How Do You Determine What Size Boat Lift You Need?

January 2023 Multimedia

After your boat, a boat lift is the next investment you should make as a new boat owner. It’s also a really exciting step to take—your waterfront life is just beginning, and it’s off to a great start! A boat lift is also a very practical investment that makes boat maintenance easier and keeps your boat safe, which helps preserve the value and quality of your boat for years to come.

A well-built, high-quality boat lift is one of the best investments you can make in protecting your watercraft. Choosing the right size boat lift ensures that you get the best protection possible, so before you buy, think about how much weight capacity you need, the size of your boat, and your waterfront conditions.

Boat Weight

Boat lifts are rated to different weight capacities, so a good place to start would be the weight of your watercraft. You’ll need the base dry weight of your boat, which you can find on your boat specification sheet. However, that’s not the only thing your boat lift will be hauling. Factor in the weight of everything you’ll be bringing with you: gas, batteries, water, storage, water sports equipment, and anything else you need for a day on the water. Adding a 20% safety margin is a good idea, and if you’re between boat lift capacities, size up to stay as safe as possible.

Boat Width

You’ll also need to know some other measurements of your boat. The beam is the widest part of your boat, which your lift will have to be wide enough to accommodate. Add a minimum of four inches of cushion on either side to ensure the fit isn’t too snug. Your hull shape—whether you have a V-hull, pontoon, V-drive, or another form—will also determine what size or style of boat lift you need. Other factors, like the draft of your boat and whether you have an inboard or outboard motor, will affect your boat lift choice as well.

Your Waterfront

Think about where your boat lift is going to be during the season. Your dock location and shape will affect your lift choice, so keep it in mind (and if you have a sectional dock that can be rearranged to accommodate changes, all the better). The type of water you have will affect your lift choice as well. For instance, standing lifts work better for shallow lakeshores, where fluctuating or deep water makes a floating lift necessary. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask dealers when you’re shopping around: your local dealers will know the waterfront you’re working with and carry products that are sure to fit your water and lifestyle.

Whatever you’re lifting and wherever you’re lifting it, choose a manufacturer that creates high-quality lifts and an authorized dealer that knows them inside and out. The waterfront experts from ShoreMaster also recommend that you consider a boat lift made from welded aluminum: the material is durable, lightweight, low maintenance, and consistently reliable no matter the weather or water conditions.

With all of these tips, you’re ready to start looking for your ideal boat lift and enjoying years of value and safety.

For more information:
1025 International Drive
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

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