How to Prepare your Boat and Dock for Hurricane Season

how to prepare your boat and dock for hurricane season

The key to protecting your boat and home from hurricanes is to get prepared well in advance of any threatening weather.

Hurricane season should be taken seriously, especially if you live on the Eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season starts June 1st and lasts until the end of November. While there is nothing you can do to prevent a hurricane from occurring, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to prepare your boat and dock for the conditions they may be exposed to during a tropical storm or hurricane.

Check Your Seawall

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane
By Sea Me Dive

Take a look at your seawall during low tide. If you notice any cracking, shifting or leaning of the seawall, bowing, or erosion of the ground around the seawall, it is best to get it inspected by a professional marine contractor. There are certain types of cracks which are just cosmetic. However, it takes a trained eye to know when the structural integrity of the seawall has been compromised.

Have Your Dock Inspected

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane
By Ray Ewing

If your dock is old or in bad condition, it may not be able to withstand the high winds and rough waters during severe weather. The integrity of your boat lift is only as good as the underlying structure. It is a good idea to have your dock and pilings inspected by a professional to make sure they are in good condition and will not break apart and damage your boat, house, or surrounding structures.

Make sure your home is prepared

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

The most important thing is to have an emergency preparedness plan for your family. For help creating an emergency preparedness plan, you can consult this really good guide. Next, you will want to secure your home before an impending storm hits. It goes without saying that you should install your hurricane shutters (or board up windows), sandbags and other safety devices. There are many obvious precautions to take when it comes to things outside your home. For instance, you’ll want to bring in outdoor furniture, potted plants, and anything else that may blow away in the wind or potentially harm your home or neighbors’ homes. You should think about the specific needs of your family and then assemble a disaster supplies kit.

Make Sure Your Boat is Prepared

boat on lift during hurricane,boat on lift during hurricane season,what to do with boat during hurricane
By BoatU.S.

The first thing to do is to secure your essential documents in a safe location on dry land. You will want to have photos of your vessel and home, an inventory of items in your home, an inventory of equipment on your vessel, contact phone numbers including your insurance company, copies of your insurance policies, a copy of your vehicle registrations and any other documents you deem essential. Next, you should turn off the boat’s electrical system and remove the battery. Remove any detachable equipment from the vessel to prevent breakage (such as radios, sails, canvas, cushions, dinghies, and other equipment). Lash down anything that can’t be removed, such as wheels, tillers, and booms. To prevent chafing, wrap protective covering around your lines wherever the ropes touch the boat. Seal off all windows, doors, and hatches. Finally, make sure to shut off your boat’s fuel lines.

Make Sure Your Boat is Stored Properly

To prevent or minimize damage to your boat, you must make sure it is stored properly. While the best solution is to relocate the vessel out of the storm area, this may not be practical based on personal safety factors and limited availability of time and resources. Taking it to storage on dry land, if you have that option available, will be the next safest option as the vessel will be protected from rough water and storm surge. As a rule, boats tied to docks are at higher risk than boats kept at moorings or on anchors. Floating docks are rarely strong enough to take the loads exerted on them by boats in storm conditions. In addition, if the storm surge or tides are extremely high, floating docks may simply float off the pilings which hold them in place. A boat kept at a dock can’t weathercock (face into the wind) as storm winds change direction. Therefore, the boat at a dock almost always presents more windage than a boat secured to moorings or anchors that is free to swing head to wind.

The BoatUS Marine Insurance company wrote an excellent article on preparing boats for hurricanes. It discusses the various forces that can damage your boat during a hurricane. It then discusses the pros and cons of securing your boat ashore, at dock, in hurricane holes, on high-rise storage racks, on davits, on boat lifts, on trailers, at a mooring, at anchor or both. It provides step-by-step instruction on how to position your boat and arrange the lines for each of the possibilities. It also discusses other critical points that will help minimize the potential for damage during severe weather.

How to Prepare Your Boat Lift

We do not recommend securing your boat to the boat lift during a hurricane. A boat lift is not the ideal place to store your vessel during a hurricane, as the storm surge can rise higher than your lift. Furthermore, your boat has a lot of surface area relative to the piles and will greatly increase the wind force on the piles. Leaving the boat on the lift will increase the likelihood that hurricane-force winds will break the piles (or lift them out of the seabed) and cause your lift to collapse.

Therefore, the first step of preparing your boat lift for a hurricane is to remove the boat and store it someplace safe. Once the boat is removed, raise the cradle beams as high as you can and tie off the cradles to the piles. If you have an elevator-style lift, use extra lines to secure the cradle arms to help minimize the potential for them to sway in the wind. If you think the storm surge will swamp the lift, remove the boat lift motors, gearboxes, switches, covers & store in a dry safe place. Make sure you secure the cradles to structure BEFORE removing the gearbox as the cradles will fall without the gearbox holding the cables in place.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can reinforce your lift and piles using aluminum I-beams. Bracing your lift enables you to securely lock each corner of your lift’s cradle to its piling and creates one solid structure between the four pilings and the four corners of your lift. Your cables are one of the weak points of the lift, and the bracing will also support your cradles if the cables break. To accomplish this, you run an I-beam under each lift top beam and secure them to the slip side of the piles with U-bolts, aluminum backing plates, and locknuts. Then, the cradle beams will rest on and be secured to the I-beams. Our engineers can help you size the appropriate components and provide instructions for their installation. Or if you prefer an all in one kit, they are available from companies like Swing Stoppers.

What if you have no choice but to leave the boat on the lift?

If storing your boat somewhere else is not an option, knowing the amount of storm surge (the expected height of water above normal predicted tide) is the determining factor in how to best secure your boat to the lift during a hurricane.

If you are 100% confident that the storm surge will be below the raised height of the boat, you can take the following steps. Prepare the boat and lift as described above, leaving all lift equipment installed. The most crucial factor is to create a drainage system to prevent water from collecting in the hull and overloading the lift. It is not a good idea to rely on bilge pumps and batteries for draining the water since they can become overloaded (or fail) in a storm. Remove the boat drainage plug(s), so the water can drain out by gravity, lessen the strain on the bilge pumps and prevent the lift structure from overloading. If possible, slightly tilt (1-2 inches) the boat on the lift so that the rainwater will run out of the scuppers. This is easily accomplished on IMM Quality lifts using our wedge locks or adjustable height bunk brackets. Raise the boat as high as your lift allows and tie it as tightly as you can to the lift.

If the boat lift does not go high enough to be above storm surge levels or if you are not sure, you can try the following things. Prepare the boat and lift as described above, leaving all lift equipment installed. Slightly tilt (1-2 inches) the boat on the lift so that the rainwater will run out of the scuppers. Leave the boat drainage plug(s) in place. Pray that your bilge pumps don’t fail or become overloaded by the storm. Raise your boat as high as the lift allows but do not secure the boat to the lift. Secure long ropes to anchor points (do not secure to floating docks, use pilings) in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift. It is best to tie the lines high on the pilings, so they will not be chafed if a floating dock rides up on the pilings. Instead of using loose bowlines around the pilings, use multiple clove hitches, or a clove hitch finished with two half hitches. That way, the lines will tighten on the pilings, and are unlikely to pull off even if the pilings go under. If all goes well, these steps may help keep your boat somewhat close to your boat lift.

After the Storm

There is no way any one blog post can cover all of the contingencies (for example, we have completely ignored insurance concerns), but we hope this article puts you on the right path. If you follow these tips and think about how they apply to your situation, you will be well prepared for hurricane season and can rest easier knowing your home and boat are as safe as possible. For more information on what to do once the weather clears up, please read our post “After a Storm: Inspecting Your Boat Lift and Dock”.

Get High Quality Boat Lifts Today!

At IMM Quality Boat Lifts, we are committed to building the best quality boat lifts on the market today. Our lifts are built to last a lifetime.

But more than that, we want you to enjoy being out on the water in your boat. We don’t want you wasting your time on maintenance, repairs, or even where to find the best boat shoes. Keep visiting our blog to learn all about the boating lifestyle and Boat Lifts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Preparing your Boat and Dock for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season spans from June 1st to November 30th, critically affecting those on the Eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. Preparation is key to protecting boats and docks.

Inspect your seawall at low tide for signs of cracking, shifting, or erosion, and consult a professional if you notice these indicators.

Beyond securing your property, assembling a disaster supplies kit and having a plan tailored to your family's specific needs are vital steps.

Secure essential documents, turn off the electrical system, remove detachable items, and lash down immovable parts. Consider storage options based on storm surge expectations.

