The Dock Of The Bay: Wet Vs. Dry Boat Storage

You've finally purchased the boat of your dreams, but now you need to figure out where—and how—to store it.

Careless storage can destroy the cosmetic appearance and mechanical performance of your boat.  Paint will fade and upholstery will rot from constant exposure to the sun and humidity.  Even the engine is susceptible to water damage if not properly stored.

Ideally, you have the garage space at home and an adequate towing plan in place.  Still, your boat was made for the water, why not simply store it there?  Storing your boat at a marina can save you time and money.

Here are some of the benefits, and disadvantages, to consider when deciding whether wet or dry boat storage is right for you:

Wet Storage


  • Ready to go.  Your boat can be out on the water at a moment's notice.
  • Electric hook-ups.  Most marinas offer connections that keep your battery and appliances charged.
  • Livability.  Some marinas allow owners to live in their boats while docked.


  • Exposure to the elements.  Wet slips don't provide protection from the sun and water.  Regular maintenance is a must for anyone keeping their boat on the water.
  • Security.  Ensure the marina offers 24 hour security and your boat is equipped with an anti-theft system.  Inquire about hurricane holds if it's a high-risk area.

Dry Storage


  • Protection.  Dry conditions prevent the wear that slowly accumulates from water damage.  This adds years to the upholstery and your exterior will require less frequent service.  This is the ideal way to store a boat in the off-season when you don't plan on using it as frequently.
  • Maintenance.  Technicians can easily perform mechanical and cosmetic service. Check into discounted maintenance checks included with storage plans.


  • Larger boats won't fit.  Most dry slips only provide covered storage for boats up to 30 feet (uncovered dry storage is still an option to consider).
  • Inconvenience.  The boat has to be loaded and launched every time you want to take it out.  This can be a timely process during busy season and isn't conducive to impulsive boaters.  If you don't have the space at home, check for a marina with a lift that can expedite the process.

If you don't have the time or resources to transport your boat, then maybe marina storage through a company like A Storage Place is the way to go.  Chances are there are a few options available with varying prices and amenities.  Remember, a small investment in storage could save thousands in restoration costs.