How to store a boat outside

“Save” used as a verb usually means putting it away for an extended period of time. However, this is the start of the boating season. For this piece we define “save” as a short break between trips. The best way to store a boat outdoors is to take steps to protect it from the elements and still be ready for use at all times.

  • One of the most important things to consider when considering storing a boat outdoors is keeping it away from water. This may seem ironic for something built only to run on water. Regardless of whether an aluminum boat is stored outdoors or a fiberglass boat is stored outdoors, nothing good comes from leaving water in a boat.
  • If you are keeping a smaller boat at home, e.g. B. a John boat, it can simply be emptied and then turned upside down. Larger boats or boats that cannot be turned over due to fixed electronics should be covered. A precisely fitting cover with elastic sides or belt lines is very effective. However, some DIY-type boat owners can get by with a standard tarpaulin and an object like a garden chair in the middle to act as a tent pole to prevent water from pooling. A tarpaulin must then be tied securely or it can be weighed down by hanging water jugs.
  • Before the boat is fully protected from water damage, don’t forget to unplug the batteries so they can be recharged. Depending on your parking situation, you may want to take steps to reduce the likelihood of surprises in wildlife. An Ornery mouse can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. I’m just saying yes.

When securing a boat for a brief “downtime” there is a fine line. If you stowed too much during your outdoor boat storage checklist, it may be overlooked and not used. Then not only may you have to grapple with untimely winter time such as storage issues like pancake tires or cracked tubes, but your happiness level may not be maximized from not using your boat enough.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and the US state of Michigan.


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