Winterizing Wisdom Exploring Whether Your Boat Lift Needs Removal
Packing up your boat, dock, and lift is probably something you need to do this fall if you’re a seasonal boater. Thanks to their lightweight, dime-welded aluminum design, hydraulic boat lifts, and docks are simple for boaters to move and remove when the weather turns chilly. Fortunately, winterizing your boat lift is simple, inexpensive, and a fantastic way to reduce future costs and worry. But does a boat lift even need to be removed in the winter weather?Even if it isn’t time for the professionals to have a look, you should check your lift before putting it away and before setting it up again. You should get your lift properly examined every three to five years regardless. Checking for issues now can prevent you from having to make costly repairs later on, whether you want to address anything now or wait until spring. Spring will be busy for dealers, so schedule that inspection and get any necessary replacement parts right away.
Ice formation can destroy the strongest aluminum boat lifts just like soda cans. As the ice forms around a lift, the ice may cause docks to move out of position and rip off the hardware which holds the lift together. Unless you’re planning on cold weather boating and have a system designed specifically for ice, it is recommended to simply remove your dock and lift at the end of the season to store safely out of the water.Although ice alone has the potential to cause damage, and damage can be devastating if merged with a flowing undercurrent especially if you live in an area where ice movement is common. During the summer the snow can be shifted upward and downward, and this could affect the dock and the boat lift. The same applies particularly to lakes drained for the anticipated runaway spring.
Some people in pile docks choose to use dock bubblers as it prevents ice accumulation. They can provide effective protection for lifting boats at docks where no snow exists and the water cannot be moved. If you have a pile-driven dock you may be able to use a bubbler to prevent the formation of ice which can provide protection for lifts on fixed docks and areas where there’s no ice movement.The boat also does not have a protection system to prevent the movement of snow on sections or on dock areas that could shift with a current. The owners have stepped up their security measures by reducing the amount they have to use, and the bubbler will not work as drained water drops during the winter months.
Clean and Seal the Decking
It’s good practice to wipe out your boat’s decks every three years, but the recommended frequency is not much. In the fall, algae are a cause of serious damage to the skin and hair. If the porch is cleaned thoroughly, it should be clean at all times. During the cleaning, procedure make a point of checking for dock damage.
Cable Boat Lifts
Cable boat elevators hanging above or dockside cannot be removed in the winter. This will not invalidate their guarantee and could result in damage from any element. The owner of any lift should also carefully read the manuals to ensure they have the proper snow protection and safety features.No matter what kinds of lift cables you use, once they have served their time, you will have to replace them. Using galvanized or stainless steel boat lift cables are good for specific conditions of water but they all wear out at some point and need replacement.
Do you frequently experience strong winds and bad weather in the winter? If you do, you should lock the lift. This procedure entails totally detaching the boat from the lift. You also need to tie the beams so that the lift won’t swing too much in the wind. Leaving the boat on it could have disastrous consequences, especially if there is a storm.Additionally, you should keep your motors and gearboxes dry if storm surges are predicted by the weather forecasters. Be sure to take them down for the season. Power surges can also be caused by storms. Anything that requires a power source ought to be unplugged or kept away from children for safety.
Your boat lift will likely get much more grimy and stiff during the off-season when it is not in use. Use the boat lift occasionally to check that all of its critical components are still functioning. Check bearings and rollers, lubricate grease points, and clean the cables with fresh water are all items on a recommended off-season boat lift maintenance checklist.
Tie the Floating Dock System
If your floating docks are safe they should be secured. Sometimes a winter storm can make ties loose or damage them. The docks are usually small but you can remove them from the sea during the winter. If the lake’s water freezes, it can damage the docks.
Store All Accessories
Keep the paddleboat, the kayak, or the extra-large inflatable peacock confined to your dock for summer. When you put your boats on shelves or in a storage shed, it is best to make sure they don’t get damaged by ice or snow.
Commonly asked questions:
Can I Leave my Boat Lift in All Winter?
If you live in warmer weather or cold winters, it’s probably safe to keep your dock up and your lift on the water during all seasons, but if you are experiencing harsh winters, it’s best to remove the boat and dock from the water.
Can you Leave Wheels on a Boat Lift?
Each airtight wheel provides approximately 70 pounds of flotation for lighter lifting when it moves through the water. And you can put the wheel in the lift as long as it is on the water. But since you’ll be removing the whole boat lift in the winter season, you should consider removing the wheels as well.
Can you Store a Boat on a Boat Lift?
Storing your watercraft in floating boat lifts may be the easiest way for you to keep your boat clean, and you can access your boat anytime you want. This offers a safe and inexpensive method for boat dock storage and requires as little preparation time as much as possible. However, there are some downsides to this method of storage. If you store your boat on a lift throughout the season, it is very likely for your lift to break with the passage of time since it will be bearing weight constantly. If your lift is appropriately specd for your boat then it won’t be much of a problem but if it’s not, then it can be a problem.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Boat Lift?
It should last for 25 or more years if you use dependable boats made with high-quality materials. However, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to properly maintain the longevity of your boat lifting system. If you rarely check your boat lifts for any breakages, then their lifespan can decrease.
How do You Winterize a Boat Lift?
Conduct a comprehensive inspection of your boat lift at the conclusion of each boating season. Your boat lift needs to be thoroughly inspected, from the biggest components to the smallest bolts. Are the cables fraying? Do the brackets on the docks have a firm grip on them? You can go ahead and get them from your boat business if you notice any worn parts. Don’t wait until spring or until boat manufacturers are overworked and unable to deliver your parts on time.
These techniques for winterizing and seasonal upkeep are straightforward and uncomplicated. Most of the time, you don’t even have to spend a significant amount of money. However, if you follow them carefully, you will be able to save even more money by preventing damage to your boating equipment. You can be confident that your boat lift cables won’t break and that its motor is still operating when the new boating season starts. Again, we stress the importance of ordering any additional parts in advance to ensure that your boat lift is finished and functional by the time spring arrives.FootHills Dock & Lift Repair offers a variety ofboat and boat lift maintenance services. With the winter season approaching, you can rely on our services as we can effectively help you winterize your boat. We guarantee that your boat will retain its original condition after the season ends. We also provide lift removal, dock resurfacing, boat and dock maintenance,dock cleaning, and others. Contact us today and book an appointment!