Metal Boat Sheds: Keep Your Boat Protected

Published June 18, 2018 by Whirlwind Team

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Tis the season for hitching up the boat and getting it on the water. But do you have a place to store it when it is not in the water? 

Short of a private or public boat slip, many boat owners simply cover it with a tarp until the next outing. You can do better than that.

A metal boat shed can keep your boat looking shiny and new as well as store all the stuff you need to keep your boat looking nice and running well.

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Custom Fabrication

One of the benefits of a pre-engineered steel boat shed is your ability to customize it to your specific needs.

  • You can design a boat shed to match your home’s exterior.
  • You can add square footage later if you decide to buy a second boat or other equipment.
  • You have your choice of color for the walls, roof, and trim.
  • You can select the size and type of door you need.

In short, your boat shed can be designed any way you like. Keep in mind that size is a primary determinant of price.

Another benefit of custom fabrication is that all the parts are manufactured within tight tolerances in a controlled environment. Each building is pre-assembled to ensure the parts fit together correctly before it leaves the manufacturer.

You Get All the Benefits of Steel

Steel is an outstanding construction material that outperforms wood, concrete, and stone.

  • Steel has a high strength to weight ratio; a steel shed weighs less than a comparably sized wooden shed, reducing the cost of the foundation as well.
  • Steel is durable; it can’t get eaten by pests, it doesn’t propagate fire, and the steel is coated to prevent corrosion.
  • Steel is environmentally friendly; it is 100% recyclable, and most steel is made up of a high percentage of recycled product. Also, steel does not release volatile organic compounds into the air. It is also easily made energy efficient.
  • Steel buildings require minimal maintenance.
  • Steel buildings are easy to assemble.

Steel does not warp or swell as wood does, although it will experience thermal movement. When designed with the proper fastenings, thermal movement will do no damage to the panels or the fasteners.

Ease of construction is another benefit of pre-engineered sheds. Prefabrication of large numbers of parts in a controlled environment using automated equipment creates regular shapes that cannot be duplicated using a manual process in the field. Panels are pre-cut and pre-drilled at the manufacturer, so there is no cutting or drilling on the job site.

Pre-fabrication keeps the metal protected. Onsite cutting leaves edges that are no longer coated and can corrode.

Cleaning is a snap. Just use a mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris periodically. Also, inspect the fasteners to ensure none are backing out and that washers do not need replacing. This is especially true for through-fastened walls and roofs where the fasteners remain exposed to the environment and self-tap or self-drill a hole in adjoining panels.

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Planning for a Boat Shed

As with any construction project, consider these things before moving forward.

  • Building dimensions - determine the needed width, depth, and height. Include the size of your boat and any added space required for the boat trailer and accessories.
  • Access - how do you typically transport your boat? Do you have a small boat that can be placed on a roof rack or does your boat require a trailer? How much space do you need to remove the boat from the shed and get on the road?
  • How much slope does the site have? It doesn’t need to be completely level, but you need to make sure the boat can be placed into storage and removed with damage.
  • Do you need electricity in your boat shed?

When you measure the overall length of your boat, don’t forget to include the measurements for the swim platform, engines, bow pulpits, forward railing, anchors, and outdrives. Measure the height of your boat from the lowest point on the keel to the highest. Include radar arrays, mast lights, hard-tops or T-tops, canopies and other accessories that add height.

Measure the beam across the widest point and include the rub rails. Once you have the beam, height, and weight of your boat (don’t forget about water, gear, and fuel), you can decide what size shed you need.

If your boat’s beam is 10 feet 6 inches, the height is 12 feet 6 inches, and the overall length is 40 feet, you will need a shed of at least 12 feet by 14 feet by 42 feet. 

Think you might need a bigger boat in the future? Select a larger shed. If that’s not in your current budget, it’s easy to expand the length of a steel shed by removing the endwall, lengthening the frame, and putting up new wall and roof panels.

It is also possible to expand to the sides by adding a lean-to on either or both walls.

A Metal Boat Shed Can Be Moved

What if you decide the shed would be better in a different place? Or perhaps you are moving and want to take it with you. A metal shed can be disassembled and reassembled just like an erector set. Carefully remove the fasteners and stack the panels. Next, take down the frame and take the whole thing to the new spot.

In the event you did not provide a foundation, you can also disassemble the shed, pour the foundation, and anchor the shed to it to provide added protection against the wind.


If you own a boat, isn’t it worth a little extra money to make sure it remains in good condition and out of the elements? A tarp can blow away, and the boat's interior can collect a wide range of debris if it is left without protection.

Steel is the ideal material for an affordable, durable shed that will last for decades with little maintenance. In the future, if you decide to get rid of the boat, you can easily repurpose the shed for something else, like a detached office or workroom. Just add electricity and insulation.

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