The 2023 Guide to Boat Storage Costs (All Types)

Written by Sophia Roa in Cost of Sailing

When storing your boat, there are several options available to you, from traditional indoor storage to DIY options, each with its own costs and benefits. In this article, we'll compare the costs of different boat storage options.

Traditional indoor storage costs $50 per month; heated indoor storage is more expensive at $250/mo; shrink wrapping costs $10–$20/ft; boat covers cost $50–$300; open yard storage costs $45–$90/mo; dry stack storage costs $50–$250/mo; in-water storage costs $10–$20/ft/mo; and DIY storage cost varies.

Heated indoor storage costs more due to additional energy requirements. Open yard storage is the most budget-friendly option. Dry stack storage offers easy access. But which option is right for you? Find out below.


  • Heated indoor storage tends to be more expensive than traditional indoor storage due to the additional energy required to maintain a suitable temperature for boats that require extra care and protection from temperature fluctuations.
  • In-water storage can lead to increased maintenance costs due to the exposure to marine growth and the potential for damage from storms and other water-related hazards.
  • DIY storage can be the most cost-effective option if you have the space.

How Much Does It Cost to Store a Boat

Boat Storage Option Cost
Traditional indoor storage $50 to $250 per month
Heated indoor storage $250 to $500 per month
Shrink wrapping $10 to $20 per foot (one-time cost)
Boat covers $50 to $300
Open yard storage $45 to $90 per month
Dry stack storage $50-$250 per month
In-water storage $10 to $20 per ft per month
DIY storage varies

Traditional Indoor Storage

For traditional indoor storage, you can expect to pay between $50 and $250 per month on average. This cost can increase, reaching up to $200 per foot for a season in more expensive areas, depending on the level of protection and services provided by the facility.

The average cost for traditional indoor storage ranges from $50 to $200 per foot of boat for a season, depending on location and other factors. Some facilities offer discounts for long-term storage contracts or if you pay for the entire season upfront. To estimate your annual cost, measure your boat's length and multiply it by the per-foot rate. Be sure to account for any fluctuations in prices throughout the year and potential discounts when calculating your total expense.

Heated Indoor Storage

Heated indoor storage is typically more expensive due to the additional energy required to maintain a suitable temperature, especially during colder months. Prices will be on the higher end of the range, but you'll have peace of mind knowing your boat is safe from freezing temperatures and potential damage.

While the exact prices can vary, heated indoor storage generally costs around $10 to $20 per ft per month, although it can range from $5 to $50 per ft per month in some cases. As an example, let's say you have a 25-foot boat, and the storage facility charges $15 per ft per month:

  • Monthly cost: 25 ft x $15/ft = $375
  • Yearly cost: $375 x 12 months = $4,500

Shrink Wrapping

This option is effective at protecting your boat from weather elements and typically costs between $10 to $15 per foot, depending on the boat's size and additional features, such as outboard motors and arches. It's a one-time investment each season.

Shrink wrapping is an efficient way to protect your boat during the offseason. In this option, a heavy-duty plastic film is applied over your boat and heated to create a tight-fitting, weather-resistant cover.

Is shrink wrapping worth it? What are its pros and cons? Find out here.

When considering shrink wrapping, here are several factors that affect the cost:

  • Boat size: The bigger the boat, the more material needed and the higher the cost.
  • Type of boat: Sailboats with masts raised can cost up to $3 more per foot than motorboats.
  • Additional features: Zipper doors, vents, and reinforcement may increase the cost.

On average, boat shrink wrapping costs around $12 to $25 per foot, with additional expenses for added features.

Depending on the size and type of boat, annual shrink wrapping costs may vary:

  • For a 20-foot boat, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300.
  • Larger boats may have costs up to $1,000 or more.

The annual cost of shrink wrapping is usually lower than purchasing a permanent boat cover. Also, consider the convenience of accessing your boat during storage if you opt for zipper doors or vents.

Boat Covers

Using a boat cover is a more affordable route, with prices ranging from $100 to $800 for a high-quality cover. It's essential to select a cover made from durable materials to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide adequate protection for your vessel.

There are a variety of covers available in the market, each offering different levels of protection based on factors like material, size, and the specific type of boat. In this section, we will discuss the factors affecting the price of boat covers and the annual storage costs you might incur.

When it comes to boat covers, a few factors can influence the overall cost. These factors include:

  • Type of material: The material of the cover plays a significant role in both durability and protection. Some common materials for boat covers are canvas, polyester, and polypropylene. The cost of the cover will vary based on the chosen material.
  • Size of your boat: The size of your boat directly affects the cost of the cover, as larger boats will require more substantial covers, leading to higher prices.
  • Custom vs. universal fit: Custom-fit covers are designed specifically for your boat's make and model, providing a better fit and protection. However, they are generally more expensive than universal-fit covers, which are designed to fit a range of boat sizes and styles.

