Investing in a boat lift is a great way to protect your investment and make launching convenient. But to ensure your new charge provides years of reliable service, proper installation and ongoing maintenance are crucial. Read the Best info about boat lift companies at Grand Lake.
Here are some critical tips for getting your boat lifted and running and keeping it in top shape:
Choose the Right Location
When determining where to place your lift, consider water depth, wind and wave exposure, dock traffic, and shore access. Most rides require a minimum water depth of 4-6 feet at low tide. Avoid high-traffic areas and allow room for boats to maneuver around the safe passage. Shore access is needed to run electrical service.
Reinforce the Dock
Depending on the model, boat lifts can weigh thousands of pounds fully loaded. So, the dock structure must be reinforced to handle the weight. This may involve adding extra pilings and cross supports. Consult with your lift manufacturer for specific dock requirements. A marine contractor can assess your existing dock and handle all needed upgrades.
Hire a Professional
Boat lift installation is complex, with critical steps like securing guide posts and calibrating the lift mechanism. Unless you have specialized equipment and marine construction experience, hiring a professional is strongly advised. They have the tools and knowledge for safe and proper installation.
Get the Right Permits
Most states and local municipalities require permits for building any offshore structures, including boat lifts. The contractor usually handles this paperwork, but it’s wise to check with your county or Department of Natural Resources about any regulations and permit fees in your area.
Run Electrical Service
Most modern boat lifts run on electric motors requiring AC power. This involves running underground conduit from the charge to your electrical panel or installing a new dock subpanel. Have a licensed marine electrician handle the electrical work.
Once installed, check that all cradles, pulleys, belts, and guides are able to move freely. Fine-tune water depth settings, lateral directions, and lift position to match your boat’s hull design before loading your boat. This ensures it fits and sits level in the slings or cradle.
Ongoing lift maintenance prevents malfunctions and safety issues. Inspect pulleys, belts, cables, and moving parts monthly. Tighten any loose hardware. Lubricate cables and hinges to prevent squeaking. Wash salt and grime buildup with fresh water. Replace any fraying wires immediately.
Document all maintenance, part replacements, repairs, and servicing in a lifting log. Get professional inspections annually before the boating season. Thorough records validate proper care if any warranty issues arise.
Protect from Elements
Use a boat lift cover to shield the lift from sun, rain, and dirt. Caps also prevent bird droppings from accumulating on the boat. Remove the body before any winter storms so heavy snow doesn’t damage the lift structure.
Following proper installation and maintenance guidelines helps ensure your boat lift provides safe and convenient launching for years. Taking the time upfront to have it done right is well worth it.
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