When you own a boat, you need to figure out where to store it. Some people are content with keeping it in a large garage at home, some prefer to store it on the water at a marina, and others prefer to store it in a storage space on land. When deciding where you would like to store your boat, you need to weigh all of your options carefully.
This is your cheapest option, as it is no cost to you. You simply store your boat on a trailer in your driveway or backyard. If you have a small boat, you can store your boat in your garage, or add an extra stall if you need more space. If you store your boat at home, it is easily accessible year-round; if you have a nice day in the middle of winter, it is very simple to take out your boat. Be sure to consult your owner's manual for rules on safety, instructions on towing capacity, and tips. Also check with your city or homeowners association to make sure boats can be parked outside your home (whether in the street, driveway, or yard) if you plan to store your trailer somewhere other than in your garage.
If you have a smaller boat (usually less than 30 feet), you can opt for rack storage. A rack storage facility keeps your boat in a covered shed containing large steel racks. The racks can be 4-5 boats high and 25 boats across. When you want to take your boat out, you simply call the facility and a large fork truck lifts your boat from the rack to the water. When you are done boating, you tie up your boat and someone from the storage facility will return it to the shed. Monthly fees, based on the length of your boat, can range from $6 per foot to $18 per foot. The fee includes taking your boat in and out of the water. This type of storage reduces the amount of space needed to house your boat and offers a clean environment in which to store your boat. There are facilities that keep the racks indoors and outdoors; an indoor facility costs a bit more, but it is worth it for the extra protection.
If you own a large boat that is too big to store elsewhere, or if you own a small boat and want easy access to the water, then storage at a marina is a good option for you. Many marinas offer winter storage and service for your boat. Some even have showers, TVs, restaurants, and free Wi-Fi. The advantage to marina storage over rack storage is that you don't need to call ahead and have the facility move your boat into the water. You just show up to the dock, walk to your vessel, and go. You are usually charged by the length of your boat; fees range from $8 to $35 per foot plus utilities if used.
Many yachts are stored at facilities that have better amenities than some resorts. Yacht owners want custom dock space that has such things as electricity and water hookups, a storage locker, mechanics, laundry, restaurants, and shops. Monthly fees, like other types of boat storage facilities, are based on the length of your vessel. They range from $15 per foot to $65 per foot.
A dockominium is a water version of a condominium. Instead of owning an apartment, though, you own a boat slip on the water. (The slip is a ramp on the shore by which boats move in and out of the water. So, buying a boat slip is like buying a plot of land.) Dockominiums usually are found in large, metropolitan, waterfront areas, such as New York and Miami, and cater to the very affluent, as they are quite pricey. When you buy the boat slip, you have exclusive rights to use it and rights to the common area of the marina, just as you would have rights to the common area of a condominium development. Once you own your boat slip, you can use it, rent it, or sell it just as you would a home. Cost can vary depending on location; it can run anywhere from $60 per foot to $140 per foot. This is a good solution for someone who wants a permanent home for their boat and allows you to build equity in the same way you would when buying a house.
Many people store their boats at facilities on land, in much the same way as they would store an RV. Many are available at the marina where you dock your boat. There is no fixed rate for this because it depends on the area of the storage unit, the size of your boat, and how accessible you want the boat to be. This is only a viable option for long-term storage, as you cannot get a refund if you choose to end your storage term early. When choosing a storage space, be sure to consider all of your options. Some people will pay more for easier access to the water and others may choose to trailer their boat to the water every time they want to use it. Each boat owner has a unique situation; that is why there are several options when storing your boat.
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