Where Do I Put My Boat, and Why Do I Need Boat Storage Shrink Wrap?
There are some parts of the world where you can store your boat in the water year round—but unfortunately, if you live in the American Midwest like we do, you don’t get to enjoy that luxury. Once winter starts to creep in, you need to start thinking about where you’re going to store your boat.
After all, it isn’t always safe to just leave it at the dock: more than two out of three boats sink at the dock.
It’s recommended that you bring your boat onto land for storage, but where? What kinds of storage facilities are available for boats? What criteria should you use when choosing a boat storage facility? And what about boat storage shrink wrap—what is it and why is it important for protecting your boat?
Here’s your guide to navigating these uncharted waters.
If you’re considering shrink wrap as a winter storage solution for your boat, check out this comprehensive guide we put together.
Different Kinds of Boat Storage
Before you go looking at specifics and mummifying your vessel in boat storage shrink wrap, you first need to slow down and weigh your options for different types of facilities. These include traditional self-storage facilities, outdoor storage spaces, stack storage, and specialized indoor boat storage warehouses.
The first option you may consider is a traditional storage unit. This is typically the cheapest and most readily available option, as there are self-storage facilities all over the place. The biggest constraint though is size. Standard unit sizes tend to max out at 10ft wide, 20-30ft long, and 8-10ft tall. If your boat won’t fit in those dimensions, self-storage may not be an option for you. You also want extra room available for you to be able to come in and perform maintenance on your boat, which may not be possible in such a small space.
Those same storage facilities often also offer outdoor storage though, precisely for vehicles that wouldn’t be well-served in the indoor units. These typically are just spaces where you can park your boat on a trailer, often with a roof and sometimes with simple open walls like those in carports. The downside though is that unlike many indoor units, there’s no climate control, and unlike other facility types, there are rarely services specialized for boat owners.
Then there’s stack storage. This is a specialized method of storing boats similar to the lifts at marinas, except stacking multiple boats on a large rack away from the dock. This is less expensive and protects your boat better than the lift at the marina, and some places keep the rack inside a warehouse (dry stack storage) for better protection from the elements. The downsides are that many racks can’t handle boats over 35ft long, and getting the boat off the rack and back in the water can be a long and hard process.
Last but not least is specialized indoor boat storage. These wide-open spaces can usually handle boats up to 50ft long, and often offer all sorts of perks and services such as free transport to and from the facility, full winterization of your boat, and free summertime storage for your trailer. The only negative is price—this is the most expensive option.
However, it also likely offers the best protection, so you may want to weigh those price points against the costs of potential repairs your boat might need if stored elsewhere. After all, as many boat hulls are damaged by improper handling on shore as by accidents on the water.
What to Look for in Boat Storage Facilities
Your boat is expensive, so it’s no small thing to put it in someone else’s hands for safe keeping. How do you choose who to trust?
The three main considerations are security, conditions, and convenience.
Security should always top the list. If your boat is damaged or stolen, then you haven’t saved money at all. Not only that, but your insurance company may only cover your property if it’s stored in a facility with surveillance cameras.
The main things to look for with security include:
- Is the facility in a safe neighborhood or one with a lot of crime?
- What security amenities are present? Gated fences? 24-hour camera surveillance? Security guards? Keypad access?
- How well-kept does the facility look from outside and what does that indicate about the level of maintenance within?
- What level of customer service do you receive, and does the facility offer insurance?
Keeping these in mind while you tour facilities will help you evaluate their security relative to one another.
The next thing to consider is the conditions your boat will be stored in. Climate control is a big deal in terms of protecting your boat from the elements. It’s also another thing that your insurance company can demand in order to provide coverage, so be sure to check that insurance policy. Aside from that, you also want to be sure that the facility’s cleanliness is well maintained to avoid dust or dirt getting to your boat.
And of course, convenience and access. Some facilities can make it a pain to access your things, only allowing entry during the day and limiting access on holidays and Sundays. Others have 24/7 drive-up access. Consider how often you’ll want to access your boat to determine how important this is to you.
Why Boat Storage Shrink Wrap Is a Must
But there’s one option that we haven’t touched on yet that’s a game-changer: boat storage shrink wrap. Numerous experts recommend this as a top option to consider.
While choosing between the different types of storage facilities often comes down to weighing protection against cost, boat storage shrink wrap can eliminate much of that tension by providing the highest-quality protection from the elements at a more affordable price than indoor storage at a high-end facility.
The benefits of boat storage shrink wrap far outweigh those of traditional coverings like tarps. You won’t have to worry about pests, moisture, sunlight, dust, ice, or snow when your boat is sealed in a tight covering of thick and durable boat storage shrink wrap.
What this means for you is that you can have boat storage shrink wrap applied to your boat and then store it in one of the less expensive storage facilities without worrying about greater exposure to the elements. You could even store it on your own property in the open, saving not just money but also time and effort getting your boat in and out of storage.
So how do you get boat storage shrink wrap for your vessel? Well, while learning how to do it yourself is one option, it’s a far better option to leave it to the professionals. That way you avoid the costs of all the equipment and materials, have knowledgeable professionals making sure the job is done right, and don’t run the risk of starting a fire and being solely responsible for damage caused.
And for boat storage shrink wrap in McHenry, IL and the surrounding Chicago area, the professionals you want doing the job are here at Unlimited Shrinkwrap. With over a decade of experience, we provide top-quality service and even offer winterization services prior to applying the shrink wrap.
Winter is approaching and the storage spaces are starting to fill up—give us a call at 1-815-759-8944 so you don’t get left out in the cold.
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, Il 60051