August 17, 2023

Dock Lift vs. Boat Lift: Differences between dock lifts and boat lifts

Dock Lift vs. Boat Lift: Differences between dock lifts and boat lifts

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

Waterfront boat storage is one of the best ways to enjoy your time on the water. Boat lifts and dock lifts are both ways to keep your watercraft out of the water when you’re not using it, protecting it from damage until the next time you’re ready to head out. And because your boat or PWC is right by the water, you’ll save a lot of time and hassle getting out to the water. So what lifting solutions are available to you?

ShoreMaster Vertical Lift with Black Canopy and Infinity RS4 Dock with IPE Decking

The Difference Between Dock Lifts and Boat Lifts

No matter the size, make, or model of watercraft or where you boat, keeping it hoisted out of the water is the best boat storage solution for anyone with waterfront real estate. Various types of boat docks are designed to accommodate different water conditions, watercraft models, and boat owner preferences. One of the things you might consider is the difference between dock lifts and boat lifts.

What is a dock lift?

A dock lift is similar to other boat lifts as it can be mounted either on the shore or the edge of your dock. However, unlike more level systems that you drive your boat onto, a dock lift features a ramp-like platform that allows your boat to be driven onto it and smoothly glided into position for secure docking.

How does a dock lift operate?

A dock lift functions more as a dry docking platform or a shore-mounted lift rather than a traditional boat lift. For instance, the ShoreMaster drive-on port designed for PWCs such as jet skis or wave runners uses an incline and rollers to allow the watercraft to glide on and off with minimal effort easily. 

What are the benefits of using a dock lift?

Dock lifts generally don’t have many moving parts or a great deal of complexity, which means they’re very easy to care for and maintain. Some are just a ramp with rollers that your PWC can glide onto with a gentle flick of the throttle. This makes it very easy to launch and dock your watercraft without struggling with a lot of extra machinery or steps. It also leaves you in a highly convenient position to easily attach a winch to your watercraft. This allows you to effortlessly pull the watercraft up the ramp and onto the shore or a trailer, making it a convenient option for storage and transportation as needed.

Are there different types of dock lifts available?

The differences in dock lifts come down to size, for the most part. The make, model, and hull shape of the watercraft you’re planning on docking on the lift determines the size lift that you need. Remember that boat lifts for watercraft of all types are engineered to carry the listed amount of weight and not a pound more. So, be mindful of the dry weight of your watercraft and any extra weight you’ll need to add to it before you set out or hoist it onto your lift.