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.
From experts to people just dipping their toes into the shallow end of boating, we receive dozens of boat and boat lift questions every week. It’s part of what makes this job so much fun for us — answering those lingering questions and standing as an expert in this hobby and way of life for so many across this state, country and the world as a whole. There is nothing like sharing our knowledge and love for boating with everyone interested in learning more.
Since we get asked so often, what better way to spread our knowledge than sharing our most common boat lift questions with all of you fine blog readers?
Five Frequently Asked Boat Lift Questions
- How much can a Hi-Tide boat lift really hold?
Our boat lifts hold every single pound of their rated capacity. We highly advise against attempting to exceed this capacity, as it is not only dangerous to your vessel and lift, but also your own safety.
- What makes Hi-Tide better than the other boat lifts out there?
We pride ourselves on the custom nature of our lifts. We utilize and incorporate patented, specifically designed gear boxes, custom-designed electric motors and in-house built electronic controls. All this, on top of our five-day-a-week service department, make Hi-Tide an easy choice for your boat lift needs.
- How much is a standard boat lift?
This boat lift question is a bit tricky as there are a few variables to consider, including its rated capacity and added features. Find more on where you can find information on specific boat lifts by utilizing our lift finder page.
- What’s the difference in boat lift models?
Much like the boats themselves, boat lifts can vary greatly. The aesthetics, operating speed, top rail systems vs. no to rails, four motor vs two motor vs single motor, galvanized vs aluminum and many, many other options can all come into play. The options are a good thing, however, as they can lead you to find the lift that’s the right fit for your exact needs.
- Why can’t I buy a boat lift direct from Hi-Tide?
Though we’d love to be able to ship a boat lift right to your doorstep, the fact of the matter is, the installation of a boat lift is critical to its performance and safety. We can’t risk anyone utilizing an unauthorized lift installer and then getting injured or damaging their boat. Instead, we work with a network of some of the best certified and factory-trained installers in the country.
We hope that helps answer some of your boat lift questions, but know that our experts are always available to help guide you through the waters of boat lift ownership. Boating is a passion, and one that you just may grow to admire as much as we do. As always, get out on the water and enjoy fun times in the great outdoors with the ones you love. Hi-Tide will be there to give you a lift when you need it.