No matter what size lake you’re on, you might want to get your boat up and out of the water on a boat lift to protect your investment. Lifting a boat from the water when it’s not being used prevents algae and other harmful growth from being deposited on a boat’s hull and engine’s running gear. This foreign-substance-ring that forms at the waterline and mossy growth on the hull can be tough to remove. Boat lifts also prevent your boat from bashing into the dock. You may also want to get your lift covered which keeps the rain and sun off the boat. A lift also eliminates the need to own a trailer for storage. But there’s plenty to consider before purchasing.
What Kind of Lift is Best?
Different types of lifts work better in certain situations. A good first step is to talk to neighbors who have similar-sized or larger boats than yours; people aren’t shy about providing input — both good and bad. Shore ramps allow a small boat to be dragged or driven up on the shoreline. These are often very inexpensive and don’t require any lifting mechanism.
- Lifts with floats that can raise and lower a boat are good choices for places like covered marinas and provide good protection from boats bumping against a slip.
- For lakes with a solid bottom, free-standing lifts can be used and offer the flexibility to be moved easily should a lake’s water level fluctuate. These can feature electric or manual lifting mechanisms.
- Pile-mounted lifts are more substantial and are best for larger boats. The pilings also give a place to mount a roof, which further protects a boat from the elements.
- Drive-on floats are convenient, fast and are perfect for smaller vessels like jet boats and personal watercraft.
- Shore ramps allow a small boat to be dragged or driven up on the shoreline. These are often very inexpensive and don’t require any lifting mechanism.