Boat Storage Guide

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Which Type of Boat Storage Do You Need?

There are three types of boat storage offered at self-storage facilities: outdoor boat storage, stack or dry stack storage, or indoor boat storage. Each type of boat storage offers different perks and comes at different price points. Which type of boat storage is right for you depends on price, availability, the size of your watercraft, and how long you need to store it.

  • Outdoor Boat Storage

    Some facilities offer large parking spaces where you can keep your boat on a trailer that are less expensive than indoor boat storage. You may find facilities that offer a roof to keep your boat dry, but it would not fully protect your boat from harsh weather, dust or dirt. If you live in a climate that is mild year-round and you protect and cover your vessel properly, outdoor boat storage may be a cost-saving option. However, in areas with extreme cold or unpredictable weather, this boat storage solution is recommended for short-term use only.

  • Stack or Dry Stack Storage

    Stacked boat storage offers an alternative to expensive marina fees: instead of resting up on a lift on its own, your boat will be stacked on a large rack with other boats. Some boat storage stacks, called "dry stack storage," will stack your boat inside a warehouse. This type of dry boat storage will keep your watercraft well protected from the elements year-round. 

    The downside of stack storage is that it’s more time consuming to get your boat back on the water. And some facilities can only fit vessels up to a certain size.

  • Indoor Boat Storage

    Although standard storage units can handle a wide range of vessel sizes, some facilities may limit boat size to 50 feet long. Fortunately, other facilities will allow you to store your boat inside a large warehouse building where multiple watercrafts are stored in a single, expansive room. This option may also come with additional perks, such as free transport to and from the facility, winterization, and storing your trailer for free during the summer. While indoor boat storage may be the best way to prevent long-term damage, renting a space inside a warehouse with additional services usually costs more than outdoor boat storage.

Boat Storage Size Guide

Boat storage can accommodate everything from a standard jet ski to a boat that is 42 feet long. For standard boat sizes, 10x15, 10x20, and 10x30 storage units are ideal. Below, you’ll find a basic guide detailing the different lengths of boat storage spaces and the watercraft types they’re suitable for. 


10’ Wide x 15’ Long



  • Most compact and two-door cars, like hatchbacks, crossovers, and small SUVs, come in at just around 15 feet in length.
  • Always make sure to measure your car before renting out a storage unit, it must be under 15 feet in length to fit in a 10’x15’ unit.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 20’ Long



  • Most cars are less than 20 feet long and will fit comfortable inside a 10x20 car storage unit.
  • This includes SUVs, crossovers, sedans, minivans, pickup trucks, and most full-sized vans.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 25’ Long



  • Perfect for larger vehicles or a boat.
  • Small Class B campers, small Class C campers, travel trailers, toy trailers and pop-ups may also fit in spaces designed for RV storage.

10’ Wide x 30’ Long



  • Very few vehicle models require a 10’x30’ storage unit, except for the largest trucks and vans.
  • Storage units typically have a 8’ to 10’ tall ceiling, so if your truck is on larger wheels or on a lift kit, it may be too tall for some units. Always be sure to measure the height of larger cars.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 35’ Long



  • Store one or multiple vehicles with plenty of other possessions, including furniture and large appliances.
  • This size can typically contain large Class B and Class C campers, mid-to-large sized travel trailers, small-to-mid sized fifth-wheel campers, large toy trailers, and small Class A campers.

10’ Wide x 40’ Long



  • All but the largest of RVs will fit into a 40’ storage space. This includes most Class A campers, large travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers.
  • Remember that with the added length often comes additional width and height, meaning that many of these extra-large vehicles will require ceilings with a minimum height of 15 feet.

10’ Wide x 50’ Long



  • 50’ RV storage space will handle the largest of RVs, like large Class A campers, travel trailers and destination trailers.
  • Remember that with the added length often comes additional width and height, meaning that many of these extra-large vehicles will require ceilings with a minimum height of 15 feet.

Why You Should Store Your Boat at a Storage Facility

If you need long-term storage for your belongings, climate control can provide several benefits. Whether you’re looking to store irreplaceable collectibles, wood furniture, or electronics, these are the top reasons to utilize a climate-controlled storage unit:

  • Saves You Time and Money

    The convenience of storing your boat at a marina often comes with a sizable price tag. With boat storage, you can save money on the monthly cost of rent and choose from facilities conveniently located near lakes, rivers, and other waterways. 

  • Frees Up Space at Home

    Storing a boat takes up a significant amount of space at home and, in some cases, may violate a homeowner’s association rule. By storing your boat at a self-storage facility, you’ll free up space in your garage, yard, or driveway for other tools, equipment or accessories.

  • Extends the Life of Your Boat

    Recreational vehicles are a costly investment. With boat storage, you’ll protect your watercraft from harsh elements that can cause excessive wear and tear, long-term damage or expensive repairs. Think of using a storage facility as an investment toward extending the life of your boat.

