The last thing you want to happen when operating a boat lift is seeing your boat sink or float away. Boat lifts are supposed to protect your watercraft by keeping it out of the water. However, not adhering to common sense and following manufacturer recommendations, can shorten the life of both your watercraft and lift. Keeping you and your boat safe should be your number one priority. Below are some tips to help you avoid mistakes when operating a boat lift.
Not positioning the boat properly
Similarly to a canoe in the water, make sure that you keep the load of your boat balanced in the lift at all times. When you are lifting the boat, be sure that the front and back are balanced while the sides are centered. A boat that is properly balanced will stay in place, making a tipping incident less likely.
Avoid placing the boat too far front or back on the lift as the opposite end will become light. Similar to a seesaw where one end is light, and the other end is heavy, your boat will be inclined to tip towards the heavier end. The boat will fall once the waves wash up the front of your lift. Too much weight can also cause additional strain on your boat lift cables. If these cables are worn out, they can also break. While the rule of thumb is to place your boat after it has been taking out of the water, choosing to load prior should include distributing the weight evenly.
Not following the weight capacity
Another mistake that you should avoid is exceeding the weight capacity. There is a good reason why manufacturers recommend following the required weight capacity. It is important that you perform extensive testing so you will know how much weight your lift can support. Do not assume that it can handle a few extra pounds as this assumption can become a recipe for disaster. Avoid a seller who insists on offering you a lift is that a pound less than the weight of your watercraft.
You should find a seller that will guide you into choosing the correct lift that can accommodate your boat’s weight. There are different types of lifts designed for each watercraft. When it comes to determining the weight, be sure to include the equipment, fuel, and other factors that can affect the weight of your watercraft. Although the listed poundage refers to your boat’s maximum weight, you should also take note of all the extras.
Not observing proper loading procedure
When you are loading a boat, be sure that you take the maximum weight into consideration because any load that you add prior to placing the boat in the water can affect your water craft’s weight. When the boat is on the water, you will be able to easily identify the weight distribution that works for your lift. You will balance the watercraft this way. If you need to add things such as extra rope, food, and other boating essentials, lower the boat first.
Not taking note of the lifting height
Avoid raising the lift if it has already been fully raised because cranking the winch continuously can damage some parts of your lift. While there are winches that will shut off once the maximum height is reached, there are cases when some of its components will stop working, especially when the lift lacks routine maintenance. Be sure that you are aware of your lift’s maximum height.
For boat lifts that are not functioning properly, it might be a sign that you need to purchase a new one. Be sure to choose models made from durable materials. They should also be designed for the type of watercraft you own.