Boat lifts no doubt offer multiple advantages to a boat owner. It helps with damage prevention and its secure boat storage keeps your boat in good condition for a more extended period.
However, it is important to have the right boat lift for your boat type, weather, and water conditions.
With there being different types of boat lifts, boat owners like you may need some help making a choice. So here is something about the three most common boat lifts.
Three most common boat lift types
1. Bottom standing or freestanding lifts
There are five common types of bottom standing boat lifts:
- Shore ramps
- Pontoon boat
These boat lifts are ideal to use:
- In shallow areas with a maximum depth of 10 ft
- If you have a fixed dock
2. Floating lifts
Floating lifts are more affordable and a better option for:
- Deeper waters
- Changing water levels as it accommodates rising and falling water levels
- Keeping the boat safe from potential structural damage
- Floating docks they can safely drive into
3. Suspended lifts
Suspended boat lifts are perfect for transporting bigger boats. Their stainless steel cables, cable winders, high-capacity motors, and galvanized cradles provide maintenance-free heavy-duty use.
Its strong structure makes suspended lifts rather expensive. You have the choice of building them into your existing structure. Or you can also alternatively have it installed in a steel-framed dock building.
These boat lifts are available as:
- Pile mount
How to select the ideal boat lift for safe docking
Now that you know the boat types, you next need to understand selecting the right one. There are multiple factors to consider in buying a long-standing boat lift.
These factors include:
Boat lifts that operate manually are affordable and ideal in docks without electricity. While its spinner wheel can get challenging to operate, it gives a rustic look and feel.
Boat lifts that work on electricity provide practical lighting to reach and start your boat at night. They are a good choice for docks with electrical connectivity.
However, if you do get one, make sure you have a professional and experienced electrician safely and correctly install and maintain it.
b) Permits and regulations
Always check your local rules, permits, and regulations for boat lifts before buying one. As boat lifts can stick out and be an eyesore to some, getting housing committee permission before purchasing one is better.
Besides, there may also be local height restrictions, so don’t forget to consider that too.
c) Water condition
Water condition is important because saltwater will corrode the boat lift with time. You need a robust and durable boat lift made of galvanized steel and stainless steel cables if the water is salty.
The water level is also another critical factor as it ensures your boat remains docked without touching the sediment. Artificial water bodies usually have constant water levels, while natural water bodies may have fluctuating water levels.
d) Weather conditions
You need something strong to support your boat if you have regular storms in your area. The strong winds can end up shifting your boat. It may end up ramming into the dock, and damage both your vehicle and boat lift.
e) Water traffic
You will need to have something strong and sturdy enough to stabilize your boat amidst the high boat traffic. Swing lifts are a no-no here as the heavy traffic ends up knocking your craft around.
f) Boat weight and dimensions
You naturally need to buy a lift that will be able to bear your boat weight. It’s, in fact, better to get one that can hold more than the boat’s weight. It ensures the lift will carry the additional weight while upgrading and adding accessories and gadgets to your ship.
As mentioned earlier, consider height if there are height restrictions in the area where you will install the lift.
As in anything else you buy, you need always to consider your budget while making any purchase. The same rule applies to boat lifts. Of course, do not let cost come in between durability and functionality.
Buying a cheap boat lift that won’t endure the water and weather conditions will be a waste of money.
However, after taking these factors into consideration, investing in the right boat lift will indeed make it worth the money!