IMM Quality Boat Lifts

No1 : World’s Leading Boat Lift Manufacturer

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17030 Alico Center Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33967

(800) 545-5603
Toll Free Number

4 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

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Are you thinking about becoming a boat owner? Good for you!

Boating is great for your health. It can help decrease stress and get you some healthy Vitamin D, too.

However, if you’re considering purchasing a used boat, you’ll need to do some thorough detective work to make sure you’re not getting a lemon. But don’t worry, it’s easy when you’re armed with the right information!

Curious to know more about what to look for when buying a used boat? Keep reading.

We’ll review our top four tips for buying a used boat, as well as some great questions to ask the previous owner. Let’s get started!

1. Check the Fiberglass for Cracks

Whether they’re above or below the waterline, cracks in a boat’s fiberglass are bad news. Be sure to check every inch of fiberglass on any vessel you’re considering for purchase.

Tiny, spiderweb-like cracks are usually non-threatening. However, if you find cracks longer than two inches, it could mean trouble that requires significant repairs.

2. General Damage Is Key in What to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

In addition to cracks in the fiberglass, look for general damage while you complete your inspection. Any indication of any trauma or deterioration is important to note.

3. Inspect the Belts for Wear

Take a look at the power steering and alternator belts. Are they cracked? Worn down or thin?

Take this into consideration before buying a used boat. Poorly cared-for belts may indicate poor care overall.

4. Mold and Mildew Are Bad Signs

Check the seats, carpeting, and storage areas for mold or mildew. Although you can easily replace unsightly upholstery, extensive mildew and mold (especially inside seats) are a bad sign.

Similar to mold in a household, it can pop up anywhere where moisture is present. Mold spreads quickly, and a significant mold problem will be difficult to get under control.

Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Boat

Want to know how to buy a used boat with complete confidence? Ask the seller some questions first. Here’s where to start:

  • What year is the boat/ motor?
  • How many hours are on the motor?
  • When and where was the boat last serviced?
  • How long have you owned this boat? What about the motor?
  • Are you the first owner?
  • Has the boat been protected from water damage by a boat lift or any other means?
  • Has the boat sustained any major repairs?
  • When was the last time the boat was in use?
  • Are either the motor or boat still under any warranties?

These questions should give you a great idea of what shape the boat is in. From there, you can make an educated decision about buying.


Now that you know what to look for when buying a used boat, get out there and find the perfect fit for you. Enjoy the freedom of having your own vessel to use whenever you please.

Just remember to check any boats you look at for cracks in the fiberglass, damage, and mold. And don’t forget to ask plenty of questions about the boat’s use and repair history.

Do you have any questions or comments about boat lifts? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’re here to help!

IMM Quality Boat Lifts
Call: (800) 545-5603
17030 Alico Center Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33967

Yacht vs Boat: What’s the Difference Between the Two?

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All yachts are boats, but not all boats are yachts. Even so, call a yacht a boat and the owner might get upset with you. Wait, what?

Even though a yacht is technically a boat, it’s not considered to be as classy. So the owner might not be too happy if you call his pride and joy merely a ‘boat’.

Okay, so what is the difference between a boat and yacht? Let’s try to clear this up and settle the yacht vs. boat debate in your mind once and for all. You never know when you might need to use the right terminology.

Yacht Vs. Boat

In general, ‘boat’ is a more generic term than ‘yacht’. Most people will often refer to anything from small fishing boats to large cargo ships as a boat. However, there are clearly some differences.

While there is no hard and fast rule about what makes a boat a yacht, there are a few differentiating factors. Let’s take a look at them.


A yacht is not usually a very small vessel. The rule isn’t hard and fast, but to qualify as a yacht, the vessel should be about 35 feet or longer.

They can get pretty big, reaching up to more than 200 feet long. Though once they start getting big, they can be further qualified as mega yachts and super yachts.


The use of the vessel plays a lot into whether it can be called a yacht or not. The purpose of a yacht is typically recreational. It is a vessel designed with luxury and comfort in mind. In fact, a big part of what makes a boat a yacht is how it is used.

