Boating Tips: Boat Lift Basics

Welcome to Boating Tips with MarineMax! In this episode, Captain Nick and Keith review everything you need to know about boat lifts including maintenance, best practices, and more. Ask your questions, make comments, and learn a thing or two about your favorite outdoor activity.



Be sure to work with a reputable company to install your lift. You want to ensure that your PVC guides are properly aligned so that they don’t hit the dock and snap off when you raise your boat.

Additionally, your “I Beams” should be aligned at dock level. This ensures that if there is a storm and things are rocking, your boat isn’t being slammed into the dock.


A storm can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t have to be. In the event of a storm, raise your lift as high as you safely can, then secure the boat and lift to your dock pilings. As we referenced before, having your I beams at dock level is an important aspect of storm prep as well.


Boat lifts typically have a control box mounted to one of the pilings that has a simple “up” and “down” switch to raise and lower your boat. Some boat lifts even make use of remote controls for raising and lowering your vessel.

The most important thing to remember is to turn your power off when you are done using your lift. A boat lift won’t just shut itself off, it will keep running until mechanical failure ensues. If your lift keeps continuously going up or down your can blow your motors or coils out and see your boat floating away or damaged.


Be sure to have your lift regularly examined (once a year) and necessary care provided so that it can continue to run at top capacity. This includes checking cables, greasing fittings and any other motor related care.


You can see or hear more episodes of Boating Tips and our sister podcast, From the Helm Boating Broadcast, on The MarineMax Blog, accessible on the website or via mobile phone through the MarineMax App. You can also access more episodes on Amazon, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcast news. See you out on the water! 

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