The Boathouse storage facility opens, specializing in boat and RV storage

Published 4:30 pm Saturday, November 28, 2020

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A new storage facility has started renting in LaGrange, with a focus on boats and RVs.

The Boathouse began renting at the start of November. Located on New Franklin Road, it offers 400 square foot units, covered or fully enclosed.

Josh McGinty, owner of LaGrange-based Southern Rehab & Sports Medicine, is a partner in The Boathouse, along with his wife Katie McGinty, Jamie Bradfield of Heritage Construction and his wife Claire Bradfield.

McGinty, who lives on West Point Lake and owns a wake/ski boat, said he had the idea for the facility about two or three years ago. He wanted to store his boat somewhere during the off-season, but there seemed to be a dearth of fully enclosed storage facilities capable of fitting boats. The storage businesses that did house boats seemed to be filled up, so McGinty thought the demand was there. He then recruited the Bradfields to go in on the business with them.

“You got all these self-storage places … and then you have shed coverage, so people have boats and RVs. And they just park it under a shed, and all those places are just packed,” he said.

All units at The Boathouse are 14 feet wide and 35 feet deep. There are 30 fully enclosed units and 9 covered, shed-like units (roof only). Fully enclosed units have a 12 foot by 12 foot roll up door that customers can fasten their own lock to. 

Covered units have a flat rate of $125 per month, while the fully enclosed units start at $229.16 per month for a 12-month period. The price for a fully enclosed unit is higher for 6-month or month-to-month rentals.

Despite the business’s name, McGinty said the units are also ideal for RVs, or can simply be used for regular storage purposes. 

“If somebody has two or three self-storage units around town, they just can rent one of these and put everything in there … you can do anything you want to,” McGinty said.

The Boathouse has 24/7 accessibility. Renters use a key card to open the gate and can open their unit at any time. Security cameras are also on site. The units also have power access, so renters can plug their batteries in to trickle chargers, if they want.

McGinty said the fully enclosed units offer the best protection from the elements, recounting a friend who kept his boat under a covered storage unit with a custom cover over the whole boat. 

“But when you go to get it out again for the summer, you still spend an hour cleaning it. I mean, you got bugs you got pollen … I mean, that stuff gets everywhere. It even gets into the vents and down inside the boat,” McGinty said.

He also cited better protection against dirt and mildew, but said the main source of wear is sunlight wearing down things like camper tops and boat covers.

The Boathouse’s target demographic is people who are weekend boaters, especially those who don’t live on West Point Lake, who’d prefer not to go through the hassle of getting their boat ready on a weekly basis.

McGinty and his fellow partners looked at similar boat storage facilities at Lake Martin in Alabama and Lake Lanier in north Georgia when developing the business.

The McGintys have lived on the lake for seven years. Part of the reason Josh McGinty is confident in the new business is how he’s seen the lake change. 

“The recreation part of the lake has really picked up. I mean, boats like mine, when I first got a boat, I knew everybody that had one kind of like mine — six or seven people around LaGrange,” he said. “Well now there’s 15, 20, 30? Seems like more and more.”

McGinty said he’s happy with business so far — nine of the units have been rented since they became available Nov. 1.

At over 17 acres, the lot is big enough to expand their business if The Boathouse fills up quickly. McGinty said they could build another 30 units, covered or fully enclosed, depending on what’s more popular.