You’ve just had a great day on the water with your boat, but now you must find a place to park it. You might be wondering — where can I park my boat? This is a common question that many boat owners ask themselves. The answer depends on various factors, such as the size of your boat, storage options available, and local regulations.
Several options are available for boat storage, ranging from open lot storage spaces to indoor storage units. Before deciding, weighing each option’s advantages and disadvantages is critical.
Here, we’ll look at the various possibilities for boat parking, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and the local restrictions you should be aware of when parking your boat. Keep reading if you’re a boat owner seeking a safe and secure spot to moor your boat!
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What are the Different Types of Boat Parking Options?
When parking your boat, there are a few different options to consider. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to consider your specific needs before deciding on a parking solution.
Open Lot Storage Spaces
Boaters can park their boats and trailers in open fields or large areas of land known as “open lot storage spaces.”
This allows for simple drive-up access and offers a low-cost, practical boat storage solution. They typically have few security features and may be more appropriate for the summer than the winter.
Boatyard Storage Options
Commercial locations called boatyards provide boat storage choices for a cost. These storage possibilities are available in a range of sizes, and some even include extras like electricity and water hookups.
They are more expensive and frequently a better option for winter storage, but they do offer stronger security features than open lot storage spaces.
Indoor Storage Units
If you’re looking for a more secure and controlled environment for your boat, consider an indoor storage unit. Most boats that can be stored indoors will need a 10×20 or 10×30 storage unit to fit while on a trailer.
Before picking a size, take the time to measure your boat on its trailer to see which size you’ll need. Keep your boat’s height in mind as well because most storage units are around eight feet tall, so the boat may need to be disassembled and reassembled.
Driveway and Backyard Storage
According to the law, you can park a boat on your private driveway. However, if this driveway is visible from the street, your community might complain and ask you to move your boat.
If you live in a community regulated by a board of supervisors, they can ask you to remove your boat from the private driveway. For backyard storage, some neighborhoods or homeowner’s associations may have rules regarding parking boats in your backyard.
Check with your local regulations before opting for the driveway or backyard storage.
For individuals who desire quick access to the water, marinas provide a convenient parking option. Although marina storage is typically more expensive than other choices, it has benefits like dock access, electricity, and security. Ask about availability and costs. Some marinas may have both indoor and outdoor storage choices.
While street parking may seem like a viable option, it’s important to note that, by and large, street parking for recreational vehicles like boat trailers is forbidden above a specific time frame.
Sometimes it’s a reasonable 48 or 72 hours to prevent owners from using street parking as their own boat storage area. But we’ve found that the more boat-friendly a town (on the shore of the ocean, a lake, or a river), the more likely they are to allow parking for boats on streets for up to seven days.
If you have enough space on your property, you can store your boat yourself. You can build a storage shed or carport or even park your boat in your garage. DIY storage is a cost-effective option but requires a bit of effort and may not be suitable for larger boats.
What Are the Legal Restrictions on Boat Parking?
You should be aware of various legal limits when it comes to boat parking. These restrictions vary from location to location, so it’s essential to research the laws and regulations in your area before parking your boat.
In most areas, you cannot anchor your boat in certain places, such as near swimming areas, navigational channels, or private property. Additionally, you must comply with the distance requirements between boats and the shore or other boats.
Many areas have time limits for how long a boat can be parked in one location. This prevents boats from staying in one spot for extended periods and ensures everyone can access the available parking spots.
Some areas require a permit to park your boat, especially if you plan to park it for an extended period. This helps to ensure that only authorized boats are parked in the area.
Boaters must also comply with environmental regulations when parking their boats. This may include not anchoring in sensitive areas or properly disposing of waste.
Here are a few examples of states with regulations on boat parking:
California: In California, boats cannot be parked on public beaches or within designated swimming areas. In addition, boats parked on private property must be at least 10 feet from the property line, and local regulations may require additional setbacks.
Florida: In Florida, boats can generally be parked on private property as long as they are not blocking public access to the water. However, there are restrictions on anchoring in certain areas, and boats parked in the water for more than 10 days must be registered with the state.
New York: In New York, boats cannot be parked within 100 feet of designated swimming areas or public beaches. In addition, boats parked on private property must not extend beyond the property line or obstruct the view of the water from neighboring properties.
It’s important to note that regulations can vary by state and even by local jurisdiction within a state. It’s usually a good idea to double-check with local officials to verify you’re following all requirements.
What Are the Best Practices for Storing Your Boat?
Proper storage of your boat is essential to ensure its longevity and safety. Here are some of the best practices for storing your boat:
- Choose the Right Storage Location: A dry, secure, shaded storage location is the best option for storing your boat. It can be indoor or outdoor, depending on your preference and convenience.
- Clean Your Boat: Before storing your boat, clean it thoroughly to prevent any dirt, debris, or mold buildup. This will also help to avoid any potential damage during storage.
- Cover Your Boat: Cover your boat with a proper cover to protect it from the elements, such as rain, snow, and UV rays.
- Remove Batteries: It’s essential to remove the batteries and store them in a cool, dry place to avoid any damage or corrosion.
- Winterization: If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s essential to winterize your boat properly. This includes draining the water system, adding antifreeze, and ensuring the engine is appropriately winterized.
- Maintenance Checks: It’s essential to perform regular maintenance checks on your boat, even in storage. This includes checking for any leaks, cracks, or other potential issues that could cause damage.
Where Can You Find Safe and Secure Boat Parking Facilities?
If you don’t have a dock or marina to store your boat, you might wonder where you can find a safe and secure parking facility.
Public Boat Ramps
Many cities and towns have public boat ramps that provide safe and secure parking facilities. These ramps are usually located near popular waterways and offer a convenient place to launch and park your boat.
Private Boat Storage Facilities
Many private boat storage facilities offer both indoor and outdoor storage options. These facilities often have security cameras, gated access, and other security measures in place to keep your boat safe.
Marinas and Yacht Clubs
If you’re looking for a long-term storage option, marinas, and yacht clubs are a great choice. These facilities offer amenities like showers, restrooms, boat maintenance services, and secure parking options.
Online Boat Parking Services
Several online platforms offer boat parking services, allowing boat owners to find and book safe and secure parking spots for their boats. These services often include secure payment options, insurance coverage, and real-time tracking of your boat’s location.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Boat Parking Facility?
There are various elements to consider when selecting a boat parking facility to ensure the safety and security of your yacht. Here are some of the most critical points to remember:
The facility’s location should be convenient for you to access and close to the water body where you will be boating. It is also essential to consider the distance between the facility and your home, as you may need to transport your boat to and from the storage facility.
Check to see if the facility has adequate security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, access control, and security personnel. You want to protect your boat from theft, vandalism, and other types of damage.
Look for a facility that offers additional amenities, such as electrical hookups, water supply, and dump stations. These amenities can make preparing your boat for a day out on the water easier and more convenient.
Boat storage can be costly, so examine the cost of the facility and whether it fits within your budget. It would be best to ask about additional fees, such as security deposits or late payment fees.
Finding the right parking spot for your boat can seem daunting, but with some research and careful consideration, it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the different types of boat parking options, legal restrictions, best practices for storage, and factors to consider when choosing a facility are crucial to making an informed decision.
Whether you’re looking for a place to park your boat during the off-season or a more long-term option, safety, security, and accessibility must be prioritized. You may have peace of mind knowing that your boat is in good care if you assess your options and conduct your due diligence. Happy boating!