Boat Storage vs. Docking

26 October, 2023

Whether you use your boat occasionally, on a regular basis, or every day, it’s important that you’re always taking great care in its maintenance and storage. Some boat owners in Australia QLD choose to store their boats away and in local self storage units, while others might dock their boats in a harbour nearby.

Is there a better option between the two? What does boat storage involve versus docking your boat? This guide is useful for any boat owners looking to make a decision between the two for the benefit of their boat and the investment they’ve made.

Boat driving in sunset while people are in the boat

What is boat storage?

Boat storage is something that you can either do on your own property or make use of a self-storage facility. Boat storage often comes in a mixture of formats whether that’s stored outdoors or under a sheltered space. When it comes to Queensland, Australia, there is an increasing popularity of boat ownership.

Knowing where to store your boat is important. If you were to store your boat storage at home, it’ll most likely be pitched up outside your driveway, or in a garage if you have the space available.

There are plenty of self-storage units locally that would be available for you to store your boat off-site. These bigger self-storage units are specifically designed for large vehicles like boats. 

The benefits of boat storage

When considering the type of storage for your boat, it’s good to weigh up the positives and negatives. Here are some of the great benefits that come with boat storage:

24/7 Hour Access

One of the biggest benefits of a storage unit is that you will typically be able to get access to the unit 24/7. There’s no restriction in being able to access the boat, which is, of course, very beneficial if you’re looking to go on a spontaneous boating trip from time to time.

It also gives you peace of mind that you can check out your boat whenever needed, at whatever time of the day or night. This might be useful when you want to do some work on the boat without needing to worry about the time.

Flexible contracts 

Flexibility in the contracts is something that makes self-storage worthwhile for boat owners. Most storage units won’t tie you into contracts where you have to pay an obscene amount of money every year.

Typically, a lot of boat storage units will have a rolling, monthly contract that you can commit to for however long you want. If, for any reason, you want to cancel your contract, you can do so simply and without any financial burden.

24/7 Security

Another great perk of boat storage is not only the 24/7 access to the unit itself but the same approach when it comes to the security of the storage site.

It’s another benefit that delivers peace of mind as a boat owner that your boat is being watched and monitored 24/7. Most self-storage sites in Queensland will have both 24/7 CCTV and security on-site who are responsible for making sure no one gets into the storage units that shouldn’t be there.

Easy to book

Most storage units that are available locally, will be easy enough to book. It’s something that makes boat storage useful for those who are looking for a fuss-free way to keep their boat safe and stored away, whenever it’s needed.

A lot of self-storage units are set up to have easy booking systems, many modernised for online booking and even in-app booking rather than needing to ring up or drop an email to the site. You’ll be able to benefit from a local location, whether that’s in Hervey Bay or Nambour for instance.

The disadvantages of boat storage 

There are disadvantages to boat storage, depending on what type of storage site it is and what’s offered on-site when it comes to getting the vessel in and out of the unit.

Parking at home could lead to vandalism or theft

If you’re looking to park your boat at home, this is probably one of the most vulnerable spots for your boat to be. 

Whether it’s stored on your drive or in your garage, it’s available for most people to see, which means those who want to steal or vandalise your boat, might be able to do so with more accessibility.

It might get damaged during extreme weather conditions

While extreme weather conditions can leave your boat vulnerable regardless of its location, storing it might leave it more open to the elements and at risk of major damage. This is because a lot of storage units will store boats at a height and often enough, in shared spaces where other boats might be.

You may need to invest in tools and equipment to unload the boat

Finally, if you’re looking to unload and get your boat out onto the water, some storage units might charge to do this or you might need to ensure you have the skills and ability to do this yourself. This might require you to invest in certain tools and equipment as a result.

Two boats stored on the beach

What is boat docking?

Boat docking is where you pull up your vessel to a dock or harbour. These environments are out on the water and will usually be shared with other boats that are side-by-side with your boat, as well as behind and in front of you, separated by a jetty or decking.

Docking a boat proves to be a lot more challenging, especially if you’re a newcomer to docking boats in general. However, if helpful, this quick step-by-step guide shows you how to do so:

  • Prepare the dock lines on the bow and stern. Attach fenders
  • Line up the approach to the dock, surveying the area as you do so.
  • Judge weather conditions, the current, and the wind before proceeding to the dock.
  • Use intermittent acceleration when required.
  • Navigate the boat into the allocated spot, being aware of other boats nearby.
  • Tie off the boat to the posts, pilings, or cleats with your docking lines.

The benefits of boat docking

What are the benefits of boat docking if you’re considering this as an alternative to boat storage? Here are a few advantages to consider:

Easy and convenient access

With boat docking, you’ve got easy and convenient access to your boat. It’s already out on the water, meaning you don’t need to worry about allowing for extra time and equipment to unload and drive your boat to the water.

Increased socialising and entertaining opportunities

With a boat out on the dock, you’ve got a much easier opportunity to socialise and entertain with others in the surrounding area. You might also make fellow boat friends when docked up.

Great views and surroundings 

A great benefit to docking your boat is the great views and surroundings you could be docked in. Of course, Queensland has some beautiful docks to take advantage of as a boat owner.

The disadvantages of boat docking 

While boat docking might have its own benefits, there are certainly some disadvantages to be wary of.

Not always a secure spot

With boat docking, it’s not quite as secure as you’d hope it would be. You might have CCTV and some level of security but that security might not be 24/7. As a result, your boat might still be an opportunity for vandalism or theft.

The boat may be subject to more damage from the elements

With the boat docked out in the outdoors, not only does it have to deal with the water it’s in all year round but there are also a lot of weather conditions that could occur throughout the year that would cause damage too. 

You also have the threat of other boat owners who might not be well-versed when it comes to docking their own vessels, damaging your own!

Challenging to manoeuvre in tight spaces

If you’re not a confident driver when it comes to your boat, parking might be even more challenging than parking a car, especially if the docking space you have is already quite tight and restricted.

Typically more expensive

Docking is often more expensive and you’ll find when comparing costs to other storage solutions, this form of storage is going to be the most luxurious and expensive option.

Boats that are docked

Boat storage vs Docking – which one is better?

If you’re looking for better security, more flexibility, and a cost-effective option, then boat storage is often the preferred option. While docking might be easier and your boat is already out on the water, there’s a lot of damage that can happen over a shorter period of time because of it being exposed to the water and elements on a daily basis.

With boat storage vs docking, you might find it more useful and advantageous to store it over docking or storing it at home.

Store your boat in self-storage units in Hervey Bay and Nambour

If you’re based in Australia QLD and you’re looking for trusted, reputable self-storage units, then there are some great ones in the local area of Hervey Bay and Nambour. Check out our self-storage options available for your boat storage needs.