When you buy your first boat, one of the most important things you'll have to determine is how you plan to store it in the off-season and when you're not out on the water. There are several storage options to consider, and you may find that one works better during the boating season while something else is more convenient through the colder months. Here's a look at the three most common choices for boat storage to help you choose what's right for you.
Trailer storage is probably the most affordable and most convenient option for storing your boat. When you opt for trailer storage, you can keep the boat on a trailer in your backyard, driveway or garage. This provides you with the freedom to take the boat to any body of water all season long. You'll have to have a tow vehicle that can support the weight of both the trailer and the boat, but if you have that, it's a versatile storage option that won't cost you extra in maintenance fees or rental costs. If you don't have a garage, though, it also doesn't offer much in the way of shelter options for your boat during the winter.
If you're looking for an alternative to trailer storage, you may want to consider the benefits of dry stacks or rack storage at your local boat storage facility. With this type of storage, your boat is kept in a covered barn or shed. You notify the facility in advance and they pull your boat down from the stack and put it in the water for you. Then, when you're done with your outing, you tie it up at the dock and they will put it back in storage for you. This is an ideal option in terms of shelter and protection, but it can limit your freedom to go when inspiration strikes, particularly if it's a holiday or the facility is closed.
If you have a larger boat or you just want the convenience of having a boat that's ready to sail at any time, you should consider renting a storage slip at the local marina. You can simply park your car at the marina, board the boat and head out any time you want. Some marinas even provide you with winter storage and electricity for some slips. You'll pay a monthly rental fee based on the size of the slip or the length of your boat. To find out which, check with your local marina.
With so many different options for storing your boat all year, there's sure to be something that will work well for you. Talk to a boat storage facility like Home Port Self Storage for more details about your options.