When maneuvering toward your lift, slowly drive over it to ensure the boat is centered front to back and side to side. Use accessories such as bow stops, and motor stops to help make this step easier.
Remember that different lift types have specific load-bearing specifications and capacities.
The type of boat lift you have installed will dictate its weight-bearing capabilities, so you should know this before putting your watercraft on it. Ensure you stay within this capacity, which could lead to equipment failure and serious injuries or damage to your lift, dock, or the watercraft.
You should also pay attention to the materials and construction of your lift to make sure it can handle your boat’s weight, freshwater vs. saltwater effects, and waterfront location types. Ensure your lift’s cables and sheaves are galvanized to prevent rust, corrosion, and premature wear and tear that could compromise the integrity of the lift system.
Ideally, your boat should be removed from the lift and stored somewhere safe during hurricanes or other severe weather. This will protect your watercraft from mold, rust, and microorganisms that can build up on it when left in the water. It will also help reduce the risk of your boat and lift being swept away in storm surge. If removing your boat isn’t possible, then the next best step is to secure it to the lift properly and to secure points on the dock to stabilize both of them.
Boat Lifts Palm Beach County, FL, allows your boat to be elevated out of the water when unused. This protects your boat from weather, marine debris, and any winter ice or flood debris that can damage the hull and propeller of your vessel.
Docking the boat onto the lift can be a tricky maneuver. It requires precise maneuvering in close quarters, as well as the ability to judge environmental factors like wind and water conditions. It’s important to practice often and be aware of the impact the wind, waves, and currents have on your boating experience before you attempt to dock into a lift.
It’s also essential to correctly gauge your boat’s weight when positioning it on the lift. Excessive weight in the front or back of the ship can strain cables or cause frame and rack jams. The right-sized boat can help to prevent this. It’s also crucial to only use a galvanized cable with your lift, not stainless steel.
Preparing to Dock
Every lift is not one-size-fits-all. Each cradle type, bunk style, and weight capacity has been engineered to handle specific boat weights, hull designs, and motor requirements. Always follow manufacturer specifications and never exceed the maximum load capacity.
The location of the lift should also be considered. Waterfront conditions like tidal changes, wind, and chafing of lines will have a significant impact on a lift’s operation.
When approaching the lift, remember to slow down and maneuver your boat carefully. The ship must be centered front to back and side to side to ensure equal weight distribution and avoid damage to the lift, cable, or hull. This is especially critical when preparing to dock during extreme weather.
Approaching the Lift
Once you’re ready to use the boat lift, carefully maneuver your vessel towards it. Pay attention to external factors like currents, wind, and waves that can impede your maneuverability and affect how you approach the lift.
It’s also essential to ensure your boat lift is designed for your vessel’s weight and size. Claims data shows that one of the most common reasons for lift failure is when owners purchase a larger boat and fail to consider the new lift’s maximum capacity rating.
If you’re concerned about your lift’s ability to accommodate your new vessel, consider a hull support or full-length guide system that contours to the boat’s hull for optimal stability and support. These accessories are easy to install before a storm and can help prevent damage to the lift and the boat. In addition, they can be used as a temporary bracing device when the lift is not in use.