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As a responsible boat owner, you know the importance of boat maintenance and preservation. You’re ready to take the steps to ensure your boat stays in working order for the long haul. 

One of those steps is purchasing and installing a lift to keep your boat out of harm’s way. There are different types of marine boat lifts that work best in different situations. Here are the most common types and why they might be right for you.

1. Suspended Lifts

Sometimes referred to as pile mount lifts, these are lifts that are attached directly to a dock or piling structure. These lifts are only viable when a sturdy, permanent dock or pile is available. They are typically more heavy-duty and are considered more permanent than their counterparts. 

It is common to see this type of lift in larger marinas or on larger bodies of water with public access boat slips and docks. Suspended lifts purchase and installation can be cost-prohibitive to many boat owners to install, though, especially when a piling system has to be put in, as well.

2. Freestanding Lifts

These are lifts that are supported by their own legs installed at the bottom of your lake. They tend to work less well when your bottom is uneven, soft, or too deep. A good rule of thumb is 2 to 10 feet of depth for these lifts.

Freestanding lifts are ideal for fixed docks as they can be installed to butt up to the dock, quite easily. One potential drawback to this type of lift is that it will need to be removed if your body of water is likely to freeze, then reinstalled in the spring.

3. Floating Lifts

These lifts do just what you think they do. They float freely on top of the water. These lifts are popular in areas that have fluctuating water levels. They work on a ballast system as they either fill with water to lower or drain to lift your boat off the surface.

The low cost and ease of use make floating lifts the most popular lift type. A couple of downsides to a floating lift are that it requires electricity to run its pumps and needs to be removed for cleaning on a regular schedule as the chambers stay submerged and exposed to underwater growth.

Boat lifts are the must-own accessory for boat owners that want to keep their boats clean, safe, and ready to go. Choosing the right lift for your situation can be difficult, though. Talk to a professional to ensure you’re on the right track before making your purchase.

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