Buying a Boat Lift
You’re in the market for a boat lift, and you call a dealer. They might have twenty questions that make you feel overwhelmed. There are a few items you should know before starting the process such as your shoreline, the specs of your boat, and a budget.
Let’s start with nature’s physical features. You should know the water depth at the end of your dock. The depth determines lift placement. For example, if you have a shallow, gradually dropping water depth, the lift will need to be further away from shore so that the boat may drive onto the lift. If you have very deep water, the lift legs may need special legs for install, so no one has to swim when setting it.
The specs of your boat should be handy prior to making any calls. The length and width of the boat determine the size of the lift. The weight of the boat determines the capacity of the lift. Some manufactures label lift model numbers based off these specs. For example, a ShoreStation 40120 has a four thousand pound capacity and is 120 inches wide. If you own a big boat, you should consider not only the dry weight of the boat, but also the contents because gas, a ballast tank, and gear add up quickly.
Will you be putting a canopy on the lift? A canopy is a great way to keep your boat dry and protected from the elements. It’s not great if you do not plan to keep your boat on the lift when not in use. The canopy can act as a giant sail during a storm and without the weight of the boat it’s highly likely the lift will not stay in place. You should know the height you need to clear for the boat. For example, a wakeboard boat with an arch needs more canopy height than a boat with a windshield.
The service of the boat lift is another item to consider. If a service company is going to install the boat lift for you, they may ask if the lift can be dropped in your yard and easily moved to the lake or if the lift will need to be floated in to your location. If you live in an area where lakes freeze, yearly service work and the related costs should be considered. Many manufacturers sell wheel kits for the do it yourself people who can install and remove the lift on their own.
As with any purchase, you can accessorize a boat lift. A power drive is used to automatically crank up a lift. Side guides assist in guiding a boat onto the lift. A motor stop helps you from going too far forward. These are just a few of the many lift accessories.
A boat lift enables you to keep your boat handy and use it with ease. Shopping for one should be a fun experience. It’s helpful to know your landscape and your boat before you start. Good luck and happy shopping!