Winter Boat Storage On Land
Where should you store your boat during winter: on water or on land?
Both methods of winter boat storage have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s best to consider how each will suit your needs before making a decision. In this article, we’ll focus on the pros and cons of storing a boat on land.
Storing a Boat on Land: Pros
A boat stored on land has the chance not only to completely dry out, but to prevent water from seeping into the bilge. By storing your boat on land, you don’t have to worry about water entering the bilge, which can freeze during the winter, cause extensive damage and even sink your boat.
Hull Access and Protection
Dry storage allows easy access to the hull for maintenance and repairs. The hull can be cleared of marine growth, inspected for damage, repaired and repainted with ease. Storing your boat on land also protects the hull from water damage. Water penetrating a fiberglass hull causes unwanted blemishes to appear on the surface over time, while aluminum hulls left in water are prone to corrosion, as are any non-aluminum welds or rivets. Additionally, all thru hull fittings, connections and seals can be inspected, repaired or replaced with ease when a boat is stored on land.
Protection From the Elements
A boat on land is in no danger of being damaged (or even sunk) by the surrounding waters freezing and ice forming around it. In addition, if the boat is stored under a roof or shelter, there is less likelihood of problems caused by rain or snowfall.
Storing a Boat on Land: Cons
A boat stored on land takes a lot more work to put back into action than one left in the water. Once stored on land, a boat usually stays put for the whole winter. If you’re looking to do some off-season boating, it’s best to keep it stored on water for ready access.
When storing a boat on land, be prepared to spend money on extra equipment such as a trailer jack, boat stands, keel blocks, etc. If you really want to protect your boat from winter weather while storing it on land, expect to put in some extra time and money into shrink wrapping and winterizing as well.
If you’re storing your boat outside on land in a colder climate, you’ll need to check up on it periodically to make sure the shrink wrap is intact, and that snow or ice isn’t penetrating it. Additionally, you’ll want to check for any damage from critters trying to make their way into your boat for a winter home.
The Winter Storage Decision