Choosing the Right Boat Lift for Saltwater vs. Freshwater Environments

Choosing the right boat lift is a pivotal decision that profoundly influences the longevity and condition of your boat. This choice becomes even more significant when considering the diverse challenges saltwater and freshwater environments present. Each environment exerts different stresses on boat lifts, necessitating a detailed selection process to ensure the lift you choose meets your needs and effectively withstands the elements. This article is designed to guide boat owners towards making an informed decision, focusing on the offerings from IMM Quality Boat Lifts, renowned for its unparalleled quality and exemplary reputation in the boat lift industry.

Large boathouse with IMM Quality custom boat lifts requires little to no boat lift maintenance

Understanding the Environment: A Comparative Analysis

Selecting a boat lift requires understanding the distinct characteristics of saltwater and freshwater environments and how they impact boat lifts.

  • Saltwater Environments: The corrosive nature of saltwater demands boat lifts constructed with materials that can withstand such aggressive conditions. IMM Quality Boat Lifts designs saltwater boat lifts with marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel to ensure durability and resistance to corrosion, making them some of the best boat lifts for saltwater available on the market.
  • Freshwater Environments: While freshwater is less corrosive, boat lifts still require high-quality materials to prevent rust and ensure longevity. IMM Quality Boat Lifts offers solutions that stand as the best freshwater boat lift options, designed to maintain their integrity and appearance over time.

Material Considerations: Selecting the Right Build

The choice of materials is paramount in ensuring the durability and efficiency of your boat lift. IMM Quality Boat Lifts utilizes materials of unparalleled quality for saltwater and freshwater environments, ensuring that every lift provides the protection and longevity boat owners require. Whether elevating boats or jet skis, the company’s products are designed with the boat owner in mind, offering unparalleled quality and convenience.

Maintenance and Care: Ensuring Longevity

Regular maintenance is essential for extending the life of your boat lift, regardless of the environment. IMM Quality Boat Lifts designs its lifts with ease of maintenance in mind, ensuring boat owners can easily care for their lifts to prevent salt corrosion in saltwater environments and combat algae growth and mechanical wear in freshwater.

Customization for Your Needs: Finding the Perfect Fit

IMM Quality Boat Lifts understands that customization enhances the utility and efficiency of a boat lift. The company offers adjustable settings and features tailored to meet the specific needs of your boat or PWC, ensuring a perfect fit for your boating experience. Whether you require a lift for a unique hull design, distinctive accessories, or a particular weight capacity, IMM Quality Boat Lifts provides the convenience, quality, and protection your vessel deserves.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Choice With IMM Quality Boat Lifts

Choosing the right boat lift is essential when protecting your boat and enhancing your boating experience. With IMM Quality Boat Lifts, boat owners can access various products known for their quality, durability, and customization options. From saltwater boat lifts designed to withstand the harshest environments to freshwater lifts that offer supreme protection and longevity, IMM Quality Boat Lifts stands as a leader in the industry, dedicated to protecting your boat and ensuring your access to the water is always convenient and reliable.

 For more information, contact one of our representatives.

Decking Decisions: Exploring Boat Lift Decking Options from IMM Quality Boat Lifts

imm boat lifts

Creating the perfect boat lift involves several important decisions, one of which is choosing the right decking. IMM Quality Boat Lifts, a renowned manufacturer in the boating industry, offers a variety of decking options to cater to diverse needs and preferences. This article delves into these options, discussing their features, benefits, and suitability for different applications.

Cut Out vs. Non Cut Out Decking:

Before we start exploring the variety of options available for decking, it is important to discuss the difference between Cut Outs vs. Non Cut Outs. The best way to convey the difference is to check out these two examples:

Cut Out Example: As you can see below, the cut outs are customized to the size and shape of your boat allowing you to easily get on and off of the boat

Non-Cut Out Example: In this example, there is no cut out so the boat literally rests on top of the decking of your lift. This provides a seamless aesthetic blend, making it appear as part of the dock.

Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is a popular choice for boat lifts, especially for those manufactured by IMM Quality Boat Lifts. Known for its durability and resistance to corrosion, aluminum decking is ideal for marine environments. It’s lightweight yet strong, ensuring that the boat lift can handle heavy loads without compromising stability.

Advantages:

  • Corrosion Resistance: Aluminum naturally resists rust and corrosion, making it perfect for saltwater environments.
  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep compared to other materials.
  • Durability: Withstands heavy loads and harsh weather conditions.
  • Suitability: Ideal for boat owners who want a durable, long-lasting solution with minimal maintenance.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is another excellent choice, combining the aesthetics of wood with the durability of plastic. It’s a composite material made from wood fibers and recycled plastics, offering a more environmentally friendly option.

Advantages:

  • Eco-Friendly: Made from recycled materials.
  • Aesthetics: Offers the appearance of wood without the upkeep.
  • Durability: Resistant to rot, decay, and marine borers.
  • Suitability: Best for those who prefer a wooden look but want a more durable and environmentally friendly material.

PVC Decking

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) decking is a synthetic option that offers superior water resistance. It’s a popular choice for boat lifts due to its ability to withstand the moist, marine environment without rotting, warping, or splintering.

Advantages:

  • Water Resistance: Excellent for marine environments.
  • Low Maintenance: Easy to clean and requires no sealing or staining.
  • Variety of Styles: Available in various colors and textures.
  • Suitability: Suitable for boat owners who prioritize water resistance and low maintenance.

