Boatell: Is Rack Storage (Dry Stack) a Good Idea?

Rack storage for boats, otherwise known as keeping your boat in a “boatell,” has become quite popular through the years. Is it a good idea, for you? Let’s look at the pro’s and the con’s.

boats in a boatell

Should you consider rack storage for your boat? Let’s find out.

PRO: Your boat can’t possible ever sink in the slip.

CON: You have to call ahead before you use your boat, so the marina can pull it off of the racks and launch it. Than can eliminate some spur-of-the-moment trips, and/or cause delays on busy weekends.

PRO: You don’t need to paint the bottom. That means you don’t have to buy bottom paint, and believe it or not, most boats run a MPH or two faster without bottom paint slowing them down.

CON: Some newbie forklift operator might shave the T-top right off of your boat (or otherwise damage it), if his aim is off. Don’t laugh – I’ve seen radomes come tumbling down, gouged hullsides, and dinged bowrails more than ones.

PRO: It’s less expensive to keep a boat in rack storage than it is to get a wet slip.

CON: You have to plan ahead to do general maintenance, install accessories, or otherwise fiddle with your boat. Even if you’re in the ground-level slot, you still won’t be able to work on the boat because most facilities won’t let the owners get close to stored dry stack boats for liability reasons.

PRO: If you’re a saltwater boater, since your boat’s hardware won’t be within a few feet of the water at all times corrosion issues are reduced. Dittos for running gear electrolysis problems common in many saltwater marinas.

CON: If anything leaks on a boat that’s above yours, you can end up with something nasty all over your boat. Oil, or (god forbid!) even raw sewage could end up where you really don’t want it.

When considering these factors, also remember that a covered boatell is a lot better for your boat than rack storage that’s open to the elements, since it will keep out the rain and prevent UV damage. And naturally, the experience and reputation of the boatell operator should be taken into account. So, is rack storage right for you? That’s a call only you can make – and you should be able to make the right one, armed with these pro’s and con’s.

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