When calculating the annual storage costs of using a boat cover, consider not only the initial cost of the cover but also any additional expenses related to maintenance and replacement. Here are some estimates:

  • The cost of a boat cover can range from $50 to $1,000, depending on the factors mentioned above.
  • Shrink wrapping, which can offer better protection and last for 6-12 months, costs around $15-$28 for a basic installation.
  • Maintenance costs, such as cleaning and repairing the cover, can vary. However, regular maintenance will prolong the life of your cover and prevent more significant expenses in the long run.

Open Yard Storage

For an open yard or outdoor storage solution, you'll pay between $45 and $90 per month. Factors such as location, security, and access to amenities might cause prices to fluctuate.

Location plays a significant role in the cost of open yard storage. For example, storing your boat near popular water bodies or in high-demand areas will typically be more expensive than in less popular locations. Additionally, the cost may vary depending on the storage facility's amenities and additional services offered, such as 24-hour security or regular maintenance.

Boat size is also an essential factor in determining storage cost, as larger boats will require more space and may result in higher fees. Some facilities may charge per foot, with prices starting at $4 and going up to $7 per foot, per month.

Let's consider a rough example to provide an estimate for the yearly storage cost. Assuming you have a 30-foot boat and are storing it in an open yard facility with monthly costs of $5 per foot, your monthly storage charge would be 30 ft x $5 = $150/month. Therefore, the total yearly storage cost would be $150/month x 12 months = $1,800.

This is just an estimate, and actual costs may differ based on the specific situation and factors affecting the storage facility's fees. You may also benefit from exploring seasonal or long-term storage discounts, which some facilities may offer to reduce your overall storage expenses.

Dry Stack Storage

Dry stack boat storage is popular among smaller boat owners as the prices vary from $5 to $30 per ft per month. The convenience of easy access, better boat protection, and minimal water exposure make this a valuable option.

The average cost of dry stack storage varies depending on these mentioned factors, but to give you a general idea, monthly pricing can range from $20 to $26 per foot. Of course, prices may increase for bigger boats or if you require additional services such as concierge service, boat wash, engine flush, and prestocking your boat.

To help you with your budget, here's a quick breakdown of the costs you can expect for dry stack storage:

  • Small boats: For boats under 20 feet, you can expect to pay between $400 and $520 per month.
  • Medium boats: Boats between 20 to 30 feet may cost you approximately $600 to $780 per month.
  • Large boats: For boats over 30 feet, be ready to spend from $900 up to $1,170 per month or more.

In-Water Storage

In-water storage, or marina slip rental, can cost between $10 to $30 per ft per month. Location, season, and length of stay can impact the total expense, but it's a practical solution for those looking for easy access to the water.

In-water storage is a convenient option for boat owners who wish to keep their boats easily accessible year-round. However, the costs for in-water storage can vary greatly depending on a few key factors:

  • Location: The marina's location plays a significant role in determining the price you'll pay for in-water storage. In more popular or touristy areas, you can expect to pay a premium for a slip.
  • Size of your boat: The larger your boat, the more it will cost to store it in the water. Marinas usually charge based on the boat's length; the longer the boat, the higher the fee.
  • Amenities: Marinas may offer various amenities such as water, electricity, and gated access. The more amenities available, the higher the overall cost of in-water storage.

In-water storage costs can range widely depending on the factors mentioned above. On average, you can expect to pay around $10 to $20 per foot per month for in-water storage. These costs can add up significantly over the course of a year. For example, if you have a 30-foot boat and are paying $15 per foot per month, you can expect to pay $5,400 annually for in-water storage.

If you're planning to store your boat in a marina in the UK, here's our detailed article about the mooring fees there.

DIY Storage

Lastly, DIY storage options, such as storing your boat at home on a trailer, depend on your available space and local regulations. This method helps save on storage fees but may require additional investments in security and maintenance equipment. Research your local area's rules and regulations first.

When choosing DIY storage for your boat, a friendly reminder to consider the following elements that could determine the overall cost:

  • Space availability: You will need to have enough space available on your property to store the boat, whether it's indoor or outdoor storage.
  • Local regulations: Make sure to check and comply with any local regulations and homeowners association rules that may apply to boat storage on your property.
  • Preparation and maintenance: Depending on the storage chosen, there might be some preparation and ongoing maintenance tasks such as cleaning, dehumidifying, or checking for pests.
  • Security and insurance: Ensure the safety of your boat by investing in proper security measures and updating your insurance policy accordingly.

Here's a rough estimate of the expenses for DIY storage:

  • Indoor storage (garage or shed): Depending on the size of your boat and the available space, this could range from free (if you have existing space) to several thousand dollars (if you need to construct a storage space).
  • Outdoor storage (driveway or yard): In addition to accounting for available space, you may incur some costs for materials such as tarpaulins or supports to properly cover and secure the boat. The price might range from $50 to $300 for covers and supports.
  • Additional expenses: If needed, you might need to purchase a boat trailer for easier transportation and storage, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and quality of the trailer. Additionally, consider any local fees or permits that may be required.

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