Posted on June 4, 2020

Tritoon Conversion Kit: How to Convert Your Boat Lift Lift to a Pontoon Ready Lift

How to Convert Your V-Hull Lift into a Pontoon Ready Lift

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

A pontoon or tri-toon boat is a great way to enjoy the water, but they’re not cheap boats. Not only are they expensive, but lifting them out of the water can be, too—especially if you need to buy a brand-new boat lift specifically for your pontoon. Luckily, a new boat doesn’t have to mean a new boat lift: there are a few ways that you can outfit your old lift with new supports to accommodate your pontoon or tri-toon.

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

Doing It Yourself 

If you’re fairly handy, it’s possible to do a pontoon boat lift conversion at home by building the required parts. If your existing boat lift is already set up with bunks, you can add another set so that each of your boat’s pontoons is supported by a pair of bunks. If you need to lift and support a tri-toon, you can add a third pair of bunks.

You should double and triple check the weight capacity of your boat lift as well as how much your boat weighs while loaded and fully fueled. Keep in mind as you modify your lift that most of a pontoon boat’s weight is often in the back, where the storage locker, motor, and battery are, so it’s important to know how you’re loading and positioning your boat onto your pontoon boat lift and where that weight will be concentrated.

When you're changing a V-hull lift to work with pontoons, it's important to think about how the water moves around those pontoons. A research study by Liu and their team in 2016 showed us that the way pontoons and their supports are arranged can really change how the lift moves in the water because of swirling water patterns created as the water flows past. This means that when designing the lift to work with pontoons, paying attention to the setup can make a big difference in how smoothly and steadily the lift operates. This insight is a big deal for making sure pontoon lifts work their best and are stable. (Liu et al., 2016)

Buy a Rail Kit

If building the parts for your own pontoon boat lift conversion seems daunting, you can pay someone else to do the conversion for you or install a rail kit. When taking pontoon boat lift prices into account, as well as the risk of damaging your pontoons, it’s a worthwhile investment. ShoreMaster’s Rail Kit acts as both a lifting and centering device: all you have to do is remove the bunks or cradles from your existing list before installing the rail kit.

ShoreMaster’s Rail Kits contain aluminum-welded rails for superior stability and premium protection when lifting your pontoon out of the water. It works for vertical and hydraulic lifts and comes with four brackets (wood and any protection for the wood is sold separately). The Rail Kit will work for pontoons and most tri-toons. If your pontoon is 25 feet or longer, though, we recommend upgrading to our longer pontoon lift for the best support for your boat. Instructions for assembling all boat lifts and accessories are on our website.

ShoreMaster Pontoon Boat Lifts and Accessories

If DIYing a pontoon boat lift sounds overwhelming and you’d feel better with a little extra help, you’ve come to the right place. ShoreMaster has decades of engineering and waterfront expertise that we put into all of our products. Enjoy the widest selection of dock and boat lift accessories for every kind of dock. For more information on what works best for your area and advice on installing or converting your boat lift, contact a local ShoreMaster dealer.


Liu, M., Xiao, L., Lu, H., & Shi, J. (2016). Experimental investigation into the influences of pontoon and column configuration on vortex-induced motions of deep-draft semi-submersibles. Ocean Engineering, 123, 262-277.


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