In 3 Minutes - Learn The Different Types of Boat Lifts - Hiseadock

In 3 Minutes – Learn The Different Types of Boat Lifts



Boats should take a vacation from the water when the water becomes less conducive for it. For instance during winter when the water starts to freeze. The major issue every boater wants to solve during this period is ‘How can I safeguard my boat’. 

There might be no issues removing smaller boats like fishing boats but bigger boats might prove impossible to move without the right means. Boat lifts solve the nightmares of getting all types of boats, big or small out of the water with ease.

This article will discuss different types of boat lifts, how they work, and the benefit of having a boat lift.

What Is a Boat Lift? 

A boat lift does almost the same thing a lift or escalator does; They move things to a different level. The difference is that while lifts move goods or humans, boat lifts are devices that are designed to move the boat from the sea to a platform or dock easily and back to the water.

How Does Boat Lift Work?

To help with your curiosity, we will answer this frequently asked the question ‘How does a boat lift work’. 

The components of a boat lift include a set of vertical supports or pilings, the platform where the boat is accommodated, a cradle, cables, pulleys, and a motor or winch system. The supports are anchored to the bottom of the water for stability. The cables and pulley system help to raise or lower the platforms where the boats will sit. They are either operated manually or automated.

When the boater wants the boat out of the water for whatever reason, the boat will be driven to the platform of the lift system and held securely with the lift cables. The platform is then raised out of the water together with the boat. The lift is locked in place to keep the boat securely out of the water.

A boat on a boat lift
A boat on a boat lift

Who May Need a Boat Lift?

Do you know that sometimes, water can be the worst place for a boat? I know this sound a little off since boats are built for water. Well, boats are not hydrophobic, but sometimes they just need time away from the water. If boats are exposed to adverse aquatic conditions, they can get damaged. This is why boat lifts are important to get the boat out of the water if need be.

Boat lifts are particularly important for boat owners in harsh marine environments or any boat owner that cares enough for their boat. It is great for any boater that wants to avoid algae infestation on their boat. And those that want to prevent spending on repairing a boat that has been damaged because it was left on the water.

Benefits of Using a Boat Lift 

There are a lot of benefits of boat lifts to using a boat lift besides saving time and energy. Boat lifts help to reduce scuffs and damage on the boat, and provide a high resistance to corrosion and algae.

Reduction of Scuffs and Damage

The tides on the water where the boat is tied are enough to cause the boat to dangle. A strong water wave can cause some commotion on the waterfront and cause damage to boats that are not properly kept.

Boat owners who do not have a boat lift will have to deal with scuffs and damages after every serious tide. When boats are on the lift, the strong tides will have little or no effect on the boat. Boat lifts protect the boat from the after-effect of the tides. 

A boat lift system secures the boat above the water, preventing scuffing, collisions, and damage.

Higher Resistance to Corrosion and Algae

Leaving boats in the water for a long time can lead to lower unit wear, hull blistering, and corrosion. The saltiness of the sea can cause the metals of the boat to corrode.

It’s a no-brainer that algae are hazardous to boats and other watercraft. Leaving the boat on the water for a prolonged period can cause algae infestation. Suspending the boat with any boat lift prevents corrosion and algae infestation.

Quicker and Easier Boating

One thing that is really notable about tying the boat to a dock is that when the wave increases, you may have to wait a little before you get into the boat. Getting into a boat when the tide is much can be difficult as the boat keeps dancing with the wave. But with a boat lift in place, you do not have to wait out the tides – get in and boat away almost immediately!

Different Types of Boat Lifts

Different types of boat lifts can be seen along coastlines or marinas. Some have fixed structures, while others are anchored to a dock and left to float.

Let us examine the 5 common boat lift types.

Floating Lifts

What are floating lifts? You guessed right! It is easy to define floating lifts just from hearing the name ‘Floating lift’. They are boat lifts that stay floating on water. They help to carry the boat above the surface of the water.

Instead of piles and posts, floating lifts are built to have a buoyant base. Their buoyant base allows them to sit conveniently on the water. Floating lifts cannot stay on their own. They can float away with the tides. This is why they must be anchored to a fixed structure to keep them in place.

