16 Mar Boat Lift Winterizing and Seasonal Maintenance
Your boat takes you closer to nature — to experience the peaceful rocking of the waters and the jaw dropping beauty of every shoreline you pass. But nature can also be your boat and other boating equipment’s biggest enemy. Your boat lift, for example, can suffer brutally from the changing of each season. Boat lifts will last up to 25 years, even longer, but they need constant upkeep.
To keep your boat lift in top shape for many years, make sure to keep the following winterizing and seasonal maintenance tips in mind:
1. Post-Season Check – At the end of each boating season, do a thorough examination of your boat lift. From the largest parts to the smallest bolts, your boat lift should be rigorously checked. Are the cables fraying? Are the brackets attached securely to the docks? If you see some worn parts, you can go ahead and order them from your boat company. Don’t wait until spring or when boat companies become too busy to ship your parts on time.
2. In Case of Storms – Do you get a lot of strong winds and stormy days during the winter season? You will want to secure the lift if you do. This process includes removing the boat off the lift completely. Leaving the boat on it will result in a catastrophic turn of events, especially when you factor in a storm.Another thing that you need to do is to secure the beams so that your lift will not sway too much in the wind. Additionally, if the weathermen are predicting storm surges, you will want to keep your motors and gearboxes dry. Make sure that you remove them for the season. Storms can also bring power surges. To be safe, anything that uses a power source should be unplugged or kept dry.
3. In Case of Freezing Waters – If your lake or shoreline freezes, it is essential that you remove the boat lift from the water completely. Ice moves and expands. And as they do, your boat lift and docks will not be safe.
Keep in mind however, that you have to keep your boat lift’s small parts together and in a secure place when you disassemble it. Make sure that you have all the bolts and small components in one box and that they are labeled properly. You don’t want to meet the following year’s boating season with missing boat lift parts.
4. Use De-icer – Let’s say your water freezes you removing your boat lift completely is not possible. Sometimes removing it can be impractical after all. But this doesn’t mean that you should leave it to the mercy of the elements. What you can do, instead, is to turn to the help of a de-icer. A de-icer will protect your boat lift and docks from ice damage. What it does is create an ice-free zone around your dock and boat lift by pushing warm water to surface and preventing ice formation. As a result, your boat lift will not be damaged by the expansion or movement of ice in the water all through winter.
5. Offseason Checks – When your boat lift is not being used during the off-season, it will tend to become a lot more dirty and stiff. Once in a while, operate the boat lift just so you can see if all its essential parts are still working. A good off-season boat lift maintenance checklist includes the following: Clean the cables with fresh water, lubricate grease points, and check bearings and rollers.
These winterizing and seasonal maintenance tips are simple and easy to do. You don’t even have to shell out a huge sum for the most part. But if you do them diligently, you will be able to save even more money by keeping your boating equipment free from damage.Once the new boating season arrives, you will be assured that your boat lift cables won’t snap or that its motor is still running. Again, we reiterate the need to order any accessories you need in advance so that your boat lift will be complete and in running condition once spring arrives.