Renting a boat may work for people who rarely visit a lake or coastal area, but for those lucky enough to live by a body of water, owning a boat is often a better choice. If you love to spend the summer feeling the wind in your hair as you speed across the water, you'll need to protect your boat from damage over the winter so it's ready to go again next year. While many people simply anchor their boat at a marina and follow a few basic winterization tips, boat owners should consider bringing their vessel out of the water and into dry storage. A metal building is ideal for storing your boat at home to save money on covered storage costs.
Why Boats Benefit From Dry Storage
Large boats may require a lot of work to dry dock, but the smaller boats usually operated on lakes and bays are relatively easy to lift and transport. Giving a boat a chance to dry out in storage offers numerous benefits, including:
- Protection against seasonal damage such as ice friction, rising and falling water levels, snow accumulation, or high winds that could ram the boat against the dock
- A break from constant UV exposure that is the number one factor that damages the surface of a boat and leads to waterlogging and damage
- Slow leaks that lead to a boat sinking unexpectedly over the winter while the owner is away, especially if you don't dock at a marina that regularly checks on the boats
- Mold, mildew, and water stains on upholstery and interior surfaces due to the exposure to humidity over the winter
- Blistering paint and coatings due to constant exposure to the water with no breaks, which is especially a problem for wet-stored fiberglass hull boats
- Galvanic corrosion that damages mechanical and decorative metal components due to the boat being docked near other vessels without proper grounding
- Theft, especially from an unsecured or unmonitored dock.
Dry storage will prevent all of these problems. But only storing your boat at home in your metal carport will give you a chance to check the vessel or work on it at any time. Factor out the costs of a few months of storage each year and then compare that to the cost of a metal carport spread out over 10 years or more. You'll likely find that home storage is much more affordable over the years, leaving you with a larger budget to pay for repairs, painting, and more.
Choosing the Right Metal Structure for Boat Storage
Not all metal buildings will work equally well for boat storage in particular. Start out with a model that has an oversized bay door that is wide enough to fit your boat and the vehicle hauling it. If you can't get the boat in or out of the metal structure, obviously it won't work as a storage option. Add an extra two or three feet on both sides so the boat and vehicle don't scrape against the door frame. Enclosed metal structures are a much better choice than open models since they keep out sunlight, moisture, and even pests when sealed tightly. Yet even an open metal carport offers more protection from fading and wind than storage in the water. Finally, consider a pull-through design that features doors at both ends of the building. You can simply pull in, unload the boat, and depart without worrying about backing into the carport with your view obscured by the boat.
Winterizing a Boat Before Storage
Even when you store your boat on land and at home, you'll need to winterize the vessel before putting it away for the winter. Draining the gas is essential to prevent the fuel from separating and leaving deposits in the motor. Water must also be drained from any onboard systems to prevent freezing damage. A little cleaning of the hull and interior surfaces is also a smart idea, but enclosed dry storage can allow you to handle this task in the spring instead. Change the oil so it's ready for next summer and give your engine a spritz of fogging spray to keep the moving parts lubricated.
Ready to design the boat storage metal building of your dreams? With a little consideration and a small investment, you'll soon have your own at-home storage building so you can trust your boat is never at risk of serious damage over the winter.