Boats are not exactly cheap, which is why you want to protect and secure it when it is out of the water.
Many boat owners, spend a top dollar on professional storage options, whether at the marina or at a local boat warehousing facility.
Yet on the other side, there are those who opt for storing the boat at home – usually inside a carport – to keep a closer eye on it and to save a small fortune at the same time.
If that’s the direction you want to go, you’ll want to make sure that you are fully prepared.
That’s why we’ve put together this detailed guide!
Read on as we cover everything you need to know about storing your boat in a carport from here on out.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Make Sure You’re Legally Good to Go with Storing a Boat in a Carport
Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of storing your boat in a carport, you want to make sure you can legally store your boat at home in this kind of structure.
While some people might have no problem at all throwing a carport up on their property, others, though, might have to cut through all kinds of red tape.
This is especially true if you belong to any kind of Homeowners Association, have specific rules and regulations about the structures you can have on your property, or have to abide by special building or zoning codes.
So, before you spend any money on a carport, all of this has to be researched before you start planning where you want to put the structure.
Get this squared away first and foremost, and you’ll be good to go.
Nobody wants to deal with the unpleasant surprise of a local official showing up and telling you that your structure has to come down, and your boat has to go somewhere else after you spent the time and money to get things just the way you want them on your property.
Find a Spot for the New Boat Storage
The next major decision you’ll need to get out of the way is where you’re actually going to store your new boat, and where you’re going to position your carport.
There’s a lot that goes into this, too.
For starters, you’re going to want to find a spot that has effortless access for your boat.
It’s important to remember that you are going to have to navigate some pretty long distances with a trailer and a boat attached – often times reversing into or out of (relatively) tight corners.
The easier you make it to get your boat into and out of your carport, the happier you are going to be. You want to be sure that you have clean lines of sight, an easy turning radius, and the ability to get your boat in and out of your carport in forward or reverse.
Sometimes you will need to make compromises. But try your best to find a position for your new carport and boat storage area that makes your life a lot less frustrating.
At the same time, you don’t necessarily want your new carport and your shiny new boat sitting right outside your driveway where everyone and anyone can see it.
There are only about a million and one horror stories online from people that have had their boats stolen out of their new carport storage almost the day that they started using it!
You want to make sure that your carport storage for your boat is a little further tucked back than right out on the open driveway.
Again, this isn’t always going to be possible.
Sometimes you’ll have to make some compromises depending on how much space you have, what your driveway layout is like, and what the rules and regulations for home boat storage are liking your area.
Just try to do your level best!
Anything you can do to keep your boat out of plain sight is going to boost your peace of mind big time. Finding that sweet spot between ease of access and keeping your boat protected is something you’ll have to do individually.
Flat (As Possible)
You’ll have a real nightmare of a time parking a boat safely if you are on a significant slope.
The bigger the boat, the more pronounced a slope will become – which is why you want to stick to the flattest spots on your property possible.
There have been boat owners that have had their carport area actually dug out and graded to make sure that it was just as flat as humanly possible.
Now, your chosen parking spot doesn’t necessarily need to be as flat as a pool table to keep your boat safe and secure. But it has to be reasonably flat, or you’re going to be fighting these problems all the time.
Don’t Forget About Security!
You also want to consider security features that you add to flesh out your new carport storage for your boat.
We are talking about floodlights that are hooked up to motion sensors. Night vision capable cameras that are hooked up to your Wi-Fi. Alarm systems if you have the budget – and even good old-fashioned “dumb” security like chains, locks, and the like.
Boats are always a significant investment. The last thing you want is to have someone swipe it out from underneath you – right from your home in a carport – when you go away for a long weekend.
Amp up security as much as your budget allows. You’ll sleep a lot easier at night.
Find the Right Carport for Your Boat
After you find the right spot for your carport, it’s time to start actually hunting down the perfect option for your needs.
The quality of the protection that your potential new carport offers has to be the defining characteristic of this purchase.
The main reason to spend money on a carport for boat storage is to keep it safe long-term, protecting it from the elements (human and natural), and keeping it in tip-top condition for as long as possible.
That’s only going to happen if the carport you purchase actually offers the level of protection you are shooting for.
Search for something that has a quality roof, something that can accept sidewalls, and something that is going to protect against wind, weather, and UV damage.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to the protection this carport is supposed to offer.
It’s also important to purchase a carport for boat storage that is going to be as flexible for your long-term needs as possible.
The temptation is definitely going to be there to want to buy a carport that fits your current boat perfectly – but what if you want to upgrade (or downgrade) later down the line?
Is your carport a “buy at once for life” kind of investment, or are you going to bump up to a newer, bigger boat later down the line and have the front and back ends of it sticking out from your carport?
These are things that have to be considered.
You’ll also want to think about how else you can use a carport when your boat is stored, as well as when it’s out on the water.
Few people want to spend the kind of money that quality carports command without getting as much value for their dollar as possible. The more versatile the purchase, the more flexible the purchase, the better your investment is going to be.
This is the last thing that you need to think about before you pull the trigger on a new carport for your boat storage needs.
Everyone is going to be operating within a budget, though that budget is likely to be entirely different from anyone else’s.
Always try to spend as much money as you can reasonably afford on as high-quality a carport as you find on the market today.
When you cut corners by cutting costs, you inevitably put your boat’s long-term viability in jeopardy. Spend a little more (or spend as much as you have budgeted) to get something quality, and you won’t have to worry about that.
You Still Need to Winterize Your Vessel
Carports are really nothing more than a high-quality roof and a couple of structural support beams. They very rarely have walls (aside from temporary walls that can be put up and taken down with ease).
This means that your boat is still going to be subjected to wind, weather, and other environmental conditions – especially when it’s tucked away in long-term storage.
If you have to winterize in your area it’s important to remember that this is still something you’ll have to run through after you make this purchase.
You are still going to have to:
- Pull your battery and hook it up to a trickle charger
- Pull out your drive belts so that they don’t become brittle and break
- Give your engine a top to bottom “once over” to make sure that it is ready to rock and roll
- Flush out old fluids, replace your oil, and treat any fluids that’s going to stay in your boat long-term
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You’re also going to want to consider shrink-wrapping your boat, even though it’s going to be outside and under a cover.
This is going to help prevent water and debris from getting into your boat, but it’s also going to act as a first-line defense against moisture in your boat, too.
It won’t take very long to shrink-wrapped the whole thing (and if you do it yourself, it won’t cost that much, either). But it’s definitely going to pay off big time in the long term.
At the end of the day, investing in a quality carport to protect your boat for storage and home is usually a smart idea.
You just need to make sure that you run through all the inside information we highlighted above to really think this through from top to bottom.
Invest in a quality carport, be smart about where you locate it on your property, and take the necessary steps to protect your boat from anything and everything you can think of, and you’ll be good to go.
Before you go, make sure you check these other fun reads we have prepared for you.
Storing the Boat Outside at Home – 5 Things to Avoid
Versatube Carports – Are They Any Good?