Hardwood Decking

For those who prefer natural materials, hardwood decking is an attractive option. Woods like teak, mahogany, or ipe are commonly used for their durability and natural resistance to water and decay.

Advantages:

  • Natural Beauty: Offers a classic, timeless look.
  • Strength: High durability and load-bearing capacity.
  • Resistant to Elements: Naturally resistant to water, decay, and insects.
  • Suitability: Perfect for those who value aesthetics and are willing to invest in regular maintenance.

Pressure-Treated Wood Decking

Pressure-treated wood is a cost-effective option that undergoes a chemical treatment to resist rot, decay, and termites. While not as durable as hardwood, it’s a good choice for those on a budget.

Advantages:

  • Cost-Effective: More affordable than hardwood or composite options.
  • Durability: Treated to resist environmental factors.
  • Versatility: Can be painted or stained to match preferences.
  • Suitability: Ideal for budget-conscious boat owners who still want a durable decking option.

Grated Decking

Tan and grey open architecture perforated decking for durable floating boat docks and gangways

Grated decking is a unique option that offers excellent drainage and air circulation. Made from materials like fiberglass or plastic (glass filled polypropylene), it’s lightweight and provides a non-slip surface. The two major brands we typically use are ThruFlow and Sure Step. Keep in mind that if you add too much wood to your decking, we have seen instances where the decking and portions of the dock tend to float making the lift difficult to use.

Advantages:

  • Drainage: Allows water to pass through easily, preventing pooling.
  • Non-Slip: Provides a safe, slip-resistant surface.
  • Lightweight: Adds minimal weight to the boat lift.
  • Suitability: Great for those who prioritize safety and require efficient water drainage.

Custom Decking Solutions

IMM Quality Boat Lifts also offers custom decking solutions for clients with specific needs or preferences. This can include unique materials, custom colors, or specific designs tailored to individual requirements.

Advantages:

  • Personalization: Tailored to meet specific aesthetic and functional needs.
  • Unique Designs: Allows for creative freedom in decking choices.
  • Integration: Seamlessly integrates with the boat lift’s design and function.
  • Suitability: Ideal for those seeking a bespoke solution that aligns with their personal style or functional needs.

Conclusion

The decking on a boat lift is not just a functional component; it’s also an aesthetic choice that can enhance the overall appearance and value of your boating setup. IMM Quality Boat Lifts offers a wide range of decking options to suit various tastes, requirements, and budgets. From the durability of aluminum and PVC to the natural beauty of hardwood, each material has its unique advantages. By considering factors like environment, maintenance, budget, and personal preference, boat owners can select the perfect decking to complement their IMM Quality Boat Lift and ensure years of reliable and enjoyable use.  For more information you can contact us here.

Dockside Elegance: Enhancing Waterfront Living with IMM Boat Lift Accessories

dockside elegance img

Living by the water is a dream for many, offering serene views, direct access to aquatic activities, and a unique lifestyle. For waterfront homeowners, the inclusion of a boat lift is not just a matter of convenience, but also an opportunity to add a touch of elegance and style to their property. IMM Quality Boat Lifts stand out in this realm, offering not only superior functionality but also contributing significantly to the aesthetic appeal of dockside living.

Dockside Elegance: Enhancing Waterfront Living with IMM Quality Boat Lifts

The Aesthetic Appeal of IMM Quality Boat Lifts

When it comes to waterfront properties, every element counts in creating a harmonious and visually appealing environment. IMM Quality Boat Lifts are designed with this in mind, offering sleek lines and a clean appearance that complements any waterfront setting. Our boat lifts come in a variety of designs and finishes, allowing homeowners to choose a style that best matches their personal taste and the architectural design of their property.

Customization and Design Flexibility for your Boat Lift

One of the key features of IMM Quality Boat Lifts is their customization options. Whether you have a small personal watercraft or a large yacht, these lifts can be tailored to fit your specific needs. The customization goes beyond just size and capacity; it includes a range of materials and colors. This flexibility ensures that the boat lift integrates seamlessly with your dock, enhancing the overall look and feel of your waterfront space.

Durability and Quality

While aesthetics are important, durability and quality are equally vital. IMM Quality Boat Lifts are known for their robust construction and use of high-grade materials, ensuring that they withstand the test of time and harsh marine environments. The quality of these boat lifts means they maintain their appearance for years, contributing to the lasting beauty of your dockside area.

Seamless Integration with Waterfront Landscaping

A well-designed boat lift should complement the surrounding landscape, not detract from it. IMM Quality Boat Lifts are designed to blend in with their environment. Whether your waterfront home features a modern design or a more traditional look, these lifts can be integrated in a way that enhances the natural beauty of the area. This seamless integration is key in maintaining the tranquil and picturesque setting that waterfront living offers.

Enhancing Property Value

Beyond the immediate visual appeal, installing an IMM Quality Boat Lift can also increase the value of your waterfront property. A stylish and functional boat lift is an attractive feature for potential buyers, signaling a well-maintained and thoughtfully designed property. This investment not only improves your current living experience but also pays dividends in the future should you decide to sell your home.

Read more- 10 Reasons to Enhance Your Boat Lift with Accessories.

Safety and Convenience

Aside from the aesthetic benefits, IMM Quality Boat Lifts offer practical advantages. They provide a safe and convenient way to store your boat, protecting it from water damage, algae growth, and potential storm damage. This practicality, combined with the elegant design of the lifts, enhances your waterfront lifestyle, allowing you to enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities of living by the water with greater peace of mind. Safety Tips: The Proper Way To Operate A Boat Lift .

