5 Tips for Purchasing Used Boat Lifts in Southwest Florida
Many Southwest Floridians have a passion for the boating lifestyle. Your boat takes you to all of the beautiful beaches and great fishing in the area, and taking care of it is important. In order to protect the investment that you made in your boat – you should consider purchasing a new or used boat lift. Used boat lifts can offer a significant savings over a new boat lift, especially if you’re taking on the additional investment of installing a dock. A used boat lift can be an excellent alternative to reduce the budget needed to install your dock and boat lift combination. Here are a few things you should remember when purchasing your used boat lift in Southwest Florida, or anywhere else in Florida.
Is it made of aluminum or galvanized steel?
Both materials are sufficient and have been used since the first boat lift was built. One concern with galvanized steel is the cradle will eventually begin to rust, especially where the bunks are secured to the cradle. Make sure to check the condition of the steel under the bunks and surrounding the bunk brackets. Aluminum will not rust and will last much longer in the harsh environments we experience in Southwest Florida. Aluminum lifts also allow for additional flexibility if the lift needs to be modified for your pile foot print (when you have existing pilings already installed) or when you need a specific slip size based on your permitting requirements. Aluminum can be cut, drilled, and bolted where steel would have to be galvanized again if it was cut or drilled to prevent it from rusting.
Confirm the bunks will properly support your boat.
Do you have a “V” hull, catamaran hull, stepped hull, pontoon boat, etc. The bunks need to be capable of properly supporting your boat based on the design of the hull. Different hull designs require different bunk configurations.
Place a value on any included accessories.
The list of possible add on boat lift accessories is long. Many of these items offer additional convenience or additional access to the boat. However, there are costs associated with these items when buying a new lift. Oftentimes a used boat lift in Southwest Florida will come with a remote control, automatic stop, walk board, top beam cover, stern access platform, etc.
Confirm the capacity and required pile setting.
Make sure the lifting capacity is high enough to pick up your boat. This requires knowing the loaded weight of your vessel when it is full of fuel, water, gear, and people. It is also important to know where the center of gravity of your boat is located as the maximum lifting capacities listed for each boat lift assume the weight of the boat is equally distributed. If your boat is not applying the weight equally in all four corners of your boat lift, it is not capable of lifting the listed maximum capacity. Different lifts require different spacing on the support pilings. If you are installing a used lift on existing pilings you will need to know the distance between your pilings as well as the required piling foot print that the lift is made for.
Hire a professional to install it.
A trustworthy marine contractor is the only way to know that your boat lift will be installed properly. A marine contractor will be able to assist in selecting the right lift, installation, and foresee and repair any issues with your boat lift and or dock.
Buying a used boat lift in Southwest Florida is an additional investment beyond the investment you made when you purchased your boat. Make sure that you purchase it from a marine contractor that you trust. If you’re looking for a used boat lift, browse our used boat lift inventory