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Wet Or Dry Boat Storage, Which is the Better Choice?

By Ben Pate

Boats offer hours of pleasure to their owners and guests. Boats allow people to access parts of lakes and the coast that people without boats cannot reach. There you can picnic, swim or fish in less crowded waters. If your boat is small, then storage may be simple. You just load the boat back onto your trailer and head home for storage. This gives the advantage of being able to take your boat to different lakes in order to launch it. For larger boats, storage is more of a problem and you may need to choose between wet or dry boat storage marinas.

A wet storage marina can offer many advantages. First and foremost, your boat is ready take out at a moment's notice. Often wet storage marinas offer electrical power that allows you to keep batteries charged using a battery keeper. While most wet storage marinas do not offer covered storage for your boat, there are some, which do offer this option for smaller boats. Enclosed storage protects your boat from sunlight and many of the elements that may cause the exposed portions of your boat to break down.

Dry boat storage marinas also can offer many advantages to the boat owner. Boats are stored in dry conditions, usually inside a garage like structure. The structure offers protection from water damage as well as other damage from the elements. Dry storage will keep the finish and exposed upholstery of your boat looking like new for many years.

Storing your boat in a dry boat storage marina requires that the boat be lifted out of the water. Most dry boat storage marinas offer a crane and track system that allows your boat to be moved into its storage slip. Stacked storage may be offered for smaller boats, but is not practical for boats with large masts. Very large boats may not fit into the facilities offered by dry boat storage-marinas.

Some boat owners use dry storage whenever they need to work on their boats. If this is your plan, be sure that such work is allowed in the marina you choose, since insurance policies often require that marinas do not allow for working on your boat. If you are allowed to work on your boat while it is in dry storage, this is a great time to inspect the boat for damage that may not be noticeable when the boat is in the water. Some work, such as replacing a propeller is much easier in dry storage.

The greatest disadvantage to dry storage is that the boat must be launched fresh each time you want to use it. It will need to be placed back on the track and sent back into the water. You may need to schedule this procedure several days in advance, so this may not be the best choice for spur of the minute people. Once the boat is in the water, it will need to come alongside a dock for loading of supplies, luggage and passengers.

Whatever method you chose to store your boat, you need to remember that there will be advantages as well as disadvantages of different marinas. Choices should reflect what works best for you and your boat. You can choose between convenience of wet storage and safety of dry boat storage.

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