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When to Store Your Boat (And What It Can Cost)

boat storage cost

The average cost of a brand-new boat can be anywhere from $40,000 to $75,000. If this is too much, an aspiring boat owner can purchase a used one. However, that will still cost the individual in question $10,000 to $20,000.

Then there’s the other financial factor of owning a boat: the cost of boat maintenance. This typically costs about 10 percent of the cost of the boat yearly. 

With all these associated costs, you probably want to keep your boat in good shape. Paying a boat storage cost when necessary can protect your boat. There are also plenty of other benefits associated with storing your boat in a high-quality facility.

Read on to learn more. 

Why Should You Store Your Boat? 

There are a lot of things that can assault your boat when it’s left outside. These dangers don’t just include the elements but also thieves. 

Your boat can be an inconvenience and/or a danger as well. It can leave you with less storage space on your property. In addition, it can pollute the environment. 

Boat storage can help you avoid all of these unpleasant circumstances. 

Protect Your Boat From Weather Conditions 

Most everything decays over time. The rate of decay for objects, however, is usually slower when they’re in a protected, controlled indoor environment. Objects that are left outside are attacked on all sides by various humidities, temperatures, etc. 

Boats are no exception to this. Even the most high-quality boat faces slow destruction at the hands of the elements. Many storage facilities can counter these effects with climate-controlled storage units. 

UV Rays (Sunlight)

The UV rays from sunlight won’t damage your unprotected boat too severely. They’ll just cause the dyes, paints, etc., on your boat to fade. However, a proud boat owner such as yourself probably won’t want your boat to look unattractive. 


In the best-case scenario, hailstones will only cause little nicks and dents in various locations on your unprotected boat. Keep in mind, though, that hailstones can get extremely large. Experts have recorded hailstones that were up to eight inches in diameter.

Hailstones such as these can cause a lot of damage. They can shatter your boat’s windows and rip holes in sails, canvas, and upholstery. They may even render the electronic equipment on your boat unusable. 


Yes, the surface of a boat’s hull should be waterproof. However, a boat is a lot more than that hull. If water gets into other components and features, it can cause a lot of damage.

Does your boat have upholstered seating? It’s a bad idea to let water seep into this material. This is a recipe for mold and mildew growth, which can be a danger to human health as well as make your boat’s upholstery look unsightly. 

In addition, water, especially salt water, can damage wires, metal, and electronics. If too much water gets into your boat’s electronic components, they can short-circuit. Water can also cause metal components, such as your boat’s engine to rust and corrode, which can negatively affect how it functions. 

Cold Temperatures

Many guides for owning a boat will mention the process of winterizing a boat. Many of the steps in this process are done so that a boat owner can protect his or her boat from the coming freezing temperatures. This is highly important, as cold temperatures can damage a boat in several ways. 

The water that your boat takes into itself after several excursions is one such related danger. When water freezes, it expands. If that water is in your boat’s engine when it does this, components of the boat’s engine can crack. 

Cold temperatures can especially cause severe damage if your boat is made of wood rather than fiberglass. Water can get between the planks and then spread them apart when it freezes. This can eventually cause leaks and sinking. 

Fiberglass boats aren’t safe from ice either. Ice can form around a boat on the water and then the wind can cause the boat to rock. The hull will grind against the ice and wear away. 

Protect Your Boat From Thieves

The good news is that the rate of watercraft thievery declined by 13% in 2021.

However, that’s no excuse to relax anti-theft methods. If your boat does get stolen, the loss you’ll experience can be severe. You have a one in ten chance of recovering your boat after it gets stolen and it will likely depreciate while it’s away from you. 

There are plenty of ways that you can deter thieves from stealing your boat. You can lock your boat’s engine, install an alarm system on it, and remove its license plate when it’s not in use, for instance. 

However, storing your boat in a storage facility is one of the best ways to protect your boat against thieves. Many high-quality facilities have strict access rules, security camera systems, and entry gates protected with pin systems. These tools and policies will ensure that your boat won’t be touched by anyone except those you authorize to handle it. 

Protect the Environment From Your Boat 

Boats can cause a surprising amount of environmental damage. Chemicals used for cleaning and painting boats can seep into the water and pollute it. Human sewage can cause health problems for human and marine life as well as cause dangerous algae growth. 

There are ways that the environmentally conscious can handle these situations. They can take care of their sewage in a safe way and use environmentally-safe boat maintenance products. However, they may be unable to protect the environment against the consequences of keeping their boat on the water.

Boats can leak oil which can sit on the surface of the water and prevent oxygen from getting to marine animals. Oil can also kill organisms that ingest the oil. Taking your boat out of the water when you’re not using it will prevent all water oil leaks. 

