Selecting a Boat Lift

Apr 26, 2021 | boat maintenance | 0 comments

Boat insurance agents are very familiar with the circumstances that lead to boat damage. You might be envisioning a collision or capsized vessel, but it’s often less dramatic. 

For example, when boats are in the water year-round, owners run the risk of various issues. Naturally, water conditions vary, and some are harder on the hull than others.

Our boat insurance specialists hear about damage due to:

  • Algae growth
  • Barnacles
  • Hull blisters
  • Salt corrosion
  • Colliding with the dock in high winds or waves

When it comes to preventative measures while keeping your boat at the dock, you can’t beat a boat lift. When you store your boat on a lift above the waterline, it’s kept free and clear of the damaging effects of water (plus it’s fast and easy to launch your boat when you’re ready to use it again!). 

Here are some things to consider when you’re selecting a boat lift:

  • The dock’s construction will often lend itself to a particular boat lift design (is it fixed or floating? Is there a roof?)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iStock-530986096-1024x686.jpg
Boat on a boat lift in the Florida Keys

The three main types of boat lift design include: 

1. Floating (ideal when there is a rapid drop-off or deep bottom and also fluctuating water levels)

2. Bottom standing/free standing (a good choice for fixed docks in shallow water and areas with severe winters)

3. Suspended hoist lift (works well with average water depths)

Keep in mind. 

  • Find the boat lift that suits not only the dock design but the weight and cradle capacity of your boat
  • Don’t forget about the weight of equipment and passenges
  • Depending on where you are, there could be permitting requirements to install a boat lift
  • Your marina might have its own regulations
  • There could be HOA restrictions that impact your options
  • Is there electricity available and easily accessible on your dock to power a boat lift 
  • Specific lifts work better at different water depths

Before you install a boat lift, you need to ensure the dock can support the weight of a lift – and the full weight of your boat in the lift. You must also be careful there is enough room for a boat to be lifted out of the water (especially if there is a roof). 

Some boat slips may not be deep enough, or they could have winch stands or other cables that will interfere with operating a boat lift. 

Do you have the right coverage to protect your boat and the liability of using a lift? Contact the boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to review your coverage.


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