Dry vs. Wet docking : pros and cons for your boat or yacht

Deciding where to store your boat when you’re not using it may seem like a simple decision, but it actually has major implications for the care and durability of your boat or yacht. Two of the most common options are the dry or the wet docking, both with their advantages and disadvantages. To help you make the best decision, we are going to examine the pros and cons of each option.

Dry docking

Dry docking, often located in a slipway, involves storing your boat out of the water. This type of storage can range from simple open-air structures to enclosed, climate-controlled facilities.

Pros of Dry docking:

  • Protection against the elements: One of the greatest advantages of the dry dock is that it offers excellent protection against the elements. By storing your boat out of the water, you minimize exposure to saltwater corrosion and marine organisms that can adhere to the hull. Additionally, your boat or yacht will be protected from storms and extreme weather conditions that can cause significant damage, especially during hurricane or storm seasons.
  • Ease of maintenance and repair: Ship maintenance and repair tasks are more accessible in a dry marina. You can easily walk around your boat, making it easy to inspect the entire structure, including the hull and waterline. This allows easy access for cleaning, painting, applying antifouling paint, and any other work necessary to repair your boat.
  • Security: Shipyards, especially those that offer indoor storage such as Barcelona Nautic Center, usually have advanced security systems, such as surveillance cameras, security fences, and security personnel. This makes it more difficult for intruders to gain access to your boat and provides an additional layer of protection.

Cons of Dry docking:

  • Costs: The additional services and benefits of the dry docking can come with a higher price than wet docking. Costs can vary depending on the facility, but in general, dry docking, especially indoors and heated, tends to be more expensive.
  • Water Access: Although having your boat out of the water has its advantages, it also means you can’t just hop on board and set sail at any time. You will need to plan ahead and coordinate with the shipyard staff to have your boat moved into the water.

Wet docking 

As the name suggests, involves storing your boat in the water, typically at a dock or berth.

Wet docking pros:

  • Convenience: The biggest advantage of the marina in water is convenience. Your boat is always ready to sail, which is ideal if you use it frequently. You won’t have to worry about moving it to and from the water every time you want to sail.
  • Cost: In many cases, wet docking can be less expensive than dry docking. However, the cost may vary depending on the location of the marina and the facilities and services it offers.

Wet docking cons:

  • Exposure to the Elements: By keeping your boat in the water, it is exposed to the damaging effects of salt water, which can cause corrosion and buildup of marine organisms on the hull. It is also exposed to inclement weather and sea conditions, which can accelerate wear and tear and the need for repairs.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Although it is possible to perform some maintenance and repair tasks while your boat is in the water, other jobs, especially those that involve the part of the hull that is below the water line, can be more challenging. For larger jobs, such as applying antifouling paint or repairing damage to the hull, you may need to move your boat to a shipyard.

Choose the dry or wet docking?

In conclusion, both the dry and the wet docking have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between one or the other will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors such as cost, ease of maintenance and repair, protection from the elements, and convenience when making your decision. Whatever you choose, be sure to follow a regular maintenance and repair routine to keep your boat in the best possible condition.

And, if you have more questions, you can contact us at any time and we will advise you on the best option for your case.

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