Docks, Boat Lifts, and Seawall Blog

Boat Canopies Vs. Boat Houses for Your Florida Dock: What's the Difference?

When it comes to protecting your boat while it’s docked or in your boat lift, you have a few options in the form of a boat house or canopy. But, which one is better for you and your boat?


What Is a Boat Canopy?

Boat canopies are a good way to protect your boat from the elements. They're generally made using a metal frame and fabric top that's able to withstand the weather. It will keep the boat out of the sun, rain, and to a point, the wind. 

It's also a good way to keep bird droppings and other debris from collecting on the boat and causing damage. Installed directly onto your dock, a boat canopy creates a safe parking place for your boat when it's not in use.

What Is a Boat House?

A boat house, similar to your home, is constructed from wood and other strong materials. It has a roof, three walls, and oftentimes windows and a door that encloses the boat. Because of the strength of the materials used, boat houses last longer than boat canopies when maintained properly. 

As with a canopy, a boat house will protect your boat from the weather as well as damage caused by debris falling in it. Boat houses can be fixed permanently to a dock or pilings, or on a floating dock system.

Which Is Better, a Boat Canopy or Boat House?

That depends. If you're looking for something that will be a permanent fixture at your dock, a boat house is a good option. While the cost will certainly be higher to have a boat house built compared to a boat canopy, due to the amount and type of materials used. The advantage is that you can have a boat house designed, or design your own, so that it compliments your home, deck and boat.

On the other hand, boat canopies are made of durable material that can last for years if it's cared for properly. With a variety of colors and patterns available for the fabric cover, it's easy to find one that looks the way you want it to. Aluminum or galvanized steel are used to create the frame, which makes the canopy stronger and more resistant to wind.

How to Choose Between a Boat Canopy or Boat House

If you're still unsure whether a boat canopy or boat house is your best option, consider a few things. First of all, what's your boat worth, both in financial terms and how much you enjoy it. The more expensive your boat is, the more you'll want to protect it. Next, consider your current dock structure. 

Is it compatible with a boat house with minor adjustments, or will you need a new dock? Finally, consider the resale value of your waterfront property. If you're looking to improve the value, a boat house may be better than a canopy.

Let Stokes Marina Help Protect Your Boat

We understand how important it is to protect your boat from the harsh Florida sun, wind, and rain. If you want expert advice, or you want more information about choosing a boat house or canopy, contact us. We'll be happy to answer your questions, evaluate your current situation, and make a recommendation based on our years of experience building docks, seawalls, boat lifts, and other waterfront structures.


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