How to Park a Boat on a Lift
For watercraft owners who are considering purchasing a boat lift but are anxious about parking on one, they may be happy to discover that it is similar to parking on a trailer or even in the water next to a dock. Not all boat lifts are configured the same way, so the exact parking procedures will vary. For example, a standard boat lift has a cradle attached to pilings and extends out from the dock. However, in areas where pilings can’t be used, such as narrow canals, an elevator lift that is attached directly to the seawall may be used instead, which means you’ll need to be more cautious about not scrapping the wall when parking.
Regardless of the boat lift configuration, the best practices for parking are relatively similar. The boat rests on bunk boards – similar to those on a trailer – which are attached to a suspended cradle. When taking the boat out on the water, the cradle simply needs to be lowered below the waterline until the boat floats freely. Upon returning to the dock, you’ll need to lower the cradle below the waterline again. Depending on the lift system you have, you may be able to do this via remote control, or you’ll have to get onto the dock to lower the cradle from a controller station.
Then, you’ll position your boat over the bunk boards and raise the cradle again. Most lift systems come with parking guides made from PVC piping that won’t damage the hull if it comes into contact with them. This will make it easy to position your vessel evenly between the bunk boards. It is also important to ensure your vessel is positioned on the lift in such a way that the weight is evenly distributed between the front and back of the cradle, as this will prevent premature wear to your lift system. To ensure your boat is correctly positioned on the lift, you’ll have to first determine the center of gravity for your vessel and then refer to the instructions from your boat lift manufacturer.
Parking on a boat lift is a simple process; however, there are other factors to keep in mind when purchasing a lift system, such as reliability and maintenance requirements. DECO Boat Lifts is proud to offer the industry’s best performing lift systems, providing our customers with an exceptional value for their investments. Contact us today to learn more.