It’d be fair to call our team at Hi-Tide perfectionists. Sure, we love kicking back and cruising or fishing on a lazy Sunday with the best of them, but when it comes to our business, we are deadly serious. It’s that kind of passion that has helped Hi-Tide succeed in our market and build trust. If we created a boat lift without the confidence that it could take a licking, we wouldn’t want to use them and we wouldn’t want you to either.
Boat lifts are in charge of holding your prized possession until you’re ready to embark on another boating adventure, and because of that important job, require perfection in manufacturing. Speaking to Carlos Quinones, president of Hi-Tide, we share a bit of behind-the-scenes magic that shows just what it takes to craft a boat lift worth trusting, and why cutting corners is a big no-no.
Building Boat Lifts | A QnA with Carlos Quinones
What is the turnaround time a customer can expect for most lifts to be ready for installation?
Hi-Tide features the quickest floor-to-shore service in the boat lift industry. That means that, generally, we can have a lift ready for delivery or pick up in a day. However, if you need a special favor, sometimes in as little as few hours! We can deliver these quick turnaround times by, first and foremost, operating the largest boat lift facility in the business. This allows us to work with an unsurpassed stock of inventory that is ready at all times, which, in turn, allows for the unparalleled responsiveness we so like to brag about.
What are the main steps of the production process?
Our production facility houses seven departments, including the Saw Room, Welding, Mill Room, Packing, Rigging, Electrical, Assembly, each playing very different but equally vital roles in our production process.
Where do you feel that others cut corners? Why does Hi-Tide prefer to take the time to get it right?
Our elite speed is created solely by our commitment to inventory. While Hi-Tide enjoys supporting the industry’s best-backed warranty, it has become increasingly important to create user awareness regarding this commitment to our customers. It’s one thing to provide lip service regarding the ability to stand behind ones product but it is our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction that ensures, creates and allows our customers to get the best product and support. This underscores the necessity to maintain our commitment to excellence in the manufacturing process. There are no shortcuts or corner cutting at Hi-Tide; we prefer to round those corners!
Why is it risky to rush the manufacturing process?
While the industry demands speed in manufacturing, our primary focus remains on user safety and providing the most reliable boat lift in the industry. This core focus ensures our strict commitment to never sacrifice any procedure or process to hurry the manufacturing process, which could easily result in a dangerous situation in the field. After all, we are not building toys. We are lifting them above the water.
How has Irma affected the business/production process?
While tropical storms and hurricanes have devastating effects on coastal communities, they also create a demand in the recovery process for the boat lift industry by way of repairs and or replacements. This results in a ramp up in available parts in order to keep up with the demand as boaters move on to dock, seawalls, and boat lift repairs. Hi-Tide is always ready for whatever Mother Nature throws our way and what the industry may demand in the rebuilding process.
Though boating is good fun and often associated with a perfect way to get in some rest and relaxation, boat lifts are serious business. Knowing that our lifts are trusted by thousands to keep their vessels (and selves) safe when hitting the water is all the motivation we need to keep up the highest standards of safety and quality. Through never rushing the process, keeping up our stock, and reaping the benefits of the biggest boat lift facility in the business, you can rest assured our boat lifts are always “rounding those corners.”
Many times, boating newbies and those dipping a toe into the boat enthusiast world are afraid of asking stupid questions. We’ve all been there: you have an interest in a new hobby or lifestyle but don’t even know the questions to ask. Well, one question we often get from those brave enough to ask is, what, exactly, is a boat elevator?
Thankfully, boat elevator lifts are pretty simple to explain. At Hi-Tide, we develop aluminum boat elevator lifts. This hardware attaches to your dock by attaching to either piling or seawall. When docking, you simply position your vessel over the lift platform, which is submerged in the water. Once in position, by operating the elevator lift, you can raise the submerged platform, which raises your vessel above the water.
As you may know, water (yes, even freshwater) can be quite corrosive and damaging to your vessel. Simply put, a boat elevator lift keeps the bottom of your vessel high and dry–in a good way. Why?
- Boats have been known to sink while docked, sometimes due to damage caused by rough waves.
- A vessel raised above the waterline avoid damage from the corrosive effects that water can have over time.
- With less wear on vessels, boats can better maintain their paint and are often far easier to clean than those left docked.
Even if your vessel is docked in tighter quarters, a boat elevator may be just right for your needs. Of course, if you have more questions about the benefits of boat lifts or more specifics on our very own aluminum elevator lifts, don’t be afraid to ask. Whether you’re a boating newcomer or experienced captain looking for some new hardware, we’re more than happy to share our passion with anyone in need of a lift.
Boat lifts can seem relatively straightforward–they keep your boat safely stored at a dock or marina. As boat lift experts, of course, we know it can be a bit more complicated than that. Not all boat lifts are made equal and there are a few key features you may be forgetting when shopping for your lift.
Top 5 Boat Lift Features
- Drives: Arguably the most important feature of any boat lift, the drive acts as the heart of the lift. We understand just how vital a quality drive is to performance and reliability, so we paid extra attention to making them with proprietary Gear Drive tech. Add redundant quality control into the mix and you end up with a drive you can trust.
- Controls: When it comes to controls, reliability is also a major concern. The issues arise in the handoff between manufacturers of boat lifts and manufacturers of the motor controls. There is always a chance that a good boat lift manufacturer’s efforts can be for naught if they choose a lackluster, unreliable motor control company. Hi-Tide sidesteps this potential quality issue by designing, building and fully testing our motor control devices–the only manufacturer currently to do so.
- Construction: On the water, it’s all about fighting the highly corrosive environment that can strip almost any surface or material. The answer? High-grade marine aluminum and the use of welded construction techniques. Accept no substitutes.