Remove the boat from the lift, secure cradle beams, consider removing lift motors if a surge is expected, and brace the lift if possible.

Yacht vs Boat: What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Yacht vs Boat
All yachts are boats, but not all boats are yachts. Even so, call a yacht a boat, and the owner might get upset with you. Wait, what? Even though a yacht is technically a boat, it’s not considered to be as classy. So the owner might not be too happy if you call his pride and joy merely a ‘boat’. Okay, so what is the difference between a boat and a yacht? Let’s try to clear this up and settle the yacht vs. boat debate in your mind once and for all. You never know when you might need to use the right terminology.

Yacht vs Boat

A yacht is a type of boat that is larger and more expensive than a regular boat. It is often used for luxury purposes, such as sailing in the sun or cruising around the Mediterranean. A boat, on the other hand, is a more general term that can refer to any type of vessel. It may be smaller and less expensive than a yacht, and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as fishing, sailing, or simply transporting people or cargo. In general, ‘boat’ is a more generic term than ‘yacht’. Most people will often refer to anything from small fishing boats to large cargo ships as a boat. However, there are clearly some differences. While there is no hard and fast rule about what makes a boat a yacht, there are a few differentiating factors. Let’s take a look at them.

Size

A yacht is not usually a very small vessel. The rule isn’t hard and fast, but to qualify as a yacht, the vessel should be about 35 feet or longer. They can get pretty big, reaching up to more than 200 feet long. Though once they start getting big, they can be further qualified as mega yachts and super yachts.

Use

The use of the vessel plays a lot into whether it can be called a yacht or not. The purpose of a yacht is typically recreational. It is a vessel designed with luxury and comfort in mind. In fact, a big part of what makes a boat a yacht is how it is used. That makes sense, right? The word yacht probably conjures up images of a gleaming white boat with polished teak accents in your mind. There’s usually a comfortable interior with bedrooms (suites or cabins), bathrooms, a kitchen (galley), and a seating area (saloon). A boat, on the other hand, has a broader definition of what it can be used for. It can have recreational purposes, like fishing or cruising around a lake. But commercial fishing boats, police boats, and other boats used for work or commercial purposes would be called boats also.

Propulsion

Boats can be either motorized or nonmotorized. A nonmotorized boat might be a little fishing boat that operates under manpower. Larger boats use the wind and sails to power the vessel. There are also plenty of boats with engines. Some can even build up some pretty impressive speed on the water. However, yacht engines tend to be more powerful, and sophisticated and can go longer distances than boat engines.

Now You Know

We hope this has helped clear up some of the yachts vs. boat debate. You can probably understand now why the owner of a yacht would take offense when you call his vessel a mere ‘boat’. At least, the next time you’re wondering which term to use, you’ll have a better idea. Need a boat lift? Get a quote. To learn more interesting tidbits about boats, feel free to check out our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about a Yacht and a Boat:

A yacht is a larger and more expensive vessel used for luxury purposes, while a boat is a more general term for any type of vessel, often smaller and less expensive.

While there's no strict rule, a vessel is usually considered a yacht if it is about 35 feet or longer.

Yachts are primarily used for recreational purposes and are designed with luxury and comfort in mind, featuring amenities like bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a seating area.

Yes, boats can be either motorized or nonmotorized, ranging from small fishing boats operated by manpower to larger boats powered by wind, sails, or engines.

Yacht owners might take offense because yachts are considered more classy and luxurious than regular boats, so calling a yacht a "boat" might seem to downplay its elegance and status.

Cost of a Boat Lift vs Bottom Paint

Alumavator vertical boat lift allows this large blue high speed boat to easily launch from its boat slip
Table of Contents Are you wondering about the cost of a boat lift vs bottom paint? IMM Quality Boat Lifts can help! The true cost of boat ownership often takes first-time boat buyers by surprise. From racking up storage costs to figuring out a safe transportation plan, hidden costs can add up. From the start, boat owners must decide how they will store their boat and the options can be costly. Possibilities for boat storage include options for boats to reside in the water at a dock or marina or out of the water on a boat lift, dry storage or trailer. Boats that are stored in the water run the risk of salt corrosion, algae growth and hull blisters. To remedy this, bottom paint, also called antifoul, is applied to the bottom of the boat to discourage weeds, barnacles and other aquatic life from attaching to the boat’s hull. For boats that reside in the water year-round, applying bottom paint is a necessary process that usually occurs once every year or two. While this does spread out the cost of bottom paint, it still adds up over time. Boats stored above the water on a boat lift can avoid these issues. At the same time, boat lifts are often a large upfront investment. It may leave you wondering which option is more affordable when comparing the cost of a boat lift vs bottom paint?

How Much Does Bottom Paint Cost for Boats?

Bottom painting is one of the ongoing expenses to anticipate as a boat owner. Most expect to pay for bottom painting every 1-3 years. No matter how much time you spend washing your boat to keep it pristine, it will eventually need to be painted. That’s even if you scrub the bottom and power or acid wash it each year! Closeup of an Alumavator vertical boat lift as it holds a large blue highspeed boat Some companies charge for bottom painting based on the length of your boat. This is a sliding scale that exponentially increases as your boat gets larger. Other marine contractors may provide an estimate that is customized to your specific boat. Either way, the cost of bottom painting for your boat will depend on a few factors that include paint, labor, including boat removal, supplies and incidentals. Paint: There are three different types of bottom paint to choose from, each with its own price point based on value over time and the level of protection offered. As a result, the cost of bottom paint ranges from $100 per gallon up to $300 per gallon, depending on the paint quality and market availability. Marine contractors will usually recommend a specific paint depending on the length of time your boat will be in the water. Vessels that are stored year-round in the water require a different level of protection than those that are docked for just a few months. So how many gallons will you need? One way is to estimate the approximate surface area of the hull below the waterline using the following formula: Length X Beam X 0.75 = Approximate underwater surface area (in square feet ) Based on typical theoretical coverages, 1 gallon of bottom paint will be enough to apply a single coat to a 25 foot center console, whereas, 4+ gallons will be needed for a single coat on a 50 foot Sportfisher. Additionally, if it is the first time you are applying bottom paint to your boat, an additional cost will apply to grind down the boat’s gelcoat and apply multiple coats of primer so that the bottom paint can adhere to the surface. Remember, you will be quoted on an estimate, but the final purchase price may be higher if it took more paint than anticipated to complete the job. Labor: Do not underestimate the labor costs of bottom painting. For pricing that is based on the size of your boat, the final cost will closely reflect the estimate you were provided. Labor costs not only include the painting of your vessel but also costs associated with removing it from the water and suspending it on blocks to be painted. If there are problems in preparing your boat for the job or issues that require extra work, these costs may soar. Supplies: These represent the tools and consumable materials that your marine contractor or boat yard will need to complete the work. If you are working with a contractor or boat yard, the cost items like gloves, sandpaper, protective gear, masking tape and painting equipment are usually factored into the overall price and are dependent on how much “gear” is needed to satisfy your boat size. If you’re planning a DIY bottom paint project, the costs for these supplies can vary and accumulate quickly! Incidentals: Many states regulate the disposal of materials associated with marine contracting jobs. Bottom paint contains toxic chemicals that require special handling. Costs associated with disposal, along with other insurance charges, are often minimal but are typically accounted for in the overall estimate the boat owner receives. A good average rule of thumb is to expect $125-$150 per linear foot. For a 26-foot boat, this would mean the cost of bottom paint ranges from $3,250 to $3,900 for a quality job. And don’t forget, you’ll be paying to paint the bottom of your boat every few years. Over the lifetime of the boat, this adds up fast – along with other maintenance, transportation and/or storage costs not detailed in this article. Talk about hidden costs! It is why many boat owners try to sidestep the bottom painting issue entirely. By choosing another storage alternative, such as a boat lift that will safely and easily secure your vessel above the water, it’s possible to avoid the issue entirely.

How Much Does a Boat Lift Cost?