  • Offers Greater Flexibility

    With boat storage, your watercraft is accessible anytime day or night. All you have to do is drive to the unit, hitch the boat to your trailer and go. Plus, most storage facilities have fenced-in, well-lit parking areas that are monitored with onsite video cameras for 24/7 surveillance.

Boat Storage Unit Prices

Boat storage rates are typically charged on a monthly basis, and the price of storage will depend on a number of factors, including the unit size and the location of the facility. Boat storage tends to cost more in big cities and less in rural areas. Prices will also depend on whether or not the facility is located near the city center or on the edge of town. 

With boat storage, the type of amenities you choose (and the level of protection you desire) may also affect the price. For example, a fully enclosed indoor boat storage unit costs more than an outdoor parking space. Below you’ll find average monthly prices for standard storage unit sizes. 

Storage Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
10' x 15'$80.65
10' x 20'$77.19
10' x 30'$84.99
Parking Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
15' Long$79.56
20' Long$77.17
25' Long$80.04
30' Long$85.01
35' Long$94.44
40' Long$106.98

Tips for Climate-Controlled Storage

Preparing your boat for storage doesn’t require any major mechanical overhaul and can help protect your boat’s internal and external components. Follow these routine maintenance and winterization tips to ensure your boat will run smoothly when it's time to hit the water again.

  1. 1

    Check the fluids

    Top off your gas tank, change the oil, and consider using a fuel stabilizer if you're putting the boat away for a longer period of time. If you're storing for more than two months, remove the battery and keep it in a cool, dry location. If you're storing for more than six months, use a battery tender (also called a battery maintainer or charger) to make sure it runs when you're ready to take the boat out of storage.

  2. 2

    Fix any major repairs

    Take your boat into the shop and fix major repairs before you put it in storage. Damages, even small ones like cracks and dings, can fester or worsen over the winter so fix them immediately to keep your repair bill low.

  3. 3

    Utilize a cover

    Whether you're storing inside or outside, the most important item required for boat storage is a cover specifically designed to fit your vessel. This ensures that there are no low areas to collect moisture, but leaves enough room for air to circulate, preventing mildew.

  4. 4

    Clean and remove excess

    Clean your boat, making sure to remove any organic material or water from the inside. These things can rot or mold and cause your boat to smell foul or even inflict significant damage.

  5. 5

    Take care of the engine

    Your boat's engine will be your main focus. Turn it on and make sure everything is moving smoothly, tightening up any parts that are loose or wobbly. Then disconnect the fuel line and let it run until it stops. Make sure the propeller shaft is well lubricated. When in doubt, go ahead and re-lubricate it to be safe.

  6. 6

    Flush the system

    The next step is to flush the engine (consult your owner’s manual to see which kit you need) as well as the cooling system. After you’re done, drain the engine of any water. Getting your boat ready for long-term storage may require additional professional assistance if you’re not sure how to tackle the mechanical steps yourself.

  7. 7

    Check the carburetor

    Turn the engine on again, and spray fogging oil (if you’re winterizing a fuel-injected engine, use two-cycle oil) into the carburetor. While the engine is still running, shut off the fuel supply using the fuel valve. When it stops, pull the spark plugs, use some fogging oil on the cylinders, crank the engine a few times and reinstall the plugs.

  8. 8

    Prepare your boat trailer

    Check the tire pressure, tighten the lug nuts on the wheels and test the wiring to make sure lights are working. If you're storing the boat outside, buy an outboard motor lock to secure and protect this valuable piece. Cover the tires to prevent cracking from sun damage. Lastly, chock the wheels of the trailer and use a lock to secure the boat to a large, sturdy object.

Boat Storage FAQs

Still have questions about boat storage? Here are some of the most common questions we get asked.

Should I disconnect my boat battery during long-term boat storage?

Yes, when storing your boat, it's best to disconnect the battery and keep it in a cool, dry place. You can also use a battery maintainer or trickle charger to keep the battery charged during storage.

How often should I check on my boat while it is in storage?

You should check on your boat periodically, at least once every month or two, to make sure it's still in good condition and to address any issues that may arise.

Should I store my boat with a full tank of gas?

You should fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from degrading and causing issues with the engine.

How should I store my boat if I live in a cold climate?

If you live in a cold climate, you should winterize your boat by draining all fluids and adding antifreeze to the engine and plumbing systems. You should also store your boat in a climate-controlled storage facility to protect it from freezing temperatures.

Can I leave my boat in the water for long-term storage?

It's not recommended to leave your boat in the water for long-term storage, as it can lead to damage from the elements and marine growth. Instead, you should store your boat on a trailer or in a boat storage facility.

How do I find the right storage facility for my boat?

Your boat is a big investment so choosing the right storage facility is important. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right boat storage facility for you.

  • Location
  • Security
  • Covered or Uncovered
  • Cost
  • Amenities