Safety Tips: The Proper Way To Operate A Boat Lift


Observing safety for boat lifts will give you a relaxing and fun boating experience. Without following safety guidelines, you can cause potential damage to your boat or boat lift, or worse, become injured due to boat lift failure. Before you sail across the sea, be sure to follow these guidelines.

Follow the maximum capacity

Boat lift manufacturers remind boat owners to follow the rated capacity of boat lifts regardless of its model. You should not exceed the recommended capacity. When determining the weight of the boat, it should also include both its published weight and the weight of water, fuel and the equipment. You should also allow approximately 500 margin of error when you are calculating the boat weight.

Even a slight difference in your calculation can get you into trouble. When it comes to weighing lift cables, you have to keep in mind that they are usually higher than the rating of your lift rack. For instance, if your lift has 4000 rating, the cables could be rated for 9000. The cable rating will also depend on its condition. So if it is in perfect shape, its load capacity might be reduced.

Cables that are in perfect shape means that there is no hidden corrosion, frayed wire or burr. Aside from the cables, the racks are also rated for its labeled weight regardless of the ratings of the cable. If you are being offered a 4000 lift and assured that it can accommodate up to 4500 worth of load, do not allow yourself to fall prey to this scheme. It is important that the load is properly balanced when placed on the rack to ensure boat lift safety.

Cables on boat lifts can fail without showing some visible signs

You might be waiting for your boat lift cables to display signs of wear before you take necessary action. Unfortunately, your cables will fail without a warning. Once you hear a loud snap, it means that your boat is about to hit the water. If there is a storm, be sure that you get your boat above the water. It should be as high as possible. You need to observe proper safety procedures and raising your water vessel until the lifting rack or platform hits the frame is a big no-no. This is a common occurrence that you should avoid. Take time to assess the situation and the condition of your boat lift cable.

Exercise care when using lift motors

An electric motor provides a faster and easier way to lift your boat. However, you will still need to use a lift motor with care to prevent breaking a cable. If not used correctly, you can cause a frame and lift rack to jam together. Cable failure can cause boat or lift damage, personal injury or other worse outcome. Once the rack hits the frame or any immovable object, the issue will backfire with your cables. A damaged lift cable and a rack hitting a lift frame spell disaster.

What to do with a jammed rack?

You need to take immediate steps upon realizing that you have a jammed rack. First, you need to know which way your motor turns when you relieve the pressure by flipping the switch. The damage will occur if the rack fails to go down. If the problem is with the broken cable, your water vessel will go down fast. When you turn the motor or winch in the wrong direction, it is an indication that your boat is not floating but in the water.

boat lifts

Once you have positioned the boat properly, you need to line the boat up in the same position and location each you are placing the boat in the lift.