Helpful Tips and Tricks

 

 

Please enjoy these helpful tips and tricks for a simpler and easier workload each summer! Start enjoying installing and removing your dock and boat lift again- with the right knowledge and tools, there's no point in paying someone else to do it! Get the job done safely and correctly, and on your own timeline to maximize your boating season!

 

Use these tips and techniques at your own risk, always hire a professional or consult an experienced neighbor if you are unsure of what exactly you are doing!

 

No offense- some of you have no business attempting any of this (and probably already know it!), don't let your ego hurt you or your friends that help you!

 

 

Safe Boat Lift Operation And Maintenance

ePaper
Share:

Canopy Cover Folding And Storage

 

Be sure to clean the bird poop, leaves, etc off in the fall on a nice day (you can use a mild dish soap or car wash solution and gentle brush) and then let the cover dry all day in the sun. Keep flipping or adjusting the canopy periodically so the wrinkles will get a chance to dry out. Put the cover away in storage only if it is bone dry, otherwise you risk mildew which may be at least partially permanent. Also, store it in your basement where it is a constant temperature in the winter (versus being exposed to cold, dry, harsh air and rodents in the garage), vinyl is like your skin and can dry out when exposed to cold and extremely dry weather all winter. Dryer sheets placed around and inside the canopy can help deter rodents from chewing holes all through it, making it look like swiss cheese. Treat your vinyl in the spring (and periodically) with a premium vinyl protectant, like 3M Brand's '303' Spray. The lifespan of your cover is entirely subjective based on your sun and wind exposure, tree sap, bird poop, etc., but this procedure will help you get the most out of it.

 

Dock & Pier Installation and Removal

 

The Basics:

  • Always keep your aluminum dock 12-18" above the water at its highest point- sometimes that means your dock will be 3 feet out of the water at the end of summer drought! Anodized aluminum is resistant to staining (but not perfect) and waves from wake board boats can mangle a dock if they are set too low, or the twisting motion of waves when a dock is submerged during spring flooding can rip the corners of the aluminum out! If you are on an extremely rough lake (yacht traffic, connected to the Great Lakes, i.e. Grand Traverse Bay, etc.) you will likely need to keep your dock at least 3 feet out of the water and might benefit from composite dock which allows waves to surge through the panels.
  • Always use 4 separate augured mooring poles and bungee lines if you plan to tie a boat up to your dock- aluminum dock is lightweight and incredibly strong, but tying your giant pontoon (aka wind sail) directly to your lightweight dock on foot pads is just asking for trouble- we've seen docks flipped from people trying to cheap out on doing it the right way. Yes, you may have done it in the past with your incredibly heavy wooden dock with steel augured poles, that does not matter now. Your neighbors will also be thankful when your boat doesn't drift away in a storm and damage their dock too. With that said, anything is possible, a boat lift is always the safest option and in the right storm anything can happen no matter what precautions you take- we've seen boat lifts flipped WITH boats on them!

 

 

Boat Lift & Boat Hoist Installation and Removal

 

The Basics:

  • NEVER put your canopy cover on the boat lift without the boat on it! Every year, we have calls from people with flipped and destroyed boat lifts that either left their canopy cover on year-round (stupid idea in general, the winter weather is trashing your expensive cover and snow weight can collapse the canopy frame), or installed the cover at the time of lift installation before the boat is there. One guy installed his on shore 20 minutes before he was going to launch his boat and a storm kicked up and flipped the lift while he waited for the rain to stop. Not only is installing it on shore far harder to do while on ladders or tip-toeing around, sometimes boat deliveries get delayed or other things happen and you might get in trouble! Likewise, if you plan to remove your boat for service or take it with you on a road trip vacation, you should remove the cover before pulling the boat to avoid expensive accidents! We know of several lifts that flew over 100 feet away from their original location, and have video of another customer's rolling over his dock at night.
  • Crank your boat lift up at the end of the season as soon as you remove the boat- this will keep your wooden/ carpeted bunks from prematurely rotting, and will keep your lift cradle (pulleys, cables, bunks- all the important stuff) from getting gunked up and worn out from waves bashing it around inside the lift and blowing out the pulleys or bearings from side to side movement. This is especially important if you do not install/ remove your own lift and boat, sometimes the lift is dropped in weeks before the boat arrives if you hire it out, which is plenty of time to cause damage every year.
  • Always make sure that your boat lift cradle (the part that moves up and down, which your bunks are attached to) is cranked up at least a foot out of the water to prevent it from getting gunked up and avoid damage from waves smashing into it which can prematurely blow out your pulleys and bearings from unnecessary side to side wobble- this is especially true if you have a motor and therefore no excuses about being lazy with a manual crank wheel! If you cannot get that kind of clearance out of the water due to boat clearance, your canopy height or the boat lift legs may need adjustment.
Please watch the video, below, to learn about lift removal without physical lifting involved!

 

 

Boat Lift Installation In Deep Muck

 

Deep muck around your boat lift? The cheapest option is to simply buy plastic pallets as a strong backbone (can be found on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. for around $10-20 each) and then bolt 3/4" marine-grade treated plywood to the surface to create a snowshoe effect- this allows your boat lift to stay more level and require fewer adjustments and headaches than usual. The plywood (and sometimes the plastic pallet itself) are buoyant, so it can be a pain to keep them down while using our boat lift foam strips to lower your boat lift onto the pallets in a controlled fashion, but if you have knee deep muck, that is far easier and cheaper than any alternative. Make sure that the feet of the boat lift are centered on the board/ pallet to help avoid slipping which could cause injury or damage to the lift.

 

Use this method and any tips found on our page at your own risk and always hire a professional whenever you are in doubt!

Lifts Ladders And Docks.Com:

A Division of BlueScape, Inc.

 

For Quotes or Service:

Brent

Sales and Service

Text or Call:

269-217-7188

Click below for a quick quote:

[email protected]sanddocks.com

 

 

Dave

Sales

Text or Call:

269-584-1230

Click below for a quick quote:

  [email protected]

 

 

Jim

Northern Michigan- Sales

Call:

616-340-9517

Click below for a quick quote:

[email protected]

 

 

WAREHOUSE AND SHOWROOM

Google Maps & Reviews- Click HERE

 11811 Shaver Road

    Schoolcraft, Michigan 49087 

  Just South of Kalamazoo, MI

 

 

HOURS:

 

Boating Season Hours (April-October):

Tuesday-Friday 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Saturday 10am - 1pm

 

All Other Times By Easy Appointment!

Just Text Or Call For Availability

 

WE ACCEPT:

Cash or Checks

Or

All Major Credit or Debit Cards with 3% Fee Added To Total Bill



      Dealers for:

Print Print | Sitemap
© Lifts Ladders and Docks.com, a BlueScape, Inc. Company. 11811 S. Shaver Rd. Schoolcraft (Kalamazoo), MI 49087.

Call

E-mail

Directions