Investing in a boat lift is one way of ensuring you don't spend much on boat preservation. The lift makes cruising effortless and secures the boat from the negative effects of water and other weather elements like storms. However, it is crucial to pay as much maintenance attention to your lift as you do to your boat investment.
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You may ask, do boat lifts need maintenance? A poorly kept lift can extend the damage to your boat, resulting in double the repair costs for both the lift and watercraft. To avoid this, ensure your lift is always in good shape by adapting a boat lift upkeep routine. The following are basic care tips for keeping your lift in perfect condition always:
1. Regularly Apply Penetrating Oil
You can facilitate the longevity of your lift by lubricating the lift cables. It calls for frequent oiling to prevent wearing out of the cables, which are usually designed of steel. Confirm that the lubricant doesn't comprise grease because it traps humidity that could damage the steel cables. Nevertheless, pulleys and gears may need greasing whenever you hear a squeaking sound.
2. Maintain Weight Capacity
Boat lift manufacturers specify weight standards that should be maintained when using a lift. Refrain from adding extra weight to the boat or allowing people inside the boat while on the lift, as this may strain the cables. Even when lifting the boat, ensure you position it correctly so that its weight is evenly distributed to stave off uneven damage. Adjust the cables accordingly if you notice alignment inconsistencies. Additionally, avoid securing boats that do not meet the weighted specificity of the lift.
3. Rinse Cables
If your lift stands on salty water, it is susceptible to salt crystals, algae, and other salty water elements that can weaken lift cables with time. The cradles, lift beams, bunks, and gearboxes are also vulnerable to water destruction. It is, therefore, essential to rinse the cables using freshwater before cruising the boat to keep corrosion and rust at bay. Elevate the boat's cradle during lifting and lower it upon returning.
4. Pay Attention to Storage
Proper lift storage is among the critical tips to maintain a boat lift. Make sure to roll it out of the water after a boating session; you can invest in a wheel kit for easier rolling out. For a power hoist system, extract your battery and store it safely. Also, ensure your canopy cover is dry before storing it. Because covering the motor can cause moisture accumulation and water damage, consider leaving it uncovered unless it is snowing or raining.
5. Inspect the Cables
Regular lift inspections can help you to spot tears, cracks, and other damage signs in good time. When compared to stainless steel, galvanized cables require substitution after two years even after routine cable maintenance. However, this is not an excuse to ignore steel cables. Attempting to extend the use of galvanized cables beyond the two-year period can wreck your lift and possibly damage your boat if the lift collapses. If you have difficulties spotting potential damage, seek a professional inspection service. Replace lift cords once you notice severe corrosion. Well-timed repairs can extend cords' lifespan, but do not postpone cable replacement when it is due.
Not sure if you are maintaining your boat lift the right way or do not have time for a consistent boat lift maintenance routine? Reach out to Duncan Seawalls! We offer boat lift maintenance services and are ready to answer any questions you have.