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Affordable Boat Storage Solutions

Affordable Boat Storage Solutions
Your Investment
Your Investment
Boat storage at a self storage facility can be a great solution for boat owners who don’t have enough space on their property or access to a dock. If you dry-dock your boat on a trailer or boat storage rack, storing it with us can be less expensive than keeping it at a berthing ashore at the marina. Even a small boat and trailer can turn your driveway into an obstacle course so if you want free and clear access to your garage then consider the security and convenience of a self storage facility for your boat or jet skis storage . It will provide a safe and secure place to keep a boat, protecting it from the elements and potential theft. In this blog, we will explore the different factors to consider when choosing boat storage facilities and what to do to prepare your boat for storage.

If you don’t have experience with general boat storage maintenance and winterisation, consider hiring a professional service to prepare your boat for self-storage. This is even more important if you have a large boat or it seems too complex to tackle on your own. 

Nevertheless, here is the absolute minimum you should do:
  • Clean the interior and exterior thoroughly.  
  • Fill the fuel tank, add a stabiliser and run the engine for 10 minutes to get the fuel into the whole system. For long-term storage, empty and dry out the tank.
  • Disconnect the battery and connect it to a trickle charger at home.
  • Put a good cover over the boat.
Purpose Designed
Purpose Designed

When you take your last ride of the season, look and listen for any issues that need to be addressed and repair. They won’t get any better as the boat sits dormant. 
To ensure your boat is ready to be stored and maintains peak condition while it’s there, the following advice is critical in preparing your boat for storage.

Basic Steps in Preparing Boats for Storage facilities
When storing boats, there are several simple steps you can take to prepare for boat storage and ensure it stays in good condition:
  1. Clean boats: Clean the exterior and interior of the boat, including the deck, hull, and upholstery. In open water, ocean salt can corrode propellers, shafts, paint and plastic. This will also help prevent mould and mildew from growing while it's in a boat storage facility.
  2. Inspect and Maintain the hull : Check it over carefully for tiny cracks to widening holes and fix all of them. Clean the hull by scraping off any barnacles and power washing any residue. Apply a good coat of wax to protect the hull from moisture
    Thoroughly Clean
    Thoroughly Clean
  3. Cover boats: Use a boat cover to protect the boat from dust and debris. Make sure the cover fits properly and is secured to the boat to prevent it from falling off. Be certain the exterior is dry before you cover and store the boat. Try and find one that is made for your specific watercraft. Shrinkwrap is one option for this, and can be installed with vents. Some people use wooden frames and canvas to cover their boat - it’s an option that can last up to a decade. 
  4. Check the boats battery: If your boat has a battery, disconnect it and store it in a dry place. This will help prevent the battery from losing its charge whilst in storage.
  5. Protect the tyres: If your boat storage is on a trailer, use chocks or blocks to support the tyres and prevent the boat from moving.This is best thing for easy access boat storage but if this isn’t an option, use an adjustable boat stand or put wooden blocks under the tyres
Wheel Blocks
Wheel Blocks

Special attention should be paid to the engine:
Saltwater can cause corrosion in an engine, so it’s especially important to clean out your boats engine if it’s been in ocean water. Fuel simply left in the tank can degrade or freeze.   

Here are a number of storage solutions to protect your boat’s engine whilst in storage:
  1. Drain and flush the gear case and fill it with new lubricant. 
  2. Check the wires, hoses and various connections to be sure they are intact. 
  3. Run the engine to warm it up, then change the oil and oil filter.
  4. Flush the engine with freshwater (as it idles) until the water runs clear to prevent overheating.
  5. Store outboard engines straight down: Store your engine in the down position, the way it is when in the water, so that moisture can drain. Never store an outboard with the gearbox higher than the engine. Water can work its way into the cylinders and do major damage
  6. Inborn/sterndrive engines: If you are using boat storage for an extended period of time, consider winterizing it. Outboards use the open water in your boat to cool themselves. If you don’t remove the outboard for the winter, it can freeze and crack the engine. Flush the engine with boat-specific, nontoxic antifreeze so it's ready to run next spring
  7. With the engine on again, spray fogging oil into the carburetor. Be advised that this will cause a few minutes of smoke when you start the engine up in the spring.
  8. With the engine on, turn off the fuel supply at the fuel valve. Once it stops, pull the spark plugs and put fogging oil on the cylinders. 
  9. Crank the engine a few times, then reinstall the plugs. 
Check your Plugs
Check your Plugs

Don't forget the interior:

Remove everything you can from the interior or your boat, including: 
  • Food
  • Valuables
  • Flotation devices
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Removable electronics (like the radio)
  • Kitchen items
  • Fabrics

Before applying the boat storage cover:
  • Empty out the fridge/cabinets and leave them open.
  • Drain built-in heads (sink/shower) and use antifreeze.
  • Empty the sanitation system and clean it with water and disinfectant.
  • Wipe everything down.
  • Apply a protective conditioner to all vinyl.
  • Clean the floors, deck and carpets.
  • Use a moisture-absorbing product, especially if it’s going to be humid. 
  • Ensure the interior is completely dry.

Check on the boat periodically to make sure it's in good condition and to perform any necessary maintenance. When in boat storage facilities, it doesn't take long but it pays to check up.