Makes sense, right? The word yacht probably conjures up images of a gleaming white boat with polished teak accents in your mind. There’s usually a comfortable interior with bedrooms (suites or cabins), bathrooms, kitchen (galley), and seating area (saloon).

A boat, on the other hand, has a broader definition of what it can be used for. It can have recreational purposes, like fishing or cruising around a lake. But commercial fishing boats, police boats, and other boats used for work or commercial purposes would be called boats also.


Boats can be either motorized or nonmotorized. A nonmotorized boat might be a little fishing boat that operates under manpower. Larger boats use the wind and sails to power the vessel.

There are also plenty of boats with engines. Some can even build up some pretty impressive speed on the water. However, yacht engines tend to be more powerful, sophisticated and can go longer distances than boat engines.

Now You Know

We hope this has helped clear up some of the yacht vs. boat debate. You can probably understand now why the owner of a yacht would take offense when you call his vessel a mere ‘boat’.

At least, the next time you’re wondering which term to use, you’ll have a better idea.

To learn more interesting tidbits about boats, feel free to check out our blog.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts
Call: (800) 545-5603
17030 Alico Center Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33967

Your Expert Guide to Jet Ski Lifts

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That time you’ve dreamed about for years has finally come: you’ve bought yourself a jet ski, and you couldn’t be happier.

Sunny days on the water are right around the corner, and you can’t wait to hit the waves on your new craft. But first: you need to get it home, and get it ready for launch with the most appropriate jet ski lift.

Are you unsure which jet ski lift is right for you? Are you unsure how to even choose what’s right for you?

Keep reading to learn some key point when choosing jet ski lifts and floating docks, and how to select the right one for your specific needs.


First of all, how big is your jet ski? This is the most important consideration when picking out a jet ski lift. If you buy one that can’t support the weight of your jet ski, it’ll collapse, sending your new prize possession crashing into the water beneath it.

You clearly don’t want that.

You might think that checking the literature given to you when you purchased your jet ski for the dry weight is enough, but you would be wrong.

There are a number of other weight considerations you need to account for when determining the right capacity for your new jet ski lift:

  • the dry weight of the jet ski
  • the weight of attached gear (seat covers, stuff in the storage bin, etc.)
  • weight of the fuel in the fuel tank (about 6.3 lbs per gallon)
  • the weight of non-factory add-ons

The weight of non-factory add-ons is a big one because it’s easy to overlook! If you opted for any additional attachments or engine upgrades, you’re going to need to add that weight to the dry weight of the machine noted in the brochure. That’s because this dry weight is the weight of the default model.

And let’s be honest, you should add in the weight of the passengers. Jet ski lifts are not elevators with the built-in safety features, and your lift owner’s manual will tell you not to ride on your jet ski as the lift goes up or down. However, many people will still do it because it is more convenient. Do you want to take the chance of overloading the lift and having it collapse while your passengers are sitting on the jet ski?

Single or Dual?

Although you might only have the one jet ski right now, it’s likely that you’re going to fall in love with it and want another soon. If you have a partner or a family, it’s going to seem even more essential after skiing alone for a few months to get another in the water.

If you see yourself investing in another jet ski in the near future, you might want to consider investing in a dual jet ski lift now. Sure, you could uninstall and re-install when the time comes, but consider the cost and effort involved.

You’ll be thanking yourself later when you’re driving a new jetski home, and you’ll already have a place to put it.

Got Your Jet Ski Lifts?

Ready to get your new toy in the water? Get in touch with us to discuss all your jet ski dock lift needs. We are experts in our craft, and can help you determine exactly which one you need!

IMM Quality Boat Lifts
Call: (800) 545-5603
17030 Alico Center Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33967

5 Things You Need On Small Fishing Boats

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As the Summer months approach, many people will be preparing to spend time on the water. Small fishing boats are a popular way to enjoy your local lake or favorite waterway. But is your boat equipped with everything you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable outing?

