Posted on November 11, 2021

How to Store Your Boat Lift for Winter

How to Store Your Boat Lift for Winter

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

Seasonal boat owners know when there’s a chill in the air that it’s time to remove the boat dock system from the water. Your dock sits in the water all summer, and while they’re designed to be durable, they shouldn’t be left in the water in the fall and winter. This is especially true if you live by water with a lot of ice movement or an area prone to serious winter weather conditions. Once you remove and store your boat, the lift, and the accessories, it’s time to think about your dock. Approach dock removal with a plan and ensure that you’re taking proper care of it as you’re winterizing it.

Inspect Everything

Fall is a great time to check over your boat lift. You should be getting it inspected by a professional every three to five years anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to check everything over in the meantime diligently. If you’re getting professional help, schedule an appointment now: dealers will be way busier in the spring, which means you’ll have to wait to get back on the water while everything is warming back up, which isn’t fun for anyone.

As you’re checking over your boat lift, look for these common issues:

  • Look for worn parts, and if you need to replace any, order them now before manufacturers get busier in the spring
  • Check cables and pulleys for fraying
  • If you have an electric lift, remove and store the motor inside and ensure the power unit is unplugged, dry, and in good shape.
  • Grease or oil the parts that need it
  • Check the noise and operation of the bearings
  • Check components like rollers, bunks, and guides for signs of wear and other loose parts.
  • Make sure your lift moves freely and that there isn’t binding or straining

You can make fixes now or in the spring, but either way, learn what the issues are before you get there.

Keep Water Out

Once your boat lift is out of the water, it can be stored on the shore and rest on its wheels or pads. Just make sure that it’s properly secured and kept dry. Don’t store your boat lift in an area that’s likely to flood. Ensure that the components are stored right side up so that any water that accumulates can drain out of it. While many boat lift owners cover the motor in an attempt to keep water out, this can cause water damage: if your cover is too airtight, water can get into the motor but can’t get out. If you have a boat lift canopy, make sure that you remove and wash it and let it dry completely before storing it in a dry place.

Choose (and Mark) a Good Storage Area

Like we already mentioned, make sure you’re storing your boat lift in a relatively flat area that doesn’t flood. If you have a canopy on your boat lift, make sure that the frame doesn’t touch nearby trees. If there’s heavy snowfall, make sure that the area is marked with flags so that snowmobiles and ATVs won’t collide with your boat lift. While you should disassemble your boat lift as little as possible, if you remove small components, make sure that they’re labeled and stored with your other boat lift or canopy components for easy retrieval next spring.

Winterize Your Boat Lift with ShoreMaster’s Help

ShoreMaster has been helping boaters and waterfront owners for over 30 years. Our dealer network is expansive and full of trusted experts on the local water and our products: if you need help with installation, removal, upgrades, or anything else concerning your ShoreMaster boat lift, contact a local ShoreMaster dealer.