Boat lift costs vary by specific product line because boat lifts are designed to store vessels of all sizes and come in many styles to accommodate multiple waterway scenarios. At IMM Quality Boat Lifts, we make more than 10 types of boat lifts for residential and commercial use. We also manufacture floating docks and gangways, accessories and specialty upgrades. Our highly skilled engineering team has even engineered custom boat lifts for waterfront homes! As you can imagine, with variety comes a wide range of boat lift price points. To determine what the cost of a boat lift will be for your specific waterfront home or marina, click here to request a quote from your local boat dealer. As a one-time, upfront investment, a boat lift eliminates many of the maintenance and repair costs that come with storing your boat in the water. Beyond that, boat lifts offer many hidden advantages and features that make life as a boat owner much easier and more enjoyable. For example, a boat lift provides convenient access to quickly launch your boat for personal enjoyment, reducing the time and hassle it takes to hit the water. Meanwhile, storing your boat out of the water keeps it safe from algae, barnacles and sea growth. This also protects from corrosion and electrolysis that can damage your engine block and eat away metal parts. These issues are costly to fix. Corrosion alone costs boat owners a significant amount in repairs over the lifetime of the boat – plus hull growth. Plus, when your boat is in the shop, you’re not in the boat! Additionally, preserving your boat on a lift vs applying bottom paint is more favorable for the resale of your boat as well. No wonder so many boat owners choose to avoid these problems entirely by investing in a boat lift. Alumavator vertical boat lifts are ideal for storing high speed boats like the large blue watercraft pictured here

What Should I Choose? Boat Lift vs Bottom Paint Comparison

The cost of a boat lift vs bottom paint is a question that gives boat owners plenty to consider! Only you will know what will best suit your needs and the marina or home where you keep your watercraft. However, as a long-term investment, buying a boat lift will save you more money over time while delivering a host of additional benefits like convenience, easy access, security and “dock appeal” for your waterfront home. Are you ready to trade constant maintenance and annual repair costs for secure, easy boat lift storage for your boat? REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call! READ MORE: The IMM Quality Boat Lift’s Revolutionary Ascension Stair Lift

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cost of a Boat Lift vs Bottom Paint:

The cost of bottom paint can range from $100 to $300 per gallon, with additional costs for labor, supplies, and incidentals. The total cost can average $125-$150 per linear foot.

Bottom paint typically needs to be applied every 1-3 years, depending on the boat's usage and storage conditions.

A boat lift can avoid issues associated with storing a boat in water, such as algae growth and hull blisters, and can save money in the long run by reducing maintenance and repair costs.

The cost of a boat lift varies depending on the size and type of the lift, as well as the specific needs of the waterfront home or marina. It is a one-time upfront investment.

As a long-term investment, a boat lift is often considered a better option as it can save more money over time and provide additional benefits like convenience, easy access, and security.

Which Is Better? Cantilever Boat Lifts vs Vertical Lifts

vertical lift blog post main
At IMM Quality Boat Lifts, our experienced team fields a variety of questions from boat owners who are researching the best boat lift for sale. Every boat owner who buys a lift will want a design that protects their investment and will serve their needs for years to come. If you are considering a cantilever or vertical boat lift style, it is important to know that each style has specific applications to which it is better suited and this will depend on a few factors, such as your local bottom conditions, your boat’s fully loaded weight and more. Simply put, cantilever boat lifts were originally designed to suit the needs of a typical boater in a freshwater lake, whereas pile mounted vertical lifts were designed to withstand saltwater conditions and to handle larger, ocean-going boats.

How Cantilever Boat Lifts Work

r1 cantileverlift logo 2019 650x433 image source porta dock
Porta Dock
Typically, a cantilever boat lift sits on the lakebed and uses leverage to raise a watercraft up above the water. Cantilever boat lifts rely on two H-shaped frames to transfer the weight of the boat from the cradle to the base of the lift frame. In its most simple form, the lift’s cable and pulleys exert diagonal or horizontal force to bring the H-frame structures into an upright position. This allows the boat to be lifted from the water. The biggest drawback of a cantilever boat lift is that its structure remains submerged in the water. This allows algae and other biological growth to foul the mechanisms of the cantilever lift. This problem only gets worse if the cantilever lift is installed into saltwater. Furthermore, the lift’s structure will quickly degrade from corrosion and electrolysis when left permanently submerged in saltwater, especially given cantilever lifts are often made from steel. Pile-mounted vertical lifts are usually made from aluminum to prevent corrosion and you can raise the entire lift structure out of the water and rinse off the damaging saltwater. What do you do with your cantilever boat lift in cold climates during winter? Pressure from the ice will quickly crush your lift if left in the water. People have come up with all types of contraptions and methods to drag cantilever boat lifts out of the water in preparation for winter. What a lot of work! Wouldn’t you rather have an easy and permanent solution for your boat? Another drawback of cantilever boat lifts is their limited stroke, i. e. , total lifting height. To understand this, consider a boat that requires 15 inches of water to float. If your cantilever lift has 30 inches of lift travel, subtract the possible lift travel from your boat’s requirements to determine how high you can lift your boat out of the water. In this cantilever boat lift example, you would only be able to elevate your boat 15 inches above the waterline. For reference, the largest amount of travel we have seen for a cantilever lift is 66 inches, whereas, the travel of standard pile-mounted vertical lifts is twenty feet and can be made much longer with custom designed lifts. Why is that important? As many boat owners can tell you, inclement weather and busy traffic conditions will bring choppy waters to your waterfront paradise. If you’re in a coastal area, when hurricane season pummels your boat lift with waves, every inch between your boat and the rough water makes a huge difference. With limited lift height, cantilever boat lifts do not work well in these conditions.
cantilever lift 02 image source naylor systems
Naylor Systems
It is also important to note that cantilever boat lifts cannot tolerate major fluctuations in water levels for the same reason. If a canal or lake rises due to heavy rain or a hurricane, your boat may not be stored high enough to keep it from floating away. But isn’t the goal of a boat lift to protect your valuable vessel for many years of enjoyment and use? Additionally, bottom conditions can be a deal-breaker. This is because the design of cantilever boat lifts requires a firm bed to function properly. Even with large footing pads, cantilever lifts can sink into muddy bottoms under load. With hard bottom conditions, it can sometimes be difficult to adjust a cantilever lift into a level position due to the contours of the lakebed. This differs from vertical boat lifts, which can be installed on secure pilings regardless of rocky or muddy bottom conditions. Due to these significant drawbacks, cantilever lifts are primarily used by boat owners on calm, shallow lakes. Plus, cantilever lifts are traditionally rated for smaller boat lift capacities, which limits usage. For reference, the typical maximum capacity for cantilever lifts is 5,000 pounds and the largest we have seen is a hydraulic model rated at 16,000 pounds.

How Are Vertical Boat Lifts Designed?

vertical lift blog post Unlike cantilever boat lifts, vertical boat lifts are engineered to lift and store your vessel high above rough waters. Vertical boat lifts use a cable and pulley system to lower your boat. IMM Quality’s vertical boat lifts use parallel upper beams that each contain a motor-driven shaft through their length. Four cables are wound around the shaft and connected to the four corners of the boat cradle. The cradle is then raised or lowered by a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation of the shaft. In contrast, most cantilever lifts use a handwheel to raise and lower the lift and therefore do not require electrical power. However, by being manpowered, you have to be willing to exert the effort yourself. Standard vertical boat lifts can accommodate boats with loaded weight that span from 4,500 pounds up to 250,000 pounds, securing them high above the choppy waves and corrosive salt water. Many offer both four-piling and eight-piling configurations, making them ideal for both shallow and deep-water applications. In contrast, cantilever lifts save money by not requiring the installation of pilings. Because the cables bear the full weight of the boat, IMM Quality Boat Lifts has engineered our vertical boat lifts to use the mechanical advantage of pulleys to lessen the exerted force on the components. We use aluminum pulleys with a unique self-lubricating bearing that is maintenance-free. In fact, the vertical boat lifts engineered by IMM Quality Boat Lifts are considered the most efficient design for a cable-drawn lift for sale in the industry! Check out the links below to explore each of our models in closer detail, including a photo gallery of each type of boat lift in action:

How to Choose Cantilever Boat Lifts vs Vertical Lifts

When it is time to decide between cantilever boat lifts vs vertical lifts, there are several pros and cons for boat owners to consider. First, there’s the price point. At face value, cantilever boat lifts are the less expensive option, while vertical boat lifts require a larger up-front investment. However, upon closer examination, vertical boat lifts offer better overall value – and resale value – with proven durability, versatility and security that a cantilever boat lift just cannot match. The disadvantages of cantilever boat lifts also provide pause, with its limitations affecting lift height, capacity, suitability to saltwater and bottom conditions that could quickly eliminate this type of lift as a possibility for your home or boat. Then, there’s the extra hassle that comes with needing to move your lift into and out of the water with the changing seasons. Launching a boat stored on a cantilever lift is also much harder. Would you rather raise and lower your boat by hand with a cantilever lift or press a button on a remote control and let the vertical lift’s electrical motors do the work? You can set the height of the top beam so that it can be used as a step for easier boarding. As an added aesthetic advantage, IMM Quality’s top-beam vertical boat lifts can be set in a “low-profile” configuration. This allows you to deck your cradles and make a seamless wrap-around dock for easy access to your boat from all sides. It may sound like a minor feature at first, but when you want to quickly head for open waters, conveniences like these will save you precious time. One complaint many direct against vertical boat lifts is the increased need for maintenance, stemming from the reliance on weight-bearing cables. But unlike our competitors, IMM Quality Boat Lifts’ innovative vertical boat lifts have been engineered to require little to no maintenance, by design. Setting the standard for the industry, our vertical boat lifts are engineered and manufactured in-house to deliver consistent high-quality and longevity. If you are a boater who is debating whether to buy cantilever boat lifts vs vertical lifts, choose the vertical boat lift to maximize your investment. To learn more about the design, engineering and manufacturing of our vertical boat lifts, complete our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call! READ MORE: Six Questions to Ask Your Boat Lift Dealer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cantilever Boat Lifts vs Vertical Lifts

Cantilever lifts are best suited for calm, freshwater environments and smaller boats, using leverage and a simple pulley system. Vertical lifts are designed for rougher waters, including saltwater, and can handle a wider range of boat sizes by lifting the boat higher above the waterline.

