This article will detail what boat sizes are suitable to what sized garage as well as proper boat storage techniques in terms of how much room your boat should have.
We will also detail how you can determine boat type and class to decide if this boat can fit into your garage more quickly.
Garages and boats can come in a myriad of sizes that might make it difficult to determine the perfect match. Ultimately, if you have a one or two-car garage that measures 12×22 feet to 20×22 feet, you can fit most Class A and Class I boats. A three-car garage ranging from 32×22 feet to 40×30 feet can fit all Class A and Class I boats and some Class II boats.
Read on to learn more about which different classes of boats can fit in various sized garages.
Determining Boat Type and Class
It is important to know what class your boat is before determining what sized garage it can fit into. Boats can be split into two categories, their class and their type.
Know Your Boat Type
There are two ways to determine your boat type. The first is how the boat is powered. This can include:
- Unpowered/man-powered boats (ex. rafts, gondolas, kayaks, etc.)
- Sail-propelled (ex. Sailboats)
- Engine-powered (ex. Motorboats)
The second way is the vast array of styles within this classification, which include, but are not limited to:
- Fishing Boat
- Bass Boat
- Dinghy Boat
- Deck Boat
- Cabin Cruisers
- Bowrider Boat
- Jet Boat
- Pontoon Boat
- Centre Console Boat
- Sport Fishing Yacht
Knowing your type of boat might be a quick way to determine whether or not it can fit in your garage. Although these boats’ sizes can vary, some styles are almost always bigger or smaller than others. Of course, the easiest way to determine its size is to know what class it’s in.
Know Your Boat Class
Knowing your boat class is ultimately the easiest way to determine if it can fit into your garage. This is because boat class is strictly dependent on the boat’s measurements, which you can compare to your garage measurements.
If you’re putting your boat into your garage, it is likely part of a smaller boat class. There are five boat classes, which are demonstrated below, along with their specified measurements.
|Boat Class||Class Measurements|
|Class A||less than 16 feet length overall|
|Class I||16 to less than 26 feet length overall|
|Class II||26 to less than 40 feet length overall|
|Class III||40 to less than 65 feet length overall|
|Small Research Vessel (SRV)||greater than 65 feet length overall but less than 300 gross tons|
You’re likely to know the type of boat you are purchasing before you know its class, but it is always smart to check the class first and know what this means in terms of size before attempting to put it into your garage.
Boats That Fit in a One-Car Garage
Although it is not the most common garage option, many properties come with a one-car garage. However, it is not unlikely that these are detached garages, meaning they are most likely located next to or behind the home instead of attached to it.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “standard-sized” garage. Most garage measurements are determined by the style and model of the home or the state/region that the garage is built, so be aware of this when determining if your boat can fit.
On the other hand, there are average sizes for each type of garage, and for a one-car garage, the average is 12 feet wide and 22 feet deep. However, there are several other common one-car garage sizes, such as 14 x 22, 16 x 24, and 14 x 24, in addition to customized sizes.
Since these garages are the smallest, you’re most likely going to only fit a Class A boat in the average-sized one-car garage and some Class I boats in the other common sized one-car garage. Luckily, 95% of registered mechanically-propelled boats are less than 26 feet in length, which means they will easily fit into these garages.
|Common Boats Suitable for One Car Garage||Class||Average Length Range|
|Fishing Boat||Class A or I||15-22 feet|
|Day Sailing Boat||Class A||12-14 feet|
|Canoes||Class A or I||16-17 feet|
|Jon Boat||Class A or I||8-20 feet|
|Skiffs||Class A or I||15-25 feet|
|Dinghy||Class A||8-15 feet|
Boats That Fit in a Two Car Garage
Two-car garages are likely the most common property garages and can vastly increase the list of boat types you can store within. You can either decide to use this garage to store one Class A or Class I boat in addition to a single car, or you can dedicate it solely to a larger vessel.
On average, a two-car garage measures 18-feet wide by 20 feet deep with other common sizes including 20 x 20, 22 x 22, and 20 x 22. Although these measurements still constitute storing a Class A or Class I boat in terms of length, it allows you to potentially store two appropriately sized boats within the same garage in addition to storing wider boats that you couldn’t store in a 12-foot wide one car garage.
The width of a boat, also referred to as its beam, allows maximum stability. Small, slim boats might be good for speed and traveling narrow massages, such as small rivers and streams. However, boats with more beam are much more stable and often more spacious.
