February 23, 2023

Is your boat lift ready for the winter?

Is your boat lift ready for the winter?

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

School’s back in session, trick-or-treating is done, and the holidays are around the corner. There aren’t many unseasonably warm days left in the year, and unfortunately, it’s time for seasonal boaters to pack up until spring. Luckily, getting your boat and your boat lift ready for the winter is easy. Winterization will help you preserve the life of your boat and boat lift alike. We have some tips for the seasonal boater looking to get things done the right way as the winter months settle in.

Boat dock with chairs and umbrellas on the water

Get Your Inspections Done Now

Whether you do your fixes in the fall or wait until spring, checking for problems before you stop using your lift for the year is a good idea. Check everything from the largest to the tiniest parts and pieces of hardware, ensuring everything is secure and in good repair. If it’s time to get your lift inspected by a professional (which you should do every three to five years), this is a great time to get that done. Dealers and inspectors will be busier in the spring when everyone is thinking like you are, so it’s better to get ahead of the crowd in terms of inspections and get the boat lift replacement parts that you need. 

Removing the Lift

One of the best ways to protect your boat lift from winter water hazards is to remove it from the water completely. If your boat lift isn’t in the water, it won’t be damaged by freezing conditions, ice movement, and related water damage. Removal can be as easy as adding a wheel kit, lifting arm, or both to help get it onto the shore. If your boat lift has a motor, avoid covering it up to keep moisture from getting trapped in and damaging the moving parts. If you have to remove parts from your boat lift system, make sure that you store them in one place and properly label them.

Leaving the Lift In

If it’s difficult or impossible to remove your boat lift from the water safely, you likely have no choice but to leave it in. However, there are still steps you can take to protect it from ice and other winter hazards. Don’t leave your boat on the lift if you’ll be away from it for a long time—use a trailer or contract a marina to remove the boat. Invest in a de-icer, which creates an ice-free warm zone in the water around your boat lift to protect it from ice damage. If your area is prone to storms, secure your beams, so they don’t sway in the wind, remove the motors and gearboxes, and unplug and dry anything with a power source.

Other Tips

While it won’t be doing any serious lifting in the off-season, it’s still a good idea to run your boat lift once in a while to ensure that everything is working and it doesn’t become stiff. These little test runs might also be a good time to clean off any dirt, clean the cables with fresh water, lubricate or grease different parts, and check the bearings and rollers.

We have over 30 years of seasonal boating and the knowledge of our dealers from around North America—ShoreMaster knows how to prepare for all kinds of weather. Our premium boat docks and lifts are expertly designed and engineered to make them easy to use, own, and move, no matter where your shore is or what kind of weather you experience. For installation and removal help, boat lift questions, or other information, contact a ShoreMaster dealer in your area