Cantilever lifts can suffer from quicker degradation due to corrosion and biological growth, as their structures remain submerged. Vertical lifts, typically made from aluminum, can avoid this by being raised out of the water.

They struggle with significant water level changes due to their limited lift height, making them less ideal for areas prone to such fluctuations.

Vertical lifts provide higher lift capacity, greater lifting height, durability in various water conditions, and generally require less manual effort to operate, making them a versatile and convenient option for many boaters.

Initially, vertical lifts are more expensive but offer better value over time due to their durability, versatility, and higher resale value, making them a worthwhile investment for many boat owners.

Four Reasons to Consider a Solar-Powered Kayak Lift

Solar powered kayak lift

More kayakers are upgrading their experience on the water with a solar-powered kayak lift. And who could blame them?

Traditional kayak lifts feature a manual hand crank to lower and raise a kayak. Although they are relatively easy to operate, turning the hand crank can be tiring and time-consuming. Kayakers would rather spend their energy and time paddling in the water and enjoying nature.

Solar-powered kayak lifts are becoming more popular as kayakers recognize the benefits of upgrading their lifts. An electric winch powered by the sun is both efficient and safe.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts is known for designing, engineering, and manufacturing lifts that accommodate vessels of all sizes, including the largest yachts on the market. However, the company also offers a line of personal watercraft lifts as well as kayak launch lifts.

Components of a solar-powered kayak lift

Standard components of a kayak lift include a ladder, Pyle mounting bracket, kayak bunks, ADA-compliant handrails, paddle hooks, and a manual crank system. Lifts feature high-grade aluminum and stainless steel hardware. Superior welded construction makes lifts durable in all weather conditions.

A solar-powered kayak lift also includes these elements: A solar-powered kayak lift also includes these elements:

  • Solar panel:

Features the latest technology with a panel angled to capture the strongest solar rays.

  • Marine-grade battery:

Includes a waterproof dock box and all the necessary wiring.

  • Charge controller:

Increases battery life by optimizing the charge rate with pulse width modulation. The controller prevents overcharging of the battery. It also will not allow the solar panel to drain the battery in low light conditions because it features a unidirectional energy flow.

READ MORE: Kayak Launch Lifts

 

Reasons to consider a solar-powered kayak lift

As noted above, kayakers who launch from their own dock or seawall are gravitating toward solar-powered kayak lifts. There are many reasons kayakers are considering solar power upgrades:

    1. Time and energy:

      A solar-powered kayak lift saves kayakers a lot of work. Why turn a hand crank repeatedly when an electric motor can do all of the work? Depending on the depth of a lift, it can take 30, 40 or more revolutions to reach the desired point.

    2. Convenience:

      Rather than standing at the hand crank for a few minutes, kayakers simply press a button on a key fob to operate a solar-powered kayak lift. Additionally, kayakers who leave at high tide and return at low tide often struggle with fluctuations in water depth. Rather than phoning a friend to hand-crank the lift to a lower position, simply press a button on the key fob until the kayak is able to float over the bunks.

    3. Environment:

      Going green is a popular trend. The solar panel on a kayak lift provides clean, renewable energy and helps protect the environment. The lift’s marine-grade battery stores electricity for future use. Solar energy is unlimited, so as long as solar panels are positioned properly, there will be enough power to raise and lower the lift. And best of all – solar energy is free!

    4. Storage:

      Boat manufacturers generally do not recommend storing vessels in the water. That’s because long-term exposure to salt water or fresh water can damage boats. Corrosion, undergrowth, osmotic blisters, and discoloration are common problems with boats stored in water. The same holds true for kayaks, canoes, and personal watercraft. A lift keeps vessels high and dry.

Similarly, there are many reasons why kayakers are choosing IMM Quality Boat Lifts to design, engineer, and manufacture their kayak lifts. In fact, they are the same reasons boaters cite when selecting IMM to design or upgrade their boat lift: multi-generational experience, remarkable innovation, supreme durability, extended warranties, exceptional customer service, and more.

Ready to upgrade your experience on the water with a solar-powered kayak lift? Complete  our  CONTACT FORM  or  REQUEST A QUOTE  and our responsive, knowledgeable team will give you a call!

SPEC SHEET: Kayak Launch Lifts

Boat Lift Cost: 6 Questions to Ask Your Boat Lift Dealer

gulfside docks platinum1 lum

Are you sick of towing your boat to a launch using a boat trailer? Have you racked up maintenance costs from storing your expensive investment in the water – or due to damage during transportation? Are you tired of the ordeal it takes to “go boating” each time the urge strikes? Did you recently acquire waterfront property and need to buy a boat lift?

If you are ready for the convenience and savings that a well-engineered boat lift can provide, but are having trouble understanding the cost for a boat lift, you are not alone. When preparing to purchase a boat lift, it is important to collect key information about your boat and its docking area before talking with a marine contractor, boat lift dealer or boat lift manufacturer about boat lift costs. No two situations are the same and many factors will impact your boat lift price, including the fully loaded weight of your boat, surrounding dock area and boat lift installation.

Boat lift costs vary between dealerships because they all structure pricing differently. Some charge one lump sum, depending on the boat lift design you choose and its capacity. Others separate the cost for your deck, boat lift installation and related hardware.

To get the answers you need about boat lift cost, the pros at IMM Quality Boat Lifts put together a helpful list of common questions that every buyer should ask their marine contractor. As the leading manufacturer of custom boat lifts for nearly 40 years, IMM Quality Boat Lifts has extensive hands-on experience and knowledge about this topic.

Question #1: What type of hull does your boat have? Are there steps in the hull?

The design, make and model of your boat will have a huge impact in determining the proper bunking system for your boat and the underlying costs. Your boat may have a round-bottomed hull, flat-bottomed hull, V-shaped hull, pontoon hull or multihull such as a catamaran or trimaran. Your boat may have engineered pick-up points that should be used to safely lift it. And, the presence and location of through-hull fittings varies greatly with different boat models and the boat lift bunks need to avoid these features.

For example, the presence of steps in your hull affects how your boat rests on the boat lift bunks. It may require stepped bunks that match the hulls’ shape to properly support your boat. If you own a sailboat, the elongated keels may require modifications to the standard bunks. You may rest assured that the engineers at IMM Quality Boat Lifts will design a bunking system that will safely and securely lift any watercraft.

Question #2: What boat lift capacity do you need?

In order to know which boat lift to purchase, you will first have to identify the correct boat lift capacity for your needs. This greatly affects cost. For example, an increase in boat lift capacity necessitates an increase in the size of the top beams, which impacts your boat lift cost.

You can determine the necessary boat lift capacity by calculating the total weight of your boat. The total figure should include the boat’s dry weight, plus the weight of any outboard motors, boat lift accessories, your fuel and more. Do you have live wells? Be sure to add this into the equation, along with the water weight from freshwater tanks and wastewater tanks. Have you made any major additions or upgrades to your watercraft? It is also best to include a 20% margin of safety.

To make the calculations easier, try our simple boat lift capacity calculator prepared by the knowledgeable team at IMM Quality Boat Lifts. With the press of a button, you’ll be that much closer to determining which lift you need to buy – and the associated boat lift cost.

Question #3: Where do you live?

