Posted on April 6, 2023
Installing your HydroHoist boat lift for the first time can seem daunting, but it boils down to four basics. Check your water conditions before getting to work; confirm the measurements of your boat to make sure your lift can truly support it; assemble the lift; and move it out into the water. Once it’s secured, your HydroHoist lift is ready to go!
The weather is warming up, and it’s about time to get that boat lift installed. Your installation might look different depending on your experience level, the type of lift you have, and your waterfront conditions, but the basics are largely the same. This list will give you everything you need to consider before a first-time install (although it doesn’t hurt to confirm everything for subsequent installs).
Before you purchase, let alone install, a new boat lift, get to know your local water conditions really well. Adjustments are difficult to make on the fly if you miscalculate or there are changes later in the season, so it’s best to go in with as much information as possible before boat lift installation. Consider the water depth and bottom qualities as part of your installation. Measure the water at the deepest end of where your boat lift will be lifting from, and then measure again about 10 feet closer to the shore to get a good estimate of the shallow end measurement.
Again, this is something you do before you purchase your boat lift, but good to check up on during installation as well. The boat type will affect the type of boat lift you use because different lifts are designed for different hull shapes and weight capacities. You’ll want a boat lift that’s rated for the type of boat that you have.
Some dimensions that can be adjusted after you get your lift, though, and which you should adjust before installing it. You’ll need to know the style and beam as well as the length and keel of your boat to make those adjustments. Measure the beam (the widest part of your boat) and add a four- to ten-inch cushion on either side to allow for a margin of error as you drive your boat onto the boat lift (more if you’re using guideposts).
Even if you have a lot of boat lift installation experience, wear protective equipment before assembling anything. This means gloves, shoes, and protective eyewear. You don’t want to put your boating season on hold because of an injury that could have been avoided by wearing proper clothing for the job. Also, ensure you have at least one other adult helping you.
It’s best to assemble your boat lift on a large, flat area with plenty of room work space. Many high-quality boat lifts like those from HydroHoist won’t require anything more than a basic tool kit and some helping hands. For a first-time installation, the boat lift parts and pieces will come in bundles. Check any bags and boxes for more small parts, and compare what you have to what’s on the included list. As you install parts and accessories, keep anything small in the boxes so it doesn’t get lost or buried under the chaos.
Do not assemble or install your boat lift if any parts are missing or damaged. Even if you think you can get away with a seemingly insignificant part, you risk damaging your boat lift or boat or getting seriously hurt. Contact your local HydroHoist or other marine dealer to get the issue sorted out!
This is your last chance to make any adjustments before you put your boat lift in the water—adjustments are easier to make on land because the ground is solid, and you won't drop anything in the water. If your boat has a keel, measure its width and depth and allow more clearance on the boat lift than you need. Measure and adjust the bunk width as needed to accommodate the hull, pontoons, and/or keel.
Once you’re sure about all of the measurements, it’s finally time to install your boat lift. With a lightweight and durable boat lift like those available from HydroHoist, moving it out onto the water is as easy as can be. Lift or push the boat lift into the water, line it up with your dock, seawall, or shoreline, and ensure that it’s stable and that the horizontal beams are level before securing it.
For boat lifts that are designed, assembled, and installed by waterfront experts, look no further than HydroHoist. We’re an industry-leading, award-winning manufacturer that’s improved waterfronts for many North American customers. We have installation guides for all of our products on our website and PDFs to download. If you’re looking for personalized guidance or professional installation help, a local HydroHoist dealer can lend you a hand as well. Get in touch so that we can contact you with next steps!