Creating a Cohesive Look

For those who are attentive to detail, IMM Quality Boat Lifts also offer the opportunity to create a cohesive look along your waterfront. Accessories such as dock lights, stairs, cover heads, beam vs. beamless and railings can be matched with the style of your boat lift, creating a unified and elegant appearance. This attention to detail sets apart your waterfront property as a paragon of dockside elegance.

Ready to Make Your Boatlift Beautiful? IMM Boat Lifts Has Plenty of Options for Making Your Boat Lift Look Amazing.

Powerhead Covers

Although the main benefit of covering the powerheads that control your boatlift is to protect and extend the life of your boat lift, these covers can also add a nice aesthetic, turning your dock and lift into a waterfront oasis.
covering the powerheads that control your boatlift is to protect and extend the life of your boat lift, these covers can also add a nice aesthetic, turning your dock and lift into a waterfront oasis.

Boat Lift Styles – Beams vs. Beamless

For those that do not want to obstruct your waterfront views, you can choose a style of boatlift without beams. Top beams can sometimes get in the way of that perfect sunset. Our beamless lifts attach the powerheads to four plings, instead of top beams, so you can still get your watercraft out of the water while enjoying your views. Another option we offer are our elevator lifts since this type of lift doesn’t require pilings at all.
Boat Lift Styles - Beams vs. Beamless

Custom Decking

If you want to blend in the deck to match your boat lift cradle, there are options. We offer a variety of different decking options, so you can match the dock decking for a seamless look. This can be installed using a low-profile method, with the cradle decked over, essentially hiding your boat lift’s top beams.
Custom Boat Lift Decking

Add Color To Our Aluminator Lifts

Using a powder coating technique, you can add color to the aluminum structure of your boat lift. Whether you want to match the color of your boat or home, you can literally send the color code of your choice. In the photo below, you can see how we powder coated the powerheads and cradles white and light blue to match the hull of the boat.
Using a powder coating technique, you can add color to the aluminum structure of your boat lift. Whether you want to match the color of your boat or home, you can literally send the color code of your choice. In the photo below, you can see how we powder coated the powerheads and cradles white and light blue to match the hull of the boat.

Install a Canopy

Add your own style with a custom canopy for you boat lift. Not only will it protect your boat from elements like the sun, bird poop, rain and other environmental damage, but it also spruces up the look of your lift.
Boat Lift Canopy

Go All Out with a Boathouse

If you prefer to bypass the canopy and take it to the next level, you can construct a full-fledged boathouse for the ultimate upgrade. Check out this two boat garage which has two Superlifts that have had their cradles decked over.
Building a Boathouse

Time to Get Tiki With It

If entertaining is your thing, then why not go all out and add a nice Tiki Hut. Adding a Tiki Hut can expand your seating, and kick off happy hour dockside with the convenience of a bar.
Adding a Tiki Hut can expand your seating, and kick off happy hour dockside with the convenience of a bar.

Conclusion

In conclusion, IMM Quality Boat Lifts offer much more than just functionality; they are a key element in creating an elegant and stylish waterfront living experience. With their customizable design, quality construction, and ability to integrate seamlessly with your property’s aesthetics, these lifts are an essential addition for anyone looking to enhance the beauty and value of their waterfront home. Embrace the elegance and enjoy the practical benefits that come with choosing IMM Quality Boat Lifts for your dockside living.  If you still have questions about all the customization you can contact us here.

Elevate Your Water Adventures: Exploring Boat Lifts for Small Boats, Kayaks, and Personal Watercraft

elevate your water adventures cover image

When it comes to watercraft ownership, boat lifts are an essential investment for individuals who own small boats, kayaks, or personal watercrafts. These ingenious systems not only provide convenience but also offer numerous benefits such as protection against water damage, increased longevity of vessels, and hassle-free maintenance. In this article, we will explore the world of boat lifts, their types, advantages, and considerations for choosing the right one for your small watercraft.

1. The Importance of Boat Lifts

Owning a small boat, kayak, or personal watercraft often means dealing with the challenges of storage and maintenance. Boat lifts offer an effective solution by raising your watercraft out of the water when not in use. This elevation eliminates concerns related to exposure to marine growth, hull damage caused by floating debris, and the corrosive effects of saltwater. By keeping your vessel out of the water, you can significantly extend its lifespan and reduce maintenance costs.

2. Types of Boat Lifts

Boat lifts come in various types, each designed to cater to specific watercraft and docking situations. The most common types for small boats, kayaks, and personal watercraft include:

a) Vertical Boat Lifts: Ideal for small boats and watercraft, these lifts elevate the vessel straight up out of the water, saving space and allowing easy access for boarding.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

b) Floating Dock Lifts: Designed for kayaks and personal watercraft, these lifts feature a floating platform that supports and raises the watercraft out of the water. They are versatile and can adapt to changing water levels.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

c) PWC Lifts: Specifically designed for personal watercraft, these lifts often come with adjustable bunks or cradles to secure the watercraft. They are compact, easy to use, and protect your valuable personal watercraft from the elements.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

d) Dual PWC Jet Ski Lifts: For those who own multiple personal watercraft, a dual PWC jet ski lift is an excellent solution. These lifts are specifically designed to accommodate two jet skis simultaneously, providing efficient storage and easy access to both watercraft. Dual PWC lifts come in various configurations, including side-by-side lifts or lifts with a shared platform.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

e) Kayak Lifts: These lifts are designed to provide a simple solution for getting kayaks in and out of the water quickly. We have three generations of engineering experience, which has been utilized to create kayak dock lifts that are user-friendly, space-efficient, and durable enough to last a lifetime.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

f) Ascension Stair Lift: This revolutionary lift offers convenient water access with an adjustable height boarding platform attached to a set of stairs with self-leveling steps. The boarding platform is capable of going both above and below your deck height.