The boats mentioned here often have an average beam of 8.5 feet unless they nearly double the maximum Class I length. They are exceptional choices to accommodate a small group or provide maximum space for a pair of sailors.
|Common Boats Suitable for Two Car Garage||Class||Average Length Range|
|Bowrider||Class A or I||16-21 feet|
|Pontoon Boat||Class I||18-25 feet|
|Walkaround Boat||Class I||18-30 feet|
|Cruiser Boat||Class I||21-45 feet|
|Cuddy Cabin||Class I||22-30 feet|
|Pilothouse Boat||Class I||20-35 feet|
Boats That Fit in a Three Car Garage
Three car garages can be difficult to come by, but when you find one, jump on it because boat storage is much less of an issue.
If you want a boat that can easily accommodate a party or a large family, you’ll want to make sure you have a three-car garage before purchasing your vessel.
Compared to the one and two-car garages that typically cap-out at a depth of 20-22 feet, three-car garages can sometimes offer up to an extra eight feet for longer boats. They also tend to be much wider, so you can easily turn your boat and store it sideways.
On average, a three-car garage measures 32-feet wide by 22-feet deep with other common options including 36 x 25 feet, 38 x 26 feet, and 40 x 30 feet. This means that as long as you are storing your boat sideways to fill the garage’s width, you can easily move up to Class II boats.
Below are some classic Class II boats that you could store only in a three-car garage. Typically, if boats exceed this class, they need to be stored in a large storage unit or a marina.
|Common Boats Suitable for Three Car Garage||Class||Average Length Range|
|Trawler Boat||Class II||35-60 feet|
|Sedan Bridge Boat||Class II||35 + feet|
|Convertible Fishing Boat||Class II||35 + feet|
|Catamaran Boat||Class II||38-47 feet|
|Center Console Boat||Class II||26-30 feet|
Standard Garage Sizes And Boat Lengths
Not everyone owns an average two-car garage. For people who don’t fall into this category, here are some of the average garage sizes and lengths of boats that fill fit within them.
Average Garage Sizes And Boat Lengths
|Number of Cars Garage Holds||Average Size of Garages in Feet (Width x Length)||Boat Length if Parked Straight||Boat Length if Parked Diagonally||Examples of Boat Types and Their Average Lengths|
|One Car||12 x 22||20 feet||23 feet||Wakeboard (16-28 ft)|
|–||14 x 22||20 feet||24 feet||Centre console (18-65 ft)|
|–||14 x 24||22 feet||25 feet||Bowrider (19-26 ft)|
|–||16 x 24||22 feet||26 feet|
|Two Cars||18 x 20||18 feet||24 feet||Pontoon (15-30 ft)|
|–||20 x 20||18 feet||26 feet||Deck (25-35 ft)|
|–||20 x 22||20 feet||27 feet|
|–||22 x 22||20 feet||29 feet|
|Three Cars||32 x 22||20 feet||36 feet||Cabin Cruiser (24-45 ft)|
|–||36 x 25||23 feet||41 feet||Motor Yacht (30-100 ft)|
|–||38 x 26||24 feet||44 feet||Catamaran (38-47 ft)|
|–||40 x 20||18 feet||42 feet|
The length of the boat is determined by taking into consideration the added length of the trailer.
You also need to take into consideration the height of the boat on a trailer. This will differ with the type of boat you have. Most garages only have 7ft doors, so you need to keep this in mind.
Will an 18-Foot Boat Fit In a Garage?
As you can see from the chart above, an 18-foot boat can fit in almost any type of garage. Even the smallest average garages can accommodate an 18-foot boat backed straight into them.
As long as the height of the boat on the trailer does not exceed the height of the garage door (typically 7 feet), you should have no problems storing your boat.
Will My Bass Boat Fit In My Garage?
Bass boats are great for fishing, but can you easily store them once your off the water?
The size of your bass boat determines how big of a garage you will need to store it. You can either purchase a:
- Larger bass boat (18 to 19 feet long)
- Smaller bass boat (16 to 17 feet long)
On a trailer, a bass boat is typically around 6 feet tall. Therefore it should fit within any regular-sized garage door.
How To Safely Store Bass Boats
To safely store your bass boat, the garage it is stored in should:
- Be 2-3 feet wider than the width of the boat and trailer
- Be 1-3 feet longer than the length of the boat and trailer
- Have a door that is at least 1 foot higher than the height of the boat and trailer
Anything smaller than this leads to the risk of damaging your boat or trailer when backing it in or removing it.
