Posted on July 7, 2022
When it comes to caring for your boat, there’s no better accessory than a boat lift. You’ve made a huge investment in your boat, so it makes sense to invest in something designed to help it maintain its performance and value. Assuming you have a high-quality boat lift made of great materials and take great care of it, it could last for 25 years or more. However, we cannot stress enough the importance of proper care and maintenance to preserve the longevity of your boat lift. A regular maintenance schedule will include checking up on these areas.
Boat lifts are designed to hold the weight they’re rated for. Not only should you consider the dry weight of your boat, but the weight of everything you’re bringing aboard, including fuel, water, accessories, other equipment, and passengers. Don’t let people get in or out of the boat while it’s on the lift. When the boat isn’t in use, remove the plug so rainwater can’t collect. When driving your boat onto the dock, take your time to ensure that you achieve even weight distribution.
Lubricate your cables as needed, but use penetrating oil—grease traps water inside the cables and cause more damage. As long as you’re lubricating cables, check them for signs of damage. If there are any rust spots, broken strands, fraying, or kinks, it’s time to replace them. Even if they look fine, replace them after two years of normal use. Grease your pulleys biannually, and ensure that the nuts and bolts are tight. When your cable is winding onto the drum, monitor it to avoid slack, tangling, and uneven wear.
If you have a boat lift motor, examine it for rust or water retention. Keep the top-side drain holes closed and the bottom-side ones open to allow drainage. Examine gearboxes and drive units regularly and look for improper alignment, damaged belts, areas that need greasing, and other signs of damage.
Luckily for seasonal boaters, winterizing your boat lift is as easy as lifting it out of the water. Freezing conditions can damage a boat lift that gets left in the water for the winter, especially in areas with a lot of ice movement. Once it’s out of the water, ensure that it’s covered to avoid exposing it to rain and snow, but not so much that any water already in it can’t drain. For power hoists, remove the battery and store it on a small piece of wood. The cradle or platform should be all the way up when your boat lift is in storage.
Rinse off your lift cables with fresh water to prevent abrasion, damage, and leaks. Keep lift beams rinsed and out of the water when they’re not in use and as much as possible. If you have a small amount of rust, you can grind it off and touch it up. If your bunks are rotted, cracking, or otherwise damaged, it’s time to replace them. Don’t put plastic bags or covers over the winch or motors, which can allow condensation to form and cause damage. Keep any drain holes clear so water can leave the boat lift motor instead of accumulating.
Still have questions? Ready to buy or upgrade your boat lift? For more information on our boat lifts and docking platforms, or questions about the care and keeping of your HydroHoist boat lift system, contact us online, so we can get you in touch with one of our local dealers.