Inside vs. Outside Winter Boat Storage: Pros and Cons

Should boat owners store their boats inside or outside during the winter?

Inside vs outside winter boat storage

At first glance, it may seem like storing a boat inside is the better alternative, but that might not always be true. Before you decide on indoor or outdoor boat storage, let’s look at the pros and cons of both.

Inside Boat Storage: Pros

A boat stored inside is well protected from the elements, particularly in colder climates that produce snow and ice.

Inside boat storage pros

With inside boat storage, there’s really no need to worry about freezing water cracking the hull or about shoveling away heavy snow buildup, which means a lot less work. A boat might not even need to be covered or shrink wrapped if it’s stored inside properly, which saves boat owners even more trouble. Inside storage provides excellent protection for a boat, and reduces the amount of maintenance that needs to be done.

Inside Boat Storage: Cons

Besides the cost of storage space if you choose to use a rental facility, there’s really only one other drawback to storing a boat inside, and it applies to accessibility. 

Inside boat storage facility

For colder climates with snow and ice, once a boat is winterized and stored inside, it’s going to be stuck there for the season since there’s never really a chance to use it until the spring thaw. However, if you live in a warmer climate and the winter weather doesn’t stop you from boating, why go through the trouble of storing your boat inside? Regardless of the climate, storing a boat inside really only has the drawback of having to put more work into getting it back out again.

Outside Boat Storage: Pros

The biggest benefit of storing a boat outside — especially on a trailer — also comes down to accessibility. 

Outside boat storage pros

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 gives you or whomever is in charge of taking care of it more room to work with.

Outside Boat Storage: Cons

You’ll have to devote more time to a boat stored outside over the winter in a colder climate. 

Outside boat storage winter

Snow needs to be removed before it can build up and wreak havoc. You’ll also need to regularly monitor the boat to make sure no water has worked its way inside, or that a family of critters hasn’t made it their winter home. If the boat is stored in the water, you’ll have to check for any ice formation and break it up before it can damage the hull.

Winter Boat Storage Preferences

So which winter storage option is best for you?  

Outdoor vs indoor boat storage

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!



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