Things to Keep in Mind when Upgrading Your Boat Lift

Things to Keep in Mind when Upgrading Your Boat Lift

There are many reasons why you would want to do an upgrade of your current boat lift. One common reason is having a boat lift that is quite old. Maybe your boat lift is a used unit off Craigslist and you can’t be sure with how well its previous owners took care of it. Or perhaps your family has owned yours for years and has been host to different types of boats. No matter your reason for upgrading your boat lift, make sure that you keep the following things in mind:  

Your boat’s weight, length, and beam – Your boat’s specs will be a huge factor in your next boat lift so make sure that you have the exact numbers. As far as weight goes, don’t rely on only the boat of the weight. You also have to add in the weight of the gear, occupants, gas, and others. Add them all up and then choose a lift can carry around 500 lbs more than your final number.

The materials that will be used to construct the boat lift – It is imperative that you be meticulous about the materials that will be used for the cables, pulleys, and framework of your upgraded boat lift. Galvanized steel may be cheaper but it will not fare well in salt water environments. Aluminum boat lifts will cost you more but they will not rust and will serve you for much longer.

Whether you want a manual or electric boat lift – If you want your upgraded boat lift to be electric, there are several additional factors to consider. For one, you will need to have a safe power source. An electric boat lift will also require tougher maintenance.

Your area’s water levels – Some boat lifts will be able to handle fluctuating water levels. Others are for low water levels only.

Future Boat Upgrade – Will you be getting a new boat sometime in the near future? If the answer points to yes, you will want to think about the weight and other requirements that this will add to your boat lift.

New Boat Lift Warranty – Choose a boat lift company that will offer you generous warranty terms. Our aluminum structures typically come with 15 years of limited warranty.

Craftsmanship Details – Here at Boat Lifts International, we are proud of what we do and that easily translates into the craftsmanship of every boat lift we install. Our aluminum frames are marine grade and exceed industry standards. We have bushings at pivot points so that your boat lifts will last longer. And because we care about style, too, our boat lifts come with nice contoured edges.

Maintenance – Upgrading your boat lift might mean adding more tasks to your maintenance activities. Think about how much time you can commit to caring for your boat lift before you upgrade.

Earth-Friendly – Not all mineral oils are environmentally-friendly. Your boat helps you appreciate nature so you have to do your part in protecting it. We recommend hydraulic systems that come with biodegradable fluids.


What Types of Boat Lifts Should You Upgrade To? 

The factors stated above give you an idea that not all boat lifts are created equal. Some are more suited for certain types of conditions or boats. Others require more upkeep and additional set-up equipment. To help you choose the direction for your boat lift upgrade, take a look at the different types of boat lifts below:

Hydraulic Cantilever Boat Lifts – A Hydraulic Lift in cantilever style will not carry your boat’s full weight because the boat lift cables are pulled either diagonally or horizontally. If you have restrictions in your properties, a cantilever boat lift is one of your best options. We carry RCG Hydraulic Lifts with top of the line features. Their capacity levels come in a wide range, with maximum weight capacity of 12,000 lbs. They are made of marine grade aluminum and stainless steel hardware. Their hydraulic system uses biodegradable fluid and the larger ones can come with remote control.

Hydraulic Vertical Boat Lifts – A vertical boat lift moves up and down. It can carry your boat very high above the water’s surface. If your area has fluctuating water levels, a vertical boat lift is highly recommended. Going the hydraulic route is also a great choice because you will enjoy fast and quiet lifting power. And speaking of lifting power, the RGC Hydraulic Vertical Lifts of Boat Lifts International come in 4000, 5000, and 7000 lb varieties. The hydraulic unit is battery powered so you won’t have to worry if your area has inadequate or unreliable power source.

Modular Floating Boat Lifts – Floating boat lifts are great for preventing water corrosion. Because they will float no matter the water level, you are assured that your boat will remain safe and dry. Of course, we don’t recommend just any drive-on or floating boat lift. Ours is a SportPort that comes with a solid foam core. This means that it floats and is sure to keep your boat dry. Aside from being simple to install, a floating boat lift is also easy to keep in tip-top shape. Just brush and hose off every now and then and you’re good to go. And because it’s modular, you can expand it quite easily.

One-Piece Boat Lifts – These are drive-on varieties that come in one big slab. Upkeep is easy as well but they will not accommodate changes in your boat size or capacity. It’s not expandable or modular.

Railway System – Can’t “park” your boat in the water? If your neighborhood has strict rules, you will need a railway boat lift system. Depending on the upgrade you go for, a railway system can carry up to 4000 lbs of weight.


Got more questions about your planned boat lift upgrade? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to walk you through the whole process.

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