Everything You Need to Know About Dry Rack Storage

When you’re not using your boat, there are a few different ways to store it. One way is to keep it on a trailer and take it with you to the lake, but there can be long lines at the boat ramp. Another way is to rent a slip at the marina. The other option is indoor boat storage, also known a dry racking or rack n’ launch, which is a helpful option in the Michigan area.

What is Dry Rack or Rack N’ Launch Storage?

The dry rack is a method of boat storage, where the boats are stacked on frames in a covered shed and moved via forklift.

History of Dry Rack Storage

Storing boats in dry rack storage dates back to the 1950s. At first, the original dry racks were wooden frames, and the boats were moved with standard warehouse forklifts. By the 1970s, technology had improved. Racks were designed specifically to fit the structures of boats, and forklifts were also designed for that purpose. These improvements caused less stress on boat hulls, and there was even a new forklift that allows it to lower boats below ground level, making it easier to get boats in the water.


Dry rack storage units come in different sizes. With the advent of better steel technology, boat racks got larger, with some being four, five, and six boats high. Dry rack storage is generally appropriate for boats about 35-40 feet or shorter. Any longer and the boat risks suffering hull damage. There are some dry rack storage areas that can accommodate larger boats but they aren’t as common.


Using a dry rack comes with several advantages. One is that it’s convenient. All you have to do is call ahead, and the marina will pull the boat from storage. You show up at the marina, get in the boat, and go. When you get back, do what you need to do to close up shop, then they will take the boat out and put it back in storage indoors, out of the elements.

Protected From Weather

By being stored indoors, you don’t have to worry about winterizing or worrying about what’s going to happen during a storm. The boat is sheltered from harsh Michigan weather.

Dry rack (rack n’ launch) storage can be a convenient storage option if your boat isn’t too large and you don’t live close to the lake. It would be incredibly inconvenient and fuel inefficient to have to drive your boat to the lake every time you want to go fishing or take the family out. Talk to your local marina for more options.


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