Posted on August 4 , 2022

Boat Lift Install: Can I Install a Boat Lift Myself?

Can I Install a Boat Lift Myself?

Written by HydroHoist Marketing

Every boat owner needs a quality boat lift. This essential component raises your boat out of the water, so you can put it on a trailer and take it wherever you please. Getting your boat in and out of the water without a lift is next to impossible. You could easily damage the underside of the boat if you try to get it out without the proper equipment. A boat can easily cost tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars, so you need to do your best to protect it. 

If you live near or have access to a waterfront, you will need to install your boat lift next to the dock, but adding a boat lift to your property can be a major undertaking. The entire project can take anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the size and scope of the lift. You might consider installing a boat lift yourself to save money, but this isn’t the same as building a shed in your backyard. Boat lift installation requires ample knowledge and experience. You will also need access to the right tools and materials to bring your design to life. If the lift doesn’t meet today’s standards, you risk damaging your boat and the dock and injuring yourself or one of your guests. 

Keep these tips and questions in mind if you are considering building a boat lift yourself:

Body of Water

The lift will need to last the test of time. It should be able to withstand the local current, water type, and severe weather. Saltwater will corrode certain types of metal, so you’ll need to use aluminum or stainless steel instead. The lift should also surpass the water level. Consider the potential height of the lift based on the tide. Watch out for muddy bottoms, rocky terrain, and other underwater obstacles that could get in the way. You will also need to add additional support beams or reinforce the lift if the water is overly choppy or the area is prone to severe weather. 

Boat Size and Weight

Above all, the lift should support the weight and size of your boat. Consider the overall weight of your vessel, including the weight of batteries, motors, accessories, and other components that may not be included in the specifications. The weight and size should not exceed the weight capacity of the lift. If there’s a chance you might trade in your boat in the future, think about adding a lift that will serve you for years to come, regardless of what type of boat you ride. 

Safety and Permitting 

The lift will be the only thing holding up your boat, so make sure it is as structurally sound as possible. The boat should stay in position while the machine lowers and raises the vessel. Adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines when using and installing the lift to keep your property safe. If you have small children or pets in the house, set up barriers or protections to keep them away from the lift. You will also need to insulate the electrical components to prevent shock and electrocution. 


Unless you have experience building and installing mechanical equipment in wet conditions, you are likely better off calling a marine contractor instead. Consult with a professional before you start building on your property to find the right type of lift for your home. The ShorePort and HydroPort® Series is one of the best boat lifts on the market today. Contact us today to learn more about your options when it comes to getting your boat in and out of the water. 


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