You’ve spent hours getting your gear ready: fishing rods, tackle box, and even the standard equipment like life preservers, fuel for the motor, flashlights, etc., but is that everything you need?

Here is a list of a few items you might want to consider adding to your boat.

5 Things You Need On Small Fishing Boats

Do you have everything you need for your boat to handle an emergency? Check out these five things you need on small fishing boats to make sure you’re prepared.

1. An Extra Life Preserver

Stowing an extra life preserver on small fishing boats is always a smart idea. One reason is that things like life preservers can easily get misplaced or lost, and it’s vital that every person aboard the boat has a life preserver.

Also, you never know when an extra person might come aboard unexpectedly for a day, like a friend or someone you meet along the way, and you will need to have a life preserver for them so that everyone on the board is safe.

2. A Small Anchor

Having a small anchor really comes in handy, especially on a windy day. When you’ve found a nice spot on the water where you’d like to fish or swim, dropping anchor prevents the boat from drifting.

It’s also a helpful item for when you have motor problems because the anchor prevents you from behind pulled by the current or pushed around by the wind while you work on getting the motor running again.

This is a great way to keep from winding up in the middle of the lake or drifting into the weeds.

3. A Multi-Tool

A Leatherman multi-tool is like having an entire toolbox in your pocket. These little gadgets can do most anything, from cutting line or wire, to turning screws or bending a hook. We highly recommend keeping a multi-tool handy for any small emergency or repair that might come up.

4. Wax Candles

You’d be amazed how useful wax candles can be. Sure, you can use them as an emergency light source if necessary. But they also make an excellent lubricant.

Stuff on small fishing boats can become sticky, like cables, jammed zippers, or perhaps the steering arm on your outboard motor has become stiff. A simple solution is to rub a wax candle on the area to loosen it up.

5. Pantyhose

This one might sound like a strange item to include on our list, but don’t laugh just yet. Believe or not, pantyhose can serve many purposes.

This material works great as an emergency filter for drinking water, or even as a strainer if dirt gets in your gasoline. Use it as a make-shift chum bag or emergency rope. Pantyhose are cheap and can be stowed anywhere.

Always Be Prepared

Every item on this list is significant and can make your next boating adventure less stressful when emergency situations arise. And the good news is, these items are relatively inexpensive.

We encourage you to check your list of gear to see how many of these items you might already have around the house and to budget a few extra dollars for things you might need to pick up before the weekend or Summer vacation.

Contact us with any questions about our boat lifts and accessories.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts
Call: (800) 545-5603
17030 Alico Center Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33967

After a Storm: Inspecting Your Boat Lift and Dock

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U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon

After a storm, it’s important to know how to safely inspect your boat lift and dock or seawall to make sure they are still in great shape. To help you make your inspections as thorough as possible, we created this guide. As a reminder, our recommendation is to remove your boat from the lift prior to any hurricane and store it safely on dry land. For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season, please consult our guide.

Turn Off the Power

Before you do anything, turn off the electric service to your dock and lift at the shore side electrical service panel. It would be a good idea to put lockout tags on the service panel so that no one accidentally turns the power back on while you are inspecting the dock and boat lift.

Assess the Dock or Seawall Structure

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Image: NBC2 News

Your boat lift is only as strong as the underlying structure. It is very common for storms to damage or destroy docks. If there appears to be any damage to the dock structure, contact a professional marine contractor to make sure that it is safe to use.

When a seawall is built, marine engineers must take into account the pressure being exerted on a seawall by the water it is protecting the property from as well as the pressure exerted on the seawall by the land behind it. Maintaining the pressure balance is key to quality seawall construction. Many people would assume that seawall damage by hurricanes would be due to the surges of water coming toward the land, but that assumption is incorrect. Most seawall damage from hurricanes occurs when the water is driven out away from the land by the high winds. The pressure on the seawall from the land combined with the lack of support by the water on the other side of the seawall creates a pressure imbalance. This can cause a seawall to crack or even crumble.