So, for smaller boats, your garage should be at least 18 feet long and at least 20 feet long for larger ones.
How Tall Should a Garage Door Be For a Pontoon Boat?
Since pontoon boats can vary in size, the answer to this question varies.
If you’re looking to store your pontoon boat in your garage, you will need to measure the height of it with the bimini down. With this measurement, you can then determine the height the garage door needs to be.
Typically, the garage door needs to be at least a foot higher than the pontoon. The average pontoon will fit just fine with this clearance within a 7-foot garage door if the bimini is down.
How Much Length Does a Trailer Add to a Boat?
A trailer adds about two feet to a boat.
The trailer must be big enough to support the boat. To make sure your trailer is big enough for your boat, you should measure from the end of the hull’s running surface to the farthest point at the bow.
What Are the Best Boats for Garages?
Not all boats are going to fit into your garage. Some are better suited than others for garage storage. Which boats are the best for garages though?
Best Boats for One-Car Garages
If you own a one-car garage, consider investing in one of these smaller types of boats.
- Bowrider boat
- Centre Console boat
- Wakeboard boat
Bowrider boats are considered family boats due to their swim platform and room for eight or more passengers. They are great for family trips to the lake.
Centre console boats are great for fishing. With the helm station in the center of the boat, this boat works great in harsh offshore waterways.
Wakeboard boats are great for, you guessed it, wakeboarding. If your someone who loves to wakeboard, this is probably the right choice for you.
These boats tend to be smaller and can fit within a single car garage. However, you can buy them in larger lengths, so be careful that the length you choose does not exceed your garage’s limits.
Best Boats For Two-Car Garages
If you own a two-car garage, you can of course easily fit the above-suggested boats within it. However, you can also fit boats that have a slightly higher average size such as:
- Deck boat
- Pontoon boat
A deck boat is a great boat for swimming and different water sports. It has an open deck seating area to accommodate a small group of people. It averages between 25-35 feet long, so just be sure to get one that fits your specific garage’s limits.
Pontoon boats are very popular. Due to this, they come in a large range of sizes. Most commonly though, you will find pontoons between 15 to 30 feet long, making them a great candidate for two-car garages.
The other benefit of two-car garages is that you can store smaller boats backed straight in, allowing for the use of the other side of your garage still.
Best Boats For Three-Car Garages
With a three-car garage, you can go even bigger with your boats. A few boats to consider for this sized garage include:
- Cabin cruisers
- Catamaran boats
- Motor yachts
You can find smaller cabin cruisers that will fit on a trailer within your garage. You may need a larger garage door opening though. It all depends on the type you get.
Catamaran boats can be stored within larger three-car garages. These boats are great for both fishing and leisure purposes.
Motor yachts are a type of yacht that is at least 40 feet in length. They are great for just about any type of water recreation.
Alternatives to Storing Your Boat In a Garage
If your boat is too big for your garage or you simply do not have space, you can consider a few different storage options.
Alternative Indoor Storage Options
Indoor storage options to consider besides your garage are:
- Dry stacked storage
- Self-storage facility
Dry stacked racks keep your boat safe inside a warehouse with other boats, but you may not always have access to your boat when you want to use it.
Self-storage facilities allow for you to easily access your boat whenever you want but sometimes are not big enough for larger boats.
Alternative Outdoor Storage Options
Outdoor storage options to consider include:
- Covered boat storage at a storage facility
- Covered up at a self-storage facility
- In your driveway covered up
- On a marina slip
- On a boat lift
A storage facility that offers outdoor covered storage is more cost-effective than an indoor storage facility but results in less protection of your boat since it is only partially covered.
A self-storage facility is similar to covering up your boat and leaving it in your driveway, except you leave it at the facility.
If you live somewhere where it’s always warm, you can consider storing your boat in a marina. This gives you immediate access to the water but with higher risks of damage to your boat.
A boat-lift allows you to store your boat at a marina while keeping it dry. However, this method is best for just short-term storage.
Garages are fantastic for storing boats because they can keep them out of the elements and protect them from any sort of dirt or debris, especially if they are covered.
Since these purchases are so expensive, it is best to store your Class A, Class I, and even some Class II boats in your garage.
One reason is that it is cheaper to store them here for free rather than to pay for a unit or marina spot.
Your garage also allows easy access to your boat for maintenance and a quick trip to the water whenever you like.
Alright guys, that’s it for this article, if you are interesting in reading more about garages, smart homes, home security and a whole lot more. We have lots of cool articles related to sealing such as: