News & Noteworthy
Protect Your Investment With The Correct Boat Lift
Congratulations, you have the lake home of your dreams. You have a boat and a dock, but have you given much thought to a lift? Boat lifts can make all the difference in determining how much you really get to enjoy your waterfront lifestyle.
A boat lift is a very important investment and a critical feature on your dock. Wind, waves, and wake all contribute to the lift’s movement, support, and protection of your boat. Without the right boat lift, much of what you’ve invested in your dock and boat can be in jeopardy.
There are some key factors to consider when purchasing a boat lift that can affect your time on the lake. Let’s face it, everyone is busy and wants to make the most of their time, money, and investment on the water, and when you can’t be there, your boat lift must function to offer security and low maintenance. It is wise to make the correct choice when ordering a lift so the purchase is made only once and can offer many years of performance, value, and durability.
Here are five things to consider when you’re shopping for a boat lift:
Location & Structural Strength
One important factor to consider when purchasing a boat lift is location. Life on the main channel requires a stronger and more durable hoist than in the back of a cove. Four-point lifts are more structurally stable and reliable in this kind of environment because they allow the dock and lift to float independently of each other, which puts less stress on your dock.
Lakes are getting busier and more crowded every year, and in a rougher area the lift should be strong enough to handle the conditions or it may require a lot of maintenance and ultimately need to be replaced. Therefore, it is important to make the investment at the beginning.
Be sure to consider the water depth at any particular location. Uniquely designed
shallow water lifts can make the boat and lift perform as intended when the lake level is low. A shallow water lift can often add an additional foot of operation over a regular lift. In some places, this can mean the difference between being able to get on or off the lift at all.
You need to make sure the lift is the right width for your dock slip. The wrong lift width means some hard work: changing the channels and torsion bars on the frame so the lift can offer the same structural strength in a wider slip as it does for a smaller dock.
Weight & Capacity
Your boat size will determine your lift size. There are quite a few factors here: the year, make, and model of the boat, along with the dry weight of the boat, the weight of fuel, props, batteries, covers, and additional gear onboard.
The boat length can determine the structural length that will work best for the boat and dock. This is where the pros are indispensable. Different boat manufacturers and brands may have unique ways of determining the dry weights.
It is a good idea to have plenty of capacity in order to compensate for temperature changes. The flotation tanks may only hold a couple of pounds of air pressure and could be affected by a sudden drop in temperature when the weight is marginal or maximum capacity has been reached.
The flotation tanks are one of the most important features to consider because they are the foundation of the lift and will offer the hoist stability and support. Polyethylene tanks can offer the best security and are the least likely to leak. The security and warranty of the polyethylene will add the best value and have the longest life at the lake.
It is very important to have a professional adjust the support bunks to each and every individual hull design. Every hull design is different and therefore each boat lift should be customized to fit the specific boat being used in it.