If you own a boat, then you’re definitely aware of how it can prove to be very beneficial in the long run. It’s an almost therapeutic reverie from all the worries in your life. However, it’s not all roses and daisies all the time.
Boats can end up being troublesome in the sense that they are very costly to maintain, and if you don’t do so regularly, you’re looking at some laborious and expensive repairs.
- Corrosion can ruin the boat
- It can start to show severe signs of wear because of weathering
- Paint begins to strip off, exposing the vessel of the boat
- Algae, moss, and marine life buildup can damage the hull
A simple investment can save you from all of the aforementioned inconveniences, and in turn, allow you to increase the longevity of your boat.
A boat lift essentially pays for itself over time since it’s extricating you from many potential expenditures.
It keeps the boat floating mid-air on top of the water. The owner needs to install it near the waterfront, where the docked boat stands for convenient lifting and lowering.
The Diversified World Of Boat Lifts
There are various styles of boat lifts that you can buy to secure your boat, and each one caters to specific needs. Some of the most popular ones are:
The most affordable type of boat lift available is held into place just via its frame and houses an aluminum construction, resistant to corrosion. Cantilever lifts also have very few moving parts, and they lift the boat at an angle.
Instead of having pilings going into the water as support for the frame, you attach them to the dock itself. This is also the most expensive boat lift type.
Operated with electricity, vertical lifts are simple to control and easy to move around, if you please. As the name suggests, this lift raises the boat straight up.
In addition to the above-mentioned styles of boat lifts, you also have some other types worth mentioning, such as pile-mounted, freestanding, and floating boat lifts.
Depending on the variety of water, climate, space available, size of the boat, and your specific demands, you can install the type of boat lift that suits them best.
For example, a freestanding boat lift is mounted directly onto the ground, either on water or land. All of the previously discussed styles of boat lifts fall under this category.
A hydraulic boat lift is simply one that utilizes fluid instead of moving cables to operate the lifting mechanism. Thus, you can find the hydraulic boat lift boat in both cantilever and vertical styles.
How Much Does a Hydraulic Boat Lift Cost?
Hydraulic boat lifts can range from $2,000 to $20,000. A high-quality ShoreMate hydraulic cantilevering boat lift starts at $7,000, and that’s just the base model.
Purchasing any add-ons will increase the price considerably. This also doesn’t include any professional installation, so hiring a specialized marine team to do that for you would drive up the expenses even more.
Find The Right Model
Boats come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s essential that you find the right boat lift. Weight is a critical deciding factor here.
Boat lifts are rated for different lifting capacities. For example, a fully kitted out hydraulic unit can lift up to 10,000 pounds. In contrast, the most basic model can only lift 1250 pounds.
The boat’s weight is crucial as anything that’s over the boat lift’s maximum supported weight won’t lift it up. And it would help if you also did not overspend on a boat lift that is rated for much higher lifting capacity than you need since you’re probably not going to switch boats daily.
Hydraulic boat lifts come in both vertical and cantilever styles. You can choose either style depending on your needs.
The cheapest cantilever style hydraulic boat lift will run you at least $7,000. Whereas, a vertical unit of the same caliber would be about $1000 more expensive, coming in at $8,000 for the base model.
For convenience and ease of use, you might want to look into installing a railway mechanism adjacent to your boat lift to bring your boat up the shore and vice versa. This adds thousands of dollars to your total cost.
Hiring a special team to get this done for you will run you a pretty penny as well. You have to pay a hefty amount for even getting the boat out of the water and onto the boat lift/railway.
In general, a professional marine team’s work would be costly, but I can assure you that their expertise will go a long way in installing the boat lift properly for you. You can’t just DIY everything.
Diving Deeper Into The Costs
On top of all this, you have other accessories that can further improve your boating experience, like wheel kits that allow you to move around the hydraulic boat lift anywhere.
A ‘float kit’ attached to the boat lift at all times would also run you at least $800. This can prove to be life-saving in the event of an emergency.
Moreover, you can deck out the boat lift with motor stops, carpet bunks, and support for pontoon accessories. All of which are additional costs that have the potential to make the boating experience more pleasurable for you.
Maintenance Will Do Wonders
Just like the boat itself, the boat lift itself also requires good maintenance. Regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of the boat lift.
Consistently checking all the nuts, cables, wires, bolts, and connection points are important, along with proper lubrication of all moving parts like the gears and cables. If something feels odd or out of place, then you should likely call the installation team to come to take a look at it.
A Generous Evaluation
Considering all this, you can see how installing a high-quality boat lift can cost you close to $12,000. This includes professional installation, a decent railway for your boat, and other fancies like carpeted bunks, motor stops, and proper pontoon support.
The heavier your boat, the more expensive the boat lift will be. The estimate, as mentioned above, was done with keeping a 4500-pound boat in mind. So, your mileage may drastically vary.
If you’re in the market to buy a new boat lift, opting for a hydraulic unit is a great choice. Since not only are they made of marine-grade aluminum, but they also offer very high lifting capacities.
The most basic hydraulic boat lift without any accessories or installation service would run you at least $2000. A good lift from a respectable manufacturer can run you up to $7000 for the base model.
The highest quality hydraulic boat lift would be starting in the neighborhood of $20,000. The most affordable one I was able to find in this category was this ShoreStation unit, capable of lifting up to 8000 pounds.
It’s up to you what you want to buy. If you can pay for it, you can have it. Make a wise purchasing decision, stay safe, and enjoy your boating!