Like most boat owners, you take pride in your boat and want it to look its best whenever you take it out on the water. A boat lift can help you maintain the value and appearance of your boat so that it's always in top shape to impress you and your friends when you take it out on the lake or ocean. But as with anything, maintenance is key to keeping your boat lift in great shape, so here are five tips to keep your boat lift in top shape!
1. Schedule Regular Inspections
Like any other piece of mechanical equipment, you should plan to schedule routine maintenance for your boat lift. How often to plan for routine service is dependent on how often you use your boat lift and what its current condition is, but as a general rule of thumb, an annual service tune-up is the minimum recommended time between tune-ups.
Make sure that you are also:
- Inspecting your boat lift monthly for any signs of wear and tear
- Checking your decking for worn surfaces, a buildup of algae, or deterioration
- Cleaning algae from the ramps regularly
- Ensuring that the hardware on your boat lift is working correctly and that all mechanisms are greased with a lithium-based grease, like 3-in-1 all-season grease or marine/outboard grease, every six months
2. Perform a Monthly Inspection of the Fittings and Bolts
Checking the fittings and bolts monthly for any deterioration or signs of rust is essential. Inspecting your boat lift periodically will catch potential problems before they become serious, ensuring your boat lift is safe for usage. To keep your boat lift clean:
- Use a hose to wash away the dirt and mud collected during use
- Check for leaks by looking for damp spots near the hydraulic lines or hydraulic tank—this can be done by spraying water on these areas with a spray bottle
- If there are no leaks, add an additive (like bleach) to the hydraulics to keep the system from rusting from too much moisture
3. Clean The Motor Housing
One of the best ways to maintain your boat lift is to clean it regularly. A dirty motor housing can cause much more wear and tear on the rope, leading to various issues down the line, so regular upkeep and maintenance are essential. The easiest way to keep the motor housing clean is by using a pressure washer with an extended wand. Once the pressure washer is on, place the extended wand into any one of the holes along its edge. Then, start washing from the bottom up and ensure you get all around the sides.
4. Replace Parts As Needed
For your boat lift to be fully operational, you'll need to take care of two major items: rope ties and cables. For example, when it comes time for an annual inspection, the safest thing you can do is replace any frayed or worn-out rope ties with new ones. Otherwise, their weakened state could lead to the cables' losing grip. If you've purchased a new boat lift and used the old ropes that came with it, those will eventually break too. It is preferable to purchase enough replacement ropes to be used in shifts, ensuring that one group of ropes is always fresh while another group is swapped out.
5. Don't Neglect The Electrical Components
One of the most critical maintenance tasks that any boater should undertake is periodically inspecting their boat lift. The critical component of a boat lift is the motor. Some boaters neglect this component until there is a problem, and sometimes it can take a significant breakdown for them to inspect it. Inspecting your electric components regularly will provide you with valuable peace of mind about your lift's motor condition. It is recommended that you test the circuit breaker before powering it up. If your breaker trips during testing, have an electrician check it out. Ensure all connections are tight and the wire nuts are not exposed or damaged. Check the wiring insulation for wear or damage and replace it as needed; tighten screws as needed (but not too tight).
As you can see, following these five simple tips is the best way to maintain your boat lift. If you want more information, reach out to Duncan Seawalls. The Duncan experts will help ensure that all your questions are answered and that you have the suitable materials for any repairs or maintenance needs. Contact them today to learn more about how they can help keep your boat lift in top shape!