Can You Store Your Boat in the Water During Winter?

November 17, 2021 11:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Owning a boat is a significant investment of time and money, so you want to store it correctly during the winter to protect it from the elements. Yet storing a boat in the water is certainly the most convenient way to do it. This leaves boat owners wondering: Can you leave a boat in the water during winter?

The short answer is yes, you can in most cases. However, there are some important considerations to make when you decide to leave your boat in the water during the colder months.

Leaving the boat outside vs inside

There are some places where it’s not advisable to leave your boat out for the winter. This includes colder climates like the upper Midwest. Here, you’ll have to remove the boat from the water due to the likelihood that the lake where the boat is stored will freeze.

If you live in a place where it isn’t likely that the lake will freeze over, then storing the boat in the water is an option. The advantage is that you can take your boat out all year long—but there is compromised security during the winter. With less activity at the docks, your boat could become a target for theft.

You also can’t simply tie up the boat, walk away and expect that everything will be the same in the spring. If you’re asking, “Can I leave my boat in the water all year?” you need to take some precautions.


You only want to leave the boat in the water all year if it’s close enough that you can check on it regularly. Ideally, you’ll be able to swing by to see how the boat is doing weekly. As with many things in life, big problems with boats are usually the result of small problems that have been ignored and left to grow worse over time.

On your weekly boat inspection, check the condition of the dock lines, and make any necessary adjustments. You’ll also want to look at the thru hulls, the engine and the bilge.

Check for ice

If there’s any ice collecting, it can do real damage to your boat. Marinas in the north tend to have bubbler systems to keep this at bay. Carry some de-icer with you to take care of the problem.

Keep the boat covered

It’s essential to cover the boat when you’re leaving it out for the winter. The sun’s UV rays can cause damage and may even sink the boat. If possible, you’ll want to shrink-wrap the entire boat, leaving only an access door open. Alternatively, use a canvas cover, which will block the sun along with any accumulation of snow and ice.

Are you looking for quality boating services and products? Check out all Trinity Alps Marina has to offer. Since 2003, we’ve been a family-owned and -operated marina offering boat storage, boat repairs and affordable rentals. Get in touch with us today to learn more about all we have to offer to boaters.

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