Posted on October 17, 2019
Packing up your dock lift for the fall and winter is a big chore, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. ShoreMaster makes it easy for seasonal boaters to remove their sectional aluminum boat docks and boat lifts from the water when the weather cools down. When it’s time for dock lift storage, make sure you stay safe and follow these tips from the waterfront equipment experts at ShoreMaster that apply to everyone putting their dock away for the season.
Winterizing your boat lift is as easy as taking it out of the water. Leaving your boat lift in the water could result in damage from freezing conditions, especially if you live in an area where ice movement is common. A wheel kit from ShoreMaster can make boat lift removal as easy as rolling it out of the water, and your boat lift can easily sit on those wheels or its pads. Some lift owners will cover the motor, but this can sometimes result in more moisture damage when water gets in and can’t get out, so in general leave the motor, wheel, and winch uncovered. Other than that, there’s not much that you have to do.
You don’t need to worry about the lift itself, but you should be mindful of your canopy when you put your dock lift in storage for the fall and winter. While your dock is still in the water, remove and wash your canopy cover and dry it completely before you put it in storage. While you can store your boat lift outside after taking it out of the water without disassembling it completely, be mindful of where you store it because the canopy might touch the trees.
A local dealer can help you with boat lift inspections, and ideally, you should have one every three to five years. An inspection will involve checking the bolts, winch, power unit, bunks, cables, and guides, and while there is a fee the peace of mind and avoiding more expensive repairs in the future is worth the investment. Whether you fix your lift now or wait until spring, getting the inspection done in the fall will help save you time when the weather warms up and you just want to get back on the water.
Even if it’s not time for a full inspection from a dealer, this is a good time to look over your boat lift. A little bit of work now will make sure that your lift is ready to go when it comes time to take your boat out again in the spring. Make sure that your pulleys and cables are in good working order and all of the other components are free from wear and tear. If your lift requires greasing or oiling in the movable parts, this is a good time to apply it and check the bearings while you’re working on it. If you need replacement parts, it’s best to order them now: boating manufacturers will be busier in the spring and it takes longer to ship parts.
Winterizing your dock setup is a part of any seasonal boat owner’s life, but that doesn’t mean you have to handle the job alone. A local waterfront equipment dealer can help you know what accessories you need to take advantage of your time on the water, but also help you with dock lift storage when the time comes to pack everything up for the fall and winter. Local dealers will know the water and weather in your area better than anyone, and a local ShoreMaster dealer will know which boat dock equipment and accessories will work best for your shoreline. Get in touch with a local ShoreMaster dealer to learn more.