As the summer season winds down, now is the perfect time to perform regular maintenance on your boat lifts. Regular service of the components that make up your boat lift can help to maintain your lift in great working order year after year. At KT Waterfront, we recommend the following to ensure your lift stays in top working order.
Motor and Gear Plate
Your motor and gear plate serve as the foundation of your boat lift and are the primary determining factor in how much weight your boat lift can handle. The typical boat dock on Lake LBJ is rated for 6500 pounds and is capable of lifting a standard V-Hull runabout or tri-toon boat. In recent years, boats have significantly increased in length and weight. Today’s wake surf boats as well as larger tri-toon boats with large outboard motors often require a beefed up 8500# gear plate with a 1.5 hp HD motor. Older docks, particularly those made of wood, may also require additional structural support in the form of steel lift beams. Regular service of the motor and gear plate includes grease, particularly if the lift is making screeching noises. You should also check the belt and ensure it is not worn, dried out or in need of replacement.
The cables that lift your boat wrap around the drive pipe. Check to ensure your pipe is remains straight and the cables wrap neatly as you raise and lower the boat. Cables that overlap or look like a “rats nest” should be rewrapped properly so they do not put the lift in a bind and reduce the amount of weight the lift can support.
Check your cables for rust or fraying. Check cable clamps to ensure they are tight and secure. Should you see any fraying of the cables, have the cables replaced immediately. Fraying cables are potentially dangerous as they are the leading cause of snapped cables.
Ensure your pulleys spin freely as you raise and lower the boat.
Your boat sits on the bunks when it is docked in your slip. If you have bunks made of wood, ensure your bunks are free of any rotting or cracking of the wood. If any damage is evident, consider upgrading your bunks to aluminum with vinyl coverings. These bunks do not have buoyancy issues, nor will they scratch the bottom of your boat or jet ski.
Edging and Bumpers
Quality wood or composite band boards and dock edging are important to ensure your boat isn’t damaged as you enter and exit your slip. Check for rotting or warping of band boards and that your dock edging is not torn or missing. Replacement of your dock edging will protect the investment you have in your boat and dress up your dock.
KT Waterfront is available to assist you with any and all of these maintenance duties. Let us know if we can assist you.