Pros and Cons of a Floating Boathouse (Updated for 2023)

Pros and Cons of a Floating Boathouse (Updated for 2023)

If you are an owner of a boat or PWC, chances are you've thought about contracting or building your own boathouse. For many cottage owners near the water, this is a very common project to take on.

Boathouses are an amazing way to not only protect your boat, but also can add value to your property, both aesthetically and financially. As is common with most things in life, there are significant pros and cons to building a boathouse. We've compiled a good list of both pros and cons for anyone on the fence about a boathouse.

Today we will be exploring both sides to give you a better idea of what you are getting into. Keep in mind this is an introductory article for anyone interested in boathouses, for more specifics we always recommend talking to an expert.


  • Significantly enhanced protection for boats, personal watercraft, and gear.

Let’s start off with the most common reason people investigate boathouses and that is to protect and house your boat. Boats are often a very pricey asset and can easily get damaged by storms or other severe weather. Having a boathouse protects your boat, keeping it looking great and retaining its inherit value if you ever decided to sell.

  • A smart way to increase the curb appeal and value of your waterfront home

The only way to explain this is with photos. There's no denying the visual appeal of well-done boathouses. Not only does your boathouse protect your boat, but it can also increase the visual appeal of your waterfront property and in some cases, even it’s resold value.

  • Boathouses can eliminate the need for expensive storage slips each winter

Depending on the weather around your cottage, boathouses are a good way to avoid storage costs during the winter. While storing your boat in the water is completely acceptable in warm or temperate climates, if you live somewhere where the water freezing is a possibility, you will want to pull the boat out of the water.

There are a few options to store your boat locally near your cottage, such as indoor and outdoor boat storage facilities, but in the long-run, this can cast thousands of dollars in just storage. Having a secure boat house gives you the option of installing a boat lift. Boat lifts secure your boat outside of the water during winter.

  • Provides more privacy for those who clean and maintain their own boats

If you are big on DIYing maintenance, repairs and modifications on your boat, a boathouse can provide a cool, shaded and private area to work on your boat. No longer will you have neighbors watching you sweat under the sun cleaning out your boat after a long day out on the water.

  • Serves as a safe and secure area for socializing with family and neighbors

Boathouses give you the unique opportunity to entertain company out on the water. Since at minimum you are looking for weather protection for your boat when looking for a boathouse, it is very common to turn the entire structure into a two-level masterpiece.

  • Boathouses can be fully customized to match your waterfront property

Boathouses are a long-term commitment, so why not make them something you can enjoy? One of the biggest pros for boathouses is their individual uniqueness that can't be replicated.


The biggest con by far of having a boathouse is the cost. For both building a floating boathouse and maintaining it.

Depending on the contractor, your boathouse can cost as low as $10,000 with the bare minimum and up to $70,000-$300,000+ for a proper, quality, stable boathouse that will last for many years. All depending on what kind of quality is desired, the surrounding conditions, materials desired, etc.

If you are looking for a boathouse however, you are likely already prepared for the initial costs (p.s. if you are not, look into floating wooden docks. They won’t provide the same benefits, style, or prestige but are much more affordable). What many people forget, especially during fall and winter months, is the repair. Without proper maintenance wood can rot and decay, endangering the structure of your boathouse and the safety of anyone that uses it.

Therefore, maintenance isn't avoidable. Every year, before you start using your boathouse, you should inspect structural aspects of your boathouse, to make sure everything is functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance should include pressure washing, inspection of all connectors and fasteners, checking for damage, and assessing wear & tear.

Lastly, security.

Your boathouse is a place to primarily protect your boat from severe weather but you may also store different boating tools and accessories. Keeping everything in one area makes it an amazing target for thieves & burglars. If you don't live at this property full time, it may be necessary to add additional security to your boat house. This means going as far as employing a property manager, or added security alarms and cameras to dissuade theft.


A boathouse is an amazing project to take on for both keeping your boat in top shape & adding value to your property. With that being said, boathouse are an ongoing investment that require funds to maintain, repair and keep safe.

About BARR Plastics

Based out of Abbotsford, BC, Canada, BARR Plastics is a multi-divisional corporation that deals in a variety of different industries. One of the largest divisions is our dock floats, hardware & building components. This divisions focus on supplying foam filled plastic dock floats, DIY wood dock kits, decking and a variety of supplementing products and accessories.

For both commercial and industrial customers, BARR aims to have the largest, readily available, and diverse inventory of dock / marina. All at the best price and paired with exceptional service and years of industry experience.

So, if you are brand new to this industry or a seasoned veteran, contact BARR for any of your dock / marina product needs.

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