to $5 per foot, per month.

Aside from the higher-end facilities, indoor storage will often cost more than the outdoor lots.  Typically, plan on spending at least 50 percent more for indoor storage compared to outdoor.

Some forum members on City-Data.com claimed they paid anywhere from $160 to $220 per month for dry storage near Lake Norman.

BoatStorageIllinois.com charges a flat $2 per running foot per month for outside storage.

On Offshoreonly.com, they talked about what it cost for them to store their boat.  Rates ranged from $220 per month for a 25 footer in Florida to $338 per month for a 34 foot boat.

Type of Boat StorageDescriptionAverage Price (per month)
Boat StorageThis is the cheapest option to protect your boat from the outside elements. Similar to a self-storage facility, your boat will stored inside a private-like garage. The only downfall, however, is that these garages will typically store boats shorter than 30 feet. If going this route, you will more than likely see two options: a 10x20 or a 10x30.$125 to $275
Outside StorageLike the name implies, your boat will be parked outside in a designated parking spots. Some spots may be covered, whereas others will be a parking spot and that's it. In most circumstances, these storage facilities will be found near marinas, lakes and rivers.$25 (less than 21 feet) to as much as $75 (35-40 feet)
Stack/Dry StorageA common method for boat storage is via the stack/dry method. Whether it's a lift that lifts the boat above water or inside a stacked storage facility, this option can be cheaper if your boat doesn't leave the water, but like an outdoor parking spot, your boat may be exposed to the outdoor elements. If using a dry rack, most facilities cap its length limits at 35 feet.$300 to $600, depending on the rack height.
IndoorAn indoor boat storage facility can look similar to an airport hangar, where a handful of boats can be stored inside. This option is often recommended for larger-than-average boat.$100 (less than 15 feet) to $450 (40-45 feet)

Boat storage overview

Most, if not all storage facilities, will include a secure gate that requires a passcode, a designated parking spot if parked outside or indoor garage.  Depending on the facility, some will allow you to visit 24 hours a day while others may have strict hours.  Higher-end storage units, for example, will have electric gates, 24/7 security, dumpsters and even a wash down area, while your lower-end storage places will just let you park the boat in the parking lot surrounded by barbed wire and that is it.

At most facilities, you will be able to store your boat on a trailer unless the storage company picks up the boat for you or you’re using the stack storage method.

Indoor designated spaces will often be climate controlled, usually around 50 to 60 degrees.

What are the extra costs?

Personal lockers can be set aside for those who want to lock up personal belongings such as electronics, life preservers, etc.  Plan on spending $75 to $200 per year to reserve a personal locker.

Storage units may ask for a deposit that covers cleaning fees, setup, and locks.  This, of course, will be refunded when the storage place is left just as clean and nice as it was when you found it.

If you do not have the equipment needed to get your boat to the storage facility, you may have to pay for boat transportation.

Some facilities can offer premium services such as winterizing your boat, detailing it, shrink wrapping and/or performing repairs.

Tips to know:

Know what kind of features you want when choosing a storage facility.  Do you just want to store it for the winter, or do you want to have access to a boat launch as you please?  Storage units are going to greatly vary and because of that, it is best to talk with at least three different companies.

It is always a good idea to wash your boat thoroughly before storing it.  Any residue that sits on the boat for a few months during storage may have chemicals that can damage the boat.  You should also make sure the boat is wrapped and covered well enough to keep spiders and other insects out of the boat.  Shrink wrap is your best option for this precaution.

Be sure to know the differences between a covered and uncovered space.  For those storing boats in outdoor areas in sunny states such as Florida, you can find that UV rays can fade and crack the boat’s body.  In the colder states, you may find that the snow can cause moisture buildup, which can also cause damage.

Take pictures of your boat before leaving it inside the storage facility.  That way, if any damages were found when you pick up your boat, you could file an insurance claim with the storage company.

If you plan on storing your boat for more than two to three months, then it’s ideal to take the battery out and store it in a cool play to prevent it from failing.  It’s always wise, no matter how long you’re storing the boat, to check your boater’s manual for storage instructions.

How can I save money?

With any storage services, consider talking with at least three units in your area.  You are going to find that each will all offer something different and the prices will be all over the place.  You just need to decide which feature they offer is the most important for your boat and your location.

The more money you pay up front, the more you are going to be able to save.  If you have the cash available, consider paying up to six months ahead of time to save upwards of 25%.

Options such as purchasing a locker are unnecessary.  You can take your electronics and personal property home with you instead of paying to leave it there.  Saving money on the little things can greatly cut your costs.

Some storage facilities will offer a discount if you pay your storage fees up front for six to 12 months at a time.


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