Long Term Storage Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CaneCorso, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. CaneCorso

    CaneCorso Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    Chattanooga, TN
    2006 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L MPI w/Bravo IIIs
    Hello All,

    I have had my 2006 290 DA for a little over a year now, and still learning a lot. It is currently wet slipped at a marina in Chattanooga. Prior to splashing it a year ago, I had the bottom and out-drives sanded/painted. I have also done a complete tune up, and new batteries among other upgrades.

    I just found out I am getting orders to Korea for a year, starting in July. I'm debating whether or not I should just sell it (it will not be used while I am gone), leave in wet slipped, or find a cheaper dry storage option. I don't have a trailer or garage.

    Any advice? is leaving it in the water or taking it out better long term for the relatively new bottom paint? If taking it out, would you drain all fluids and have it shrink wrapped? There is an indoor storage option a few hours south of where I am (in AL), so I might bring it there if that is the route I end up taking. I will say, I have some reservations with my current marina keeping it in the water, just based on their prior customer service getting work I needed done, so I don't necessarily have a warm fuzzy...

    After this assignment, I will not be coming back to TN until I retire from the USAF, so that is something I am contemplating too with selling it or keeping it.
  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I'd personally hate to pay for the boat, insurance and marina fees for a full year of non-use. If you think you could sell it and not take a loss, that would probably be my first choice.

    If I really loved the boat and wanted to see it when I return - no question get it out of the water. Inside if you can do it, outside wrapped if you can't. That would be my choice. So much better for the boat...
    CaneCorso and Gary B like this.
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    Given your situation, I would be worried that it would not get looked after properly. Check with who did your bottom paint, but most places nowadays use paint that is not affected by extended layup on the hard. Regardless, that's a minor point compared to possible damage to the boat from staying in the water and not being looked after. Most likely, the paint will still get growth on it and may have to be hauled to be pressure washed.

    If you will keep it (can't help you with that decision!), I would take it out, and just have a normal winterization (engine, boat systems) done, along with shrink wrap. There's nothing special that has to be done because it's a year as opposed to just 5 months like what is done in colder areas for the winter. Winterize, wrap, store. Outside storage would be fine - although I'd feel better if there was at least someone in the area that could check on it every so often just to make sure nothing has damaged the wrap. Avoid a highly rodent prone area, if you can.

    And, most importantly... thank you for your service.
    Jaybeaux and CaneCorso like this.
  4. lawndoctor

    lawndoctor Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay & Philadelphia
    2009 330 Sundancer & 2002 225 Weekender
    8.1L V-Drives & Bravo III 5.0L
    I had a summer season where I knew we would not have time to use our boat, so instead of launching it in the spring we just kept it on the hard in its winter storage place, left the winter cover on it, and paid for the summer land storage fee. The storage and insurance costs were minimal, especially compared with the cost and hassle of selling and then buying something later, and we avoided an entire set of spring recommissioning costs. In our case, we were pretty sure we would use the boat again the following season, and we had made many modifications and upgrades so the boat would not have been easily replaceable. If you really like your boat I would not hesitate to hold onto it. I would suggest keeping it on land and having it winterized and covered. Ours was completely fine after two years of sitting in winterized condition.
    CaneCorso likes this.
  5. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    +1 on the above advice. I would not leave it in the water while you are away. I would do the inside storage - winterize it and unless the storage area is very clean I might still shrinkwrap it. Otherwise sell it (sorry can help you with that one). I would go nuts knowing my boat was outside floating in a marina and I could not check on it in that long of a period.
    CaneCorso likes this.
  6. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Don't wet slip it. Winterize all the systems by the book. All fluids should be fresh unless they have been recently changed. Store inside in a clean building with as little stabilized fuel as possible. Block the keel using chained together jack stands to keep it from tipping over. Boat should also be put away clean and dry with no food on board. Building security should be considered as well. It will last indefinitely in these conditions.
    CaneCorso likes this.
  7. CaneCorso

    CaneCorso Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    Chattanooga, TN
    2006 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L MPI w/Bravo IIIs
    Thanks everyone...you confirmed what I was leaning toward.....I just can’t get myself to selling it...I love it too much and if there’s a possibility of me using it again in 1 or 2 yrs, it will be worth it in the end.
  8. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    nothing to offer on the boat decision...