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane

3. Advantages of Boat Lifts for Smaller Watercrafts

Investing in a boat lift offers a multitude of advantages for small boat, kayak, and personal watercraft owners:

  1. Protection from the Elements: Boat lifts keep your watercraft safely elevated, protecting them from damage caused by wind, waves, and harsh weather conditions.
  2. Easy Access and Docking: With a boat lift, launching and docking your watercraft becomes a breeze. You can quickly and conveniently access your vessel without the need for ramps or trailers.
  3. Reduced Maintenance: By keeping your boat or watercraft out of the water, you can minimize maintenance requirements such as cleaning, painting, and bottom maintenance, saving both time and money.
  4. Increased Security: Boat lifts deter theft and unauthorized use, as your watercraft is securely elevated out of reach when not in use.

4. Choosing the Right Boat Lift

Selecting the appropriate boat lift for your small boat, kayak, or personal watercraft is crucial. Consider the following factors before making a purchase:

  1. Weight Capacity: Ensure the lift can safely support the weight of your watercraft. You can use our handy Boat Lift Capacity Calculator to help determine the best boat lift for your watercraft.
  2. Size and Dimensions: Choose a lift that accommodates the length, width, and height of your vessel.
  3. Water Conditions: Take into account the water depth, current, and fluctuation when selecting a boat lift to ensure stability and functionality.
  4. Ease of Use: Look for lifts with user-friendly features such as remote controls, automatic leveling, and adjustable settings for convenience.

Conclusion

Investing in a boat lift is a wise decision for small boats, kayaks, and personal watercraft owners. These lifts provide numerous benefits, including protection against damage, reduced wear and tear, along with just making it more enjoyable to use your watercraft. If you need help choosing the best boat lift for your requirements, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Installing a Boat Lift Cable

blog install boat lift
Boat lift cables are important components in a boat lift. They can encounter catastrophic failure when you do not install them correctly or when you do not maintain them well. With the different sizes, models, and brands of boat lifts on the market, it is appropriate to consult a professional and licensed boat lift technician before you buy or install a new boat lift cable.
If your boat lift needs new cables, you might be curious about how to properly install them or how the boatlift technicians will do it for you.
This article defines a boat lift cable, introduces the types of boat lift cables, guides you on the right installation procedure, and lists important tips for maintenance.
blog install boat lift1

What is a Boat Lift Cable?

Boat lift cables, also called hoist wires or cables, connect the lifting mechanism to the cradles that pick up the boat. They allow the boat or watercraft to be lowered and raised whenever you need them.
The lift cables will always wear down with time and will need to be replaced.  It does not matter what type of lift cable you choose as they will wear out with time. The duration before you replace the cables will depend on the type of cable, the type of lift, performance of proper maintenance and how often you use the lift. Replacing worn lift cables is a necessary part of owning a boat lift, like changing the tires on your car.

Types of Boat Lift Cables

There are many types of boat lift cables. Some are made from galvanized steel cable while most boat lifts use 300 series stainless steel cable. Lift cables also differ in their construction and can vary in diameter as well as the number and orientation of strands used in their construction.

Galvanized Cable

Galvanized cable is more flexible and softer when compared to stainless steel cable. This makes galvanized cable more resilient to work hardening (the process where metal will break after it is repeatedly bent) and to abrasion damage. The major problem with galvanized cable is that the galvanized coating does not provide adequate protection against cable corrosion. This means you should not use the galvanized cable in salt water or submerge it for long periods in freshwater.
Although the galvanized cable has problems with rust, it is more affordable than stainless steel cable. This makes it an excellent option for freshwater boat lifts.

Stainless Steel Cable

When compared to galvanized cables of similar size, stainless steel cables can not lift as much weight. This results in stainless steel cables costing more than galvanized cables with the same weight rating. A stainless steel cable is an excellent option for saltwater boat lifts since it has better corrosion resistance than galvanized steel. The problem with stainless steel is that it is more prone to work hardening and abrasion damage. There are different grades of stainless steel cable. 304 stainless is more flexible and wear resistant than 316 stainless which has the highest corrosion resistance. It is a good idea to regularly check stainless steel cables for broken strands by gently feeling along the length of the cable while exercising lots of care to avoid cutting yourself.

Cable Construction

Boat lift cables also differ in their construction. Cables with larger diameters will be able to carry more weight. Typical boat lift cables come in 5/16″ and ⅜” diameters. Cables can be made with different strand configurations. Two common configurations used with boat lift cables are 7 x 19 and 6 x 36 construction. For a given diameter, the 6 x 36 construction will have thinner strands which will result in a more flexible cable.
blog install boat lift2