Environmental and community factors play a role in boat lift cost. Consider the location and water conditions where you plan to dock your boat. Are you subject to HOA rules? Does your community or waterway allow outside pilings? Do you live on a canal, or the open water? Are there noise limitations that require a specific type of drive to quietly operate your boat lift?

Some neighborhoods don’t have enough shoreline to dock each owner’s boat, and instead share larger, multi-slip docks. Others provide height restrictions, based on dock roof styles, to avoid view obstruction. Any of these factors can impact the selection of boat lift designs available to you, as well as your installation and boat lift costs.

Question #4: Are you looking for a maintenance-free option, or will you handle your own boat lift maintenance?

Like with any major purchase, taking good care of your boat lift with regular maintenance can make a big difference in performance and longevity. To extend the life of your boat lift, it is critical to regularly inspect your lift cables, bunks, lift beams, pulleys, motors, gearbox and drive units, motor, drive pipe bearing block and wired zincs. Ignoring this maintenance can lead to equipment damage, costly boat lift repairs and more.

Are you the do-it-yourself type? If not, some boat lift designs offer maintenance-free storage for a price increase. This includes the IMM Quality Boat Lifts Platinum series. Either way, your plan for maintaining your equipment will have an impact on your total boat lift cost and warranty.

Question #5: What style of lift is best for your boat and dock space?

Different boat lift designs use different technology to lift your boat from the water. The boat lift cost will vary, depending on the type you choose:

  • Vertical Boat Lifts – Considered the industry standard, this type of cable-drawn boat lift is the most efficient and commonly used boat lift.
  • Elevator Boat Lifts – This type of boat lift uses in water rails, and is ideal for narrow or restricted waterfronts.
  • Hydraulic Boat Lifts – One of the most expensive types of boat lift, this deploys a steel tube and piston to raise your boat higher than other types of boat lifts.
  • Floating Boat Lifts or Docks – Ideal for lakes and reservoirs, these compact floating boat docks use inflatable tanks to lift your watercraft.

Review the range of boat lift styles that IMM Quality Boat Lifts builds to last a lifetime. This includes boathouse lifts, Titan yacht lifts, PWC lifts, specialty lifts and more. The quality and durability of our boat lift products are unmatched by the competition. And, we ship worldwide!

Question #6: Do you have any special needs or preferences, such as accessibility?

Do you like to set your top beams low for an easier time boarding your boat? Or, do you like to position your top beams high so that you can walk under them without a second thought? Perhaps you would like a wheelchair-accessible ramp, custom accessory or remote lift controls that make it simple to raise your boat to the top, bottom and boarding heights. Does the speed of your lift matter? What about the appearance of your boarding platform, canopy or underwater lighting? Would you like to customize the color of your boat lift by powder coating? Do you have other personal watercrafts like a kayak, jet ski, wave runner or paddleboard that you need to accommodate?

Remember when we said no two lifts are alike? This is why. Your boat lift cost is not only dependent on your boat, but can be customized for your preferences and needs. Thinking about these specifics will help determine your boat lift cost.

More Questions About Your Boat Lift Cost? Ask the Experts at IMM Quality Boat Lifts!

With more than 40 years’ experience and knowledge in manufacturing, technological innovation and boat lift design, boat owners trust IMM Quality Boat Lifts for answers. Why? As a company, our goal is to create products that achieve the right balance between affordability and exceptional quality. We remain as committed to making safe, easy and reliable products as the day we first opened in 1982.

Contact IMM Quality Boat Lifts with Your Questions Today!

Complete our  CONTACT FORM  or  REQUEST A QUOTE  and our responsive, knowledgeable team will give you a call!

READ MORE: The True Cost of Boat Ownership: What You Need to Know

Weathering the storm: Preparing boat lifts for hurricanes, storm surge

Make Sure Your Boat is Stored Properly

Weather changes quickly, and boat lifts are subject to the wrath of hurricanes and tropical storms.

However, a well-engineered, custom boat lift can withstand much of nature’s fury.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts designs, engineers and manufactures custom boat lifts for all climates – tropical, subtropical, temperate and continental. Across the world, no matter the climate, people love to spend time on the water.

Boat owners should be aware of the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms, as well as storm surge, on their boat lifts.

High Winds

Hurricanes and tropical storms pack powerful winds, storm surge flooding and torrential rains. These weather systems pose a trifecta of concerns for boat owners in coastal regions.

Powerful winds damage structures of all types, even reinforced concrete block buildings. IMM Quality Boat Lifts recommends two safe options for boat storage during a storm: (1) Move a boat out of a storm’s projected path, or (2) Move the boat onto dry land, either in a secure, indoor storage facility or up on keel blocks with boat jacks and strapped to the ground using helical anchors. Although IMM Quality Boat Lifts builds its lifts with thick aluminum beams and stainless steel, a lift is only as strong as the supporting structure (the wood piles and dock).  To minimize the risk for potential damage, we Do Not recommend keeping your boat on a lift.

During a storm, waves can smash boats repeatedly against a dock or pilings.  High winds will cause boats secured on a four-post cradle lift to swing violently from front to back, or side to side.  Meanwhile, boats secured on elevator lifts often fare no better, with their carriages bouncing from the wind gusts.  Ultimately, the boat lift may fail with snapped cables being the most common cause.

If left with no option, many boat owners have prepared cradle lifts by completing the following steps:

  • With the boat in place, attach lines between cleats on the boat and dock.
  • Raise the cradle beams to their maximum height so lines become taut. Lines that are too loose can allow boats to float away; lines that are too taut create pressure that can crush a boat.
  • Boat owners with mechanical and electrical know-how can remove the boat lift’s motor and gear box, and store them in a dry place.
  • To minimize the amount of cradle swing, strap each of the four corners of the lift cradle to the closest pile.
  • To prevent the boat from dropping after lift cables snap, brace the cradle with aluminum I-beams beneath the cradle beams, and secure the I-beams to the piles.

Boat owners with elevator lifts have done the following:

  • With the boat in place, attach lines between cleats on the boat and dock.
  • Raise the elevator carriage to its maximum height so the lines become taut to prevent wind gusts from blowing the boat off the bunks.
  • Secure box clamps around the I-beam tracks, just below the upper wheels of the carriage. This makes sure a boat cannot slide down to the water if the lift cables snap.
  • As an alternative to box clamps, mechanically minded individuals can drill a hole through the I-beam track just below the upper wheels of the carriage. Bolt a 4 x 4 block of wood through this hole to prevent the carriage from sliding down to the water if the cables snap.
  • Boat owners with mechanical and electrical know-how can remove the boat lift’s motor and gear box, and store them in a dry place.
  • Place straps around the dock and elevator carriage to stop any potential swinging or bouncing.

With both types of lifts, turn off power to the dock and boat lift. Power outages are common during hurricanes, and when it’s restored, live wires damaged in the storm can present safety hazards.

Storm Surge and Heavy Rain

Water is another concern during hurricanes and tropical storms.

Rising water from tropical systems, called storm surge, affects both coastal and inland waterways. Larger storms can cause water levels to rise 5 or 10 feet, or higher. Engineers design most boat lifts to keep vessels safely elevated a few feet above the high tide water level. Storm surge can easily surpass the high tide water level, lifting a boat up and off its bunks, even if it appears to be fairly secured. Again, this is why IMM Quality Boat Lifts recommends dry storage if possible.

Torrential rains pose a different issue. Hurricanes and tropical storms can produce rainfall rates as high as 6 inches per hour. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so imagine how much water an uncovered boat can collect during a heavy rainstorm. Prior to a storm, make sure scuppers are free of debris and drain plugs are open. Tilting the boat lift bunks slightly ensures that water will drain toward the plug. Check that the bilge pumps are functional and that their batteries have a good charge. Added weight from storm water can cause the boat to exceed the lifts’ capacity and may result in catastrophic failure of the lift.

READ MORE: Boat lift capacity: Myths vs. facts

Are you looking for an engineering expert to design a custom boat lift that matches weather conditions in your environment? Complete our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call!

Boat lift capacity: Myths vs. facts

Superlift vertical boat lift in ocean city holds boat above water

There are a lot of myths about boat lifts and boat lift capacity. And then there are facts.

As the leading manufacturer of custom boat lifts since 1982, IMM Quality Boat Lifts has designed, engineered, and manufactured tens of thousands of custom boat lifts. The company is committed to developing safe, dependable, and long-lasting boat lifts. Contractors have installed our boat lifts on six continents in all types of climates and settings.

Our team is experienced. That means we’ve heard a lot of myths, misconceptions, and untruths about boat lifts.

