Shopping for a boat lift is probably not as interesting as shopping for a new boat. However, if you own waterfront property and often use a boat, you know that it needs a lot of care. A boat lift cuts down on how much cleaning, polishing and refinishing you need to do during off-seasons while also making any maintenance left to do that much easier. When shopping for new marine boat lifts, start with these tips.
Location is Key
Location is a major factor in choosing a boat lift—whether there’s a seawall, dock or piling; what the tides are like; the type of shoreline and whether the water freezes. Broadly, lifts can be divided up into four categories based on this: free-standing lifts that sit on the bottom in shallow water, floating lifts that moor to a dock, piling mounts permanently affixed to wooden or concrete pilings and shore-mounted lifts set up on a shoreline at a low angle. Do research on local regulations, as well, before you try to set up a piling only to find out that you can’t.
Consider What Needs Lifting
Make sure to keep specs in mind when selecting a boat lift, as well. It needs to be able to support your craft of choice—both in terms of weight and in terms of size. This also ties into where you’re going to be setting up; it’s unlikely that your yacht is going to be docked in a shallow pond, for instance. Some styles of lifts are made with specific models in mind, while others are more universal.
Maintaining the Lift
Unfortunately, it’s likely that the lift itself will need maintenance, too. Lifts that are submerged in the water, like free-standing and floating lifts, will accumulate aquatic life that needs to be cleaned off, and lifts using winches need regular lubrication. In saltwater, stainless steel or aluminum is vital to resist corrosion, but these materials would be overdoing it in freshwater. Keep in mind the attention you’ll need to give to equipment and whether it can withstand the local weather and environment.