How to Install Boat Lift Cables

The boat lift cable installation process relies heavily on the type of boat lift you own. We highly recommend having a professional marine contractor install the replacement cables. They have the experience and access to specialized equipment that make the job safer and easier. For your knowledge and to assist the marine contractor please
  • Identify the type of boat lift at your home, then obtain the owner’s manual, installation manual and product specification sheet from the manufacturer. If you own an IMM Quality Boat Lift, please call (800) 545-5603 and ask to speak with technical support if you have any questions.
  • Please read the pertinent information from these documents and make sure that you fully understand the steps.
If you choose to perform the work yourself, here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a replacement boat lift cable.
    1. Obtain the correct size and length of replacement cables for your specific boat lift from the manufacturer.
Image A. The IMM Quality Boat Lift’s replacement cable comes with a fused end and a copper stop on the other end.
    1. Remove the boat / watercraft from the boat lift.
    2. Secure the cradle beams. We recommend using nylon strapping to tie the cradle beams to the top beam channel. Some marine contractors will use chain or other strapping, while others will use their barge to support the cradle beams and bunks.
Image B. During a cable replacement, the cradle beams were held above the water using chains.
    1. With the cradle beams secure, cut and remove the worn lift cables.
    2. When installing the new cable, it is easiest to start at the cable winder. The IMM Quality Boat Lift cable winder is drilled with two holes, one larger and one smaller, in line with each other. Insert the fused end of the cable into the larger hole and then through the smaller hole. Continue to pull the fused end of the cable through the winder until the copper stop bottoms out on the smaller hole.
Image C. Looking down at the IMM Quality Boat Lifts cable winder to show the two in-line holes with the larger hole towards the top (closest to viewer) of the winder.
    1. Route the cable according to the cable routing diagram provided by your manufacturer.
Image D. The cable routing diagram for an IMM Quality 10,000 pound beamless boat lift.
    1. Repeat steps 4-6 for the remaining cables. On a typical 4 post lift, each lift will have four sets of cable, two for each top beam, one for each winder. Elevator lifts only have two sets of cables, one for each powerhead.
    2. When all of the new cable has been installed, you may remove the support strapping. Allow the cradles to drop gently into the water and come to a rest on the sea bed.
    3. Raise the lift, watching to make sure that the new cable is winding properly on all of the winders. Continue to raise the lift until the cradles are out of the water.
    4. IMM Quality Boat Lifts use the patented wedge lock. The wedge lock allows you to easily adjust the cable length. Our competitors’ cables terminate with copper stops or loops attached to shackles which do not allow adjustment.
Image E. Adjusting cable length is easy with the wedge lock, whereas our competitors use non-adjustable cable terminations
  1. Use the wedge lock to adjust the cable length so that the cradle beams and bunks are level. Simply loosen the internal wedge to feed cable through in either direction. When the cradles are level, pull down on the cables to lock the wedge, securing the cable.
  2. Run the lift up and down a few times. Watch and listen carefully. You want to make sure that everything is working properly with the boat lift. Do not load a boat onto the lift until you are satisfied that everything is working properly.
Congratulations! You are all finished. You may lower the lift and put the boat back on.

Necessary Precautions to Take When Installing New Boat Lift Cable

  • Ensure you work in a safe manner at all times
  • Ensure you only use the right equipment and tools
  • Follow only the relevant instructions and drawings
  • Please review the installation to ensure it is complete and well done

Common Problems During the Installation of a Boat Lift Cable

If you install the lift cables improperly or hastily, you will likely encounter many problems with the boat lift. Make it a habit of inspecting everything when you are done with the installation. In most cases, un-smooth movements or unusual sounds will be a red flag that will enable you to detect a problem that needs to be corrected. The most common problem experienced during installation is that the cables are not wrapping properly on the winder. The cables should wind neatly and tightly within the grooves of the winder. If you notice any backlash (tangle) with the cable, do not try to remove it with your hands. Trying to fix backlash with your hands puts you at serious risk for injury. Simply lower the cradles, until the backlashed cable is off the winder, then slowly raise the cradles making sure the cable is winding properly.
Image F. Save your fingers! Do not try to fix backlash by pulling on the cable with your hands.
If you don’t have an IMM Quality boat lift, the most difficult part of cable installation is getting the cradles and bunks level. Most boat lift manufacturers use cables that terminate with a loop. This loop connects with a shackle, which does not allow adjustment of the cable length, making leveling your cradles very difficult.
Image G. Replacement cable with loop end. As shown on the right, the loop is attached to a “D” shackle on the boat lift.
To level the cradles on our competitor’s lifts, you need to adjust the cable length at the winder. First, you need to run the lift all the way down, so that all the cable is off the winder. Some lifts use copper stops to secure the cable to the winder and others use wire rope clips. To shorten the cable length you have to: 1. Cut of the copper stop, pull the required length of cable through the hole in the winder, put a new copper stop at the right location and crimp it securely in place, or 2. Loosen the wire rope clip, pull the required length of cable through the hole in the winder, tighten the wire rope clip to hold the cable in the new position. As you can clearly see, the patented IMM Quality Boat Lifts wedge lock makes adjusting cable length to level the cradles much easier.

Maintenance Practices after Installation of New Boat Lift Cable

After you are finished with the new cable installation, you need to make sure that you maintain them. Proper maintenance of the new boat lift cable will ensure it functions well and will prolong its lifespan.
The most important thing to do is to routinely inspect the cables for signs of damage or wear. You do not want to see any signs of rust, kinks, broken strands or any other irregularities. To help protect the strands of the cable, you can use a penetrating chain and cable spray lubricant. This will protect the internal strands from abrasion wear as well as the outer strands from corrosion.
You should also make sure that any pulleys are turning freely. Cables sawing against seized pulleys will cause great damage that may result in a catastrophic break. Frequently rinsing your lifts moving parts with fresh water to remove salt deposits will help prevent the pulleys from seizing. IMM Quality Boat Lifts uses self-lubricating bushings so no maintenance lubrication is needed with our pulleys. However, most manufacturers use pulleys that require lubrication with grease.
Even if there are no signs of wear and tear, we recommend replacing the lift cables every two years or after 200 up and down cycles, whichever comes first.

