A boat lift is crucial for keeping your boat well-maintained and secure from damage, but with the various types of boat lifts, it can be difficult to know which one works best for your needs. But don’t worry — Econo Lift is here to help! Below are the different factors that determine what boat hoist you need.
Your Boat’s Style & Length
The shape of the hull, the draft of the boat, and an inboard or outboard motor can all impact the type of boat lift you need. You should also know the length of the cradle beam (the widest portion of your boat) and add a minimum of four inches on either side as a cushion (using dock pile bumpers as guides).
A very important factor in determining your lift is your boat’s weight capacity, which starts with knowing the dry weight of your boat. Different boat manufacturers and brands may have unique ways of determining dry weights so be sure you know what yours is — it should be provided in your specification sheet. Along with the dry weight, you have to factor in all of the stuff you’ll put in your boat! Consider the weight of:
- Fuel (gasoline weighs approximately six pounds per gallon)
- Water storage (weighs about eight pounds per gallon)
- Any water sports equipment
- Additional supplies and gear
Typically, we recommend a 20 percent margin of safety — so it’s best to go with a higher capacity lift if you’re unsure. Econo Lift offers 1, 2, and 3 flotation tank boat hoists with weight capacities that range between 1,100 and 20,000 pounds.
Always be sure to consider the water depth at any particular location. Shallow water lifts are uniquely designed to help gain operation and make the boat and lift usable when the water level is low. A shallow water lift can often add an additional foot of operation over a regular lift. In some places, this can mean the difference between being able to get on or off the lift at all. We offer shallow water lifts that support 4,500 lbs. and 6,500 lbs. boats.
Type of Dock
Your boat dock can also play a role in determining your boat lift type. For instance, is it fixed or floating? What are the water conditions around the dock? Do you need a side mount or front mount? These are all questions you may want to consider.
When it comes to front vs. side mounts, Econo Lift has you covered! While side mount boat lifts are more common, we offer front mount boat lifts as well. A front mount lift is used when attaching to the sides of the boat slip is not possible. Instead, the front of the boat slip is attached to the dock by three 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. Our front mount boat lifts support 4,500 lbs. & 6,500 lbs. Models.
Flotation Tank Material
Simply put, the flotation tanks are the foundation of the lift and will offer the hoist stability and support. Flotation tanks are typically made of metal, fiberglass, or polyethylene/plastic. Metal tanks are not ideal since they will eventually rust and require replacement. Fiberglass tanks also become brittle with age or weaken due to sun exposure. Plastic tanks are the best option and can offer the best security.
At Econo Lift, all of our tanks are 100% virgin plastic with no added dyes, pigments, or chemicals, guaranteeing the durability of your tank for years to come. Many other tanks are reground/recycled which can mean their structure is less stable — but not ours! All of our tanks are rotationally molded, meaning they are one solid piece with no seams or welds. Roto-molding distributes an even amount of resin everywhere, creating an airtight tank that remains stable in open and high traffic water situations.
Find the Perfect Boat Lift at Econo Lift
The right selection of a boat lift can save you money and grief in the long run by protecting your boat and dock. To get started on finding the right lift for your boat, turn to Econo Lift!
The types of boat hoists we offer include:
- Side and Front Mount Lifts
- Shallow Water Lifts
- Personal Watercraft Lifts
We have plenty of options to meet your needs based on your boat’s specifications. Contact us today to learn more!