Posted on March 11, 2021
There’s no question that a boat lift makes waterfront life better. A hydraulic boat lift protects your boat from the elements and other waterfront hazards, makes maintenance easier, and keeps your boat near the water so you can head out faster and easier. You want a boat lift that’s right for you and one that is going to perform season after season. How do you choose which boat lift is right for you?
No matter what other features you consider in your boat lift, we recommend a welded aluminum boat lift for most waterfronts. Aluminum is lightweight, low maintenance, and durable for ultimate reliability. For other specifics, consider these three factors for finding the right hydraulic boat lift: boat weight, boat width, and water type.
The weight of your boat (and any future boats, if you’re planning ahead) determines the weight capacity you need in a boat lift. Not only do you need the dry weight that’s listed in your boat specifications sheet, but you need to take everything you take aboard into account as well—gas, batteries, water, water sports equipment, and everything else you’re bringing on that could add weight. Just to be safe, we recommend allowing a 20% safety margin and sizing up your capacity—it’s better to overestimate weight when it comes to lifts.
The shape and style of your boat matters for your lift. V-hulls, pontoons, V-drives, and other hull shapes all require different lifts to accommodate them. Inboard and outboard boat lift motors and other features also have different lift size needs. Be sure to measure the draft and beam of your boat. At a minimum, your lift should be able to accommodate your beam (the widest portion of your boat) plus a four-inch cushion on either side; if you’re going to be using your guideposts on your lift, make that a 10-inch cushion instead.
Shopping for a boat lift is a lot like shopping for a standing or floating dock system: you need to be familiar with your waterfront. Is your boat lift going to be in shallow, deep, or fluctuating water? What shape is your dock, and where is it located? Will you need a standing or floating lift? Are you boating in salt or fresh water? Answering these questions helps your dealer point you in the right direction.
When it comes to boat lifts, you want something over-engineered, over-built, and over-tested to be sure that you’re getting maximum protection and value. ShoreMaster has the best boat lifts in the industry, and we can help you find the perfect product for your waterfront. Our large dealer network helps customers in the US and Canada find top-of-the-line waterfront products no matter where they boat, fish, or swim. With four models of lift to choose from, a wide array of accessories, the high-quality construction and innovation you’d expect from an industry leader, and a customer service team ready to answer your questions, you’re sure to find your ideal setup. Contact a local ShoreMaster dealer for more information.