Dry Stack vs. Wet Covered Moorage

Choosing the right moorage option for you can be tricky, especially for new boaters or for those seeking moorage in an area that’s new to them. This article will give you the basic pros and cons of dry stack versus covered marina moorage, and help you determine an option that best accommodates what you love to do on the water.

There are a few facilities that offer dry moorage in the Greater Vancouver area. The dry stack moorage process involves removing your boat from the marina via forklift and storing it in an indoor berth until you wish to use it again. Storing your boat out of the water in a heated indoor facility has its benefits.

DRY STACK MOORAGE: ProsDrystack marina forklift

  • Regular cleaning of the boat hull, w26443hich will reduce or eliminate the need to bottom paint, and may improve your boat’s performance.
  • Reduced maintenance costs, particularly if the only other option is to moor your boat in saltwater, as the ocean influence is hard on components like your propeller and anodes. Some dry stack facilities are enclosed and heated, offering further benefits.
  • Added security. There is something to be said for knowing your boat is inside a locked facility.

There are some cons when storing your boat in a dry stack as well…


  • You’ve got to plan ahead and coordinatep; put in times for your vessel, making spontaneous trips a little trickier.
  • You are putting your boat in other people’s hands, and although the facility will be making their best efforts to be diligent, accidents can happen quickly and easily.
  • Many boaters like to enjoy their boat on the water to have dinner, drinks, or enjoy the sunset. Dry stack mooring makes this a little more difficult, and those wishing to overnight in their boat cannot do so as easily as those moored in the water.
  • Forklift limitations. Depending on the size of your boat, dry stack accommodations my not be possible. Every facility is different, make sure that your boat is suitable to be safely lifted in and out of the water.
  • Boats cannot be plugged-in in a drystack – thus battery maintenance and keeping your boat free of moist air is not possible.


  • Your boat remains protected from the elements and dust accumulation, eliminating the need to protect your boat from rainfall, and reducing the need to wash your boat.
  • You can use your boat any time and at a whim, no planning or call ahead required. This is particularly beneficial for those boaters leaving or arriving outside of typical business hours.
  • You can enjoy being on the water anytime even if that means not going anywhere. The covered moorage at our facility is not enclosed, so you’re protected from the rain but can still enjoy the sunset. Not all covered options allow for this, so be sure to case out your options beforehand so you know what you’re getting.


  • Cost can be higher than that of open/outside moorage – the reduced wear and tear on your boat should offset the additional cost
  • The Vancouver climate in the winter dictates that you should either maintain a minimum temperature inside your boat with a cabin or engine compartment heater, or winterize your boat by draining water from engine(s), and by emptying/winterizing your water tanks.
  • Any boat moored in the water should be checked regularly to ensure systems are operating, such as automatic bilge pumps, battery chargers, etc.

This gets you started. Need more information? Give us a call, send us an email, or come down and have a look. Whatever your choice, we’re happy to support all facets of recreational boating and keep happy, informed boaters on the water!  Remember, you don’t simply own a boat – you own a lifestyle!  You are investing in long lasting memories.