Our Chicago Boat Storage Guide is the authority when it comes to great marinas and boatyards for winter storage for your yacht or boat. It is arranged by geographical area around Chicago with pros and cons. If you’ve had a great experience or difficult one at a storage facility listed or would like one added please submit a comment and we’ll get it on the list.
Chicago River Boat Storage
Storing your boat in the Chicago River system is a convenient option when keeping your at the various Chicago Harbors during the summer months. This can be a huge benefit when facing inclement weather in October since you don’t have to travel far in potentially rough seas. You do pay a premium for this convenience but it does allow you to get the most out of your boating season making these a favorite of the Chicago Boat Storage Guide.
- Goose Island Boatyard : The only storage facility on the north branch of the Chicago River, Goose Island Boatyard is a full service medium sided facility. Access to the yard is reasonable and for the “do it yourselfers” they allow boaters to do their own work as long as it’s within reason. They do offer indoor storage which is very limited so the majority of boats are shrink wrapped outside.
Chicago Yacht Yard : A large full service boatyard located on the south branch of the Chicago River, this yacht yard has it all. They have multiple storage options of indoor (heated or cold) and outdoor. Access is good but do have rules when it comes to doing your own work.
- Forest View Marina : This is a nice marina located farther down the south branch from the Chicago Yacht Yard. They have a nice indoor storage facility but also offer outdoor storage too. Offering a full range of maintenance, Forest View Marina is a good lower cost option farther down the river.
Calumet River Boat Storage
Depending on your harbor, the Calumet River is located about 20 miles south of Chicago by water. As long as the weather is co-operating it’s a nice cruise at the beginning of the season as you take in the Chicago skyline. NE winds in the fall will help push you down but you don’t want to have too much help as winds over 15 knots can make it an uncomfortable ride. Traveling on the river is enjoyable but be conscious of the barge traffic which services some of the industry located on the river. Rates are less than what you’ll find on the Chicago River but it seems to equal out when you consider the gas burned to/from along with travel distances to the area.
- Crowley’s Yacht Yard Lakeside : Crowley’s is the first marina of many that you’ll find in the Calumet river. They’re a favorite in the sailboat community but there are also plenty of powerboats at this mega marina. They have plenty of indoor or outdoor storage space and are full service for all maintenance.
- Skyway Yacht Works : Just beyond Crowley’s you’ll find Skyway Yacht Works. Skyway is a newer full service marina that focuses on storage and service. You’ll be able to choose form indoor heated or outdoor storage at this facility.
- Sunset Bay Marina : Once you make it down the river through the loch, Sunset Bay Marina will be on your portside. They also are a full service marina with indoor and outdoor storage. They also have fuel which is generally at a good price.
Marine Services Corporation : Marine Services Corp keep growing and recently added a 25,000 sq ft building for indoor storage. They have multiple storage buildings on site but also offer outdoor storage too. Once unique feature is that they operate their own harbor with 128 slips along with full service maintenance.
- Pier 11 Marina : Pier 11 Marina has been a family business since 1983. They are a full service marina with summer and winter slips. One of their specialties is REPO boats. Pier 11 Marina works directly as an agent for the banks so you get the best deal possible. True REPOs with no middle man.
Indiana and Michigan Boat Storage
There are plenty of great storage areas across Indiana and Michigan but here are a few that we’ve had experience along with other boaters in our network. There maybe some cost savings when storing in these areas but the travel expense and time negates the savings. If you purchases your boat from a marina or boat dealer in Indiana or Michigan, that’s a great reason to return to them. These businesses like to cater to and keep their customers offering great deals on winter storage but also service.
- B & E Marina : Only 38 miles from Chicago by water, B & E Marina is a premiere dealership and marina. They are authorized dealers for Sea Ray, Meridian and Boston Whaler along with a large brokerage selection. Winter storage options are for indoor or outdoor with a full range of maintenance services.
- Shoreland Marine : This Michigan City, IN caters primarily to northwest Indiana and southeast Michigan but does have some boats come in from Chicago. They offer full service on maintenance and also fiberglass repair. You have the choice of indoor or outdoor storage along with all winterizing services.
- Pier 33 : Located in St. Joseph, MI this full service marina is ENE from Chicago. It’s a very professional marina with new and used boat sales and service. Storage options are indoor and outdoor at a very reasonable price.
Chicago Harbors Boat Storage
Winter Storage in Chicago doesn’t get any easier than just staying at the harbor! There is some downside with storing at the harbor such as they’re not a full service marina but Skipper Bud’s does service each harbor. Both locations offer some discounts in conjunction with summer slip fees too.
- Montrose Harbor : Only outdoor storage is available but they can fit up to 300 power and sail boats at the harbor for winter storage.
- 31st Street Harbor : The newest of the Chicago Harbors, 31st St Harbor offers indoor heated and outdoor storage for up to 200 boats.
Inland Boat Storage
If you have a trailer for your boat and can haul out yourself the options are really limitless. From your neighbor’s driveway, barns to your local public storage units you can pretty much store anywhere. You’ll just want to confirm that area is secure and a safe environment for your boat.
- Munroe Storage : This is a great storage facility in Plainfield, IL that has winter storage for cars and boats. It’s indoor/unheated storage at a great price making it #1 for the Chicago Boat Storage Guide! Boat length is really not an issue but the overhead doors are 16′ tall which shouldn’t be a problem for most boaters. If you trailer you boat this is a great option that’s about 10 minutes off I-55.
Chicago Boat Storage Guide
We hope your gained some valuable information from the Chicago Boat Storage Guide and this helps you in deciding on where to store your boat over the winter. We will continue to update the Chicago Boat Storage Guide and appreciate your input.