A boat investment is no joke and should be taken seriously. You need to find a solution to store and protect it when you are not using it. The best option here is a boat lift. It not only protects and stores your boat when idle but also reduces the time spent to access it. This, in turn, leaves you with more time on your boat.

However, there are so many types of boat lifts for sale that it may be difficult for a novice to select one. There are quite a few things you need to keep in mind while making your choice.


There are three main types of boat lifts- floating, bottom standing and suspended, with their individual pros and cons. It is better to choose based on the type of dock construction. There are some docks that can even accommodate more than one type of boat lift.

  • Floating boat lifts are the best for floating and fixed docks found usually in deep water. These docks tend to rise and fall with the water level changes.

The advantage of these boat lifts for sale is that it gives the boater freedom with easy access to board the boat. It also tends to fluctuate with the dock and in the process, prevents the boat’s dead weight from getting stored on the dock.

  • Bottom standing boat lifts are ideal for fixed docks in shallow water.
  • In case of suspended boat lifts, they are usually found on fixed docks located in moderately deep water.

Permitting requirements and regulations

Make sure there are no strict regulations in your marina about attaching equipment to the dock before looking for boat lifts for sale. You don’t want to invest money in one only to later find out you install and cannot use it. This is most important if you plan to buy a suspended boat lift, where you need to install additional spud poles.

Roof structure

If your dock has a roof, make sure it’s high enough that you can lift your boat out of the water without hitting it.  In case of fixed docks, the roof structure should be able to accommodate the suspended boat lift and the boat’s live weight.


Choose a boat lift that easily supports a boat lift’s installation.

Power source

If you buy boat lifts for sale with accessories that need power, then you need to ensure there is electricity available on the dock to power your boat lift.


Don’t forget to choose your boat lifts for sale depending on your surrounding water conditions. While salt water is corrosive in action, warm salt water is naturally more corrosive than cold salt water.  Also, check to find out how quickly and often the dock water levels fluctuate.

Boat slip measurements

You can buy a boat lift only if the boat slip’s length and width are wide enough to accommodate a boat lift installation. There is no fixed answer for this because it depends on your boat’s measurements.

Boat’s live weight

The manufacturer’s calculated dry weight is quite different from your boat’s live weight. This is why you need to calculate and ascertain the boat’s live weight to ensure the boat lift can endure it.

You can calculate the live weight by adding all and any dealer prep items there may be on the boat. Examples are a battery, fire extinguishers and all types of gear like life preservers, water toys and fishing gear.

Then add the fuel tank’s weight and the weight of any freshwater or any stored water you carry. This gives you your boat’s total live weight. Look for a boat lift that is strong enough to accommodate.

How you plan to ‘park’ your boat

Choose the boat lifts for sale based on how you plan to park your boat once you are done using it for the day. This is essential because it helps determine where you can install the boat lift, and accordingly buy one.

These 9 tips should prove helpful in selecting your boat lift from the many other boat lifts for sale. Remember, your boat is a one-time investment, so make sure you keep it protected well.

Categories: Boat Lifts


Penelope Smith · October 10, 2019 at 2:43 am

This is some really good information about boat lifts. It is good to know that you need to measure the boat slip really well. Also, it seems like a good thing to get an expert to help with installing the lift. After all, you want it set up properly.

Derek McDoogle · November 21, 2019 at 2:37 pm

My uncle would like to bring his boat to his lake house but he does not have where to put it. I like how you mentioned choosing a boat lift that easily supports a boat lift’s installation. Thanks for sharing this article, I will suggest to him to contact a professional so that they can come to install a dock for his boat.

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