Will A Boat Fit In Your Garage? Here’s How To Tell

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Having a boat lets you have some amazing perks but maintaining it isn’t that easy. You need to find or make space to park your new boat and it should also be convenient to take it out when you want to go fishing in your favorite waterway. Ideally you will want to store your boat indoors to protect the vessel from the harsh environment and prolong its life, but you might wonder, if the boat might be a tad bit big to fit in the garage.

A traditional 2 car garage will fit a boat and trailer that is 26 ½ feet long diagonally across both spots. The boat will also need to be under 7 foot tall when on the trailer (the height of the garage door). If the boat is under 21 feet long (including the trailer) then it can be put straight in with another room for a vehicle or another boat. 

The issue with the measurements above is that they are for a traditional 2 car garage where I’m at (in Arizona) but other areas of the country will have much different sized garages. I grew up in Iowa where we also had a two car garage but it was at least 10-15 feet longer than the one I currently have. 

The size of garages will vary no matter where you are in the country or world but in general most boats will fit inside of a garage without too much difficulty. 

The only boats that will have issues fitting are pontoon, houseboats, or other boats that are designed to be taller or considerably larger. The easiest way to know if your boat will fit in your garage is to break out a tape measure and get the dimensions of the garage that you have. 

If your boat would fit but you have too much stuff in there already (don’t we all?) then you will have to take some time and money to organize the space. So, below I will go into some of the most practical and creative options to get your garage organized as easily as possible. 

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How can you organize your garage? 

Before trying to fit in your boat, you should clean and organize your garage. Often that will mean that you have to use some creativity and it could be done by simply trying to optimize your space by moving a few objects or placing them here and there. 

You can start by grouping a few items and try fitting them inside of containers to reduce the area they cover and make the best use of the space you have. Those containers can then be stacked on top of each other all the way to the ceiling or even hung from the ceiling using brackets! 

You might also find a few items that you had actually forgotten about and you could sell them or discard them which will of course give you extra room. You could also move some other items and either start using them again, or store them elsewhere. 

With your garage, all cleaned up now you could try to move the boat inside. Of course that also poses a new challenge. Moving in the boat may seem difficult but it’s certainly possible if you follow these steps.

How to maneuver the boat?

Usually, you will have a trailer to move around the boat when it’s not in the water. So together it may be a bit too long and big for your garage but even if it isn’t the extra length of the trailer might cause you to have to move items around. 

Maneuvering the boat in the garage can be difficult if you don’t have a trailer dolly attached to your boat trailer. 

In most cases, you could use something like the Trailer Valet device (found here) which is effective and small but will also make the boat and trailer much easier to move around. Even with using this item, you must still be very careful and might have to adjust some things to fit the boat perfectly in the garage. 

Before you consider trying to maneuver the boat you really need to measure your garage space. For example, you can’t fit a 22ft. longboat in a 16 ft long garage! You will need to at least have a 20X15ft. square garage to try and fit the boat at an angle or there is no reason to even attempt putting it in. 

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The steps that I will mention below will help and make it more convenient to fit the boat in the garage but if all fails you can always consider getting a smaller boat or a bigger garage! 

  • The widest part of the boat (beam) must be along the length of the garage door.
  • The centerline of the boat-trailer should coincide with the garage center.
  • Use the Trailer Valet device to move the boat in a diagonal way slowly to get it inside those few extra feet, making sure that you could still conveniently open and close the garage door.
  • After the boat is all the way in you can play with the available space to find the best fit and then use that every time going forward. 
  • Also, you should make sure the height of the boat on the trailer is low enough that it doesn’t make contact with the garage door opening or anything else that is hanging from the garage ceiling (such as bikes or storage containers). 
  • Boats with a high windshield and T tops might pose another challenge. So knowing the height of the garage and of the highest point on the boat is an important factor.

These are some common methods to help get the boat inside the garage but you could also use some of your own methods which might work better for you. The aim of all these methods is to make the boat fit in your garage in the best possible way.

As discussed above if everything else fails, you can simply choose a different boat or change the size of the garage or opening so as to solve the parking problem of the boat, once and for all.  Before that, you could also try using a trailer with a foldable tongue or add one to your trailer (such as this one here) The foldable tongue will help you move the boat and also save a few feet when it is parked. 

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What are the OTHER OPTIONS that you can consider?

Well, we could always look for some other options right. So, if you tried but still couldn’t fit the boat in your garage, it’s not your fault. The garage was built for cars and not for watercraft but obviously you still want to protect it from the weather! 

So, why not explore a few other options??

  1. You could sell the trailer/boat or purchase one with a smaller length. Before buying the trailer/boat don’t forget to take proper measurements of your garage and the boat. Remember to choose wisely from all the options available in the market.
  2. You could also try and lift the motor into the boat instead of leaving it attached and behind the boat. You could also remove the motor entirely and that should give you an extra foot or two if length is the issue that you have. Obviously that’s not ideal but you can easily reattach the motor in the spring again. 


Hopefully this article has been helpful in answering your questions about whether a bit will fit in your garage or not. 

If I could leave you with one final piece of advice it would be to ALWAYS measure your garage and boat before buying either a new house or a new boat! 

There is nothing worse than realizing too late that the garage on the house you just bought is too small for your boat or that the boat you just bought is too big for the garage! Simply taking the time to measure before buying either of those items will save you a lot of hassle in the future! 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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