Seawall damage may be hidden because the water often returns to normal levels before property owners are able to inspect the seawall. So even if your property wasn’t flooded during a hurricane, the storm could still have caused damage to your seawall. Please have your seawall inspected for damage by a professional marine contractor before attempting to use a boat lift attached to the seawall. It is better to err on the side of caution than to have your seawall collapse under the load of your boat.

Inspect the Electrical Connections

Look for any broken electrical cables that connect to the lift control box, the lift motors, lights on the dock and any other electrical components you may have on the dock. Pay special attention to any broken cables that are in the water as they are particularly dangerous. Also look for any electrical cables that appear to be loose. Loose cables will have flopped around in the wind and may have broken the terminal connections or have broken internal strands. DO NOT turn on the power to your lift if the motors are suspected of having been under water. If you notice any problems, contact a licensed electrician to assess and repair the electrical systems.

Look for Damage to the Lift Structure

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Photo by John L. Carkeet IV, LimpingFrog Productions

After a storm, you’ll probably see a lot of debris lying around. Clear out any debris you see. Don’t forget to check for debris below and behind the boat. If your boat is full of water, DO NOT attempt to board. Try to clear the drain plug opening from land to drain the boat.

Inspect your lift for any signs of damage like bent or twisted beams, damaged drives or broken bunks. If your lift shifted because of the storm, the unit needs to be realigned and made square. On a four-pile lift, you can measure for square by comparing the diagonal pile to pile measurements. It is also possible that the lift cradle is out of square due to a combination of the bunk brackets shifting and the lift cables becoming misaligned in the grooved winders. Consult your installation manual for instructions on how to adjust these components.

Inspect all the hardware on the boat lift. Look for bent or damaged bolts and check that the fasteners are on tight and in good condition. If you notice any damage, we highly recommend having a marine contractor assess your lift for repairs.

Thoroughly Inspect the Lift Cables

After a storm, double and triple check your cables. Look for kinks and abrasions on the cable. Then, slowly run your hand over the cable to feel for frayed and broken strands. Ensure there are no areas that are questionable. If an issue is spotted, do not operate the lift until new cables have been installed.

Perform a Test Run

If everything on your dock and boat lift has checked out ok, it is time to turn the power back on. Try to run the lift up and down to test your control box, motors, and gearbox. If the lift doesn’t perform properly, check with your lift’s owners manual to make sure you’re operating your lift properly. It’s also helpful to use as a guide for troubleshooting any problems you encounter. If the lift motors and gearbox were submerged by saltwater, they will likely need to be replaced. If you can’t find the problem, have a trained service technician examine your lift to determine the cause of the problem.

No Power?

What if power has not been restored to your home and you want to operate your boat lift? Without power, raising or lowering the lift is a difficult process. You can use a generator to power the lift (see Safe generator use), however, most generators have a low starting torque and the lift power draw will bog down a generator if it is not sufficiently sized. Your typical 1800 watt portable generator will not cut it. Consult your installation manual to determine your lift’s power requirements. Another concern is re-wiring your lift. We recommend using a 220 Volt electrical cord (4 conductor) to bring power to the inputs at the control box and that plugs into the generator.

If no generator is available, it is possible to manually operate the lift. You will need to remove the covers and motors from the drives on both top beams. Next, you need to get an adaptor consisting of a 5/8” steel shaft with a 3/16” keyway to insert into the gearbox input. You can chuck this adaptor into a drill (please note that typical home drills only have a ½” chuck) and use it to raise or lower the lift. If you don’t have two drills with adaptors (one for each top beam) you will need to raise one side a little bit, then move to the other top beam to move it an equivalent amount.

Get High-Quality Lifts Today

At IMM Quality Boat Lifts, we are committed to building the best quality boat lifts on the market today. Our lifts are built to last a lifetime.

But more than that, we want you to enjoy being out on the water in your boat. We don’t want you wasting your time on maintenance, repairs, or even where to find the best boat shoes. Keep visiting our blog to learn all about the boating lifestyle and Boat Lifts

How to Prepare your Boat and Dock for Hurricane Season

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The key to protecting your boat and home from hurricanes is to get prepared well in advance of any threatening weather.

