Dedicated boat storage facilities, self-storage units, personal indoor storage and covered outdoor storage are some options for storing a Ranger boat when not in use. While spaces with consistent temperature and shelter from the elements are preferred, thorough preparation, frequent inspections, and shrink-wrapping or a proper cover can mitigate the risk of damage.
Boat storage is a strategic decision, requiring balancing the price of any solution with the boat's value and potential repair costs. Commercial facilities feature preparation and inspection services, a climate-controlled environment, and security, all at a premium price. Self-storage units provide safety and shelter from weather extremes, although not necessarily from temperature changes. Both options provide access to the boat, which is convenient for maintenance tasks, but limit availability. Personal indoor storage such as garages or sheds may be less secure, but ensure unlimited access and no storage fees.
Shrink-wrapping is available from boat yards or as a kit for boats no longer than 25 feet. Shrink-wrap must allow free passage of air to avoid heat build-up and mildew. It should also be able to support deep snow if that is an issue. Shrink-wrapping is not a good option for someone planning to perform off-season repairs.
Covers provide protection from weather damage and unlimited access to the boat. A cover must be air-permeable, water-resistant and weight bearing. Custom-fits and supporting frameworks enhance performance. Proper covers cost up to $2,000, as of 2015.
Ranger boats contain materials that are susceptible to animal damage including fiberglass, fabric and wiring. The craft, which are geared towards bass fishing, leave aromatic residues enticing to small mammals. After pulling the plug and opening the live wells, running the boat through a car wash eliminates much of the problem.