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If you've just closed your first sale on a waterfront property with beach rights, you're probably looking forward to investing in a boat and storing it at your dock. If you want to make sure that your boat isn't left sitting in the water where a fiberglass hull can blister from prolonged exposure to water and the water levels can fluctuate, you may decide you want to hire a marine construction company to build a boathouse and install a boat lift. The lift will keep the boat out of the water when it's stored. Here are some of the things you should consider as you choose the lift for your boathouse.
Should The Lift Be Manual Or Electric?
Most standard boat lifts are electric, which means that you need to have a reliable power supply for it to work. With many coastal areas being vulnerable to hurricanes and heavy storms, this can be a concern. Unless you have a backup generator to power the lift so that you can move your boat if needed after a power outage, you may want to consider a lift with a manual override.
Manual boat lifts use a pulley system that allows you to manually lift the boat out of the water. This typically requires a significant bit of effort, though. For this reason, many people prefer the electric lift choices with a backup power system.
What Type Of Material Should The Lift Be Made Of?
Most boat lifts are made from either stainless or galvanized metal. Stainless steel is usually the best choice if your boathouse is over saltwater. If your waterfront access is freshwater, however, you can opt for galvanized metal because you won't have the same concerns about salt damaging the metal. You can still use stainless steel in freshwater, but it's an expense that you don't necessarily have to have.
Will The Bunk Accommodate Other Boats?
If you have any potential of investing in a bigger boat in the future, you're also going to want an adjustable bunk on your lift. The bunk is designed to support the hull like a cradle when the boat is out of the water, so you need one that's going to be secure. While it's easy enough to choose a bunk style that fits your boat now, that same one may not fit a newer or larger boat in the future. Consider investing in an adjustable bunk instead so that you are free to alter the dimension as needed if you buy a new boat. It saves you the cost of having to replace the entire bunk system later.
What Kind Of Maintenance Will The Lift Require?
Most any boat lift is going to require some degree of maintenance on a regular basis. You'll need to monitor the cables that control the height of the lift, because any damage to the cables can lead to a seized lift. The cables can loosen under the water as well. This can leave you with an uneven lift that tips your boat. Spray the cables regularly with a water-resistant lubricant so that you minimize friction, because that friction contributes to many of the cable problems. This is particularly important in saltwater environments because the salt can damage the cables otherwise. The lift itself should be lubricated regularly, and the winches need to be monitored for any signs of wear or binding.
The more you understand about choosing and maintaining a boat lift, the better position you'll be in when you reach out to a marine contractor to construct your boathouse. You can keep your boat secure and enjoy your new waterfront property to the fullest extent possible.