A floating drive-on platform for boats
Image source:  A floating drive-on platform for boats

Bottom Standing Lifts (a.k.a Freestanding Lifts)

Free-standing lifts are designed to be completely autonomous and rest either on the bottom of the lake or on a sturdy base. Unlike floating lifts, they don’t need to be anchored to a fixed structure.

They are most suitable for water depths between two feet to nine feet. They might not be the best options when the water is deep or when the ground is rough and uneven.

Shore Mounted Lifts

Shore-mounted lifts are also known as stationary lifts. They are types of boat lifts that are permanently installed on the shoreline or dock. They are ramps that extend from the shore into the water. They often have guideposts and cradle systems to lift boats out of the water.

Shore-mounted lifts are ideal for modest-sized watercraft and can be powered either manually or by an electric mechanism. Shore-mounted lifts have limitations in the weight of the boat they can conveniently accommodate.

Piling Mount Lifts

A piling mount boat lift is attached to a fixed dock or pilings. They help to protect the structural elements of the dock. Before mounting this lift on a dock, the positions of the piles and posts should be noted.

Since they are mounted on the piles and posts of the dock, the dock should be strong enough to carry the lift and all the accessories that will be used on the lift.

Suspended Lifts

A suspended boat lift cannot stand alone. They are suspended by cables or chains from a dock or any structure above the water. Suspended lifts are preferred for boats situated in the water of considerable depth or regions where water levels tend to vary. 

The suspended lift system provides easy access to the hull of the boat they are carrying. This is particularly helpful for cleaning and maintenance.

A suspended boat lift
Source: A suspended boat lift

Other Accessories to Build a Boat Lift System 

In addition to the primary elements like the lift mechanism that allows the lift to function, supplementary accessories can also be incorporated to enhance the functionality and convenience of a boat lift system. These accessories may include solar panels, bird deterrents, floodlights, guides, and canopies for protection from the elements.

Solar Panels 

Some boat lift types depend on electricity to lift the boat. Since the lift is outside, why not utilize the outdoor setting and install a solar system for power generation? Solar panels can be built for the boat lift to provide power.


Protecting the boat does not end with lifting it out of the water. Extended exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can also cause some damage to the boat. Installing canopies on boat lifts can help reduce the exposure of the boat to the scourging temperature. Canopies also protect the boat from any damage that can be caused by rainfalls.

A Shore mounted lift with canopy
Source: A Shore mounted lift with a canopy

Bird Deterrents

Birds can add a more natural feel to water picnics or camping. They can also leave a mess on the boats, especially when the boat is not moving. Bird deterrents are often placed on boat lifts to discourage birds from perching and making a mess on boats.


Floodlights provide adequate lighting. Using the boat very early in the morning or late at night can be difficult because there will be little daylight during this period. When floodlights are mounted on boat lifts, they provide better lighting.


Boat lift guides are important on the boat lift. They do the work of securing the boat on the lift. They set the limit to which the boat can go, the boat can get past them. If the guides are not there, the boat can slip off and fall. This can cause serious damage. 

Get Similar Products of Boat Lifts: Drive-On Floating Dock

It can be difficult at times to get exactly what you want, but it might be because you have not been searching in the right place. Hisea Dock’s Drive-on floating dock gives you all that you want in a floating dock.

Convenient Drive-On Floating Dock Provided by Hisea Dock

Hisea Dock’s drive-on boat docks are every boater’s choice. It is safe to use, easy to dock a boat on, and convenient to assess. What’s more? The premium quality materials we use are capable of withstanding any weather conditions that come your way.

Hisea Dock
Source: Hisea Dock

Hisea Dock: Plastic Floating Dock System Manufacturer 

There is no doubt that Hisea Dock is one of the best Plastic Floating Dock System Manufacturers in the world. We offer different types of plastic floating docks best suited for different activities. 

Final Thought

If you own a boat, then you must get a boat lift to help get the boat out of the water when the need arises. Different types of boat lifts have different functions and designs. 

What works on a floating dock might not work with fixed docks. And what works with shallow waters might not be effective for deep waters. These are the reasons to get professional help from experts before choosing a boat lift. 

Hisea Dock is available to help you make an informed decision on what type of boat lift to buy. Contact us today! 

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