Tag Archives: post frame boat storage

Boat Storage Pole Barns

Boat Storage Pole Barns

Summertime growing up Newman Lake, Northeast of Spokane, Washington – nearly to Idaho was where my younger (and only) brother and I usually could be found. Our grandparent’s lake cabin was located there, as was our parent’s ski boat. Interstate 90 did not yet connect Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Spokane, so weekend traffic from Spokane went to smaller nearby lakes like Newman and Liberty. Summer weekends there were so many boats sporting about Newman Lake, one could nearly do a boat to boat lake crossing!

Once I-90 was completed, most  boat traffic fled to larger Idaho lakes – Coeur d’Alene and Pend Oreille. Pend Oreille has so many miles of surface and enough depth to allow U.S. Navy submarines to roam there  (seriously: https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-navys-most-vital-and-secretive-submarine-base-is-in-1590794426).

Overhead door pole barnInland Pacific Northwest has a condition similar to other U.S. northern climes. It gets chilly in winter. This necessitates all of those surface traffic boats to be extricated from lakes before water turns to ice. Some folks are fortunate enough to have their own indoor spaces to keep their craft safely stored. Most rely upon having to rent space.

My first involvement with a boat storage pole barn was in 1991, as a post frame building contractor with my brother. Mark’s Marine (https://www.marksmarineinc.com/) contracted with us to construct an 86 foot wide by 126 foot long 16 foot eave building. Mark had an identical building upon his property and we would be building immediately adjacent to it. Mark was pretty smart, his building was a 40 foot clearspan, with 23 foot width sheds each side. Sheds were open to this main clearspan, as only the outside perimeter was enclosed. These sheds were supported by a row of columns 11’6” in from each sidewall. Along building length, columns were placed every nine feet. This allowed for Mark to build boat bunks between columns.

By using bunks, boats could be lifted by a forklift and stacked one above another, dramatically increasing craft numbers in storage. In center clearspan, larger boats up to 20 foot high trailered could be parked. Building access was front endwall center through a pair of large split sliding doors.

Whether you need to store one boat or a fleet, chances are a post frame building will be your most affordable solution.