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.
Maybe you already own a boat or perhaps you’re a brand new dabbler in the watercraft scene. Either way, you may be looking for a bit of guidance before buying a jet ski, since they and other personal watercraft (PWC) come with their own set of unique considerations to take into account. These vessels may seem a bit intimidating and can cause a bit of apprehension before diving into the specifics of ownership. Taking that into consideration, we’ve all marveled at jet skis zipping across the open water; why not explore what it takes to get in on the fun yourself?
Tips to Consider Before Buying a Jet Ski
- Do Your Homework: Like any other purchase, you should always do some research before buying a jet ski or other PWC. Though not as pricey as full vessels, there is little worse than investing in a PWC that goes unused or underused. Consider speaking to dealers, consulting with friends that own PWCs and even renting a jet ski for an afternoon to see if you like how they perform on the water.
- Utility: How many people do you plan on cruising with? Similar to motorcycles, seating is often limited on jet skis and PWCs; some can handle having up to three people, including the operator, on board.
- Don’t Forget Safety: When buying a jet ski or PWC, many forget to consider safety equipment and boating regulations. For instance, jet ski operators must have an engine cutoff switch lanyard attached to their person, as well as wear an approved personal floatation device.
- Need a Lift?: Though you may think finding a boat lift for such a small vessel as a PWC or jet ski would be a time consuming and difficult task, you’d be wrong. We offer a variety of options that are custom made for PWCs. Built with the same strength and durability as our big boy boat lifts, getting a lift you can trust shouldn’t even be a concern after buying a jet ski.
Taking a look at the numbers, PWC accidents and fatalities were lower in 2014 than they were in years past. Even so, we always recommend you always enjoy the water with safety in mind. After doing a bit of research, considering what your needs are, remembering the necessary steps to safety and finding the right lift for your prospective vessel, you may just be ready to enjoy a jet ski adventure or PWC excursion this summer.
So, you’ve finally decided on buying a boat lift. What now? As a boat owner, you know that there are wide varieties of vessel shapes, sizes and styles. From dinghies to superyachts, there is absolutely no lack of diversity when it comes to vessels on the market. Though this is a plus for everyone looking for a boat that’s just the right fit for their needs and budget constraints, this also poses issues when buying a boat lift. Will the lift fit your boat and your needs? Answer these simple questions and you can buy a boat lift that works for you.
3 Questions to Answer When Buying a Boat Lift
- How big is my boat?: Knowing the weight and dimensions of your vessel is an obvious but essential step to buying a boat lift that will operate safely for your vessel. Heavier boats often require stronger lifts, just as larger boats must be accommodated by larger lift platforms. Need help in finding the dimensions of your boat? Check out NADAguides to look up your model.
- What is my vessel’s bottom shape?: From displaced catamarans to flat bottoms, understanding your boat’s bottom shape (hull) is vital for preventing damage while assuring proper safety from the risk of your vessel tipping over due to balance issues while it’s on the lift. You would never try to put a square peg into a round hole; why try to put a catamaran on a boat lift meant for a flat-bottomed boat?
- What fits my dock?: Much like the variety of needs experienced in boats themselves, the dock or marina in which you store your boat may have some unique needs. Always check with your marina to ensure that the boat lift you want to purchase fits and is allowed before putting your money down.
A bonus question to ask yourself: Why not consult an expert? Hi-Tide Boat Lifts is a leader in the industry, outfitting lifts for PWC’s to yachts, and everything in between. Simply give one of our experts a ring at 1-800-544-0735 or fill out our quick Lift Finder questionnaire. Though finding the right boat can be a struggle, finding the right lift is as easy as answering a few quick questions and asking an expert that you trust.