    Do want to add Thank you for your service.

    CaneCorso likes this.
  9. Z-Worthy

    Z-Worthy Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Sandusky, OH
    1997 400 DA
    300hp CAT 3116s
    I'm not sure of your geographic location and/or your willingness to deal with potential damage, but a third option would be exploring the possibility of turning it into a local charter/rental. You could set up an LLC and hire a captain to maintain it. The expenses would get turned into losses, provided you have at least some semblance of income from the rental portion. And the IRS would have no basis to call it a hobby since you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were never present to use it.

    I know most of us would never have the emotional ability to turn our beloved vessels into rentals, but in this instance it might offer the ability to minimize your losses and maintain ownership while you're gone. Just another option to consider!
    CaneCorso likes this.
  10. CaneCorso

    CaneCorso Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    Chattanooga, TN
    2006 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L MPI w/Bravo IIIs
    Never really considered that...I cringed at the first thought, but at the same time, a reputable person who would captain the boat might actually offer some piece of mind and looking over it. Something to look into....thanks!
  11. keokie

    keokie Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    2002 310 Sundancer, Westerbeke 4.5 Genset
    496's, Bravo III's, 2.2:1 Gears
    Appreciate you sacrificing a year of boating to serve. Thank you.

    I would only do clean, secure, indoor storage to be that far away from my boat for that long.
    CaneCorso likes this.
  12. CaneCorso

    CaneCorso Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    Chattanooga, TN
    2006 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L MPI w/Bravo IIIs
    Thank you again for the kind remarks....my service to everyone is my pleasure!
  13. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Cane, first of all, thanks for your service. Prayers go with you to Korea for your safety and the safety of all our armed forces around the world.

    As to the boat, I think the best advice from above is to winterize it, store it on the hard then relax. It's a "thing", not a love one (even though you love the boat, and I think all of us can relate to that) and if it somehow became a total loss, that's what insurance is for.
  14. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Our boat (38 foot bridge) like many is not used from October to May. It is stored on land with four 100 watt air dry heaters on all the time. About 20% of the boats our size are shrink wrapped and come out looking like they did when shrink wrapper. Cost is about $1,200. For you it would be less. If you get it shrink wrapped get a zipper door in it so the inside can be accessed if required. I would remove the batteries or have some one top up the water after 6 months.
    As to rent I know people who have put their boats in a rental pool. General comment has been "It didn't make money and people do not know how to drive it" Also comment was "Most renters think the boat has training paint to aid in landing"
  15. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    If you are going to be away from the boat for more than a year. I would sell it.

    Even if you take a possible loss you will come out ahead in the long run.

    When you return you can buy a bigger boat.

    Being in the Chattanooga area I don't think you would have any trouble selling it.
  16. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I’d also lean towards selling since it seems that you are unsure of just how long you will go without using it and won’t be coming back to the area where the boat is until you retire.
    If there is any possibility at all that you may be faced with selling it long distance in a year or so it just isn’t worth the hassle.
    You’ve got what sounds like a nice example of a popular boat so selling shouldn’t be too hard.
    You can always find another boat when you get back.
  17. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    BTW someone just posted they are looking for a 2006 290 DA....... could be your lucky day. ;)
  18. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Cane, thank you for your service. I tend to agree with the sell it crowd if it was me. Being away for a minimum of a year & not coming back to the area until retirement leaves alot of uncertainty. I don't know if I'd want to be thinking about that if I was far away. Good luck with your Decision.
  19. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    If you do decide to wet slip it, I would highly recommend the addition of a boat monitoring system. That way you and/or your marina will get an alarm text if the bilge starts to flood, or if shore-power is removed.
  20. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    +1 Sell it.
    techmitch likes this.

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