If you have a boat lift, your boat will never suffer corrosion, neither will you have to worry about cleaning and polishing your boat every often- it’s just tiresome to polish your boat every start of the season.
Get a boat lift to protect your investment.
But how do you choose the right boat lift for you?
Just because it is labeled boat lift for sale, does not mean it’s suited for everyone.
Well, like any other investment, it’s not about getting out of your house, picking your boat lift and carrying it to the place you need to use it.
There are various things you need to take into considerations else, you will pick something that doesn’t offer you value for your money. Worse of all, you might buy a boat lift that won’t help to keep your boat protected and secure.
It gets better.
In this article, we are going to share with you some practical tips on how to choose the right boat lift.
After all, choosing a boat lift doesn’t have to make you pluck off your hair. However, you need to be cautious when shopping for your boat lift.
And we will cover all that in this article.
But before that…
Why Buy a Boatlift?
There are many benefits a boat lift can offer. Your boat is an investment that must be protected at all costs. Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy by owning a boat lift:
- Keep boat clean year-round
Undeniably, there are seasons your boat will not be in use. As such you need to store it in a safe and secure place. You need to make sure it is dried and held in a place where it doesn’t come into contact with water until when you need to use it again. A boat lift will help you with that and many other things not only today but the whole year.
- Protects your boat
When in water, your boat comes into contact with many elements some of which can damage it. The electrolysis in salt water, algae, or just imagine what will happen to the dock during high winds and wakes. All these things can damage your boat.
A lift will keep your boat protected and this saves you money on frequent anti-fouling coats and other maintenance tasks.
- Save time
Just imagine how much time you could waste hauling your boat back and forth from the launch ramp to the storage area. It’s quite a hassle given that you will have to do it regularly. With a lift, you just press a button and your boat is launched. No need to spend money on fuel hauling your boat from the storage facility to the ramp and back to the storage facility again.
With that in mind, let learn how to choose a boat lift.
1. Understand the Types of Boat Lifts
Before you go out shopping for your boat lift, you need to familiarize yourself with the types of boat lifts available out there.
The three main types of boat lifts include:
- Floating- Depending on the waters you will need a different boat lift. Floating boat lifts are useful in deep waters, and especially in areas where the water levels keep on fluctuating.
- Bottom standing- Also known as a freestanding lift, a bottom standing lift is helpful in a permanent dock, especially in narrow water depths of at least 10 feet. Usually, you will find these types of boat lifts in lakes and bodies of water.
- Suspended- The last type of boat lift is suspended. This is a type of boat lift you can use on average water depths.
2. Automatic or Manual?
There are two models of boat lifts: manual and electric models. For convenience, you will not go wrong with an electric model, although you will have to have a power source to the dock and this might not be provided for you.
Besides, even if you will get a power source, you will have to make sure it is maintained at all times. It would even be better if you are an electrician yourself or you know of a reliable one who can help you with maintenance services.
The good thing about an electric boat lift is that you can operate it with remote control and you can put the dock lights on at night.
Manual boat lifts aren’t as costly as the electric models. However, they require a little effort to operate since they use a spinner wheel. Of course, they are suitable in areas where there is no power source for the dock.
3. Consider the Lift Material
Remember, your boat lift is going to spend most of its life in saltwater- we assume you know how damaging saltwater can be on some metals, especially on the cables, pulleys, and framework; the corrosion, wear, and tear.
Boat lifts are made of stainless steel and galvanized metal.
Again, the choice of the metal depends on the water in which you intend to use your boat lift.
In saltwater conditions, stainless steel fittings would be the best option whereas, in freshwater, galvanized lifts would do better. But you should also consider other factors apart from the water conditions. For instance, you should make sure there is no corrosion or cracking no matter what water condition you use your boat lift in.
As such, even if the water condition is fresh but there is too much corrosion and cracking, you should opt for stainless steel.
4. Consider the Size and Weight of Your Boat
Different boat lifts can handle different boat sizes and weights. Before you buy yours, determine the size and weight capacity of your boat. Can the boat lift handle your boat?
Well, you can get boat lifts for larger boats, but they might not be helpful, especially if the dry weight gets above 30,000 lbs.
If you have a larger yacht, trawler or any other larger boat, then you need to choose an eight-post boat lift. The good thing about eight-post boat lifts is that they have double posts plus a motor on every corner.
If your boat has a dry weight of below 30,000 lbs chose either of these:
- Dock lifts.
- Floating boat lifts.
- Four-post boat lifts.
- Singletrack boat lifts.
PWC boat lifts.