Boat Storage Options: DIY or VIP?
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Some people are DIY boaters. Some are VIP boaters. Others are a bit of both.
The kind of boater you are influences nearly every boating choice you make, including how you store your boat.
There are a lot of boat storage options available—let’s sort through them with a DIY versus VIP lens.
Are You a DIY or a VIP Boater?
According to Boat Trader, the average boater uses their watercraft about 50 hours a season. How each boater approaches those 50 hours varies greatly.
VIP boaters want to maximize their hours on the water and minimize the hassle of boating.
They want their vessel at their beck and call whenever the time and mood is right. Any delay or obstacle to simply pulling away from shore detracts from the experience of being on the water. This is especially true for those who do their boating at second homes and vacation properties.
On the other hand, DIY boaters love to do their own maintenance. Working on their craft is at least half the pleasure of owning the boat. Maybe they restored a wooden boat as do many of the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance entrants.
A fall afternoon spent winterizing a boat is great way to pass time. If it can be done while listening to a ballgame, a boating podcast, an audio book, or music.
Many DIY boaters prefer to store their boat at home. This maximizes the available time for working on the boat. However, home storage may not not always be feasible for a number of reasons: too much boat, too little space, local rules & regulations.
If storing your boat at home is not practical or appealing, consider these four aspects of boat storage options and how they fit your DIY or VIP approach.
Boat Storage: In The Water or Out?
This is the first aspect to consider. Your boat can stay in the water at a marina slip, or out of the water in a boatyard.
Keeping your boat in water makes it easier to get in and go. It also exposes your craft to constant moisture and weather perils. In places where lakes can freeze over, owners risk hull damage if an agitator fails to keep the water ice-free.
DIY boaters may not mind the hazards of in-water storage. Visits to check on their boat are part of the fun.
VIP boaters will definitely like the easy access offered by in-water storage. They will not like any potential problems from exposure to the elements.
Covered or Uncovered?
In the water or out, your boat can be exposed to the sky, wearing nothing more than a tarp or other fabric cover. Or, it might stay under the cover beneath an awning, inside a boat house, or even completely indoors.
Indoor boat storage protects your boat from damage by the elements. VIPs like that. It also adds extra steps to using your boat. Can’t just jump in and go, then park it and leave. The storage facility needs to pull your boat from storage, transport it to the water, and launch it. With the right vendor and boating routine, those extra steps can be minimized.
DIY boaters may not like indoor storage as much. It might feel limiting to the access to their boat. This could be especially true for “boatel” storage, where your boat is stored on a rack in a warehouse. It’s hard to work on your boat when it’s 30 feet above the warehouse floor.
Access and Security
All boat storage should be secure.
Different boat storage options offer different levels of security and access. Docks, marinas, and outside boat yards usually have fences with locked gates. Indoor storage facilities feature locked doors for both people and vehicles. And any facility can have security cameras and security personnel.
DIY boaters may want around-the-clock access to their boat. You never know when a maintenance or repair project is going to go late. VIPs appreciate security that’s easy for authorized users.
Bells and Whistles
Aside from simply keeping your boat safe in or out of the water, covered or uncovered, many boat storage options offer additional amenities. You can purchase these amenities either à la carte when needed, or through a membership subscription for various levels of service.
Amenities can include maintenance, repair, safety inspection, fueling, delivery, cleaning, detailing, provisioning.
Although DIY boaters do it themselves (by definition), they can still appreciate purchasing à la carte services when needed. Let's say some guests are going to soon arrive on short notice. You want to take them out but you haven’t cleaned and fueled the boat. A quick call to the storage facility can help make you the hero host.
VIP boaters enjoy the bundled pricing of membership levels that offer everything they need to keep their boat always ready to go with a minimum of fuss.
Choosing a Boat Storage Option
Location and budget definitely factor into choosing a boat storage option. Something that you can afford that keeps your boat near you and / or where you go boating will be high on your list.
Here at GoldKey Marine, we offer several VIP boat service packages. But we can also accommodate DIY boaters who appreciate protection and security of covered, indoor boat storage. Contact us to find out how we can fit your DIY or VIP boating style.