Posted on January 12, 2023

How Do You Take Care of Floating Lifts for Boats?

How Do You Take Care of a Boat Lift?

Written by HydroHoist Marketing

Your boat is a huge investment that you love dearly, so naturally, you want to take proper care of it. Boats spend most of their lives in the water in constant contact with waves and swells. This continuous contact with water can potentially damage the boat and reduce its performance and value.  A boat lift that keeps your boat out of the water when you’re not using it is convenient, even essential, for any boater to have.

Your boat lift needs maintenance ust like your boat does. You’re trusting it to carry your boat and hold it up even when conditions are rough. Boat lift maintenance and regular care don’t have to be hard, and performing these more frequent and smaller maintenance steps can help you avoid more extensive damage and lessen significant, costly repairs. Focus on these seven areas when taking proper care of your boat lift.

Be Mindful of Weight Limits

Get a boat lift system rated for your specific boat, along with anything you plan on taking on your outings (including fuel and water), with some extra capacity just to be safe. Your boat lift is rated for a very specific weight and should not be used to lift anything, even a pound heavier. Too much weight puts excessive strain on the cables and other components of your lift. Boat lifts should also only be used with compatible hull designs. 

When You’re Not Using it, Lift it

Boat lifts can resist corrosion, but only for so long. Your lift’s cables and cradles should be lifted out of the water when you’re not using it for long periods. You can raise the cradle when you head out for the day and lower it when you return, for example. This will keep your lift from wearing out due to damage from saltwater, barnacles, and electrolysis.

Rinse Often

Your boat lift depends on your cable and cradle assembly. Before you start your boat, rinse the cables and cradle with fresh water to remove biological growth and salt crystals. This prevents abrasion, breakdown, and eventual breakage. Rinsing your boat lift and boat when you return is also a good idea.

Regularly Lubricate Moving Parts

Boat lift cables are made of stainless steel that can begin to erode from rubbing against itself. Penetrating oil should be applied regularly to reduce that risk by ensuring cable strands don’t rub against each other. Ensure that your penetrating oil doesn’t contain grease, which traps moisture inside cables. If your boat lift uses a motor, though, grease is helpful.

Inspect Cables for Wear and Tear

A cable with severe abrasions, kinks, and deformities needs to be repaired or replaced. Look for signs of damage regularly to avoid catastrophic failure. Taking a little bit of time each day to inspect your lift is a small price to pay to avoid severe injuries or damage to your boat, lift, or dock. Have a professional inspect boat lifts and docks at least once every other year or after extreme weather events.

Monitor the Winder

While you’re inspecting the cables for damage, check how they’re winding up on the winder as well. Your cable shouldn’t be wound too tightly or have too much slack. Uneven wear can shorten the cable lifespan and lead to faster breakages.

Ensure Proper Sheave Alignment

Too much pressure on the lift cables is another source of damage and shortens cable lifespan. Poor sheave alignment contributes to this problem. Contact a technician or your local dealer for advice if you see anything amiss.

Still have questions about boat lift care and keeping? Want to have your questions about maintenance, installation, or removal answered? HydroHoist’s customer support team can help. Get in contact with a local HydroHoist dealer for more information. 


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