Inside vs. Outside Winter Boat Storage: Pros and Cons
Should boat owners store their boats inside or outside during the winter? 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 whether to store your boat indoors or outdoors during the winter offseason, 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. With inside boat storage, there’s no need to worry about freezing water cracking the hull or 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 only one other drawback to storing a boat inside, and it applies to accessibility. 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. 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. 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? 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.