Two jet skis on a jet ski lift

Front Mount Boat Lift vs. Side Mount Boat Lift

Choosing the right lift is imperative to protecting the investment of your boat. No matter what your situation is, you might be faced with the decision of front mount vs. side mount for your boat lift system. While both are great options, we’re here to give you the advantages and disadvantages of each. It’s for you to decide based on your wants and needs.

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What is a Front Mount Boat Lift?

A front mount boat lift is when the mount on the dock is attached to the front of the boat slip by three dock brackets. The tank is located in the back of the framework so that when air is vented out, the backend of the boat is submerged first into the water, allowing loading of the boat to be as easy as pulling onto a trailer. Our front-mounted boat lifts support 4500 LB & 6500 LB models.

What is a Side Mount Boat Lift?

A side mount boat lift is when the mount on the dock attaches to the slip at 4 or more points allowing for even distribution of weight. When the tank’s air is vented out and the lift submerges, it is completely underwater. Our side-mounted boat lifts support most model weights.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

The advantages and disadvantages of each can differ depending on your application and where you place more weight in your preferences.

For example, the front mount boat lift might be ideal if your boat slip is long and wide enough for more than one boat, so as a result, there is not a place to connect the boat lift in the center. In this case, you would want a front mount boat lift so that there is plenty of room for more boat slips. Alternatively, if you have a narrow boat slip, a side mount boat lift should be your first choice.

Also, a major benefit of the side mount boat lift is that it is self supporting and does not use the dock to bear the weight of the boat. Meanwhile, with a front mounted lift, unless the boat is not loaded properly, some of your boat is upheld by the front of the dock where the lift is mounted.

Finally, the front mount boat lift has the advantage of being the classic choice that has been around for years. However, with the evolution of boat lift knowledge and progress, the side mount is quickly becoming the standard in the industry.

Which is the better choice?

While both boat lifts have their advantages and disadvantages, when it comes to the opinion of Econolift experts, we maintain that the side mount is ideal in terms of stress and ease of use in most situations.

Once again, the side mount lift is attached in 4 points when the lift is down, so the weight is dispersed evenly between the 4 dock brackets. However, when a front mount is up, there is some weight added to the front of the dock where the lift attaches. In a high traffic or windy area, a front mount boat lift will have a great deal of side-to-side motion, which can cause some potential stress on your dock, or worse, actual damage that would need to be fixed. This is why we suggest the newer, more advanced side mount boat lift system.

Nonetheless, people have certain needs that should be addressed and the choice between side mount and front mount is never all black and white. We can work with you to tailor your situation with our capabilities. Contact us and we can give you all of the best options for your boat lift needs!

Contact us for all of your boat lift needs and questions!