July 11, 2024

Boat Lift Motor for Sale: How to Choose the Right Boat Lift Motor for You

Boat Lift Motor for Sale: How to Choose the Right Boat Lift Motor for You

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Boat Lift Motor for Sale

A boat lift is one of the most important investments you can make to protect your vessel and preserve its lifespan. But while a vertical lift with a manual crank wheel does the job, equipping it with the right boat lift motor provides the ease and convenience that can significantly elevate your boating experience.

Below, we walk you through essential considerations for choosing the appropriate boat lift motor for your needs. Plus, we explain why you should consider the boat lift and dock options provided by the waterfront experts at ShoreMaster.  

ShoreMaster LiftBoss

Introduction to Boat Lift Motors

Boat lift motors eliminate the physical strain of manually operating boat lifts, enabling you to conveniently, efficiently, and safely get your vessel in and out of the water. While there are several types of boat lift motors, they primarily fall under these two categories:

  • AC Motors: AC boat lift motors operate on alternating current (AC) electricity, requiring a standard electrical outlet typically at 110-120 volts. While they are usually more affordable than their DC counterparts, docks further away from a power source often require costly high-voltage lines and transformers to ensure safe and reliable operation, which add to the cost and present safety issues. 
  • DC Motors: A DC boat lift motor operates on direct current (DC), typically at 12 or 24 volts. These motors are powered by batteries that solar panels can charge, making them ideal for docks without easy access to an electric power source. According to Gainesville Industrial Electric, AC motors are generally more powerful, while DC motors are typically more efficient (GIE, n.d.).

Under these primary categories are different types of motors for different boat lift mechanisms. These include the following:

  • Direct drive: These motors essentially replace the manual turn wheels on boat lifts. They are attached to the winch assembly of freestanding lifts, allowing for easy raising and lowering of the boat with a turn of a key or switch.  
  • Friction drive: Also known as wheel-to-wheel drive motors, these operate by using a rubber wheel to turn the crank wheel on your lift. While the setup may be simple, it eliminates the strain on your shoulders and back after a fun day on the water. 
  • Blower motors: These motors are for floating boat lifts. They drive the power air pumps or blowers that either fill floatation tanks or chambers with air to lift the boat or release air to lower it. 

Equipping your boat lift with the appropriate motor ensures safe and efficient operation. The correct motor will handle the boat's weight effortlessly, operating smoothly and reliably. Moreover, a well-chosen motor and accessories, like a boat lift motor stop, will be durable, reducing maintenance needs and prolonging the life of the entire boat lift system.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Boat Lift Motor

Selecting the appropriate boat lift motor involves considering several key factors to ensure optimal performance and reliability. These include the following:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the motor is compatible with your boat lift system. Different boat lift designs have varying mounting and electrical requirements. More importantly, its voltage should match your power supply. 
  • Power: Choose a motor with enough power to handle the weight of your fully loaded boat, including any gear typically stored onboard. A good rule of thumb is to choose a motor with a capacity 20-25% higher than your boat’s wet weight. 
  • Durability: Marine environments can be harsh. Motors built with corrosion-resistant materials enhance durability and longevity while waterproofing and sealed components keep moisture out to prevent rust and electrical failures.    
  • Ease of installation and use: Motors that come with clear instructions and all necessary mounting hardware can make the installation process straightforward. For reference, installing ShoreMaster’s boat lift motors takes 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, user-friendly controls and features like remote operation and solar charging can enhance the overall ownership experience. 
  • Maintenance requirements: Choose a motor with accessible parts and manageable maintenance needs that fit your usage patterns and environmental conditions. 

Finally, consider your dock’s power source. DC boat lift motors require batteries and a supplemental solar charging system. Meanwhile, using an AC boat lift motor installed away from a power source requires high-voltage lines, a transformer, and a GFCI outlet, significantly impacting overall costs and installation complexity.

Top Boat Lift Motors for Sale at ShoreMaster

If you’re looking for a boat lift motor, you want to make your life on the water easier. That’s exactly what ShoreMaster’s boat lift motors provide — easy installation and even easier operation, so you never have to dread lifting your watercraft again. Choose from these two designs:

  • LiftMate: Upgrade your boat lift in under 30 minutes with the LiftMate, this wheel-to-wheel boat lift motor. Available in 110V and 12V power options, the LiftMate operates with a simple toggle switch and is compatible with virtually any vertical boat lift with a crank wheel. 
  • LiftBoss: Our direct drive boat lift motor is available in 120V, 12V, and 24V power options to fit your waterfront’s power availability. It comes in key-turn, corded remote, and wireless remote operation options for the ultimate ease of use. It also boasts long-lasting, corrosion-resistant hardware that undergoes rigid testing to ensure durability and reliability. With a 20-minute installation, the LiftBoss is the quickest and easiest way to upgrade your boat lift.

Both motors utilize ShoreMaster’s exclusive Whisper Winch so you can enjoy the industry’s quietest operation. Contact us today to get the most out of your boat lift and maximize your time on the water.

Installation and Maintenance of Boat Lift Motors

While some boat lift models facilitate DIY installation, we recommend consulting a qualified technician to ensure optimal performance and safety, especially when installing complex electrical systems. With that said, here’s a general outline for installing boat lift motors:

  1. Preparation: Ensure you have all the necessary parts and tools for the installation. Turn off all power sources to avoid any electrical hazards. 
  2. Mount the motor: Position the new motor onto the crank wheel, drive shaft, or appropriate mounting area. Ensure you align it correctly before tightening the screws, bolts, or other connectors. 
  3. Electrical connections: Follow the manufacturer's wiring diagram to connect the motor to the power source. For AC motors, ensure the wiring is protected and complies with local electrical codes. As noted by an Angi article, “To stay safe and compliant with the National Electrical Code®, your outlets will need GFCI protection if they are within six feet of a sink or anywhere else likely to come into contact with water (Angi, (2023).” For DC motors, connect to the battery, ensuring proper polarity. 
  4. Test the motor: Turn on the power source and test the motor’s operation, checking for smooth lifting and lowering of the boat lift. 

Once installed, refer to the owner’s manual for specific maintenance instructions to ensure motor performance. While motors from top manufacturers like ShoreMaster require virtually no maintenance apart from charging batteries, regularly inspecting the motor and surrounding components for signs of wear and damage allows you to catch potential problems.