Posted on October 21, 2021
Great Lakes boaters are familiar with the change of seasons and what to do once the cold weather comes (and sticks around). Just like you wouldn’t leave your boat in the water all winter, you shouldn’t leave your boat lift in the water all winter, either. Protecting your boat lift will ensure that it can continue to protect your boat: keep these tips in mind as you pack up your lift.
Removing your boat lift out of the water is the first step in winterizing. Attaching wheels to the dock can make removal as easy as rolling it out of the water: after that, you can let it sit on the wheels or pads on land without needing to take it apart. Your motor, winch, and wheel should be uncovered: covering them can trap water, resulting in more moisture damage. Store your lift with the cradle or platform up, especially if you have a hydraulic hoist or winch system.
If you have a canopy cover that goes over your lift, make sure it gets stored properly as well. It’s easier to remove the cover while your boat is still in the lift so that you can move, reach, and roll it up. Remove the cover, wash it with soap and water, and let it dry thoroughly before storing it in a dry place. Take off the bungee cords, springs, or other parts and store them with it. If you keep your boat lift intact when removing it, be careful that your canopy frame isn’t touching the trees or anything else. If you have a power hoist, take out the battery and store it inside on a small piece of wood. If you have an older-style motor that you hold against the wheel on the lift, remove and store the motor inside.
A careful look now will pay off when you’re taking your lift out of storage. Ensure your pulleys and cables are in good condition, the bearings are where they should be, and everything is free from wear and tear. If the movable parts need grease or oil, apply it now. If you need replacement parts, order them now: everyone else will be ordering their parts in spring, and you want to be ahead of schedule.
You can also consider a boat lift inspection with the help of your local dealer, which you should have done every three to five years anyway. There’s a charge, but they’ll help you make extra sure you’re in good shape for next year. Boat lift fixes can happen now or in the spring, but get the inspection done in the fall to save time.
However, you choose to service your lift, do it safely, and contact your local dealer if you want help winterizing your waterfront.
For more information:
1025 International Drive
Fergus Falls, MN 56537