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Factors to Consider When Buying a Boat Lift

When you have a beautiful boat docked in a nearby body of water, you’ll surely be mindful of its maintenance, which includes keeping it safe from the impact of staying in the water for too long, and various weather elements. This can only leave you with one option: purchasing a boat lift. 

These structures, however, can prove hard to purchase, as you’ll find multiple models on the market with different features, structure, and, of course, price tags. But to help with the confusion about the whole deal, here are a few factors that you should consider first before making your purchase. 


One of the main things to consider is the location. The state of the water in which you’re going to install the lift is going to affect your boat lift options. The more waves and the rougher the waters are, the more durable your lift should be. If you get a boat lift that is not suited for the weather conditions and waves in the area, you’ll end up paying a sizable amount of money to handle your boat lift maintenance. If you’re going to install it in a rough-water area, then make sure that the arms of the lift are 2.5 inches, at least. You might also want to consider some other features like added bracing to the arms both above and below the water level. If the waves are particularly rough, a boat lift with heavy-duty arms could be what you’re looking for. Calmer waters don’t require any additional features. Your boat is going to be fine with 2 inches or standard arms.

Consider the Different Types of Boat Lifts

As we’ve mentioned before, you’ll find various options to pick from when you buy a boat lift, but all these options will really boil down to three main types: bottom standing, suspended, and floating. Bottom standing boat lifts are perfect for anyone who has a dock in shallow waters (3 to 10 feet). They can also work for lakes and bodies of water with soft sediment content. Suspended boat lifts are great if you have average water depth. Deeper water depths require a floating boat lift, which works well with rough waves, and changing water levels. There are customizable boat lifts that you might want to consider, as these lifts for house boats can be changed according to your needs. Boathouse lifts can be the best option in terms of durability and protection, as they are equipped with high-quality material and heavy-duty reinforced posts, which work for deeper water levels.

Manual or Electric

Manual boat lifts are generally the traditional variety you’ll find on the market. They will need manual effort on your part for them to work, which you will exert when you operate the spinner wheels. However, using these will require a degree of care and maintenance. Manual boat lifts are quite affordable and will serve you best if you have no power source near the docks. 

However, if manual boat lifts seem like a lot of work for you, you can opt for electric lifts. Unlike manual lift boats, they do require an electric source so you’ll need to make sure that you can provide electricity for it. They are also more convenient, as you won’t really have to exert any effort for them to work.

Length and Width

Before you purchase a boat lift, you’ll have to know the length and width of your boat first. What you should consider on that front is how supportive you need the beam of the boat lift to be and the weight capacity, which obviously needs to be quite high to lift your boat successfully. If you’re considering purchasing other vessels in the future, make sure that you install a boat lift that can handle bigger vessels as well. It would work in your favor if a boat lift is upgradable, so you can tweak it as you wish in the future according to your needs.


As you might have already concluded, a boat lift will need a great deal of maintenance. Like your boat, you need the structure to be in top shape to work properly. So, make sure that you provide proper maintenance to the winches, cables, motor, and cradle. Also, make sure that cables and cradle are away from water to protect the materials covering the cords from wearing out.

Now that you know about these factors, you’ll be able to narrow down your options more efficiently. Remember that you should look for durable and long-lasting boat lifts. Make sure that you buy from a trustworthy manufacturer that offers a warranty of between 1-10 years on the boatlift. 


  1. My dad bought a boat last year and wants to invest in a boat lift for it. I like how you talked about the importance of choosing a lift that is suited for the weather and wave conditions of your area. I will be sure to pass this information along to him so he can choose the best lift for his boat.


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