Invest in Secure Boat Storage and Boat Racks
Even if you live in a moderate climate without harsh winters, the precipitation, humidity, sun and temperature fluctuations can impact the body and mechanics of your boat. Even one overnight freeze can cause issues. Further, any boat is valuable and tempting to someone looking for a free one.

A huge percentage of boat insurance claims are filed in the off-season when boats are stored in all sorts of places and exposed to weather elements and vulnerable to mechanical issues from disuse. 

Whether it’s a small fishing boat or a huge yacht, your watercraft is worth the investment of renting from a self storage facility. You’ll save space, have improved security and additionally protect your boat from the elements.

Secure Storage Facility for your Sailing Equipment 
Finally, your self storage unit is the perfect storage space for all of your outdoor sailing gear. Having the right place to store your outdoor equipment properly can make all the difference in the lifespan of that equipment. This is especially important because most sailing equipment is oddly shaped, extra wide or large, and can't be stored properly with a limited amount of space.

Renting a self storage unit that you can use to store all of your outdoor equipment as well as your boat can save you so much space at home and keep your equipment in good shape

To store sailing equipment, you can follow these steps:
  1. Use covered and dry storage solutions: This will protect your sailing gear from moisture, dust, and other elements that can cause damage. Marine storage racking can be particularly useful.
  2. Store sails flat: This will prevent creases and wrinkles from forming in the fabric. If necessary, place something heavy on top to prevent the sail from curling up.
  3. Hang ropes and lines: Hanging ropes and lines can help prevent tangles and keep them from becoming tangled or knotted. Alternatively, store ropes coiled and untangled to prevent kinking.
    Carefully Store Ropes
    Carefully Store Ropes
  4. Store hardware and metal parts separately: Metal parts can cause corrosion if left in contact with other metal parts. Storage for hardware and metal parts should be in a dry, clean place, and wrap them in cloth to prevent scratching.
  5. Clean and dry gear before putting into a boat storage facility: Storage with dirt and moisture can cause damage to your gear over time. Clean and dry your gear thoroughly before storing it.
  6. Label containers: Label containers and storage spaces to help you keep track of where you have stored your gear.
  7. Consider using a vacuum-sealed storage bag: Vacuum-sealed storage bags can help keep your gear dry and protected from moisture and other elements.
  8. Store inflatable gear properly: Inflatable gear should be deflated, dried thoroughly, and stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources as an ideal location.
  9. Hang sails vertically or fold them neatly, depending on the type of sail and the amount of storage space you have.
  10. Store life jackets, buoyancy aids, and other safety gear in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
    Take Care of Life Jackets
    Take Care of Life Jackets
  11. Storage of electronics, such as GPS units and radios is best in a dry and secure place, and make sure to remove the batteries.

By following these tips, you can ensure that whilst your sailing equipment and accessories are in the boat storage facility, it stays in great condition for years to come.

Factors When Choosing Boat Storage Facilities

When choosing a self storage site for boats, there are several factors to consider. These include:
  1. An convenient Location: Look for self storage sites that have easy access and located on the main roads so you can come and go at short notice. All the units have drive up access so you can pull your trailers up right outside your storage unit does to unload and load you boat in and out of storage.
  2. Security: The self storage facility should have a high level security measures in place, such as 24/7 surveillance, secure gated access, flood lighting, security fencing and alarm systems.
  3. Size: Make sure the self storage unit you choose is large enough to accommodate your boat, even for small boats when using boat racking systems. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough space for you to walk around the boat and perform any maintenance. The range of sizes and prices can be found on our website with more advice here
  4. Price: Compare storage prices and services offered at different self storage sites to find the best cost. We have a price guarantee, we will not be beaten on prices, find a cheaper comparable self storage unit price anywhere locally, and we will match that price! 
  5. Access hours: Our facilities are have free access 24/7 so you don't have to schedule a time to meet someone at the facility to access boats. You just drive in, hitch it up and go.  If you think you may need longer term storage then read our article to help specifically with this.
  6. Insurance: Check with your self storage site to see if they offer insurance for boats, or if you need to purchase your own.
  7. You must have a property protection policy to store your items in any storage units. You can select an appropriate amount of cover when you make you book your self storage unit with us.  Simply select how much it would cost to replace the value of the boat and items in your self storage unit and the monthly premium will be added your monthly boat storage unit costs. Our policy details are HERE
Be Fully Insured
Be Fully Insured

In conclusion, storing boats at a self storage site can be a great solution for boat, yachts and jet skis owners or rowing clubs who don’t have the space, resources or security to store them at home. When choosing boat storage solutions, consider factors such as a secure location, accessibility, general security, size, price, flexible hassle free access hours, and insurance. Remember, before storing boats, take the time to clean it, drain it, remove personal items

For a more in depth article on what self storage cost read the article
We have a couple of other articles that may be of specific interest:

For more information on boat storage facilities or any other self storage related questions, feel free to contact our friendly customers service team at info@smartboxselfstorage.co.uk or phone us on 01536 402116. They can give you affordable storage unit prices and assist you in viewing our range of lockable indoor units and outdoor storage containers at a convenient time.