Below are three common myths about boat lifts and their corresponding facts:

Myth 1: Your existing boat lift can handle a bigger boat

A 10,000-pound boat lift is engineered for 10,000 pounds. Can the lift itself support 11,000 pounds? Most likely, yes. A well-engineered physical structure should not collapse when holding a vessel that’s moderately heavier than the original design. However, the lift structure is not the only factor that you need to be worried about when trying to fit a larger boat onto an existing lift.

Fact: Although the lift structure might not collapse under the additional weight, several other factors can make an overloaded lift dangerous to use. You may need cables and pulleys with larger diameters. Otherwise, they will snap under greater strain. Lifts are engineered to optimize the drive systems so they are as fast as possible. When upsizing a boat, the lift may struggle or quit working because the extra weight now exceeds the max torque of the drive system, which was designed for a lighter boat. Finally, the cable drop and bunk length are important because heavier boats are much longer. For example, when you upgrade from a 30-foot boat to a 40-foot boat, your boat will be very unstable on the lift unless you also upgrade to a larger capacity boat lift that has a wider cable drop and longer bunks.

Myth 2: 10,000 pounds is 10,000 pounds

While technically true, the distribution of the weight is important. Boats are like people. They come in all shapes and sizes. A 6’4” 225-pound NFL linebacker, for instance, has different proportions than a 5’6” 225-pound retiree. Likewise, an 8,000-pound cabin cruiser is built differently than an 8,000-pound sailboat.

In each example, the proportions and weight distribution are different. Therefore, they have a different center of gravity. Typical boats are heavier towards the stern because of the motors. It is important that the boat’s center of gravity is loaded directly over the center of the boat lift’s cradles.

Fact: A boat’s weight is not evenly distributed. Weight distribution is just as important as overall weight in choosing and setting up a boat lift. A 10,000-pound capacity, four-piling boat lift assumes each corner shares an equal load of 2,500 pounds. If a boat’s center of gravity is placed off-center to the lift, the boat lift will become overloaded and may collapse.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts has longstanding relationships with top boat manufacturers and brands across the world. Boat hulls come in many different shapes and sizes. By obtaining the hull design and center of gravity location from the manufacturer, our engineers will precisely lay out the boat lift and custom design a bunking system to safely lift any boat.

Myth 3: All boat lifts are the same

No matter the manufacturer, all boat lifts serve the same purpose. They lift boats out of the water. That is where the similarities end, though.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts has been family-owned and operated since 1982. The company has an experienced, in-house engineering team that uses the latest 3D modeling and structural analysis software. Our factory is a full-service machine shop. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows us to design and build our parts in-house using fully computerized systems, which guarantees precision and quality of workmanship. Finally, in-house quality control technicians inspect all lifts before shipping them to professional installers.

Fact: Boat Lifts manufactured by IMM Quality are built to last. In fact, that led to our slogan: “Built for a Lifetime.” Using aluminum and stainless steel, our lifts can weather the elements. Our lifts also are custom, built specifically for your boat, your water access spot, and your wishes. When customers have questions, our team is standing by to provide answers.

The company offers seven types of custom boat lifts:

Thank you for reading this far. Are you looking for a better boat lift? REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call!

READ MORE: How to choose a boat lift with the correct capacity

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Boat lift capacity

While the physical structure might support slightly more than its rated capacity, other factors such as cable and pulley size, drive system torque, and bunk length can make it unsafe or inadequate for larger boats.

No, weight distribution and the boat's center of gravity are crucial. Proper alignment over the lift's cradles is necessary to avoid overloading and potential collapse.

Despite serving the same purpose, boat lifts vary significantly in quality, materials, and customization options, affecting their durability and suitability for specific boats and conditions.

IMM leverages relationships with boat manufacturers to obtain hull designs and center of gravity information, allowing them to custom design a bunking system for safely lifting any boat.

IMM offers a variety of custom boat lifts, including vertical, elevator, specialty, deck, personal watercraft, titan yacht, and boathouse lifts, tailored to specific needs and preferences.

Florida’s ‘Freedom Week’ brings sales tax savings to boaters

imm dual kayak lum

Florida boaters and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy sales tax savings during the state’s new Freedom Week, which spans July 1-7.

Freedom Week is the second of three sales tax holidays in 2021. It follows Disaster Preparedness Week (May 28-June 6) and precedes the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday (July 31-Aug. 9)

The Florida Legislature approved the trio of tax measures this spring, and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law in May. DeSantis estimates the three programs will save Florida residents and businesses $168 million.

While Custom boat lifts designed, engineered, and manufactured by IMM Quality Boat Lifts will not fall under the tax exemption, we know our customers will appreciate the tax savings to stock up on boating accessories and fishing gear.

Tax breaks associated with Freedom Week are different than Florida’s other sales tax holidays. In most cases, retail stores will not collect state sales tax up to a specified amount. If the retail price exceeds that threshold, though, stores will collect tax on that additional amount.

Below is a full list of Freedom Week tax exemptions:

Boating and Water Supplies

Think about the items you bring on a boating trip. Most of those items will qualify for the tax exemption.

During Freedom Week, Florida will not collect the state sales tax on:

The first $25 of the sales price of:

  • Snorkels
  • Goggles
  • Swimming masks

The first $50 of the sales price of:

  • Safety flares

The first $75 of the sales price of:

  • Life jackets
  • Coolers
  • Paddles
  • Oars

The first $150 of the sales price of:

  • Water skis
  • Wakeboards
  • Kneeboards
  • Recreational inflatable water tubes or floats capable of being towed

The first $300 of the sales price of:

  • Paddleboards
  • Surfboards

The first $500 of the sales price of:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks

Fishing Supplies

Boating and fishing run hand in hand. Florida is home to some of the world’s best fishing, from the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee and inland waterways.

During Freedom Week, Florida will not collect the state sales tax on:

The first $5 of the sales price of:

  • Bait or fishing tackle if sold individually (or the first $10 if sold as a set)

The first $30 of the sales price of:

  • Tackle boxes or bags

The first $75 of the sales price of:

  • Rods and reels if sold individually (or the first $150 if sold as a set)

General Outdoor Supplies

Boating is an outdoor activity, so it’s important to be prepared for a day outdoors. Having the right accessories can make or break a day on the water.

During Freedom Week, Florida will not collect the state sales tax on:

The first $15 of the sales price of:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • The first $30 of the sales price of:

Water bottles

  • The first $50 of the sales price of:
  • Hydration packs
  • Bicycle helmets

The first $100 of the sales price of:

  • Sunglasses

The first $200 of the sales price of:

  • Binoculars

The first $250 of the sales price of:

  • Outdoor gas or charcoal grills
  • Bicycles

Camping Supplies

Boating and camping go hand in hand, especially for adventurers who enjoy the state’s inland habitat.

During Freedom Week, Florida will not collect the state sales tax on:

The first $30 of the sales price of:

  • Camping lanterns
  • Flashlights

The first $50 of the sales price of:

  • Sleeping bags
  • Portable hammocks
  • Camping stoves
  • Collapsible camping chairs

The first $200 of the sales price of:

  • Tents

Additional Exemptions

Florida lawmakers included two other categories of sales tax exemptions as part of Freedom Week: events and sporting equipment.

For events, Freedom Week eliminates the state sales tax for events held July 1 through Dec. 31, 2021. Events include tickets or admissions to music, sporting, theater, and cultural events, as well as festivals and movies. The exemption also includes entry to museums and state parks. Season tickets and annual passes also are exempt if purchased during the six-month period. Additionally, sales tax won’t be charged at fitness clubs or athletic centers.

For sports equipment, the sales tax holiday applies to any item for individual or team sports selling for $40 or less. However, this exemption does not include clothing or footwear.

Freedom Week is intended to get Floridians back outdoors. If you’re looking for a custom boat lift, complete our REQUEST A QUOTE FORM.

Selling boat lifts globally, supporting charitable causes locally

A large group of children in front of the Fishin' with a Mission sign

IMM Quality Boat Lifts is one of the largest boat lift manufacturers in the world. Although it engineers, produces and delivers boat lifts globally, the company has long supported charitable causes locally.

IMM Quality Boat Lifts is a local, family-owned company. It is like the many mom-and-pop businesses that enhance Southwest Florida’s economy and quality of life. IMM Quality Boat Lifts just happens to sell its product to a global audience from its headquarters off Alico Road in south Lee County.

You can find IMM-designed boat lifts in Cape Coral, Florida, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as well as Naples, Florida, and Naples, Italy. Boaters across six continents are using lifts made by IMM Quality Boat Lifts.