Hurricane season should be taken seriously, especially if you live on the Eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season starts June 1st and lasts until the end of November. While there is nothing you can do to prevent a hurricane from occurring, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to prepare your boat and dock for the conditions they may be exposed to during a tropical storm or hurricane.

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By Sea Me Dive

Check Your Seawall

Take a look at your seawall during low tide. If you notice any cracking, shifting or leaning of the seawall, bowing, or erosion of the ground around the seawall, it is best to get it inspected by a professional marine contractor. There are certain types of cracks which are just cosmetic, however, it takes a trained eye to know when the structural integrity of the seawall has been compromised.

Have Your Dock Inspected

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By Ray Ewing

If your dock is old or in bad condition, it may not be able to withstand the high winds and rough waters during severe weather. The integrity of your boat lift is only as good as the underlying structure. It is a good idea to have your dock and pilings inspected by a professional to make sure they are in good condition and will not break apart and damage your boat, house, or surrounding structures.

Make sure your home is prepared

The most important thing is to have an emergency preparedness plan for your family. For help creating an emergency preparedness plan, you can consult this really good guideImage Make-sure-your-home-is-prepared-300x225Next, you will want to secure your home before an impending storm hits. It goes without saying that you should install your hurricane shutters (or board up windows), sandbags and other safety devices. There are many obvious precautions to take when it comes to things outside your home. For instance, you’ll want to bring in outdoor furniture, potted plants, and anything else that may blow away in the wind or potentially harm your home or neighbors’ homes. You should think about the specific needs of your family and then assemble a disaster supplies kit. For helpful suggestions of essential items, take a look at the following emergency kit guide and checklist.

Make Sure Your Boat is Prepared

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By BoatU.S.

The first thing to do is to secure your essential documents in a safe location on dry land. You will want to have photos of your vessel and home, an inventory of items in your home, an inventory of equipment on your vessel, contact phone numbers including your insurance company, copies of your insurance policies, a copy of your vehicle registrations and any other documents you deem essential. Next, you should turn off the boat’s electrical system and remove the battery. Remove any detachable equipment from the vessel to prevent breakage (such as radios, sails, canvas, cushions, dinghies, and other equipment). Lash down anything that can’t be removed, such as wheels, tillers, and booms. To prevent chafing, wrap protective covering around your lines wherever the ropes touch the boat. Seal off all windows, doors, and hatches. Finally, make sure to shut off your boat’s fuel lines.

Make Sure Your Boat is Stored Properly

To prevent or minimize damage to your boat, you must make sure it is stored properly. While the best solution is to relocate the vessel out of the storm area, this may not be practical based on personal safety factors and limited availability of time and resources. Taking it to storage on dry land, if you have that option available, will be the next safest option as the vessel will be protected from rough water and storm surge. As a rule, boats tied to docks are at greater risk than boats kept at moorings or on anchors. Floating docks are rarely strong enough to take the loads exerted on them by boats in storm conditions. In addition, if the storm surge or tides are extremely high, floating docks may simply float off the pilings which hold them in place. A boat kept at a dock can’t weathercock (face into the wind) as storm winds change direction. Therefore, the boat at a dock almost always presents more windage than a boat secured to moorings or anchors that is free to swing head to wind.

The BoatUS Marine Insurance company wrote an excellent article on preparing boats for hurricanes. It discusses the various forces that can damage your boat during a hurricane. It then discusses the pros and cons of securing your boat ashore, at dock, in hurricane holes, on high-rise storage racks, on davits, on boat lifts, on trailers, at a mooring, at anchor or both. It provides step-by-step instruction on how to position your boat and arrange the lines for each of the possibilities. It also discusses other critical points that will help minimize the potential for damage during severe weather.

How to Prepare Your Boat Lift

We do not recommend securing your boat to the boat lift during a hurricane. A boat lift is not the ideal place to store your vessel during a hurricane, as it is possible for the storm surge to rise higher than your lift. Furthermore, your boat has a lot of surface area relative to the piles and will greatly increase the wind force on the piles. Leaving the boat on the lift will increase the likelihood that hurricane force winds will break the piles (or lift them up out of the seabed) and cause your lift to collapse.

