Buying a boat is a considerable investment, which is why the idea of getting extra equipment, especially if it’s expensive equipment could leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. Take, for instance, a boat lifter.

, The Ultimate Guide to Boat Lifters and Their Benefits, Days of a Domestic Dad

It’s equipment that can be quite costly but is definitely worth the cost. Why? Well, because of the numerous benefits it creates when it comes to maintenance and boat protection. If you’re still not convinced, here’s what you need to know about boat lifters to change your mind. 

  1. Protection from water damage

Remember that modern boats are made of metal, and even though there are a lot of alloys and coatings that can help you improve the longevity of your hull, none of them are completely impervious to water damage. Corrosion and rust are inevitable (at least to a degree), and by keeping your boat in water, you’re allowing this problem to grow. 

Also, keep in mind that water is no longer what it was. There are all sorts of chemicals present and pollution is taking its toll. This further increases the importance of getting your boat out of the water, from time to time. 

Next, if left in water long enough, it’s inevitable that algae and barnacles will grow in it. This looks unaesthetic but this is a smaller problem (the affected part is in water and, as such, usually not visible). The problem is that these actually damage the hull. While you can scrape them and (again) try protecting the hull with coating, the best way to proceed is to just keep the boat out of water. 

  1. Boat lifter types

The next thing you need to understand is that not all boat lifters are the same. According to specialists behind Tonka Lift, you have three major types of boat lifters and several smaller categories. These big three categories are:

  • Manual boat lifts: These are usually operated using a winch system. They’re suitable for smaller boats and can be quite handy for less frequent use. Otherwise, they would be too impractical, time-consuming, and even outright tiring. Their strongest selling point is that they’re simple (not a lot can go wrong) and inexpensive (less expensive than anything else here). 
  • Electric boat lifts: These boat lifts are powered by electricity, and they’re often controlled remotely. This makes them incredibly time-saving and convenient for frequent use. The downside is that they’re more expensive and they require a power source. In other words, this is something you have to factor in when it comes to the installation. 
  • Hydraulic boat lifts: The best thing about hydraulic power for lifting is the fact that they use the same technology as some of the heaviest lifters in the world. This makes hydraulic boat lifts great for the biggest, heaviest ships out there. 

Other than this, you also have a personal watercraft lifts and floating boat lifts, however, these are less common and you might not encounter them that often. 

  1. Things to consider when picking a boat lifter

Another thing you need to understand is that not every boat is the same. Even in the previous section, this much was clear. A bigger boat requires a hydraulic lift, while a small boat and one that’s not lifted that often could do even with a manual one. 

So, how do you pick the right lifter for your boat?

First, you check the size and weight. This is the biggest bottleneck that determines whether you can use the boat lifter or not. 

Next, you need to be realistic about where you’re going to use the boat the most. The depth of water, as well as whether it’s saltwater or freshwater, makes a much bigger difference than you think. Some lifts require a specific spot for the installation (a more substantial dock structure), while others can be installed anywhere. 

The power source is another huge issue if you want an electric (or hydraulic) lift, which is something you have to think about in advance.

Lastly, cost differences between different lifter types can be just huge. Sometimes, you would love to get an electric one (to save time and effort), even though the boat in question could be lifted with a manual lift. In this scenario, the budget will make a difference. 

  1. A huge difference in maintenance

There are two major reasons why you would want to get your boat out of the water – protection, and maintenance- and both are made to prolong the life and safety of your boat. Still, what kind of maintenance tasks are we talking about?

First of all, you could engage in hull cleaning. Marine growth, such as algae and barnacles, will attach to the hull, affecting its performance and damaging it. You would be surprised, but the shape of your boat and the smoothness of its sides are very carefully designed. Any alteration here could affect fuel efficiency in a negative way. So, you could get the boat out of the water, scrape the sides, and apply the anti-fouling paint to them.

Hull inspection requires you to get the boat out of the water and check it from all sides. Not every crack causes a leak, but if left unattended for long enough, it might. 

Getting the boat out of the water is also handy when it comes to propeller and shaft maintenance. Entanglement of debris with the propeller is crucial for performance. Even if you have to replace the propeller, this is nowhere near as difficult if the boat is already out of the water.

Lastly, engine maintenance will always require you to get the boat out of the water. 

Regardless if you’re thinking about regular maintenance or complete restoration, getting a boat lift will make your job a lot easier.

Wrap up

A boat lift will make your boat’s maintenance much easier and it will keep your boat safe when not in use. Sure, it’s an expensive investment, but you have to look at it from a different perspective. First of all, your boat is already quite expensive, which is why this extra investment won’t be so significant (proportionally). Second, as we’ve said, buying a boat is a massive investment, so anything you can do to prolong its useful life can actually save you money. Just make sure you buy the right lift.

, The Ultimate Guide to Boat Lifters and Their Benefits, Days of a Domestic Dad