Jump to content
grahamb

Keeping boat at the dock 24/7

Recommended Posts

Hey Everyone.  Been a long time Bass Resource lurker, but don't post much...I think I have a handful of posts on an 11 year old account; ha!

I've been thinking more and more about getting a bass boat.  I'm researching everything like crazy, and getting hung up in the details since I'm starting from scratch with my boat knowledge (or lack there of).

I don't see much info about keeping a bass boat in the water 24/7.  I have access to a house with a dock in the water from mid-May to mid-October.  If I get a bass boat, it would be stored at the dock during this time and I'd access it every couple weeks.

I'm thinking about a boat like a Bass Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW.  I see they sell a rope ratchet cover for it which says it can be used at the dock.  Does anyone here do this?  Is the rope ratchet cover easy enough to put on, and sturdy enough to stay on?  Looks like there are cut outs in the cover for the dock lines, but I'd also have to have whips.  Would you attach these to the same cleats as the dock lines, or would I need an additional attachment point added to the boat...and then the cover customized?

I know I'd also need some kind of bilge pump system.  Would you just use what's standard on the boat, or add a backup?  Do these run off the trolling motor batteries or starting battery?  I would have power at the dock to keep the TM batteries charged up.

Thanks for your help!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trolling motor batteries are usually JUST for the trolling motor, the bilge would run off the starter battery,.. Make sure you have the "auto float" type bilge pump. most bilges for bass boats are activated by a switch you have to switch on and off. the float type will work without you being there.

As for the cover? i dont know, my tracker sits on my trailer, so its got the trailering cover like you get from tracker when you buy the rig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My boat would never be left in the water for such an extended period of time.  It doesn't save that much time over dumping it off the trailer and then you have the hours and hours of joy cleaning it once you pull it for the season.

I have friends that dock their walleye rigs and they pull them 2-3 times a season to clean the hull and spend a good part of the day doing it every time.  Not this guy!  My 12 year old rig looks better than their 2 and 3 year old boats that spend months on end in the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not get a boat lift with it? You can get those with canopies so you don't need a cover and they lift your boat out of the water so you don't have to worry about it getting scummed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just about to say this - get a lift for it.  And if you really wanted to you could add a canopy.  At the very least I would NOT leave it just sitting in the water unattended for long periods of time.  You never know what might happen in a case like that, plus its easy to tell which boats sit in the water and which boats don't - all you have to do is look for that nasty waterline on the side of the hull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are only going to use the boat every couple of weeks, put it on a trailer and don't leave it in the water. A lift would be good if it was your house, but those are 4 to 10 thousand dollars. Not practical for you. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the feedback.

I'm afraid a lift isn't in my future, and I actually don't have a place to store the boat on the trailer.  Storing the trailer during the season when the boat is in the water is one of the logistical things I have to work out.  In the off season I have a place (outdoors) where I can store the boat on the trailer near the lake; or I may be able to bring it back to my house to garage store it...but that's not going to be practical during the fishing season.  

Forgive my ignorance, but what's the issue with a waterline stain on the side of the boat?  Is it purely an aesthetic thing?  There's currently a pontoon boat at the dock that's a few years old and i don't notice any unsightly scum on it.  I fish from that pontoon now, but it's far from ideal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, grahamb said:

what's the issue with a waterline stain on the side of the boat?  Is it purely an aesthetic thing?

Depending on the marine growth rate, scum and goodness knows what ever else floats up to it mechanical problems could happen. Not to mention the spiders and bugs that will love to make a home inside the boat just waiting on you to jump in for a ride. Being in the elements is always hard on boats, cars, trucks etc. Just look at a garage kept anything compared to a vehicle/boat that was left out side 365. Its difficult enough to keep the carpet in good shape along with seats and cushions etc when kept tightly covered and out of the weather.   

Its like anything else. Different people were raised different and put different values on things. I keep my vehicles clean no road film but not car show polished all the time. Its a maintenance thing keeping the finish taken care of makes it last longer. I see some with vehicles 2X the cost of mine that never wash or wax them and could care less every time their clothes brush the side they wear that nasty film. I presume they buy another when it gets to dirty?

My point is my boat doesn't sit in the water for months either but that is because of how I was brought up. The person who never washes their Cadillac, Hummer, Corvette etc leaving a boat in the lake would probably be no issue. They obviously dont consider the value or care.

In your case I would look for a boat storage facility close. It doesn't take 5 minutes to load/unload a boat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, S. Sass said:

Depending on the marine growth rate, scum and goodness knows what ever else floats up to it mechanical problems could happen. Not to mention the spiders and bugs that will love to make a home inside the boat just waiting on you to jump in for a ride. Being in the elements is always hard on boats, cars, trucks etc. Just look at a garage kept anything compared to a vehicle/boat that was left out side 365. Its difficult enough to keep the carpet in good shape along with seats and cushions etc when kept tightly covered and out of the weather.   

