Wet or dry boat storage, which is the better choice?

Boats provide their owners and guests with hours of fun. Boats allow people to access parts of lakes and the coast that people cannot reach without a boat. There you can picnic, swim or fish in less crowded waters. If your boat is small, storage can be easy. You simply load the boat back onto your trailer and go home for storage. This has the advantage that you can take your boat to different lakes to launch it. For larger boats, storage is a bigger issue and you may need to choose between marinas for wet or dry boat storage.

A wet storage marina can offer many advantages. First and foremost, your boat is ready to go in the blink of an eye. Often, wet storage marinas provide electric power that allows you to keep the batteries charged using a battery case. While most wet storage marinas do not offer covered storage for your boat, there are a few that do offer this option for smaller boats. Enclosed storage protects your boat from sunlight and many of the elements that can cause the exposed areas of your boat to break down.

Dry boat storage marinas can also offer many advantages for the boat owner. Boats are stored dry, usually in a garage-like structure. The structure provides protection against water damage and other damage from the elements. Dry storage will keep your boat’s finish and exposed upholstery looking like new for years to come.

Storing your boat in a dry marina requires the boat to be lifted out of the water. Most dry boat storage marinas offer a crane and track system to move your boat to the berth. Stacked storage can be offered for smaller boats, but is not practical for large masted boats. Very large boats may not fit into the facilities offered by dry boat storage marinas.

Some boat owners use dry storage when they need to work on their boats. If this is your plan, make sure such work is allowed at the marina of your choice, as insurance policies often require marinas not to allow work on your boat. If you are allowed to work on your boat while it is dry stored, now is a good time to inspect the boat for damage that may not be noticeable when the boat is in the water. Some operations, such as replacing a propeller, are much easier in dry storage.

The main disadvantage of dry storage is that the boat has to be relaunched every time you want to use it. It must be placed back on the track and sent back into the water. You may need to schedule this procedure several days in advance, so it may not be the best choice for impulsive people. Once in the water, the boat must pass a dock to load supplies, luggage, and passengers.