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Choosing a Winter Boat Storage Method

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If you live in a cold climate, chances are when Autumn arrives you start to think about winterizing, hauling out and storing your boat for the winter. Boat storage methods are simple, just read the following pros and cons of three typical ways to store your boat and choose the best boat storage method that best fits your wallet and your lifestyle.

1. Backyard Storage

Because it is inexpensive and easy, many boat owners opt to cover their trailerable boats and store them in their yards over the winter. Keeping the boat in your yard is also convenient, but care must be taken to choose the right cover.

Boat covers range from under $100 to over $2,000 for a custom cover. Experts generally agree that purchasing a high-end boat cover is the best way to go. If you purchase a cheaper cover that doesn't allow enough airflow it can promote mildew, causing problems and costing more further down the road. Choose the best cover you can afford with a fabric that is strong, breathable and water-resistant. If your budget allows, a custom cover and frame is a worthwhile investment that can last from five to ten years.

2. Boatyard Shrink-wrapped

winterizing your boat
<& Copy> Ericka Watson

Shrink-wrapping will keep the boat dry and well ventilated, meaning less chance of mildew. Boat yards specialize in shrink-wrapping boats or you can purchase do-it-yourself kits at marine stores for boat 25 feet and under. Like boat covers, shrink-wrap has to be ventilated and able to withstand heavy snow.

The downside to shrink-wrap is you will be unable to work on your boat during the winter. If this isn't a problem, it may be the option you will want to choose if your boat is larger, or you don't have space for a trailerable boat at home. Boatyards charge by the foot, but the final cost really depends upon where the boat is located. Check with local marinas and boatyards for a quote.

3. Indoor Storage

Options abound with indoor boat storage. Unheated or heated. Climate controlled or not. The obvious pro in storing your boat at an indoor facility is protection from the elements and having access to your boat during the winter months. The cons are that storing your boat at an indoor facility can be costly and they dictate when you can have access to the boat. Still, some boaters prefer the no-hassle method of boat storage, and even hire the professionals to winterize the boat before it is stored.


In the end, when choosing a winter boat storage method, choose the method that provides the best protection for your boat investment at the price you can most afford.

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