Choosing the Best Boat Lift

Anyone who owns a boat will tell you that if you want to protect your investment, you will store it out of the water during the winter months. If you store your boat at the lake, you will notice just after the first year that there is algae around the edges, and that it is plugging cooling water inlets. What you need to have is a good boat lift. You also need to know which type of lift is best for your boat. It is usually best to visit your local boat dealer. While you may find cheaper models online, those prices won’t include installation. The price you get from the local dealer often does. You may actually save money by going to the dealer in the first place.

Know Your Boat

The first thing to do is to make a list of all of your boats specifications. These include overall length, length at the water line, beam, hull, and weight (combined weight of boat, equipment, and rigging). Consult the manual for information about the lifting points. This is where the slings will be placed so they won’t cause any damage to the boat. The more you know about your boat, the easier it will be to choose the right lift.

Know Your Boathouse

You also need to get all of the information about your boathouse, if you will be using one. The lift is going to work like a crane, and the boathouse must be able to support both the weight of the lift, and the weight of your boat. You may be able to opt for a boat lift that is mounted on the bulkhead, or on one of the boathouse piers. This way, the weight goes directly into the ground, which is more supportive. Or, there is also the option of an air-lift, drive-on ramp (floating ramp). This is also a less expensive option, as the prices are lower, as well as maintenance costs. Before visiting the dealer, take photos of your boathouse, both inside and out, so they know what you have to work with.

Visit Local Boat Dealers

Now it is time to shop around. Most boat dealers also sell lifts, and many also do installations. Bring all of your boat and boathouse information with you, and ask to see the various models the dealers have. Use your information to make sure you don’t end up choosing something that is too large or too small. The dealer can help you with this. Before signing on the dotted line, ask for references, especially if the dealer is doing the installation. That way you will know whether or not they are going to get the job done quickly and efficiently. For the best service, visit UMT International Boat Davits.

Make Sure there is a Warranty

New boat lifts have limited time warranties, which cover parts and labor. Some used models do come with lifetime warranties. If you are buying a used boat lift, find out if that warranty can be transferred to you. While this may not seem like much, if you have to make a lot of repairs or replace parts over the years, you are going to be glad you did this, because you could end up spending a fortune otherwise.

One Last Thing

No matter what type of boat lift you choose, remember that all boat lifts come with hazards, including boating hazards and construction hazards. You need to use caution when operating a boat lift. You should also find out about local boating regulations. If there are regulations in place for land use (local, state, and federal), there may be constraints that affect using some types of boat lifts.

Image Source: Alex. Arthur

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