Posted on January 23, 2020
Boat shows can be overwhelming for even experienced waterfront owners, but they’re also a great place for you to find out more about the shoreline additions you’re planning on making. You should come to a boat show with some questions prepared for when you talk to dealers. As you think about what to ask, keep these points in mind and make sure you buy from a dealer that gives you the answers and details you’re comfortable with.
A high-quality dock is one that will last for many seasons and require minimal maintenance. Your aluminum boat lift (and the dock that it’s attached to) will be raising, lowering, and holding your watercraft and all of the money you’ve invested in it, so you want to make sure the construction is going to hold up for years to come. Your dealer should know about how the dock and lift are constructed, the materials it’s made from, how the sides are braced, and what kind of connections are holding it together.
Anyone who sells aluminum boat docks knows that there are a lot of factors to consider before installation. Know your water depth and the makeup of the bottom before going to a show and look at what your neighbors are using: if you see a lot of roll-in, floating, or standing docks, that’s a pretty good sign of what you should think about investing in. If you’re a seasonal boater, whether the decking is removable and the dock is easy to remove on your own is a big consideration. Whether you’re using your dock as a way to access your boat or as an entertainment space will also affect what you invest in and what changes you might consider making.
Anything can happen and things can change. Over the course of your dock’s lifetime, your water level might change, you buy a new boat, your kids move out, you retire, or your tastes change: there are any number of reasons why you might want to make some changes to your dock in the future. When talking with a boat show dealer, ask how easily accessories can be moved or changed, including accessories like boat lift motors and canopies. For boat lifts, consider how far the lift travels and how much it can carry because you might not have the same boat or same water level in a few years, and a large lift travel can ensure you’re not continuously moving the lift.
Be careful about boat show specials. You might be able to get aluminum boat docks for a great price, but there might be hidden costs associated with essential accessories that add up very quickly. When buying a boat lift, it’s important to know whether you can buy the lift now and add accessories to it later or if everything must be bought and installed at once. Not only will this help you stick to your budget, but it also speaks to the adaptability of the boat lift and dock set-up.
If you couldn’t make it out to a boat show or you think of more questions when you get back, you don’t need to worry, because ShoreMaster can help. We’ve been industry leaders and waterfront experts for decades, and our customer support team can help with your aluminum boat dock questions whenever you have them. Whether you need installation help or want to set up plans for your new dock, we can help. Contact a local ShoreMaster dealer to get started.