As a global manufacturer, it can be easy to focus on the big picture. For IMM Quality Boat Lifts, that is strengthening worldwide business operations and increasing sales in coastal markets.

However, the 39-year-old company made a commitment many years ago to support the local community. After all, its 75 employees live here. They shop here. Their children go to school here. They spend time at local parks, libraries, restaurants and attractions.

The company’s heart is in Southwest Florida.

Fishin’ with a Mission

Recently, IMM Quality Boat Lifts sponsored Fishin’ with a Mission. The fishing tournament supports students and teachers at St. Michael Lutheran School in Fort Myers. Held at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, the event attracted dozens of professional and amateur anglers. Participants enjoyed beautiful weather while trying to catch the longest redfish, snook and trout swimming in our coastal waterways. Participants enjoyed food and drinks, games, a raffle, auction and awards dinner.

More than a dozen sponsors helped make this event successful, including several with connections to the boating and fishing industry. However, others represented real estate, health care, construction, law and other fields. Most sponsors operate solely within Southwest Florida, while others have a regional or national presence.

Those who entered the fishing tournament also represented a wide range of anglers. Some knew exactly where to fish and what type of bait would catch the biggest fish. Meanwhile, others were happy to just get a bite and make it safely back to shore.

The fishing tournament was a microcosm of what we all want for society – people from all interests and walks of life coming together to support a charitable cause. Generous sponsors and participants helped raise money to enhance education for school children in Southwest Florida.

Strong businesses invest in their people, products and processes, but they also invest in their community.

IN THE NEWS: This article appeared in The News-Press Causes section on June 14, 2021

FROM THE ARCHIVE: See photos from Fishin’ with a Mission 2020

Powder coating customizes, protects boat lifts

imm powder coating color swatches

Powder coating allows boat owners to customize their boat lifts while protecting their investment. It also cranks up dock appeal and allow boat owners to become the envy of their neighborhood!

Powder coating is a dry finishing process proven superior to painting. Powder coating is applied using an electrostatic spray deposition and cures to metal surfaces, such as aluminum, under heat or ultraviolet lighting. The result is a hard coating that is much tougher than conventional paint.

There are two primary reasons that boat owners opt to powder coat their boat lift: durability and appearance.

Durability

Powder coating a boat lift protects a consumer’s investment. IMM Quality Boat Lifts uses a marine-grade primer coat to protect the aluminum and prevent it from oxidizing. Our team then applies additional top coats with UV stabilizers to protect lifts from sunlight. Ultimately, powder coated boat lifts last longer when exposed to dangerous UV rays, saltwater and rain.

The Titan Yacht Lift shown in the photo above was installed in 2010. Yet, the powder coated beams still look as good as the day they were installed.

White powder coated boat rests on IMM Quality Titan yacht lift

Appearance

Many captains want their boat lifts to project a sense of style and personality, in addition to functionality. Bland is out, and color is in.

At quick glance, boat lifts often look the same because they’re the same color – raw aluminum. IMM Quality Boat Lifts can customize boat lifts in any color. Because colors can influence mood, they set the tone for your boating experience. That’s why it is so important to choose the right color.

Clients select custom colors for a variety of reasons. These are the three most common reasons:

  • It matches their boat
  • It matches their home
  • It matches their natural surroundings

Much like painting a home’s interior, it’s all about choosing the right colors for the space. The boat lift in the photo above, for instance, flows perfectly with the boat’s color scheme.

powder coated red boat docked on IMM Quality custom Titan yacht lift

Is powder coating right for your boat lift? Complete our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Powder Coating Boat Lifts:

Powder coating is a dry finishing process where a dry powder is applied electrostatically to metal surfaces, such as aluminum. The coated surface is then cured under heat or ultraviolet lighting, resulting in a hard coating that is tougher than conventional paint.

Powder coating provides enhanced durability and appearance for boat lifts. It protects the metal surface from oxidation, UV rays, saltwater, and rain, ultimately extending the lift's lifespan. Additionally, powder coating allows for customization in color and style, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the boat lift and dock.

Boat lifts undergo significant exposure to harsh elements, including sunlight and saltwater. Powder coating with marine-grade primer and UV stabilizers helps protect the aluminum from corrosion and degradation caused by UV rays and environmental factors, ensuring the lift remains in optimal condition for years to come.

Customizing boat lifts with powder coating allows owners to personalize their waterfront property and match the lift to their boat, home, or natural surroundings. By choosing the right color and finish, owners can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of their dock and become the envy of their neighborhood.

Clients often choose custom colors based on personal preferences and considerations such as matching their boat's color scheme, complementing their home's exterior, or blending with the natural surroundings of their waterfront property. It's essential to select colors that reflect your style and create the desired mood for your boating experience.

 Powder coating is suitable for most boat lifts made of aluminum or other metal materials. However, it's essential to consult with a professional boat lift manufacturer or installer to ensure compatibility and determine the best powder coating options for your specific lift model and usage requirements.

 If you're considering powder coating for your boat lift, contact us by completing our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE. Our team will be happy to discuss your options, provide recommendations, and answer any questions you may have about powder coating and its benefits for your boat lift.

How to fix a noisy flat plate drive

Boat dock with a boat and 2 jet skis

A noisy flat plate drive can create unbearable, high-pitched squeals in older boat lifts. The sound can be so bad, in fact, that boaters are embarrassed to take early morning fishing trips. The squeals can wake up the entire neighborhood!

The YouTube video below shows a mild case of a flat plate screeching (sound on).

Now imagine a severe case… Nobody wants to live near that boat lift!

IMM Quality Boat Lifts stopped selling boat lifts with the flat plate drive decades ago. However, there are still older boat lifts in operation that feature flat plate drivers. Some manufacturers continue using flat plate drives.

Below, we’ll explain how to eliminate the noise.

Insufficient Repairs

Inexperienced service technicians often will grease up the boat lift. As a boat lift owner, your hope is that they find every grease fitting. Technicians often overlook a port outside of the back plate. Even after a thorough lubrication, the noise can return a few short days later.

Flat Plate Drive with arrows showing what needs to be fixed

Here’s why. The flat plate uses an open worm gear. Whatever grease is applied simply squeezes out over the next couple of uses. All of that grease has only made a mess inside your cover without providing lubrication for the gearing. By comparison, modern drive systems use enclosed worm gearboxes. That allows the worm gearing to turn through a grease reservoir, which provides continuous lubrication.

Insufficient lubrication, however, is only one part of the problem that’s causing the terrible noise. The real problem is the flat plate’s inherently flawed design. Over time, the shaft can pull the toothed sprocket and worm gear screw out of alignment. This misalignment causes chatter and vibration (the noise) as the shaft turns through the brass bushings alongside the worm gear screw.

Steps to Fix Noisy Flat Plate Drive

Most boaters and DIYers can fix a noisy flat plate drive by themselves. Follow these steps:

  1. Take your boat off the boat lift. This decreases tension on the gearing.
  2. Turn off power to the boat lift. This is a wise safety precaution.
  3. Make sure the left shaft collar is aligned with the end of shaft. When properly aligned, make sure the Allen key set screw is tight.
  4. Lightly tap on the left side of the shaft and shaft collar until it touches the brass bushing. In the picture above, you would be moving the shaft to the right. The shaft turns through this. The brass bushing is supported by the metal blocks and is barely visible in the photo. There should now be a gap between the right-side shaft collar and its brass bushing.
  5. Loosen the set screw on the right-side shaft collar. Move it over (to the left) until it touches its brass bushing.
  6. Re-tighten the set screw to keep the shaft collar in place.
  7. You now need to re-align the belt pulleys. Loosen the set screw on the upper pulley, moving it to align vertically with the lower pulley. Re-tighten the set screw on the pulley.
  8. Re-grease the open worm gear as best you can.

After following these steps, your flat plate drive should now be relatively quiet.

New Flat Plate Drive working properly

A Second Concern with Flat Plat Drives

In addition to noise, another complaint about the flat plate drive is the belt. Boaters often leave with no problems or issues in the morning. When they return in the afternoon, though, the lift might be unable to pick up the boat. That’s because the belt is slipping.

Here’s why.

Belts harden and contract in cooler temperatures, which is usually in the morning. Belts soften and expand as the day gets warmer in the afternoon.

Another fundamental design flaw of flat plate drives is that belts do not have an auto-tensioning system like in your car. That means if you adjust the belt to the correct tension during a cool morning, it will slip during a warm afternoon. If you adjust the belt to the correct tension for a warm day, it will become over-tight during a cool morning. This contracting and expanding can cause cracks and tears in the belt.

