Inside or Outside Boat Storage for the Winter: Pros and Cons Blog

Storing Your Boat Inside or Outside for the Winter: Pros and Cons

When storing your boat for the winter, should boat owners store their boat inside or outside? There are pros and cons to both locations. It is very beneficial to do your homework regarding this topic and find out what your boat needs to keep it in prime condition over the winter months. And how much is the difference in cost per location? That can always be a deciding factor. 

Outside Boat Storage Pros

Outdoor boat storage locations include self-storage facilities, a driveway, open-air lot, trailer, or in a marina. Outdoor storage is the budget-friendly storage option for boaters that don't mind leaving their property exposed for long periods of time. It also allows you to keep a visible eye on your boat throughout the winter months. 

The biggest benefit of storing a boat outside, especially on a trailer, truly comes down to accessibility. A boat stored outside is not only easier to get back out to the water, but also much more accessible to work on than a boat tucked away on an indoor storage rack in a boatyard. If your boat is in need of any maintenance or repairs, storing it outside makes it much more convenient and will give you more room to work on your watercraft. 

Depending on where you live and how intense your winter months are, will directly affect your decision. If you live in an area without snow or ice, storing your boat outside can be the least expensive, most convenient... and honestly the best option. 

Outside boat storage during the winter months.

Outside Boat Storage Cons

With outdoor storage comes the potential for damage due to extreme weather. Even if your boat is covered, it is still at risk of damage from rain, snow, high winds, and sun exposure. Additionally, storing a boat outside means that security is limited. Even with cameras set up, there is still the risk of theft.

You will also need to set aside more time for a boat stored outside during winter in a cold climate. Snow will need to be removed before it builds up and causes damage. The boat will need to be regularly monitored to make sure no water gets inside or any nasty critters make their way into your beautiful water vessel creating a home. 

Again, where you live and the winter you experience will dictate your decision. 

 Outdoor Storage Boat Lines & Dock Ties

Inside Boat Storage Pros

In an indoor boat storage facility, your vessel will not be exposed to the elements, such as snow, rain, and hail. This means that your boat will be far less likely to get damaged during the off months. It also means that the paint and exterior of your boat will be kept in prime condition for the next boating season.

One of the biggest benefits of storing your boat indoors is knowing your boat is safe and secure. That feeling can be priceless. Indoor boat storage locations include locks and security systems to help prevent anyone from stealing your boat or vandalizing your beautiful watercraft. You will also not have to worry about anyone camping out in your boat and making it home during the winter months. 

If a boat is stored properly inside, you may not even need to cover or shrink wrap it. This will save you a little money and some headache. Inside storage provides excellent protection for a boat, and reduces the amount of maintenance that needs to be done.

Depending on the size of your boat rental storage unit, you may even be able to work on your boat if needed. Having the opportunity and luxury to fix any issues during the off season and getting it ready for the upcoming season could be a huge advantage to storing your boat indoors. 

Inside Boat Storage Boat Lines & Dock Ties

Inside Boat Storage Cons

There is one very large difference when comparing outside vs. inside boat storage and it is the price. The cost of indoor boat storage is definitely higher than outdoor storage, but at the end of the day if you live in colder weather, with the added benefits, it’s more than worth it.

In addition to the price of inside storage space, there is only one more disadvantage to storing your water vessel inside, and that is accessibility. For colder climates with snow and ice, once a boat is winterized and stored indoors, it is going to be secured there for the entire winter season. However, if you live in a warmer climate and the winter weather is not a factor, why go through the trouble of storing your boat inside? 

Indoor Boat Storage


After looking over all of your options, which winter storage choice will be for you and your boat?  If you live in a colder region with snow and ice for most of the winter, inside storage will probably be the best option for you and your boat. In warmer climates with no freezing temperatures, if the weather doesn’t prevent you from enjoying some winter boating, store your boat outside for easier access.

(Remember to inspect your boat lines and dock ties and replace as needed. Boat lines and dock ties weather and weaken over time.)



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