Therefore, the first step of preparing your boat lift for a hurricane is to remove the boat and store it someplace safe. Once the boat is removed, raise the cradle beams as high as you can and tie off the cradles to the piles. If you have an elevator style lift, use extra lines to secure the cradle arms to help minimize the potential for them to sway in the wind. If you think the storm surge will swamp the lift, remove the boat lift motors, gearboxes, switches, covers & store in a dry safe place. Make sure you secure the cradles to structure BEFORE removing the gearbox as the cradles will fall down without the gearbox holding the cables in place.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can reinforce your lift and piles using aluminum I-beams. Bracing your lift enables you to securely lock each corner of your lift’s cradle to its piling and creates one solid structure between the four pilings and the four corners of your lift. Your cables are one of the weak points of the lift and the bracing will also support your cradles if the cables break. To accomplish this, you run an I-beam under each lift top beam and secure them to the slip side of the piles with U-bolts, aluminum backing plates, and lock nuts. Then, the cradle beams will rest on and be secured to the I-beams. Our engineers can help you size the appropriate components and provide instructions for their installation. Or if you prefer an all in one kit, they are available from companies like Swing Stoppers.

What if you have no choice but to leave the boat on the lift?

If storing your boat somewhere else is not an option, knowing the amount of storm surge (the expected height of water above normal predicted tide) is the determining factor in how to best secure your boat to the lift during a hurricane.

If you are 100% confident that the storm surge will be below the raised height of the boat, you can take the following steps. Prepare the boat and lift as described above, leaving all lift equipment installed. The most important factor is to create a drainage system to prevent water from collecting in the hull and overloading the lift. It is not a good idea to rely on bilge pumps and batteries for draining the water since they can become overloaded (or fail) in a storm. Remove the boat drainage plug(s) so the water can drain out by gravity, lessen the strain on the bilge pumps and prevent the lift structure from overloading. If possible, slightly tilt (1-2 inches) the boat on the lift so that the rainwater will run out of the scuppers. This is easily accomplished on IMM Quality lifts using our wedge locks or adjustable height bunk brackets. Raise the boat as high as your lift allows and tie it as tightly as you can to the lift.

If the boat lift does not go high enough to be above storm surge levels or if you are not sure, you can try the following things. Prepare the boat and lift as described above, leaving all lift equipment installed. Slightly tilt (1-2 inches) the boat on the lift so that the rainwater will run out of the scuppers. Leave the boat drainage plug(s) in place. Pray that your bilge pumps don’t fail or become overloaded by the storm. Raise your boat as high as the lift allows but do not secure the boat to the lift. Secure long ropes to anchor points (do not secure to floating docks, use pilings) in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift. It is best to tie the lines high on the pilings, so they will not be chafed if a floating dock rides up on the pilings. Instead of using loose bowlines around the pilings, use multiple clove hitches, or a clove hitch finished with two half hitches. That way, the lines will tighten on the pilings, and are unlikely to pull off even if the pilings go under. If all goes well, these steps may help keep your boat somewhat close to your boat lift.

After the Storm

There is no way anyone blog post can cover all of the contingencies (for example, we have completely ignored insurance concerns), but we hope this article puts you on the right path. If you follow these tips and think about how they apply to your situation, you will be well prepared for hurricane season and can rest easier knowing your home and boat are as safe as possible. For more information on what to do once the weather clears up, please read our post “After a Storm: Inspecting Your Boat Lift and Dock”.

Get High Quality Lifts Today!

At IMM Quality Boat Lifts, we are committed to building the best quality boat lifts on the market today. Our lifts are built to last a lifetime.

But more than that, we want you to enjoy being out on the water in your boat. We don’t want you wasting your time on maintenance, repairs, or even where to find the best boat shoes. Keep visiting our blog to learn all about the boating lifestyle and Boat Lifts.