There’s nothing quite like taking your boat out for the day. It’s a feeling of freedom that not enough people get to enjoy.
But, when winter rolls around or you know you won’t be out on the water again for a while, you need to store your boat away securely. Boat storage is an important consideration for any boat enthusiast.
How you store your boats often correlates to how well maintained your boat is. When it comes to storing your boat, you want to make sure you are storing it correctly and safely. But, what is the best way to store your boat in Australia? Are some storage options better than others? For anyone new to boating or looking at alternative options, we can help.
Prepare your boat for storage
Before you store your boat away for the cooler months, you should always be sure to prepare your boat. Correct preparation now will ensure that your prized boat comes out of storage looking and running its best:
Clean your boat inside and out – thoroughly rinsing the outside of your boat will ensure that any excess salt is removed. Salt is capable of corroding and rusting the steel frame of your boat.
It’s important that you check all nooks and crannies to ensure that you have cleaned off as much as you can. Clean down all inner surfaces and use a boat cleaner and brush to scrub off any hard debris. Cleaning your boat properly will prevent any nasty smells from developing while in storage.
Take care of the mechanics – in line with your boat manufacturers recommendations flush out the cooling system of your boat with fresh water. Remove the battery and fill up the tank with fuel to prevent moisture from developing in the tank. This will help to minimise any corrosion. This will ensure that your boat is in good operating conditions when it’s time to head out on the water again.
Cover your boat – regardless of whether you’re storing your boat inside or outside, it’s a good idea to cover your boat with a good quality cover. This can protect it from UV radiation and dust and that damage your boat.
How much does it cost to store a boat?
There are a couple of factors that are going to impact the cost of your boat storage. These include location and how big your boat is.
Location – generally, this is going to be affected by the local economy. In an area that has a low cost of living, your boat storage fees are likely to reflect these lower rates. If you are looking to store your boat in a high traffic area with higher costs of living, however, you can expect your storage fees to be much higher.
Size – it goes without saying that the bigger your boat is, the more expensive it is going to be to store away. Generally, you can expect to pay a certain amount per foot of boat. These rates can range from $50 to $200 or more depending on where and how you’re storing your boat.
There are also a few other factors that can affect the cost of storing your boat in the cooler months. These can include whether you decide to store your boat inside or outside as well as whether you opt for a dry stack facility or wet slip storage.
Related: How much does it cost to own a boat?
Can you store a boat in a storage unit?
Yes, you can store your boat in a storage unit! This is an option that is becoming more popular with many people for a variety of reasons. Many people will opt to rent out a self-storage area near where they like to go boating. This can minimise the time spent transporting your boat to and from the water.
Remember that if you do decide to opt for a self-storage unit to ensure that the area you are renting is big enough for your boat. Boats need room to breathe and air out. Many parts of your boat such as furniture, sails and upholstery can be breeding grounds for mould and germs. Help prevent this by providing your boat with enough room to stay well aired. Adequate airflow will prevent the buildup of any smells and bacteria.
Dry boat storage vs Wet boat storage
Dry boat storage and wet boat storage are both great options. What is best for your boat, however, will depend on a few factors.
Dry stack boat storage
Off-season dry boat storage is one of the more popular boat storage options. Dry boat storage ensures that your boat is out of harsh weather conditions. Extreme environmental factors like freezing water or intense storms can cause havoc.
Dry boat storage often provides the owner with convenient access to their boat while protecting it. When choosing your dry storage option just be sure you know when you can use your boat. With many dry storage options, you have to call ahead to organise your boat taken out of storage for your use.
This is especially important if you’re considering using your boat out of business hours. This can result in you needing to plan and organise ahead. If you’re OK with having to be organised ahead of time then dry storage is a fantastic option for your boat storage in Australia.
Wet slip boat storage
Wet boat storage is a convenient option for anyone who wants years round boat storage at a marina. This is a fantastic option if you use your boat often and were planning on heading out in the cooler months.
It also means that you don’t need to try and find seasonal storage for your boat. However, it does carry some risks as well. There is always the chance that the marina could suffer a power outage. A power cut could cause the agitator to stop working.
This could result in the hull becoming frozen in place and suffering ice damage. Ice damage is often a risk in cooler climates, but it is still something to consider when considering wet storage. Wet storage tends to be more expensive than dry boat storage.
Is it a bad idea to store a boat outside?
While you can store your boat outside when you aren’t using it, you need to ensure that you are prepping it correctly. This will ensure that it comes through in the best condition possible.
If you are opting to store your boat outside there are a few things you should keep in mind. Outside boat storage is generally a cheaper and more convenient option. This is especially true if you have your boat on its own trailer. However, outside storage is often not as secure as indoor storage. If you are considering storing your boat at an outdoor facility, always check that it has the following:
- Some form of video surveillance or security system
- Lockable gates
- High fences
- An undercover storage canopy if possible
If you do decide to store your boat outdoors, ensure that you are covering it adequately. You don’t want water and dust intruding into the boat and damaging it while it isn’t being used.
If possible, we always recommend storing your boat inside. This will minimise any environmental factors that could affect your boat and help to ensure that it stays safe while you aren’t using it. Inside storage also reduces the chance of theft or damage.
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What are your boat storage options in major cities?
When it comes to big cities, you have a few different options for your boat storage. As a general rule of thumb, boat storage in major Australian cities is probably going to be more expensive than a quiet coastal town. However, you will also have more options available to you as well.
These can include wet slip boat storage, dry stack boat storage as well as numerous self-storage options. Self-storage is great for anyone who wants to store their boat by themselves. There are also many companies that specialise in boat storage solutions.
Any boating enthusiast will know that keeping their boat clean and safe is important. How you store your boat now can determine how your boat functions and performs in the coming months and years. As boats are such big investments, knowing exactly what kind of boat storage is right for your boat is important. What you choose can depend on a variety of different factors such as cost, availability and dry vs wet storage preferences.
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