Conclusion

We hope you found this guide helpful and informative. By showing you the steps needed to install new lift cables, we hope that you will make your boat lift’s maintenance a priority.

We also hope that we have convinced you that maintaining an IMM Quality boat lift is much easier than with the competition. Our lifts were engineered to make the user experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. By only using the best possible materials, we will save you time and money by reducing the amount of maintenance you need to perform on your lift. That way you will be able to get back out on the water and enjoy yourself.

If you have any questions or need any advice about your boat lift maintenance, please don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 545-5603. Also, if you need any parts for your maintenance, our sales team will make sure that you get what you need. IMM Quality Boat Lifts. Built for a Lifetime!

Happy Boating!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Installing a Boat Lift Cable:

A boat lift cable is a wire or cable that connects the lifting mechanism to the cradles, allowing the boat to be raised or lowered as needed.

Boat lift cables can be made from galvanized steel or stainless steel, with different constructions like 7x19 or 6x36, affecting their flexibility and strength.

The installation process varies depending on the type of boat lift, but it generally involves securing the cradle beams, removing old cables, and routing new cables according to the manufacturer's diagram.

Safety is paramount, so use the right equipment, follow instructions carefully, and ensure the installation is complete and secure.

Regularly inspect the cables for damage or wear, lubricate them to protect against corrosion and abrasion, and replace them every two years or after 200 cycles.

The Ultimate Guide: How to Shop for a Boat Lift

pontoon vs triple pontoon boats image

Owning a boat is a dream come true for many water enthusiasts. To protect your investment and make your boating experience more convenient, a boat lift is an essential accessory. A boat lift provides safe storage, easy access, and protects your boat from water damage and corrosion. However, with a wide variety of boat lifts available in the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. In this article, we will guide you through the process of shopping for a boat lift, ensuring that you make an informed decision.

Determine Your Needs:

  • Before diving into the boat lift shopping process, it’s crucial to assess your requirements. Consider factors such as the size and weight of your boat, the water conditions, and any specific features you desire in a boat lift. Determine if you need a lift for fresh or saltwater, as the requirements may vary.

Understand Different Types of Boat Lifts:

superlift 44 freemen 2 edit
superlift 44 freemen 2
  • Boat lifts come in various types, each designed to cater to specific needs. The most common types include:
    • Vertical Boat Lifts: The industry standard is ideal for most water conditions and dock configurations. These lifts hoist the boat vertically. At IMM Quality our vertical boat lift can be easily identified by its parallel upper beams with a covered powerhead. Each beam contains a motor-driven shaft through their length. These are what controls the winding of the four cables. The other end of the cables connect to the four corners of the boat cradle, which can then be used to raise or lower the boat by rotating the shaft.
    • Elevator Boat Lifts: These are typically the solution if you have restricted access to waterfronts. For example, these are common on narrow canals, where outboard pilings are not an option, or where the bottom surface is too hard to drive pilings into it.
    • Specialty Boat Lifts: At IMM Quality we have seen it all, which is why we can provide custom boat lift solutions for instances where Vertical Lifts or Elevator Lifts are not an option. Three of our popular specialty lifts are Beamless Lifts, for those that do not want top beams, Trident Lifts, our 3-Pole design suited for corner canal lots, and Marine Railway Lifts which are ideal for beach access.
    • PWC Lifts: If you own a personal watercraft or jet ski, a PWC lift is specifically designed for you. They provide easy access to your watercraft and protect it from the elements.

Consider Weight Capacity and Size:

  • Ensure that the boat lift you choose can handle the weight and size of your boat. Exceeding the lift’s capacity can lead to accidents and potential damage to your boat. Take accurate measurements of your boat’s length, width, and weight to find a lift that matches these specifications. You can use our Boat Lift Capacity Calculator to help determine what you will need.

Evaluate Construction and Material Quality:

  • Look for boat lifts made of durable, corrosion-resistant materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. These materials ensure longevity and require minimal maintenance. Pay attention to the design and engineering of the lift. Does the lift have stepped channel, grooved winders, wedge-locks and other machined parts that enhance the lift’s durability and ease of use?

Safety Features:

  • Safety should be a top priority when shopping for a boat lift. Look for features such as a secure and stable cradle system, reliable pulleys, adjustable bunk brackets, and reliable drive systems. Additional safety options like remote controls and automatic stop mechanisms add convenience and peace of mind.

Consider the Installation Process:

  • Evaluate the installation requirements of the boatlift you are considering. Some lifts may require professional installation, while others offer DIY options. Consider the ease of installation, any additional costs involved, and if the manufacturer provides clear instructions or support.

Research Manufacturers and Reviews:

  • Before making a final decision, research reputable boat lift manufacturers and read customer reviews. Look for manufacturers with a proven track record of producing high-quality boat lifts and excellent customer service. Real-life experiences shared by boat owners can provide valuable insights into the performance and reliability of different boat lift models.

Conclusion:

Investing in a boat lift is an important decision to protect your beloved watercraft and enhance your boating experience. By understanding your needs, exploring different types of boat lifts, considering weight capacity, evaluating construction quality, prioritizing safety features, and researching manufacturers, you can confidently choose the boat lift that best suits your requirements. Remember, a well-chosen boat lift will not only safeguard your boat but also save you money and provide a more enjoyable boating experience.