Protect Your Home From Being Crowded By Your Boat

Recreational boats can be up to 30 feet in length. This can be quite a hassle to store on your property. Even if you do have the space, your boat will take up space that you can use for other possessions. 

You’ll probably also want to find some way to protect your boat. If a canvas isn’t enough, you may want to build a shelter such as a shed. One that can fit such a large boat can be very expensive to install. 

Beyond that, your neighbors may not appreciate seeing your boat. Some neighborhood associations don’t even allow you to have them. It may be best for you to keep your boat in a storage facility instead. 

When Should You Store Your Boat? 

To best protect your boat, you should put it in storage whenever you’re not using it. This will ensure it doesn’t get damaged by the environment, stolen by thieves, and be an inconvenience to you and the environment as often as possible. 

However, as this article will soon explain, storing your boat for most of the year can get expensive. Remember also that you’ll be adding this cost to boat maintenance costs. You may prefer to save money by storing your boat only when it’s necessary. 

In this case, you should consider storing your boat for the times when the weather in your area is the most extreme. Such weather conditions usually occur in winter. However, autumn and spring conditions can be fairly damaging to your boat as well.  

You can also switch between different storage situations from season to season. For example, you can store a boat at a dock during the spring and summer. You can then move your boat to a climate-controlled indoor storage unit during the autumn and winter. 

What Is the Average Boat Storage Cost? 

The total boat storage cost a boat owner will pay varies. This is because boat owners have a lot of different options to store a boat. They all have different features, prices, etc. 

Usually, the more expensive a storage option is, the better it will protect your boat. However, you may be able to get by well enough with a less expensive option. Look at your options and carefully consider how each one of them will affect your boat. 

Size of Your Boat 

The bigger your boat, the more it will cost for you to store it. A smaller boat should only cost you around a hundred dollars monthly to store. A larger boat can cost you more than two hundred a month. 

Keep in mind that you also don’t want to choose a storage unit with walls too close to your boat. This can make it difficult to move your boat in and out of it without causing damage. Ideally, you’ll want a unit that’s five feet bigger than your boat on all sides. 

Location of the Storage Facility 

You will find that a storage facility’s location can greatly impact boat storage costs. This isn’t just a matter of a facility being on the water, in a forest, etc. It can also vary from city to city, state to state, etc. 

This is mostly due to supply and demand. You can find plenty of boat storage options in an area along an ocean coast or near a lake. The demand has caused more boat storage facilities to appear and the competition drives down prices. 

This is unlikely to happen in a landlocked area, though. There’s less competition for boat storage in these places. This will drive the prices up. 

Different Ways to Store Your Boat 

Storing your boat indoors in a climate-controlled facility is probably the best way to protect your boat. However, if you need a different option for convenience, financial, and/or other reasons, there are ones available. Just realize that your boat may gain some damage from lesser storage options. 

On the Water Storage 

If you leave on the edge of a lake, sound, etc., you probably won’t need to pay to store your boat on the water. If you don’t, you may want to consider storing your boat in a marina. Usually, this will involve securing your boat next to a covered or uncovered dock. 

As mentioned, water can cause damage to even your boat’s waterproof hull over time. This is especially the case when temperatures get cold. Your boat is also still vulnerable to the environment in a marina. 

However, marinas can be convenient. You can access your boat and drive it to the open water quickly. Still, you can expect to pay thirty to sixty dollars per foot to store your boat in one. 

Outside Storage 

Outdoor storage lots can still provide your boat with good security. However, these lots won’t protect your boat from the weather. On top of that, there aren’t many outdoor storage facilities that are designed for boats. 

Still, this is one of the cheaper options. You’ll likely pay just under a hundred a month to store your boat at one of these locations. It may also be your only option in certain areas. 

As long as you cover your boat in a canvas or wrap, it should do fairly well. It probably won’t stand up to hail and other weather debris, though. 

Indoor Storage

Storing your boat in an indoor facility will cost you one to a few hundred dollars a month. Yes, this is more expensive than outside storage. However, security, climate control, and weather protection can be well worth this price difference. 

Beyond that, an indoor storage facility may be closer to your home. You can easily grab your boat and take it anywhere you wish. 

Protect Your Boat in Kingston, WA at Our Facility 

In summary, you’re trading one less expensive present price for a more expensive future one. You can either pay one thousand or more for a boat storage cost or pay even more than that for boat repair or a new boat. The choice is up to you. 

If you’re looking for a place to store your boat in Kingston, WA, consider our facility. We offer new, state-of-the-art storage options for a wide variety of purposes, including boats and other vehicles. Contact us or stop by our facility to schedule an in-person site tour.