November 2, 2023
Don’t think of summer dock and boat lift prep as a chore that needs to be done but as an opportunity to get excited about next year. Make summer 2024 the best summer yet with these tips from ShoreMaster’s experts to get your boating season off to a great start.
Summer means the kids are out of school, the weather is great, and it’s time to get out on the water and enjoy yourselves. We all deserve downtime; the water is a great place to unwind and unplug from the land-locked parts of our lives. However, being able to freely enjoy that time on the water means putting in the work ahead of time to ensure your summer boating season starts smoothly.
Don’t put these preparations off until the last minute — get started as soon as possible, even if you’re currently freezing and summertime seems like it’ll never return. These tips are all important for boat owners across the country.
If you’re in an area that experiences severe weather or hurricanes, these preparations and regular inspections can be especially important. Take special care to ensure that your boat and loved ones are safe because while no one wants to think about worst-case scenarios, preparing for them can make your outcome much better in the long run. ShoreMaster has other articles on preparing your boat dock and boat lift system for inclement weather, as well as tear-down and removal tips that can make that process smoother.
All that said, here are our four most basic tips to ensure you’re ready to get summer 2024 started!
Start purchasing now — even if there’s ice and snow on the ground where you live. You might not think of fall or winter as the right time to get boat dock or boat lift parts and accessories or non-perishable extras you might bring on board, but it’s actually a great time to get that chore checked off of your to-do list. Some manufacturers and industries are still having supply chain issues, and a lot of people will be waiting until the last minute to buy their supplies.
You can get ahead of the crowds and delays by making your purchases when other people aren’t even thinking about boats. You’ll be sitting on your dock with a nice cold drink while your less-prepared friends and neighbors await their shipments. So, if you’ve picked up a new hobby since last year, want to expand your dock layout, or just have some parts that need to be replaced, go ahead and get those orders in now!
Just like with ordering your parts, not many people will be thinking about boat lift installation in the middle of winter. But the sooner you get your boat dock installation on the calendar, the better, so thinking about it early is a good idea. If you’re DIYing the installation with the help of friends and neighbors, coordinate your schedules now so that you’re all on the same page and no one gets left on land (and make sure that you return the favor to those who help you).
If you’re using a professional service to help install your system, getting yourself on the calendar as soon as they book installations and inspections is especially important. Getting that done before the season starts means one less thing to worry about and less of a possibility of missing out on precious waterfront time. Get in touch with your local waterfront dealer to talk more about the possibility of professional help with your installation or any tips that could help your DIY installation go more smoothly.
Literally and metaphorically, get all those cobwebs off your summertime stuff. A winter spent in storage won’t do much good for your boat, boat dock, or boat lift, so give everything the TLC that you couldn’t do as much of in the winter. Tighten and lubricate anything that needs it, clean everything well, top off and refresh supplies, and check over the mechanical and electrical components of your system to ensure everything is still working. If something isn’t working, get the repair or replacement that it needs.
Don’t forget to dust off your skills and paperwork as well. If you have any licenses, registrations, or permits that need to be renewed, get that done before the seasonal rush begins. Go over your boating safety plan and anything else that you and your family need to have together before getting started.
Even if the boating season is a long way off and you’re just daydreaming about summer at this point, you can still be productive. Make your daydreams a reality by reflecting on the last boating season, thinking about what you want to leave behind, and what you want to carry forward. Any major or even minor problems don’t have to be repeated this year as long as you think about what you would do differently to avoid them. Also, if you’re surprised that you didn’t run into an issue you were expecting, take some steps to make sure that it doesn’t become a future problem—you might get lucky twice, but why take that chance?
If you need a replacement, upgrade, new accessory, or something else for your boat dock system, get in touch with your local ShoreMaster dealer. Not only will they be able to help you find the best dock accessories, boat docks, and boat lifts on the market, but they’ll be intimately familiar with your waterfront and able to give you expert guidance and advice on what will and won’t work. We trust our dealer network to take great care of our customers. Find a ShoreMaster dealer in your area to get started.