Best Way To Store a Boat Without And With a Trailer – Indoors or Outdoors

One major aspect of boat ownership is deciding where to store your boat when not in use. Boat storage options typically fall into two categories; marina boat storage and dry boat storage. Each storage option requires unique steps for preparation, engines and electrical, exteriors, and batteries. So, what is the best way to store a boat without and with a trailer – indoors or outdoors? We have compiled a list of various outdoor and indoor storage options with their pros and cons to help you decide.

What Are The Best Indoor Boat Storage Options?

  • Keeping your boat in a dry-stacked storage
  • Storing your boat in a garage in your home
  • Indoor boat storage at a self-storage facility

1. Keeping Your Boat In a Dry-Stacked Storage

Best Way To Store a Boat Without And With a Trailer - Indoors or Outdoors

This is an excellent example of a dry boat storage option. It is designed as a warehouse to keep your boat well-protected. Such facilities can store multiple boats at a given time. The boats are stacked and removed with the help of forklifts.

Moreover, they are covered to keep them safe from weather elements. They offer commendable security features and can comfortably handle the heavy lifting required when eventually retrieving the boat. You only need to call ahead and ensure your boat is ready to go.

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  • The dry-stacked warehouses have security measures that prevent theft.
  • They ensure your boat is well protected from the adverse weather elements.
  • It is less expensive than keeping your boat at the marina.
  • They are convenient storage options for smaller boats.
  • You can save money on trailer maintenance.


  • This storage option may be more expensive and harder to find outside coastal areas.
  • Some facilities limit the number of times you can take your boat out.
  • You may not be allowed to retrieve your boat when you want it.
  • Larger boats may not fit in the dry-stacked storage.

Things To Do Before Storage

  • Ensure to keep your boat protected with a waterproof cover
  • Remove any valuables and other items from the boat before storage.
  • Check with the facility about fuel tank requirements for fire prevention.
  • For extended storage periods, consider removing the batteries and placing them on trickle chargers.

2. Storing Your Boat In a Garage In Your Home

Your home garage is a convenient and affordable way to keep your boat on your property during the winter season. The attached garages work to absorb heat from the house, creating a conducive environment for your boat. The garage will prevent sub-zero temperatures, which may damage your boat in storage. You are assured to keep your boat safe during the entire period without the hassle of having to drive to a facility to check on your boat or added storage fees.


  • Your boat is on your property, and you can easily remove it and store it as you please.
  • You can keep up on maintenance without having to pull it out of storage.
  • A garage offers protection against weather, UV damage, and wind.
  • Your boat is protected from thieves and vandals.
  • Storing your boat in your garage at home is free.


  • Protection from rodents and other pets is not guaranteed.
  • Garage space could be limited to other vehicles.

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Things To Do Before Storage:

  • It would be best if you prepared the boat for the winter season by flushing all the boat systems with antifreeze.
  • You can protect the boat from rodents and pests by repairing holes in the garage foundation.
  • You should charge the battery and test it every month on a trickle charger.
  • It is crucial to tarp the boat for winter storage, even in the garage.

3. Indoor Boat Storage At a Self-Storage Facility

When a dry racked storage is not available, and you cannot store your boat in your garage, the next best option is a self-storage facility. Indoor vehicle storage is highly recommended at a storage facility and is regarded as the best way to protect your boat during the harsh winters.


  • Storage locations are located throughout the country, so it will be easy to find one unit near you.
  • Amenities such as drive-up access will make it easy for you to pick up and drop off your boat.
  • Facilities often have good security features such as gated access and video surveillance.
  • Some indoor boat storage options may come with climate control.


  • Enclosed storage units for vehicles can be more expensive than the other options.
  • Some units may be too small in length and height-wise for your boat and trailer.

Things To Do Before Storage:

  • You need to protect your boat upholstery, seats, and other accessories with a waterproof cover.
  • Ensure you remove the electronics to prevent damage unless you have climate control
  • Empty the water tank and run antifreeze through the system

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What Are The Best Outdoor Boat Storage Options

  • Parking your boat on a trailer at home
  • Covered boat storage at a self-storage facility
  • Outdoor boat storage at a self-storage facility
  • Storing the boat in a marina slip

1. Parking Your Boat On a Trailer At Home

Best Way To Store a Boat Without And With a Trailer - Indoors or Outdoors

This is a simple storage option for your boat- store it on a trailer on the driveway or along the side of your house. Storing a boat at home is convenient and affordable at the same time. Like any outdoor storage option, ensure you winterize the boat to prevent any damages resulting from cold climates.


