In our previous posts we outlined the importance of proper winter storage as well as two currently popular methods for storing a boat or pontoon over the winter. In this post we will outline the two remaining viable winter storage options and their advantages as well as disadvantages. One of the options is indoor storage and the other is a re-useable winter storage cover.
Storing your boat indoors over the winter is a popular method for the obvious reason of complete protection from the elements. Unless your roof collapses or some other catastrophic event occurs, your boat is protected from sleet, ice, snow, and wind throughout the late fall, winter, and early spring months. You also have the advantage of having easy access to your boat over the winter months should you need it if you store the boat on your own property. If you don’t have space on your property to store your boat indoors, there are companies that you can pay to store your boat indoors.
The main disadvantages to indoor winter boat storage are related to space and rodents. If you live in a city or a town it is unlikely you have an outbuilding that is large enough to store the boat overwinter and your garage is likely taken up with vehicles to protect them from the winter elements. If you live in the country, your outbuilding space is usually full of other types of equipment or even feed that take priority over a boat. However, as previously mentioned, you can pay to have your boat stored off site, the disadvantage in that being that you need to pay every year for the storage. Rodents also tend to look towards warmer, indoor areas to make their winter nests, so boats stored indoors are generally more prone to rodent infestation.
The last option for overwinter boat storage is to have a re-useable winter storage cover made for your boat. The advantages of this option lie in primarily its re-usability. This makes it both greener for the environment and for your pocket over the long run. Re-useable winter storage covers are generally made out of materials that prevent snow build up by their slickness, as well as the construction which creates a peak that encourages snow to slide off of the cover. Depending on the construction it will also be built to encourage airflow and discourage mold growth. Also depending on the construction and depending on the type of boat it is made for it could fit several different boats, allowing you to keep the same cover throughout the years as you switch boats. Additionally, as it is stored outside, mice are less likely to consider it a hospitable, warm environment for their winter abode.
Disadvantages to re-usable winter storage covers are few; the main disadvantage being that the upfront cost is often great than other storage options even though the long term cost is lower. Another disadvantage lies in the manufacturer of your storage cover. If they use a low grade material or do not build the cover specifically for winter it will not protect your boat very well throughout the winter nor will it last very long. The winter storage cover we make for pontoons shows the type of quality and construction you should look for in any outdoor winter storage cover.
Now that we’ve outlined the various methods of winter boat storage you can make a decision on which method is most feasible for you and your particular situation. Just remember, ANY protection is better than NO protection, summer covers are not meant to withstand winter conditions, and boat interiors are very expensive to replace.
Thank you for reading! I hope you had an enjoyable weekend on the water and plenty of plans to come!