What to Look For: Boat Lifts | Boating Magazine

What to Look For: Boat Lifts

Tips for choosing the right boat lift.

A boat lift keeps your hull clean so your boat runs fast and efficiently. It also protects your boat against waves and wakes and inhibits corrosion. What do you need to know when shopping for a boat lift? We compiled these tips with help from the pros at HydroHoist, leading manufacturer of hydropneumatic boat lifts for 50 years.

1. Tanks
Polyethylene tanks are most impact-resistant. Also, look for tanks that enable attachment of hardware above the waterline, which helps prevent corrosion.

2. Pump
Look for hydropneumatic boat lifts incorporating a high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) air pump to make raising and lowering the lift quicker and quieter.

3. Frame
Look for cast-steel, galvanized pivot points. Also make sure the frame and metalwork is assembled with through-bolts instead of setscrews.

4. Water Depth
Shallow water, low roof clearance, or boats with tops or towers may require floats that are broader and shorter to enable use. Ask about availability if these things apply to you.

5. Calm vs. Rough
If your dock is on calm waters, you may be able to save money; hardware and fittings suitable for rough, wake-riled waters cost more.

6. Boat Type
Boats sporting V-hulls utilize “standard” lifts, whereas you need a manufacturer that can supply a lift specifically designed to support multihulls such as catamarans or pontoon boats. These require support for each of the hulls or pontoons.

7. Capacities
Boat lifts range from those capable of raising 4,400-pound boats to models capable of supporting yachts weighing 60,000 pounds.

8. Price
Water conditions, boat type, boat-lift variety and installation specifics vary, but for reference, HydroHoist boat lifts start at $5,800.

Quick Tip: An accurate estimation of your boat’s weight is imperative to selecting the right lift. Diesel engines and other options can raise published weights dramatically. Check with your boatbuilder

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