Comparing Tritoon vs Pontoon Boats: Which is Best For You?

tritoon vs pontoon featured

Tritoon Boats vs Pontoon Boats

As you might already know or expect, pontoon and tritoon boats are very similar flat-bottomed boats with the tritoon having one extra hull in the middle.

This extra hull in the middle allows for bigger and heavier boats with more stability and speed potential, but also at a higher cost. We’ll review the pros and cons of each along with potential use cases so you can make the best decision on which boat is best for your needs.

Tritoon Boats

Differences in Structure, Design, and Use: Pontoon vs Triple Pontoon Boats

First, let’s review why you might want a pontoon boat over other more traditional fiberglass hull boats:

Pontoon boats offer great stability, plenty of seating, and a smooth ride, making them ideal for recreational use. For fishing, they provide an open floor plan. For cruising, they are spacious and can allow for more people. Pontoon tubes are generally round and smooth which fits with their slower pace and preferred activities. When fishing or swimming, the soft and round tubes of a pontoon are less obtrusive.

Tritoon boats are an extra option for pontoon lovers who want more power and performance. The three pontoon tubes offer extra stability in choppy waters, which makes them better for wakeboarding, skiing, and other water sports. They also track better than pontoon boats and offer higher top speeds. They are usually shaped like an upside-down V, which helps them knife through the water and be more aerodynamic. While this may seem like a small difference, it does lend itself to faster boating activities like wakeboarding.

Materials of Pontoon Construction

One consideration may be the materials that the pontoon itself is made of. Some pontoons use a more flexible material such as polyethylene or kevlar that is softer and allows for a smoother ride. It also makes transportation potentially easier. The downside to these flexible materials is that they may require more maintenance and there is a slightly higher risk of puncture over time.

Alternatively, you can consider a rigid steel or aluminum hull pontoon. Aluminum is very lightweight and will never rust, but it’s generally softer than steel and can be more easily dented or compromised. Aluminum also can’t be easily undented should it hit a rocky bottom.

Steel is the strongest material. It’s also the heaviest. Even the best steel can eventually rust, so keeping up to date on paint and sealers becomes important to longevity.

Ultimately, there are many materials that pontoons can be made of. Knowing your use frequency and expectations of how long you keep the boat will be important factors in deciding which is best for you.

Traditional Pontoon Boat

When comparing pontoon vs tritoon boats, it’s important to keep in mind your budget and the type of water activities you plan to do. If you’re looking for a recreational boat, a double pontoon is likely the best choice as it is more affordable and offers plenty of seating and stability. However, if you want a high-performance boat that can handle wakeboarding or skiing, tritoon may be the better option for you. If you’re unsure which pontoon type is right for you, talking to an experienced dealer can help make sure you get just what you need. No matter which pontoon type you choose, they are all great options and offer opportunities for fun and relaxation on the water.

Tritoon Boats,Tritoon vs Pontoon Boats,benefits of tritoon vs pontoon,what are the advantages of a tritoon over a pontoon,difference between pontoon and tritoon

Cruising in Comfort: Benefits of Owning a Pontoon vs Tritoon Boat

Pontoon boats with only two tubes are perfect for those who enjoy leisurely activities like fishing, swimming, and cruising on a calm lake. They offer great stability and plenty of seating space, so you can bring your family or friends along for a relaxing ride on the lake. Plus, pontoon boats require less horsepower than tritoon boats, making them an economical choice.

Tritoon boats, on the other hand, are designed for more powerful activities such as wakeboarding, tubing, and skiing. The third tube offers extra stability in rough water, so you can perform these activities with confidence. A triple-tube pontoon boat also tracks better than a boat with just two tubes and offers higher top speeds.

Tritoon vs Pontoon – Main Differences between the Two Boats: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Pontoon Boats

  • Lower Cost
  • Plenty of seating
  • Smooth ride
  • Easier Transport
  • Less horsepower required
  • Not suitable for choppy water or high-performance activities

Tritoon Boats

  • Three tubes offer extra stability in rough water
  • Tracks better than pontoon boats and offers higher top speeds
  • Larger Cargo and People Capacities
  • Suitable for wakeboarding, tubing, and skiing
  • More expensive and requires more horsepower

Cost Differences of a Pontoon vs. Tritoon Boat

The average pontoon boat starts at around $20,000 and can reach as high as $60,000 or more depending on features.

Compare that to the starting cost of a Tritoon boat which starts at around $35,000 and can easily top $85,000 depending on the build sheet.

As Tritoon boats can carry more, there are generally more accessories and larger engine options available that will contribute to the costs.

Pontoon vs Tritoon Motor Options & Power Requirements

Pontoon boats usually require less horsepower than tritoon boats. This is because pontoon tubes are typically narrower and the pontoon boat is designed for more leisurely activities. Pontoon boats with two tubes often come equipped with outboard motors ranging from 25-50 HP, while tritoon boats generally require at least 50 HP and can accommodate engines up to 300 HP.

Whether you opt for a pontoon or tritoon, make sure the motor size is suitable for your needs. Consider factors like boat weight, type of activities, and water conditions before making a decision. Both boats come with many different motor options, so there’s bound to be one that fits your specific requirements.

Tritoon vs Pontoon Storage Space & Amenities

Pontoon boats and tritoon boats come with different amenities and storage options. Pontoon boats are usually larger than tritoon boats, so they offer more seating capacity as well as additional features like dockside bars and built-in grills. Tritoon boats are generally smaller in size, but they make up for it with powerful motors that allow you to perform high-performance activities with ease.