Its like anything else. Different people were raised different and put different values on things. I keep my vehicles clean no road film but not car show polished all the time. Its a maintenance thing keeping the finish taken care of makes it last longer. I see some with vehicles 2X the cost of mine that never wash or wax them and could care less every time their clothes brush the side they wear that nasty film. I presume they buy another when it gets to dirty?

My point is my boat doesn't sit in the water for months either but that is because of how I was brought up. The person who never washes their Cadillac, Hummer, Corvette etc leaving a boat in the lake would probably be no issue. They obviously dont consider the value or care.

In your case I would look for a boat storage facility close. It doesn't take 5 minutes to load/unload a boat.  

I will say that you should do your research on a facility before you store your boat. Where my buddy keeps his in the winter is almost impossible to pull out alone. An extra 6in on each side goes a long way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kept my PT190 at my inlaws place on the water last summer. It was convienient to go jump in and fish but I won't be doing that again because the water stain is ugly and it takes a lot of work to clean it off.

And yes you get the bugs and spiders all over the boat. I have a cover that is waterproof and snaps on riveted buttons that run the perimeter of the side of the boat. It was a cover custom made for the boat when I bought it from the dealer. It will still get water in it on heavy rain days and you'll need to bilge it out. 

I get that you want to keep it at the dock. So did I but like the other guys have said, it's almost just as easy to trailer it everywhere. If you don't mind the scum line then it's not really a big deal to keep it at the dock. If I had a lift I would but that's the only way I'd keep it at the dock again. Good luck with your venture.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, what will make it impractical to not keep it at home in your garage? 

Its been my experience how you store the boat affects how it lasts as much or more than anything else. Ours has been garage kept since day 1. Parked the boat inside and,left truck outside. We get alot off comments about not beleiving its a 23 year old boat.  I have worked with guys who have river lots and none of them keep it in the water more than a season if they do at all. Usually just for the weekend while they are there.

Constant exposure to the elements, especially the sun, will fade and kill a boats apperance fast, killing its resale value. It will greatly wear out your carpet, clearcoat, plastic and rubber trim, and anything else exposed in a much faster time than it should. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I fully appreciate pride of ownership.  I'm someone who doesn't use a car wash because I don't want to introduce swirls to my paint; I hand wash my car regularly. 

There are a few logistical issues with keeping my boat on the trailer during fishing season.  My garage (about 90 miles from the lake) is only 93" wide.  The package width for the 175 TXW is 89" wide.  And that's on the narrower end of aluminum boats of similar size; the Ranger RT 178 is 95" on the trailer.  I have no experience towing a trailer.  While I may be able to get the boat into the garage once a year for winter storage, I don't want to rely on that each time I use it.  I have no other place to store it at my house.  At the lake, we're not allowed to store a boat on a trailer on the property.

We have access to a place to store the boat outdoors during the winter, but boats must be removed Spring-Fall.  I will call some of the places that I know offer off-season boat storage to see if they have a place to keep boats during the season.

It sounds like keeping the boat in the water will be convenient, but poses maintenance and wear issues.  But at the same time, that may be my only option, aside from racking up thousands in storage fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  You can get a used lift off c's list for cheap if you keep looking around!  My grandpa passed away a few years ago, and my grandma sold the boat.  The lift was sitting on the shoreline for a a few years when she finally sold it to a guy for 500 bucks, and it was only maybe 7 years old and in really good shape yet.  Stuff like this happens all the time, and most of the times the lifts are made of aluminum, so they are generally in good shape for years and years.  If you got a lift and a canopy it would deffinatly be the way to go

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this thread reminded me of something we saw a couple of years ago on Lake Norman and thought i'd share. zoom in on this osprey nest disaster.

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another issue that comes to mind with keeping a low-riding bass boat in the water is this: how rough does the body of water get?  Big lakes create big waves and what happens if you start getting 4 foot rollers coming in there?  You might come back to your boat and it will be sunk to the bottom.  The issue with the waterline on the side of the hull is that its UGLY.  Would you drive around in your car with an ugly waterline on the side of paneling?  Probably not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first bass boat I owned was full time at the dock. Now that I have done it I have realized I will never do it again. Although, I didn't have a cover on mine. I don't think it would help other than to keep the water out. You would also have to have a battery charger to charge your batteries so keep that in mind. I know my neighbor on the lake has a lift and cover that goes on his pontoon all the time and his boat is in great shape. Another couple of docks down the guy has a 2012 Ranger Z520 on a lift under a aluminum covered dock. His boat is in nearly the same condition as when he bought it new. So to answer 'Should I keep my boat at my dock?' heres my answer, It depends on how much you are  willing to spend on protection of the boat while at the dock. If you do decide the keep it at the dock be sure to get an automatic bilge pump and keep the battery charged. I learned the battery part the hard way. 

Heres the pros: easy to get in and go fishing and heres the cons: algae grows on it, sun/water damage, bugs, damage and so much more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels
    fishing gear

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×