(6) Tips For Maintaining Your Boat Lift

(6) Tips For Maintaining Your Boat Lift

Those of us who have spent some time on the water cannot live without it now. Whether it is for fishing, swimming, photography, racing, cruising, or even just enjoying the waters, water lovers make sure to take their boat out for a spin every day. For those living in Michigan, boats are a constant favorite.

However, there are times when we need to dock our boats by the shore and take a break to do other things. Most people just leave their boats in the water when they take a break from going out on the water every day.

Sadly, that is the worst possible thing that you can do to your vessel. Boats are expensive to buy and are even more expensive to repair. To make sure they last long and don’t compromise your safety or your finances, you need to invest in the proper maintenance and storage tools such as boat lifts. Boat lifts ensure that your boat looks good as new, even when you haven’t used it for months.

But what are boat lifts and how can you effectively take care of them? Let’s find out.

What Are Boat Lifts?

Boat lifts are very handy storage devices that boat owners use to protect their vessels from a lot of harm. Boat lifts do exactly what they sound like they do. They lift boats from the water to an appropriate level of elevation so the water doesn’t damage your boat in any way.

There are several different types of boat lifts such as Floating Lifts, Shore Mounted Lifts, Bottom Standing Lifts, and Piling Mount Lifts. Most Michigan boat owners often invest in boat lifts because of how useful they are.

What type of boat life you buy for your vessel depends on the size, dimensions, and material of your vessel. It also depends on how long you’d like to keep your boat elevated and in what conditions.

Tips To Maintain Boat Lift

Suppose you listened to our advice and bought a boat lift for yourself. Now, what? Boat lifts, much like boats, are extremely useful and great investments in the long run. However, your work doesn’t end there. You also need to take care of your boat lift and maintain it carefully so it keeps performing its action well.

So, what do you need to do to maintain a boat lift? Let’s find out.

1. Apply Penetrating Oil Frequently

The boat lift cables are generally made of stainless steel. While the steel won’t corrode easily, it can break or get abraded due to the constant rubbing and pulling against each other. That’s where penetrating oil comes in.

Penetrating oil allows the boat lift cables to stay lubricated so that they don't rub against each other. This application increases the life of the boat lift cables and also makes their actions much smoother.

However, there’s something else that you need to keep in mind. Make sure that the penetrating oil you buy does not have grease in it. Grease traps moisture in its particles which can cause more harm than good. While it’s okay to use grease for machines like automobiles, you cannot use it for something that stays in contact with water around the year!

2. Check Your Cables Closely

While we’re still on the topic of the boat lift cables, there’s another important thing you need to do to make sure your boat lift is working at its maximum capacity. From time to time, inspect your boat lift cables closely for signs of wear and tear. This can be abrasions, erosion, breakage, tangling, or anything that can potentially decrease the performance of the boat lift cables.

This step is extremely important because most accidents related to boat lifts occur when the boat lift cables break or erode, causing unspeakable damage to the boat and sometimes even to the people around it.

If you see that the cables are fraying, have kinks or there are clear signs of erosion, make sure to replace them immediately. Doing so will help boost your boat lift’s performance and prevent disasters from occurring.

3. Mind The Weight Limit

Now, this is something that one would expect most people to do at all times but that is not the case. Some people place more weight on the boat lift than it can manage to carry and cause it to break which damages both the boat and the boat lift.

The most important thing to remember here is that most people take the risk for no reason at all because there are several boat lift types on the market with varying weight limits which you can choose from. Whether your boat is a heavier make or a light one, you can easily find a boat lift that fits your requirements.

In addition, make sure you get a boat lift that holds your boat’s weight and the weight of whatever personal items you leave on the boat. Of course, it only applies when you leave heavy objects on the boat, but it is best to err on the side of caution regardless.

4. Rinse Your Boat Lift

You’re probably shaking your head and thinking, this sounds like too much work! However, rinsing a boat lift is easy work. Why do we do it? Since the boat lift spends time in the water, there’s a chance that it will have a buildup of salt, barnacles, and algae. This is especially important for boat lift owners in Lake Michigan because parts of it are quite salty and can cause your weight lift to suffer from the results of salt buildup.

These buildups can impact the boat lift’s performance and will also erode it if you use it without rinsing it first. This is especially true when you use these boat lifts in saltwater.

So, for the best results, give your boat lift, the cables, and the cradle a good rinse before you start using them again after some time in the water.

5. Check The Sheave Alignment

Sometimes, boat lifts can undergo what is called ‘backlashing’ which effectively causes the boat lift to stop working. This occurs when the cables do not spool in an aligned order. This situation can often cause a lot of pressure on the boat lift cables which can cause them to break, get tangled, or get abraded.

However, sheave alignment is a little technical, so if you spot any signs of trouble, it’s best to call a quality boat lift maintenance service so their qualified team can make sure that your boat lift starts working in the proper order again. For all your Boat Lift, Boat Hoist, and Pontoon Hoist needs in Michigan, call us today for special pricing!

6. Remove From Water When Not In Use

Most people don’t bother removing the boatlift cradle and cables from the water when the lift isn’t in use. They don’t bother with it because they know that boat lifts are typically made with materials that are resistant to corrosion with water anyway.

However, no matter how good the quality of any boat lift’s materials is, it is going to get degraded the longer it stays in the water. Salt and algae buildup often causes a lot of damage to the boat lifts which can make them unusable in the long term.

So, if you’re not going to be using your boat lift for extended periods of time, just raise the cradles and cables so they’re protected from water damage and have a longer life.

Well, that’s all! If you follow these six steps while using your boat lift, you’ll be sure to keep it in top condition.


Boat lifts are incredibly useful devices that you can use to protect your boat from water damage as well as physical damage. They are an invaluable investment because they protect your boat from getting damaged in the water, whether it is the hull, the deck, or the paint job. These protective actions allow your boat to maintain its value and have its actions preserved as well.

However, some boat lift maintenance problems are a little too complicated, so it’s best to call the professionals for it. For any Michigan boat lift problems, don’t forget to call us today and take advantage of the special pricing!

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