Posted on April 21, 2022

Tips for Selecting the Right Boat Lift for Your Boat

Tips for Selecting the Right Boat Lift for Your Boat

Written by ShoreMaster Marketing

Keeping your boat out of the water is one of the most important steps you can take to preserve the look, performance, and value of your watercraft season after season. It makes sense that choosing the right boat lift means choosing the one that you’re trusting with your peace of mind and investment. Choosing the wrong boat lift means risking a lot of damage and expensive repairs. ShoreMaster is an industry leader and engineers some of the highest-quality lifts on the market. As long as you’re here, we have these tips for making the right boat lift choice.

pontoon lift with rain clouds in background

Your Boat’s Specs

Depending on the size and type of boat you have, you might need different lift designs, from the style of lift to the pulleys used to haul your boat out of the water. Boat lifts have maximum weight capacities and come in different sizes, so it’s important to ensure that the boat lift you want can handle your boat’s entire fully equipped length. You’ll not only need the dry weight available in your boat’s spec sheet but also everything you would be hauling out with you when you’re using it—gas, fresh water, equipment, and other added weights. If you’re in between sizes or thinking about upgrading your boat someday, err on the side of getting more weight capacity than you need. You’ll also need to know whether you have an inboard or outboard design to know where the engine’s weight will be, the hull shape, and the length and beam width, all of which will narrow down your boat lift choices.

Know How Deep Your Water Is

Not all boat lifts will work in all water depths. Different lifts work in different water depths. Whether you can put your unit in the water yourself or if you will need accessories like extension legs is all determined by your water depth. In situations where your water is especially deep or the level fluctuates, you’ll need a floating boat lift. If your water is especially shallow, you’ll need to determine whether the lift cradle and bottom framework will work with the bottom of your water as well as the boat. An expert dealer like the ones at ShoreMaster can help you make these decisions.

Get a Feel for Your Shoreline 

This means knowing what your water is like as well as its bottom conditions. The type of water your boat sits and sails in will determine which materials your boat lift should be made from. In brackish saltwater, stainless steel boat lifts are a good choice because that metal doesn’t corrode as much. Aluminum is also a great choice for most water conditions—it’s why ShoreMaster pioneered the aluminum boat lift and continues to use the metal for our boat lifts, docks, and boat dock accessories.

The lake, river, or other water bed conditions will also impact your boat lift choice (assuming you’re going with a freestanding lift rather than a floating system). The solidity of your bed determines how stable your lift will be, which is obviously crucial for keeping your boat safe. Beds that are excessively rocky or muddy will face different challenges when it comes to installing a boat lift. The grade of your bed is also important, with steeper shorelines presenting more of a problem when installing your lift.

ShoreMaster Infinity Boat Lift Systems

No matter what shoreline you call your boating home, ShoreMaster has a boat lift system that can work. We have options to accommodate everything from personal watercraft PWC lifts to pontoon boat lifts constructed with the highest-quality materials and engineering. With our decades of waterfront and boating experience, our drive to constantly improve and innovate, and a customer support team filled with experts, we can help you select the boat lift that gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy the boating season. For experts on your waterfront and our products, contact a local ShoreMaster dealer