- Components: Components like cables and electric motors may seem like smaller pieces to the puzzle, but together, they can make or break your lift. Make sure each piece of your boat lift is well made and field tested for its reliability. Some manufacturers, like ourselves, fabricate many components themselves and provide same-day replacement parts fulfillment.
- Cost: As with any significant purchase, the cost has to be considered. But few people take the time to look past the initial sticker price to think of the life cycle cost of their boat lift. If you get a “great deal” on a lift that only lasts you a season or two, is it really all that great? We tend to think investing in a quality lift that is built to last will save you money and provide invaluable peace of mind.
There are many more features we could have highlighted when it comes to picking the perfect boat lift for your lifestyle, but the above five are a great start if you are a first-time buyer or haven’t been in the market for one in a while. If you’re curious what Hi-Tide brings to the table in each of those specific facets, check out our website for more information. We’ll see you on the water!
Boat lift installations are not something to be taken lightly. Trust us–we know a thing or two about boat lifts. Though we can be sure of the quality of our boat lifts, boat lift installations are just as important as boat lifts themselves to securing all manner of vessels all year long.
To dig a bit deeper into the topic of boat lift installations, we tapped into the president of Hi-Tide Boat Lifts himself, Carlos Quinones, to answer the top-eight questions we get on the subject.
Carlos Clears Up 8 Big Questions on Boat Lift Installations
What is the number one question you get about boat lift installations?
Why can’t I install it myself? The answer is simple: installing your boat lift incorrectly can lead to serious boat damage and is definitely best left to the pros.
What should boaters look for in a boat lift installer? How can you tell if they’re qualified and know what they’re doing?
Look for longevity in the business, all proper insurances, adequate equipment for setup (barge, cranes, machinery to hammer pilings) and an installer who is an actual marine contractor. Hi-Tide qualifies and certifies all of its own dealers/installers.
What are the warning signs of a faulty boat lift installation?
The real culprit in a traditional install is the proper driving of a piling–this is crucial to the lift itself. An inadequately driven piling can move, sink and cause all sorts of havoc to the lift sitting on top of it. Aluminum elevators are a different monster altogether and require their tracks to be perfectly parallel or the elevator will bind. In simple terms, this could pose a major issue for your boat.
Is there a way to get a boat lift installation assessment, especially after rough weather?
Your certified Hi-Tide Boat Lifts dealer will gladly assess your boatlift at anytime. It’s always a best practice to arrange/purchase a service contract with your dealer when you purchase your lift to keep yourself covered. After a storm, it is highly recommended to arrange for a boat lift assessment to insure there are no concerns structurally or electrically.
How long should my boat lift installation remain secure?
Some aluminum lifts with driven piles are still tip-top to this day after 30-40 years.
Can I do my own boat lift installation?
No, you void any warranty if an installation is performed by an unauthorized or uncertified installer.
Where can boat lifts be installed?
Hi-Tide’s boat lifts can be installed anywhere pilings are allowed.
Do you have to conduct maintenance on your boat lift once installed? If so, how often?
Maintenance is kept to a minimum with a Hi-Tide boat lift due to our welded design and sealed gear boxes. Greasing pulleys and bearing blocks and spraying cables with corrosion block are regular maintenance suggested by the manufacturer. This can vary depending on frequency of use, however. Cables are recommended to be changed every five years.
We hope that helps clear up some of your questions about boat lift installations but if you’re still looking for answers, whether about boat lift installations or anything else in our wheelhouse, our team is ready to talk shop. Contact us today, and as always, we’ll see you on the water!
If you couldn’t tell, boat lifts are kind of our thing; but beyond our business of crafting high-quality boat lifts, we’re also enthusiasts of boating and fishing that understand just how complicated it can be to find the right boat, gear and hardware for exactly what you’re looking for. Though we may not be able to make all of those big decisions for you, we at least want to do our part to make sure your boat lift search is smooth sailing.
5 Considerations When Researching Boat Lifts
- Drives: A boat lift’s drive is really the powerhouse of the entire thing. Without a quality drive, a boat lift is dead in the water. As experts in boat lifts, we created Gear Drive technology with incredibly intensive quality control. Your first step before buying a boat lift should be to make sure you know the drive is up to snuff.
- Controls: What good are boat lifts if you can’t control them? With boat lift controls pounded by everything from the blazing sun to corrosive salt waters, anything but a durable, high-quality design won’t do. Make sure the controls aren’t outsourced, low-end models that are simply slapped onto the boat lift to save some money.
- Construction: We’ve mentioned it before, but we cannot sing the praises of aluminum enough. Ensure that the boat lift model you’re eyeing is welded instead of bolted together. Bolted boat lifts often suffer from galvanic corrosion caused by the dissimilar metals in salt water.
- Components: Boat lifts, much like many mechanical devices, are only as strong as the smallest components that make them up. If your boat lift manufacturer can’t guarantee quality from the cables to the on/off switch, the quality of the entire boat lift is up to question.
- Cost: Boat lifts are an investment. You may be able to find a boat lift on the cheap, but the lifespan of a low-quality lift means that you’ll probably be shopping for another in no time. It is far better to invest in a lift that may nearly last the lifetime of your boat instead of spending more on multiple, low-quality boat lifts.
We know the struggles of finding the equipment that’s Goldilocks-perfect for your boat. However, when it comes to boat lifts, we’ve got your covered. Sure, we may be a little biased, but if you have your doubts, read how Hi-Tide Boat Lifts’ drives, controls, construction, components and price point are the perfect pick for nearly any boat–from the bayou to the Bahamas.