Where can I store my boat?

Adrian Waters • 19/03/2015

Boat insurance can compensate you for loss or damage but it's far better for everybody, especially you, if it's kept somewhere where it's less likely to be damaged or stolen. The various options depend on the type of boat and your situation so there's quite a lot to consider.

Where you store your boat affects the cost of your boat insurance, of course, but we've written a separate article about that to help you out.

Home storage

For boats that are trailered most of the time, storing at home is the most convenient. If you have a garage you can fit the boat and trailer in then that's great, but not many people have that much space around their homes. Putting a boat on your driveway or in your garden is the next best thing, but make sure you take steps to prevent it being taken away.

This can include gates and other barriers, driveway locks and posts, that sort of thing. If you can get the boat out of sight from the road that's a big help too. There are so many options that we've written a separate article about securing trailered boats which goes into this in much more

Local storage yards

If you want to store a boat near your home because you don't have the space on a driveway, take a look online to find storage yards. There are unofficial and official locations, from farmers hiring out space in their barns to full-on secure storage sites. Beware of anywhere that is too unofficial, like parking on an industrial estate - many insurers won't cover you for theft from a location like that.

It might sound odd but the best best might be a site approved by CaSSOA - the Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association. Although obviously aimed at caravan storage, CaSSOA approved sites will take things like boats, motor vehicles and all sorts of other items.

CaSSOA approves three levels - gold, silver and bronze - rated by the level of protection against theft and fire. So although it's about caravans, it's an excellent recommendation for boat storage too.

Inland waterway marinas

The options for inland craft are largely governed by the size of your boat. Most marinas have storage facilities both in and out of the water although taking a barge or narrow boat out of the water on a regular basis isn't really practical.

Smaller boats can be stored out of the water at many marinas, but most owners will tend to do this over winter rather than every time they take a boat out. For larger boats like narrow boats, barges and larger cabin cruises, a bankside or marina mooring is the only practical option.

For those with boats that can be trailered, but not every time they are used, the most practical option is to store at home (or in a local storage facility) over the winter and then use a berth for the summer.

Coastal marinas

The options for boats and yachts used from coastal locations are largely the same as for inland waterways, apart from the fact that there'll be more mooring options and more out of the water storage - largely because a coastal marina will tend to have more space, both in and out of the the water.

There'll be swing moorings as well as moorings on jetties or pontoons. Many marinas will also have hoists and boat movers which make dry storage of boats in frequent use more practical, although you'll probably have to pay each time the boat is put in the water and retrieved. But boats on racks or blocks out of the water are less susceptible to theft than boats on trailers or in the water.

Although we're talking about marinas they aren't the only option. Most estuaries, ports and harbours will have swing or running moorings, possible pontoon and jetty berths too, available to members of the public, run by harbour or port authorities. Note that they will want to see proof of insurance before allowing you to rent one.

Make the right choice for you

Whichever boat storage you opt for, whether it's just one or a combination depending on the time of year and your usage pattern, make sure it's right for you. Check out the facilities available where you live or where you most use your boat and don't sign up until you're comfortable that your boat will be as safe and secure as possible.

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