Like many boating and marine enthusiasts, you may be looking to design the perfect boat shed to ensure your vessel is safe, secure and protected from the elements.
Having supplied hundreds of boat storage sheds for customers over the years, there are more than a few boat shed design tips we’ve learned along the way. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
How Much Will A Boat Shed Cost?
The number 1 question we get asked in the early stages of an enquiry is:
“We’re thinking about buying a bigger boat. How much will a shed cost to put it in?”
The answer is… it depends.
That’s because boats come in all different shapes and sizes.
It’s important to design the right shed for your current and future boat storage needs. Once you’ve locked down your design, it’s easy to provide an accurate quote.
(If you’d like free design help and an accurate quote, click here to request a free Shed Design & Quote Session).
Boat Shed Height: You’ll Need More Than You Think
- Start with the overall height of your boat when on the trailer, then allow some “extra” for antennae, navigation equipment or anything else mounted on the top of your boat.
- We always advise customers to add a bit extra, as the vast majority of people upgrade to a bigger boat over time, not smaller.
- Once it’s been built, a shed can’t be made taller. It is often a good idea to go as high as council will allow (within reason). It’s not much more expensive to add extra height to a shed because most of the cost is in the concrete slab, framing and roofing. Another 300mm or 600mm of height won’t add much to the cost, percentage-wise.
- If your boat has a pull-down canopy, it may be tempting to think, “I’ll get a lower shed to save a few bucks and just pull down the canopy every time I park the boat in the shed.” Keep in mind that pulling the canopy up and down will get old very quickly, and it won’t cost much more to go high enough to accommodate the canopy.
Boat Shed Width and Length (Depth) Requirements
It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of people who underestimate how big their boat shed needs to be.
Remember that you’ll need to walk around the boat and access it from different sides to get items in and out (such as fishing gear, diving gear, life jackets and other supplies).
Many boat owners also add extra space for storage shelves along one or both sides of the shed.
Ensuring Your Boat Shed Is Long Enough
Make sure you leave enough overall length (depth) in your shed to fit your trailer (including the draw bar), plus the boat, plus the motor. Then we’d usually suggest allowing at least another metre of length if possible. A bit of extra leeway when parking can come in handy.
Also remember that the boat may fit with the motor down. It should also fit with the motor up. Allowing this extra length adds a lot of convenience.
Ensuring Your Boat Storage Shed Is Wide Enough
Your boat storage shed will obviously need to be wide enough to accommodate the full beam of your boat. We’d recommend at least a metre of clearance on each side in addition.
And like we mentioned above, it usually pays to keep your next boat in mind too. Building something a little bigger than you need now is much cheaper than re-building the whole shed later.
Boat Shed Roller Doors: Important Tips You Must Know
- Whereas a roller door is made to match the width of your door opening, the height doesn’t work that way. The panels run horizontal and roll up onto the drum at the top. If your opening is 3,200mm high, you need a door stated as 3,500mm high (depending on the brand). The extra length in the door will simply be left on the roll at the top (refer to the picture).
- The boat shed height required for a 3,200mm high opening roller door is a minimum 3,800mm. For a 3,500mm high door, the height needs to be 4,100mm.
- The specified height of a roller door is not the same as its actual “drive through” opening height. At Designer Sheds we always refer to roller door heights as the actual opening height, but we are the only shed company we know of who do this. Most refer to the manufacturer’s nominated height. This can lead to a host of problems. For example:
- With B&D brand roller doors, their Series 1 doors, the nominated height is the opening (“drive through”) height. However, their Series 3 doors with the same nominated height only open to a height that is 100mm less. So a 3,000mm high Series 1 door opens to 3,000mm, but a 3,000mm high series 3 door only opens to 2,900mm.
- “A” series Taurean doors have heights of 1,200mm, 2,200mm, 2,500mm, 2,800mm and 3,100mm. All are opening heights, except for the 2500, which only opens to 2,430mm. Confused yet? Hence it is extremely important that when you get a quote from a shed company, you get them to specify the exact opening “drive through” height of all your doors.
You’d be amazed by how many sheds we’ve seen over the years where the shed owner can’t fit the intended item into their shed.
Unfortunately, the client has no real redress because they received the door specified in their quote – it just doesn’t open as high as they expected. So this is one area to double-check.
Ready to bring your shed project to life? Get a…
FREE Shed Design & Quote
Let us help you design your ULTIMATE custom shed and supply you with the design blueprints and a firm quote, free of charge.
Consider Another Roller Door At The Back
If your site has plenty of room, a “Drive Through Shed” with one roller door at the front and one at the back makes getting your boat in and out a breeze. However, most shed builders don’t have this much space to play with.
Another option that is almost as good is to add a second roller door on the back wall of your shed, even if the structure backs on to a fence or non-accessible area.
This comes in handy when you want to flush the motor. You can back the boat through and wash the motor, with the boat undercover and off your driveway. Then you can easily drive it back into the shed, without water or sand sloshing around your concrete slab or shed floor.
Alternatively, if you don’t need the security and added weather-proofing of a completely enclosed shed, a boat storage shelter with open bays is a very cost effective option, as this example shows:
The point is that you’re not limited by any standard boat storage shed design or concept. Design what you want to suit your needs.
Boat Shed Access Tips
Getting your access right is critical: if it’s difficult to get your boat in or out of the shed, you’ll be discouraged from getting out on the water as often as you’d like.
One recommendation is to make the roller door as wide as possible, so you can still turn the trailer as you enter the shed (or just allow some extra clearance).
This also ensures you’ll have less chance of hitting your shed. Even a minor bump can be more expensive than just making the shed a bit bigger to start with.
Prior to ordering your shed, we recommend that you peg out where your shed will go and where the door will be located. Then drive your boat and trailer into the marked out area to ensure it fits.
If the fit is tight, try different door widths or shed locations and angles until it works. Your shed designer will be able to help with any tweaks needed to get the design just right.
Allowing For Angles Up Or Down
It also pays to think about the angle of the driveway going into the shed.
If it goes up the hill or down the hill into the shed, you’ll need more height in the roller door opening to get your boat in and out.
You might also discuss these challenges with your shed concreter. Smart ones will be able to adjust the driveway angles to minimise this problem.
A Simple Tip For Trouble-Free Reversing
If you have to reverse your boat a long distance (say from the street, past the house and into the shed), take extra care the first time you do it.
Then, as you drive out the first time, inch forward in one metre sections and place a reflector or visible paint mark on the ground next to the trailer wheel on the right side.
With these markers in place, you’ll be able to back in solo in future, so long as you can see that the wheel is against your marker.
Ready To Bring Your Boat Shed To Life?
If you’re ready to design the ideal boat storage shed or shelter, simply get in touch for a free Shed Design & Quote Session.
Based on all the above considerations (and more), we’ll design your perfect boat shed according to your specifications and email you the plans plus a firm price quote to have it supplied.