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Preventative Maintenance
Storage Ashore?

In some parts of the country, where winter means several months of bitterly cold weather, storing boats ashore is the norm. In warmer climates, however, ice and snow may occur infrequently, and the choice between storage ashore and storage in the water is open to discussion.

Storage in the water means you might get a jump on the boating season next spring. On the other hand, boats stored ashore (on high ground) won’t sink. If you have a choice, storage ashore is a safer bet.

Storage ashore may also be less expensive over the life of a boat, since a hull surrounded by air for several months each winter is less likely to develop blisters than a hull that remains in the water. These blisters, the fiberglass equivalent of rot, occur on many boats when water soaks into the laminate below the waterline.

One note of caution: The vast majority of the problems in temperate states involved boats that were being stored ashore. Since water retains heat longer than air, boats surrounded by air are more vulnerable to a sudden freeze than boats surrounded by water.


Storage ashore may also be less expensive over the life of a boat, since a hull surrounded by air for several months each winter is less likely to develop blisters than a hull that remains in the water. These blisters, the fiberglass equivalent of rot, occur on many boats when water soaks into the laminate below the waterline.

Even a brief cold spell that lasts only a night or two can do considerable damage. In temperate states, boat owners must winterize engines and freshwater systems, especially when boats are stored ashore. In deep freeze states, boats stored ashore must be winterized earlier than boats stored in the water.