  • It is easier to keep an eye on your boat.
  • There are no storage fees for keeping the boat at home.
  • Accessing your boat will be easy when you are ready to head out.


  • There is limited protection from the elements.
  • Storing your boat outdoors leaves your boat vulnerable to pests, thieves, and vandals.
  • Some homeowners associations may not permit you to park a boat in your driveway.

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Things To Do Before Storage

  • Put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and run antifreeze through the systems.
  • Shrink-wrap the boat to protect it against mildew and moisture
  • Ensure the boat is completely dried out to prevent ice damage.
  • Fill the boat trailer tires to prevent flats during storage.
  • Remove the battery and make use of the trickle charger.

2. Covered Boat Storage At a Self-Storage Facility

You can now free up your garage or driveway by storing the boat in covered outdoor storage space. Some facilities have many outdoor parking spots that are covered for boats of any size. The interesting factor about this option is that it offers cover for the boat and is more reliable than uncovered outdoor options.


  • Can be more cost-effective than indoor storage options
  • Self-storage facilities have adequate security features like keypad entry and surveillance cameras.
  • Covered storage protects your boat from most weather damage.


  • It can be more difficult to find as it is not common.
  • Lack of full enclosure means that the boat is vulnerable to some elements.

Things To Do Before Storage:

  • Use a fuel stabilizer and run antifreeze through the water systems.
  • You can use a waterproof fitted tarp or shrink-wrap the boat.
  • Take out the battery and test it with a trickle charge.

3. Outdoor Boat Storage At a Self-Storage Facility

If the weather in your area is relatively mild throughout the year, uncovered storage options are affordable and a good idea. It makes it easy to store boats of all sizes and provides more security, rather than keeping it on your driveway.


  • Most self-storage facilities have security measures to protect outdoor vehicle parking.
  • It is the cheapest option when it comes to self-storage.


  • The boat will be exposed to the weather.
  • Your boat will be vulnerable to pests and rodents.
  • Even with a cover, the boat will still be exposed to UV light.

Things To Do Before Storage

  • Remove the battery and check it monthly with a trickle charger.
  • Run antifreeze through the system and put fuel stabilizer
  • Open the drain plugs to prevent flooding.
  • Use shrink-wrap or fitted tarp.

4. Storing The Boat In a Marina Slip

This is an ideal option for those who live in areas where the temperatures do not fall before freezing. If you do not own the entire dock, you will need to purchase a marina slip, similar to a parking space. The rates vary depending on the location and the length of the boat.


  • Some marinas offer electrical hookups and other amenities.
  • You do not have to worry about a boat trailer.
  • No delay in getting the boat out in season


  • Aquatic pests like algae and barnacles can wreak havoc on your boat.
  • Security can be minimal.
  • Dock fees can be high.

Things To Do Before Storage

  • Use a fitted waterproof cover to protect the boat.
  • Fill and flush the systems using antifreeze.
  • Check on the boat at least once a week.

How Can You Store a Boat With a Trailer?

As you prepare to store away your boat during the oncoming winter season, it is always advisable to give the same attention to your boat’s trailer as the boat itself. When you properly store the trailer during winter, you can ensure it is all ready to roll once the weather starts to warm up. Here are some tips you can apply when storing your boat’s trailer.

Firstly, ensure you wash and detail your trailer thoroughly. You can start by removing any pieces of gunk and dirt that may have built up over the season. Ensure to check for the hard-to-see places such as the undercarriage. Once you have cleaned it, ensure that it completely dries before storage for the prevention of mold.

The next step is to check the frame of the trailer if it has any rust spots. If you find any, you are required to sand them off and them prime and coat them with galvanic paint. Moreover, ensure you grease the winch gears, brake actuator rollers, coupler-latch assembly, and jack stand. The bunk rollers and light harness should be applied with metal protection spray or grease.

Remember to top off the brake actuator reservoir with some fluid. Also, jack up the trailer to keep the tires’ weight while preventing flat spots and dry rot. If you want to leave the tires on, ensure you stabilize the trailer with some blocks. You can reduce the air in the tires and cover them with covers to prevent sun damage.


If you do not have a trailer, you can store your boat in one of the places discussed above, Best Way To Store a Boat Without And With a Trailer – Indoors or Outdoors. But if you keep the boat in storage, you will need to pay.

And the boat storage rates will vary greatly depending on where you live. Storing your boat indoors is highly recommended as it protects it from the elements. Storing the boat at home will reduce high costs and is more convenient.


Hi, I’m John who owns multiple different boats and i love all kinds of water activities. From boating to fishing, from scuba diving to windsurfing, from water tubing to snow tubing.

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