Boat Dock Lift Repair Basics

Boat Dock Lifts Charleston SC¬†endure a lot of pressure. That’s why performing routine maintenance is important to catch any issues early and avoid more costly repairs.

Aluminum is less vulnerable to galvanic corrosion than steel because it only surface oxidizes. That’s why most modern lifts feature aluminum top beam structures.

boat dock lifts

A boat lift is designed to keep your vessel off the water surface and out of harm’s way when not in use. Unfortunately, the equipment isn’t invulnerable to wear and tear, and repairs are often necessary. A few of the most common boat lift problems include mechanical issues, electrical issues, and cable malfunctions. The best way to prevent these problems is through regular maintenance.

Boat lift motors often experience electrical issues as a result of corroding mechanical parts and constant exposure to the elements. A screeching sound from the motor may indicate a lack of lubrication, while a humming noise could point to a centrifugal switch or bad start capacitor. In addition to the motor, you should also check for proper hoist plate installation and the power supply to ensure it is functioning correctly.

Like all mechanical parts, boat lift cables require routine lubrication. You should lubricate the drive pipe bearings (usually four to six per top beam) and the motor itself every month or two. You should also wash the cables with fresh water after each use in saltwater to minimize corrosion and extend their life.

Another concern with cables is that they are constantly subjected to up-and-down movements, causing them to wear out over time. For this reason, it’s important to inspect your lift cables regularly for signs of wear and replace them every two years or 200 up-and-down cycles, whichever comes first. Choosing a lift that utilizes grooved aluminum cable winders can help reduce the risk of damage by minimizing metal-on-metal contact.

Rough water locations are also more prone to wear and tear, and as a result, the equipment requires a more heavy-duty system. Many different manufacturers offer specialized lifts to address rough water locations, and these lifts feature stronger arms, mechanisms, bolts, and bracing.

Elevator lifts can experience additional maintenance concerns because the elevator tracks are permanently installed in the water and are susceptible to galvanic corrosion. One way to help prevent this is by using sacrificial zinc anodes on the tracks. You should also check and replace the anodes periodically, as needed.

The cables that connect a boat lift to the cradle allow the lift to raise your water vessel. Although not as exciting or impressive as the motor, the cables are equally important and play a major role in keeping your lift functioning properly. There are different types of cable, but the two most common are stainless and galvanized steels. The stainless steel is the better choice for marine environments and will last longer than the galvanized cable. Nevertheless, both are durable and will last a long time if they are properly maintained.

Galvanized steel cable is less expensive and has a thin layer of zinc oxide that helps it resist corrosion. It is also more resilient to work hardening and is better able to resist abrasion than stainless steel cable. However, galvanized steel does not offer as much resistance to rust as stainless steel, and it is not recommended for use in salty water or for submersion for extended periods of time.

If you own a boat dock with a galvanized lift, the best thing you can do to protect your investment is to rinse the cable regularly with freshwater to remove salt crystals, algae and barnacles. In addition, you should not leave the boat lift in the water for extended periods of time, especially when you are away from home. This will help prevent the buildup of barnacles and electrolysis.

It is also helpful to apply a squirt of penetrating oil on a regular basis to the stainless steel cable strands to reduce the amount of internal friction caused by abrasion. However, be sure that the lubricant you choose does not contain grease, as this can trap moisture inside the cable strands and cause abrasion.

When you are removing the cable from the winch drum, make sure you have enough length to rewind it without any kinks or twists. This will prevent damage to the cable and to the winch drum. Additionally, if the cable has been cut too short, you should be sure to put in a copper stop and a wire rope clip to prevent it from pulling loose or coming off the winder bar.

There are several parts to a boat lift, but none more critical than the brackets that connect it to the dock. These are typically metal pieces that sit flush on the dock frame and provide a stable base for the lift itself. These brackets are often made from stainless steel, which enables them to resist corrosion in harsh marine environments.

Brackets are available for a variety of different lift systems, including freestanding lifts, piling mount lifts, and even telescoping lifts. They also come in a wide variety of sizes, from standard to large. The type of bracket you choose will depend on the size and weight capacity of your boat, as well as the type of lift system.

While a properly installed lift will provide peace of mind, it’s important to remember that it isn’t something you can just put in and forget about. Proper care and maintenance will ensure your lift performs as intended year after year, preventing damage to your boat and docking equipment.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, installing a boat lift can be complicated. There are many different parts to consider, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can be costly or dangerous. That’s why it’s best to work with a licensed and insured professional for any installation or repairs.

There are two basic types of lifts: manual and electric. Manual lifts use cables and pulleys to raise and lower boats, while electric lifts are powered by an electrical motor. In either case, lowering your boat into the water requires at least two people — one to control the lift and another to operate the boat.

They’re the perfect complement to any marina, providing stability and safety for your boat. Designed to mount on the comers of a cradle beam, these brackets help keep your cradle in place and minimize contact between wood dock pilings and aluminum cradle components. They also help prevent galvanic corrosion by separating the elements.

A Boat Dock Lift is a great way to eliminate the hassle of launching and retrieving your watercraft. However, like anything that is exposed to the elements and constant use, your Boat Lift will require regular maintenance. This is especially important because a malfunctioning Boat Lift can be dangerous for everyone involved.

The first step is to examine the pilings and dock structure for damage. If you notice any cracks or loosening of the material, it is critical to repair them before the problem worsens. Additionally, you should also look for the top beam’s structural integrity. Over time, the steel can rust through and compromise the strength of the lift. To prevent this, you should regularly apply a coating to the metal to protect it from corrosion.

Another maintenance task that is often overlooked is lubricating the sheaves and pulleys. These are the parts that support the cable system on your Boat Lift. Each pulley has a zerk grease fitting that should be lubricated at least once per year. This will minimize the wear that can occur when the cable goes around the sheave and back up again.

You should also check the bolts that connect the aluminum guide posts to the cradle I-beams for rust and corrosion. Aluminum corrodes more quickly than stainless steel, so it is important to inspect the bolts on a regular basis. The bolts should be tightened, and any that are loose should be replaced. Likewise, the anchor bolts should be replaced when they become loosened or damaged.

Follow the Weight Limits: Every Boat Lift has a recommended maximum weight capacity. Exceeding this limit can cause the lift to break, so be sure to abide by these limits.

Welded Docks and Lifts Offer Higher Resale Value: When compared to bolt together products, welded docks and lifts take significantly less time to assemble. A welded product will also provide a longer-lasting, more durable finish. For example, canopy frame can be assembled by one person in about 20 minutes using just four welded components: two canopy ends and two canopy sides. This is a fraction of the assembly time required for other dock and lift manufacturers’ bolt-together products.