How to Safely Place Your Boat Lift in the Water This Spring

How to Safely Place Your Boat Lift in the Water This Spring

Boating season is almost here. Is everything ready for the water? Perhaps you recently purchased a boat lift so you no longer need to transport your boat to and from the water and can safely dock it by the pier. However, you want to ensure a safe boat lift installation to prevent delaying the start of your boating season. In the content below, we discuss how to safely place your boat lift in the water this spring.

Step 1: Read the Boat Lift Manual

Not all boat lifts install the same way, especially when considering the differences between electric, manual, and pontoon boat lifts. Despite often being overlooked, reading the entire boat lift manual helps you best understand your lifting equipment. With diagrams, images, and step-by-step instructions, a boat lift manual makes your boat lift installation run smoothly. Additionally, the boat lift manual provides extra information concerning the lift’s warranty and who to contact in the event an issue arises. However, if you fail to properly install your boat lift and it later incurs damages, your warranty voids as a result. Furthermore, even after the successful assembly and installation of your boat lift, refrain from throwing away the manual. You never know when you need it!

Step 2: Inspect and Take Inventory of All Boat Lift Parts

While reading the manual, find the one or several pages dedicated to listing the components within the boat lift assembly kit. Therefore, separate each item into organized piles to help perform two tasks: inspection and inventory. Even if your assembly kit misses one screw or bearing, consider the safety and overall integrity of your boat lift compromised. Furthermore, any boat lift parts that appear to show signs of damage can result in additional damage to boat lift parts – or even your boat. In the event you find missing or damaged parts, refrain from completing installation until the manufacturer supplies you with new or replacement parts.

Step 3: Assemble Your Boat Lift

With the boat lift manual by your side, begin following the step-by-step instructions and avoid skipping anything you may consider unnecessary. Each step included in the instruction manual was obviously written for a reason. As you assemble the components of your boat lift, be sure to use the appropriate tools. Additionally, confirm that each piece is securely fastened and will not loosen over time. In the event you need a clear, visual aid to ensure you are following the process correctly, check the manufacturer’s website for additional demonstrations regarding your specific model. Alternatively, you can also use video search engines such as YouTube to see how other customers assembled the lift.

Step 4: Perform a Final Safety Check

Once your boat lift is fully assembled, take some time to inspect every aspect before safely placing it in the water. Though it is important to examine everything, below are three of the most important elements to spend extra time examining. 

Boat Lift Motor

If you built an electric boat lift, test the motor to ensure that everything works properly. Be sure that you prepared the motor by cleaning and greasing it accordingly. If any problems occur, refer to the boat lift manual to see the best way to care for your motor. Remember, it’s much easier to repair a component before you place your boat lift in the water.

Boat Lift Crank

In the event you assembled a manual boat lift, it’s necessary to test the functionality of all hand cranks or pulleys. When testing the lift, search for any snagging cables or if the crank sticks after a certain amount of time. If the crank malfunctions without bearing any additional weight, how frustrating and unsafe it would be to raise and lower your boat! Therefore, determining any issues with the boat lift crank before placing a boat on it helps prevent any major damages.

Boat Lift Cables

The boat lift cables are crucial to the safe and successful operation of your boat lift, regardless of if you own an electric or manual model. Inspecting your boat lifts for premature signs of fraying before placing the boat lift in the water will prevent further damages to your lift or boat. If you identify any signs of damage to the boat lift cables once assembled, do not continue to install the lift. Use the preferred method of communication listed in your boat lift manual and speak with the manufacturer.

Step 5: Measure the Water Depth

Before you place your boat lift in the water, measure and re-measure the water depth of the position you want to install the lift. Measurements should be taken at both the projected position of the end nearest shore and the end furthest from shore. Failing to do so causes a longer installation process and may even require additional lift parts that cater to a greater water depth.

Step 6: Place Your Boat Lift in the Water

Depending on the dimensions and weight capacity of your boat lift, specific installation instructions may differ. If you never placed your boat lift in the water before, your wisest decision would be to consult a professional. Allowing a professional to install the lift or assist you with the installation drastically reduces the risk of injury.

Below are the four main steps regarding how to safely and effectively place your boat lift in the water:

  • Before installing, adjust the lift legs so the boat can float into position before raising, while still allowing a high enough position so the boat can be fully raised up and out of the water.
  • Carry, lift, or slide the boat lift into position alongside the dock.
  • Ensure that your lift is level. Measure the distance from the top of the cross beam to the water surface. The distance at each of the four corners of the lift should be within two inches of each other. If they are not, adjust the legs accordingly.
  • Position the Bunk Bracket to fit watercraft so that it does not encounter the frame of the lift. After loading and operation the lift, proceed to the operating instructions, remove the boat and recheck that the lift remains level.

Don’t Forget Your Spare Boat Lift Repair Parts

We understand that every now and then, a boat lift part needs replacement. Regardless if you just purchased a new boat lift or have kept your boat lift in pristine condition, it’s best to know where to get replacement boat lift parts. That’s why our experts at Boat Lift Repair Parts work hard to create reliable boat lift motors and lifting systems with durability and longevity in mind. We assist in helping you decide which lifting component is best for your boating needs.

If you wish to receive additional information about all our products or would like to request a quote on one of our kits, contact us today!