A boat lift allows you to easily remove your boat from the water. If you already have a boat lift, it is essential to perform routine boat lift maintenance. By following a few essential tips for maintaining your boat lift, you can ensure that your boat lift is in great shape for all your recreational needs.
Rinse the Cables
Your boat lift relies on a heavy duty cable to lift your boat in and out of the water. To help prevent abrasion to your lift, it is crucial to rinse saltwater off of the cables after every use. If you leave salt water on the surface of the cable the salt crystals can cause abrasion, damage, and break.
Apply Penetrating Oil
To prevent abrasion on your boat lift cable, it is a great idea to apply penetrating oil to the surface of the cable at routine intervals. Penetrating oil ensures that the galvanized coating on the cable remains in stable condition. In addition, this product helps prevent the cable strands from rubbing together. Keep in mind when you are shopping for your oil, to choose a product that does not contain grease!
Look for Signs of Cable Wear
Your boat lift cables will require replacement about every two years. To determine when it is time for a cable replacement, you can look for signs of cable wear. Keep an eye out for kinks, severe abrasion, or other deformities on the surface of your cable. If you notice your cable is demonstrating the signs of wear, you should be sure to schedule a boat lift repair right away.
Why wait any longer to make sure your boat lift is in good condition. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the wear and tear of your boat lift, feel free to reach out to the professionals at Boat Lift Warehouse today. We look forward to seeing you out on the water!
Make sure to inspect your lift cables regularly for any signs of wear and to see if they are winding properly.
Every time you use your lift you should rinse the lift beams with fresh water to rid them of any salt and any potential barnacle growth.
Heed the Weight Warning
Always observe the lift’s weight limits. Boat lifts are designed with certain specifications and exceeding weight recommendations will lead to failure or collapse. Make sure that the lift can handle the weight of your boat PLUS anything you leave in it.
Placing more weight on your lift than it’s designed to hold can lead to devastating results. Stick to the specs to ensure a healthy life for your lift.
Remove the Cables from the Water
Don’t leave your cables dangling in the water while you’re away.
Rinse all Cables
Boat lifts rely on heavy duty cables to lift the watercraft in and out of the water. Exposure to salt water can cause abrasion and substantial damage, ultimately causing the lift to fail. You will need to regularly and thoroughly rinse the cables.
Galvanized and stainless steel cables should have a squirt or two of penetrating oil applied periodically to minimize abrasion and preserve the galvanized coating.
Galvanized and stainless-steel cables should be lubricated regularly with penetrating oil. This will help prevent abrasion and preserve galvanized coating. Do not lubricate with grease. Grease will trap unwanted moisture inside the strands of the cables.
Inspect Lift Cables
Lift cables should be regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear. Rust spots, broken strands, fraying, and kinks are all clear indications that the cables are faulty and probably need to be replaced.
Replace Cables When Necessary
Cables generally need to be replaced every two years and depending on conditions, even more frequently. If there are clear signs of damage, such as kinks, severe abrasion, or other deformities, it is time to replace them.
Do Not Lubricate with Grease
Grease actually traps moisture inside the strands of the cables.
Do Your Homework before Changing Cable Materials
Stainless steel often holds up better in saltwater, but it requires different sheave and drum sizes than galvanized cables, which means you shouldn’t simply swap out the cables without taking the whole boat lift’s needs into consideration.
Don’t Have People in the Boat while It’s on the Lift
If people are jumping into and out of the boat while it’s on the lift, they’re creating shock and strain to the hoist motor and cabling.
Remove the Drain Plugs while the Boat is on the Hoist
Rainwater can accumulate in the boat. If you don’t let it drain out, it could quickly get too heavy for the lift to handle. Removing the drain plugs will help keep this from happening. If the lift is equipped with self-leveling and lowering mechanisms that responds to changes in weight, you will not need to remove drain plugs.
Monitor the Drum
To avoid slack, which can cause tangling and other damage, monitor the cable as it’s winding onto the drum. Even wear will help lengthen the life of the cables.
Check for Proper Sheave Alignment
Improper alignment can put undue pressure on the cable, likely shortening the life of both the cable and the sheave. If you are unsure, call a professional.
How to Store your Boat Lift
If storing a boat lift during the off-season, make sure it is covered and that no area is exposed. Exposure to rain and snow will compromise long-term use. It is also important to remove and safely store the battery if there is a power hoist.
Boat Lifts and Harsh Weather
Keep in mind – boat lifts do not fare well in harsh weather conditions, such as hurricanes and nor’easters. Heavy winds and wave surges will shift the boat and harm the lift. If severe storm or flood watches or warnings are issued in your area, get your boat off the lift and store it more safely ashore. Storm surges and floods will, very predictably, have their way with your boat or jet ski. Overall, if there is an impending flood or storm, remove your craft from the lift and store it appropriately.