Posted on May 5, 2022
Boating should be fun, easy, and safe. You can achieve all of those things with a boat lift. Boat lifts allow you to get onto the water faster and more easily than trailering or other methods of getting your boat on the water. It’s also safer for you, your boat, and your wallet to keep your boat on a lift. This cuts down on damage and maintenance costs, ensures stability while boarding, and keeps your boat secure next to the water whenever you’re ready to set out. The key is to choose the right lift for your boat.
Your dealer can help you pick out the boat lift you need to get the most out of your water, but before you start shopping, make notes on the following information to make shopping even easier.
Is your water fresh or salty? How deep is it? Is the bottom of your water soft or firm? Rocky or muddy? Rough and choppy or smooth and quiet? These factors will determine the kind of lift style that’s best for you, considering that they’re the conditions your lift will be constantly exposed to. Bottom standing lifts are better for waterfronts with consistent water depth where deep water, shifting bottoms, or fluctuating water levels are best suited for a floating boat lift. Also, keep your dock style and slip width in mind when you’re buying a boat lift, as these will help narrow your choices down further.
Different boat lifts can lift watercraft of different sizes and styles. Is your boat a pontoon, V-Hull, or some other shape? Does it have an inboard or outboard motor? The shape, weight, and where the weight sits on the boat are all important criteria when selecting a lift for your watercraft. Make sure you know the length and beam of your boat as well as the cradle beam. You’ll want a four-inch cushion on either side of your boat (10 inches if you’re using guideposts) to avoid too tight of a squeeze.
Boat lifts are rated by their weight capacity. The specification sheet that came with your boat (or information available on the manufacturer’s website) will be able to tell you what your boat’s dry weight is. However, this dry weight doesn’t include what you’ll bring on the boat—fuel, water, and other equipment, among other things. Be sure to factor that weight in when buying a boat lift, allow a margin of error, and always err on the side of having more lifting capacity than you need.