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5 Common Reasons for Boat Lift Repairs

dock boat

A boat lift plays an important role in helping you keep your watercraft out of the water to prevent costly damages to the vessel. Although boat lifts are robust structures that can support thousands of pounds of a boat's weight, neglect and poor maintenance can diminish the service life, efficiency, and safety of the lift.


While some repairs are unavoidable, preventative maintenance can mitigate many boat lift issues. Here are common reasons that can necessitate boat lift repairs.

1. Rust

Water and humidity accelerate the formation of rust on the boat lift. While steel is a popular choice for boat lifts, this material is prone to rust. Aluminum is, however, more resistant to rust. Depending on the extent of the corrosion, consider replacing an old or corroded steel boat lift with an aluminum one.


Grinding the rust off the metal is possible if you detect the corrosion early enough. Your marine construction contractor may also apply a protective sealant and paint to mitigate further corrosion.


2. Faulty Motor

The motor is the lifeline of your boat lift. In particular, the motor powers the boat lift, allowing you to effortlessly lower and lift your watercraft in and out of the water. Common signs of problems include a motor that will not start or stay on, a motor that will not lift, and a motor that will only turn on manually.


Several factors can contribute to boat lift motor problems, including faulty wiring in the motor, burnt fuses, an incorrect amount of voltage to the motor, and a defective up-button, among others. A marine technician can easily repair motor problems, but a completely damaged motor will require replacing.


3. Sinking Piles

Poor installation of piling can affect the efficiency of the boat lift sitting atop the piling. The inadequately driven piling can sink, shift, and destabilize the lift.


Sinking piles will also cause the lift to bind, which can result in structural damage and create safety hazards. Be sure to have a professional marine construction contractor install your boat lift system.


4. Worn Cables

The cables are your boat lift's workhorse. Cables lift the rack assembly and bear the weight of the vessel, allowing you to raise and lower the watercraft effortlessly. Lift cables are especially prone to wear and tear due to the up-and-down movement and therefore require periodic maintenance.


Rust is a common cause of lift cable issues given that cables are generally made from stainless steel or galvanized steel. Other factors that can wear the lift cable include overloading the boat lift, inadequate tension, misalignment, and faulty drum winding.


5. Malfunctioning Boat Lift Controls

Boat lift controls comprise the switches, harnesses, and remotes that regulate the up-and-down movement of the boat lift system. In particular, the controls turn the lift's motor, gear plate, and the drive pipe, allowing you to lift and lower

your boat efficiently.


Much of the time, electrical faults and corroded circuit contacts are a major cause of malfunctioning boat lift controls. A common sign of faulty controls is a lift that raises the boat too high. This can result in damage to both the lift and the boat.


Additionally, a faulty remote control may cause the motor to run in the opposite direction, which can make raising or lowering the lift difficult. In this case, your lift remote may need rewiring.


Some problems such as electrical issues with boat lifts may catch you unawares. However, regular visual inspection of the various components of the boat lift, proper use, and a little care can go a long way in prolonging the life of your boat lift.


Whether you are looking to install a boat lift, replace your old one, or complete repairs, you can trust Edgewater Marine Construction, Inc., to get the job done. Call us today for expert installation and repair for boat lifts in the Foley area.