A Better Alternative

Flat plate drives certainly have their downsides, so why not invest in something better?

The experienced engineers at IMM Quality Boat Lifts designed the Alumavator to be superior to the flat plate drive in every way. Instead of an open worm gear, the Alumavator has a sealed gearbox. That keeps out dirt and maintains continuous lubrication. The Alumavator replaces the belt, which is prone to slippage and breaking, with a chain that dramatically improves durability.

The U.S. Army uses chain drives in their tanks and tracked vehicles. Caterpillar and John Deere also use chain drives in their heavy-duty earth-moving vehicles. There is a good reason. Chain drives have legendary durability and reliability.

Speed is another reason to make the switch. Flat plate drives are incredibly slow, while the Alumavator is much faster. In fact, the Alumavator has a high-speed version that is twice as fast as the standard version.

Alumavator drive

The Superior Choice

Speed. Durability. Performance.

The Alumavator is a superby engineered, gear-driven boat lift that sets the industry standard for a shafted beam boat lift. It’s one of three popular vertical boat lifts designed, engineered and manufactured by IMM Quality Boat Lifts:

Are you looking for a better boat lift? Complete our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll give you a call!

IMM Boat lifts: Great engineering or advanced alien technology?

alien boat lift technology imm quality boat lifts

IMM Quality Boat Lifts designs and manufactures incredibly advanced boat lifts capable of lifting the largest yachts on the market. At the touch of a button, our lifts can safely and quietly hoist million-dollar yachts from the water.

Some customers have jokingly asked whether our boat lifts are designed by engineers or some advanced alien lifeform.

We can confirm this: our talented engineers are highly advanced and trained at the top institutions in our galaxy. They design custom boat lifts that certainly are out of this world.

Advanced Boat Lift Technology

Countless novels, movies, and television programs have speculated about extraterrestrial life as scientists worldwide search for evidence of alien life forms. Documentary programs like Ancient Aliens have presented evidence supporting the existence of aliens. However, government agencies had never confirmed any evidence supporting the existence of UFOs and aliens.

In 2020, the U.S. military released video evidence of interactions with UFOs while everyone was preoccupied with the pandemic. Then in January 2021, the CIA released its UFO black vault documents. Three months later, the U.S. Navy released and confirmed the authenticity of new video footage showing a pyramidal UFO. So far, the global response to this revolutionary evidence has been rather muted.

The Superlift

Why would customers joke that our boat lifts were designed by an advanced lifeform? Our full-time, in-house engineers use the latest 3D modeling and structural analysis software to create custom boat lifts. Just look at some of the incredible features of our Superlift:

  • Drive: A gearless, high-efficiency cycloidal drive generates 34,700 inch-pounds of output torque at an efficiency of greater than 90%.
  • Configurations: Four-piling configurations can hoist 33,000 pounds and eight-piling configurations can lift 66,000 pounds.
  • Materials: All aluminum and steel construction, as well as stainless steel hardware, protect against the elements.
  • Technology: Lifts operate with a handheld remote control with built-in auto-stops and a failsafe electric braking system.
  • Option: Solar panels guarantee power no matter the weather conditions.

Certainly, our engineers couldn’t have possibly learned all of their advanced technological skills on Earth, right?

Newly ‘Discovered’ Video

IMM Quality Boat Lifts has been family owned and operated since 1982. Technology certainly has changed since then.

In advance of World UFO Day on June 2, our team “discovered” this new YouTube video that shows aliens investigating our Superlift. Our engineers’ designs have been attracting global attention, but these are our first visitors from another planet!

Request a Quote

Are you looking for a boat lift that’s out of this world? Complete our CONTACT FORM or REQUEST A QUOTE and we’ll have one of our humans give you a call!

Every Boater’s nightmare: Public Boat Ramps

boat ramp
On our way to the FL keys, we pass by Black Point marina, and we always wonder why the line for the boat lane is so long (about 10 blocks). The truth is that this boat ramp story is the same all over the country:
boat ramp

The boaters line up and wait their turn to launch their boats, some of them inexperienced, some of them with large boats. Everyone has witnessed all the problems people have maneuvering their trailers and getting their boat off (or on) the trailer and into the water. After countless wasted time waiting in line, some frustrated boaters simply leave. Many boaters see the crowd and just turn around because there is not even one spot to park the trailer after you launch the boat. Imagine if you could avoid this!

Boating should be fun and you should enjoy the time you spend on the water as much as you can rather than fighting for a spot just to launch your vessel into the water. Many people have reported fights, drunk people, and other issues like things stolen from the cars.

One of the latest issues that add to the congestion is that boating rental companies are using public marinas and launches for their business. Without a physical location at the marina, these companies are taking reservations online and delivering the boat directly to the marina (any public launch in the area) for their rental business. The way they operate is difficult to catch by the authorities, so eradicating this practice will be exceedingly difficult.

Best Solution to Escape the Boat Ramp Nightmare!

 

IMM Quality Boat Lifts will help you to avoid all these issues. If you have a waterfront home, our sales team can help you find a boat lift to fit any need or budget. If you think that it is not possible to have a boat lift at your home, don’t worry. Just speak with our engineering department and they will be able to design the best lift for your boat. No matter the size or unusual situation!

Imagine having your boat right outside the back of your house. Safe, dry, and ready to go into the water, effortlessly at any time.

boat lift home seawall

Pros and Cons: Ramp at the Marina vs Your Own Boat Lift

 

Ramp Cons: Ramp Fee, trailer fee, boat accidents at the launch, trailer insurance, trailer registration, car theft, hours of aggravation, hours lost driving to the launch and waiting to get in the water, not finding a spot to launch, not finding parking for your trailer after you have launched the boat, dealing with drunk or rude people.

Ramp Pros: The cost of the ramp is $25 per launch.

Boat lift Cons: Shady marine contractors (let us recommend someone).

Boat Lift Pros: Boat is at your fingertips, easy to load unload anything to the boat, direct access to the water, more time on the water, no waiting time, or lines anywhere, easy to clean, easy to service your boat, etc.

Low to no-maintenance

Our boat lifts are designer to operate flawlessly and with minimal maintenance if any. There are several models to choose from. Please visit our website or download our catalog to find the right boatlift for your needs. If you have any questions, please contact us for more information. We will be glad to answer all of your questions and help you find what you are looking for.

Introducing the Ascension Stair Lift

ascension boat lift by iq boat lifts
IMM Quality Boat Lift’s revolutionary new Ascension Stair Lift is the latest example of our innovation and engineering excellence. The Ascension Stair Lift features self-leveling steps, so you can stand on a completely flat tread no matter the height at which the lift platform is raised. The Ascension Stair Lift offers convenient water access for a variety of purposes because the stairs are capable of going both up and down.
In its simplest form, the Ascension Stair Lift consists of an adjustable stairway and a platform. The Ascension can be built with platforms at both ends and with ADA compliant handrails on both sides of the stairs. The Ascension provides a convenient way to board and disembark from a docked boat. Even with the tide changing the boat’s boarding height, the Ascension’s adjustable stairs can accommodate the tidal fluctuation.
The Ascension can easily be used as a swim platform. You can decide whether the lower platform is above or below the waterline. Keep it above the waterline to keep your towels nice and dry. Or have the platform below the waterline so that your pets can get into and out of the water by themselves. Maybe you like to scuba dive from your dock and having a stairway with a platform below the waterline will be much easier to get into and out of the water than climbing a ladder.
Pet Owners Use the Ascension Stair Lift For Playtime Jumping into the water with IQ Boat Lift's Ascension Stair Lift We imagine most people will want to use the Ascension Stair Lift with their favorite small watercraft. Our engineers can custom design cradles and bunks to fit most small watercraft for use with the Ascension. If you have a jet ski, Craigcat, kayak, paddle board or other PWC up to 1,500 pounds, the Ascension is a good choice for easy water access from a dock or seawall. craigcat at the bottom of the ascension stair lift by IQ Boat Lifts jet ski ascension with parent and child Man in a kayak at the bottom of the ascension stair lift There are so many different water activities that people enjoy. The Ascension Stair Lift provides safe, reliable, and convenient access to the water from your dock or seawall. You will be surprised by how much the Ascension Stair Lift enhances your experience and improves your enjoyment of your water activities. Please visit the Ascension product page to learn more about this groundbreaking new product from IMM Quality Boat Lifts. ascension stair lift with platform
ascension stair lift with vessel arriving
ascension stair lift in use