When it comes to storage space, pontoon boats tend to have more room due to their larger size. They typically include plenty of cubbies and compartments for storing your gear, drinks, and other items. A pontoon with three tubes will also provide adequate storage space, but you may need to get creative if you plan on bringing a lot of items with you.

Tritoon vs Pontoon Storage Space & Amenities

Maximize Your Boating Experience with a Boat Lift

Regardless of whether you choose a Tritoon or Pontoon boat, a boat lift can greatly enhance your boating experience. While these two types of boats may have different features, designs, and benefits, they both can benefit from the added convenience and protection offered by an elevator lift.

A boat lift is a smart investment for any boater, as it provides a convenient way to get your boat in and out of the water. A boat lift eliminates the need for manual labor, making it easier to launch and retrieve your boat. Additionally, using an elevator lift helps to protect your boat from damage caused by exposure to the elements, seawater, and marine growth, prolonging the lifespan of your boat and reducing maintenance costs in the long run.

Whether you own a Tritoon or Pontoon boat, a boat lift is a great choice for maximizing your time on the water. The added convenience and protection offered by these lifts can make boating more enjoyable and effortless, allowing you to spend less time and energy launching and retrieving your boat, and more time enjoying the water.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts has pre-designed solutions to ensure your pontoon or tritoon boat is lifted with precision and care. No matter the material or shape of your boat’s pontoons and hull, we have simple solutions that will suit your needs.

Wrapping Up: Which Pontoon Boat is Best For You?

When deciding between pontoon and tritoon boats, it’s important to consider your budget, needs, and preferences. Pontoon boats offer great stability and plenty of seating for recreational activities, while tritoon boats provide more power and performance for wakeboarding, tubing, and skiing. Ultimately, the best pontoon boat for you is the one that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle the best.

It’s also important to do your research before buying a new pontoon boat or tritoon boat. Read reviews, ask questions, and compare different models to make sure you find the right fit for you. With proper research and planning, you can be sure to get a pontoon or tritoon that will provide years of fun.

The Do’s and Don’t of Floating Boat Lifts

floating boat lifts blog

Curious to learn more about the dos and don'ts of floating boat lifts? A Floating Docks and Gangways provides a sleek, low-profile dock and lift combination that is ideal for lakefront communities.

A floating boat lift is buoyant and sits along the surface of the water, as opposed to a fixed dock that is supported by permanent structure (i.e., pilings, seawall, rip rap, etc.). This makes a floating boat lift the perfect solution for conditions where the tide fluctuates significantly or where local regulations restrict the installation of fixed docks.

A valued partner of IMM Quality Boat Lifts, Nelson Marine Construction offers a variety of patented floating boat lifts, including this stable, dependable 7,000-pound capacity NelSun series. The mechanisms are custom-engineered by IMM Quality Boat Lifts and also feature luxurious Azek vinyl decking and fascia.

Located in Bonita Springs, Nelson Marine Construction is owned and operated by lifelong Southwest Florida residents.

This fully licensed and insured company has 40 years of experience and an impeccable reputation for quality workmanship and customer satisfaction. They provide customers with a variety of floating docks and boat lift options. Many feature IMM Quality Boat Lifts engineering and manufacturing for dependability and longevity.

The photo above shows how the boat lift is integrated into the floating dock structure. The lift is supported by cross beams reinforced with sturdy gussets, all hidden under the decking of the floating dock. Removable panels provide access to the lift during installation and for maintenance.

Beyond being stable, floating boat lifts are more affordable than one might expect. Just think about it! You won’t have to pay to have pilings driven, which is a significant savings. However, it is extremely important to use a quality contractor like Nelson Marine Construction, who knows how to properly secure your floating boat lift and dock.

For the professionals, floating boat lifts are fast and easy to install. They also require less labor, hardware and accessories than other boat lift options.

The Dos and Don’ts of Floating Boat Lifts in 8 Easy Steps

According to the experts at IMM Quality Boat Lifts, the dos and don'ts of floating boat lifts are simple. For anyone who has purchased an IMM Quality floating boat lift, here are the steps to ensure you are using your boat lift safely and efficiently.

Step #1: Do make sure the floating lift is properly anchored to the shore. This will ensure that it doesn't move or shift around during use.
Step #2: Do make sure the lift capacity is sufficient for your boat.
Step #3: Do make sure the boat is properly centered on the lift cradles. This will help keep the floating dock level in the water.
Step #4: Do make sure that there is sufficient water depth for your boat at the floating dock location.
Step #5: Do not bottom out the lift cradles when lowering the lift. This accident will unspool the lift cables, potentially snarling them and will prevent the cables from winding properly within the grooves.
Step #6: Do not power your boat onto the lift. Only float the boat on and off the lift cradles.
Step #7: Do raise the boat lift until your watercraft is entirely out of the water. Be sure to keep it stable while doing this.
Step #8: Do secure your boat to the dock while out of the water, using lines and the integrated cleats.
Step #9: Do not forget to perform annual maintenance on the boat lift.
Step #10: Do lower your boat back into the water, and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation!

Follow these dos and don'ts for floating boat lifts, and you'll be ready to quickly head for open waters with your family!

Feeling intrigued by the idea of a floating boat lift for your waterfront home? There are plenty of options available from which to choose. REQUEST A QUOTE and we'll give you a call!

READ MORE: Building Better Top Beams