Did you know that standard boat lifts are attached to a set of at least four pilings that are driven into the surface below the water? If you think you can’t install a boat lift system just because you’re at a location where you can’t have pilings, think again. An elevator boat lift in Fort Lauderdale allows you to enjoy the benefits of a smartly designed system that can lift your vessel out of the water at different angles.
A Closer Look at Elevator Boat Lifts
What Is a Boat Lift?
A boat lift refers to a machine designed to secure a watercraft above the water in a private dock or marina. Besides protecting your boat from being smashed against the dock during a storm, a boat lift system prevents it from sinking if the bilge pump fails.
Keeping your boat on a lift ensures your vessel is kept out of the water. For this reason, it eliminates the need for applying bottom paint because it limits the opportunity for marine growth at the bottom of your boat. Additionally, a lift system protects your boat and drive from corrosion, prevents hull staining, and helps you avoid dings and scratches.
Moreover, fitting your boat lift with a roof or canopy will add more long-term value to your vessel because it helps keep it clean and protected from sun fading. Lastly, a lift system is more convenient than launching your boat from a trailer before each boating session.
What Is the Difference Between a Standard Boat Lift and an Elevator Boat Lift?
A typical boat lift system uses at least four pilings driven into the water for structural support. Furthermore, its cradle is centered between these pilings. While an elevator boat lift’s operation is similar to standard boat lifts, it uses beams instead of pilings for support.
When Is an Elevator Boat Lift Necessary?
An elevator boat lift system is ideal if you’re at a location where piling installation may be prohibitively expensive due to hard bottom conditions that require a rock punch or drill rig. You’ll also need an elevator lift if you live where local code or water rights prevent piling installation.
Since an elevator lift doesn’t require pilings for structural support, you can still install it even if there’s not enough space to install outside pilings. Additionally, these lifts are the perfect choice in crowded waterways where docking your vessel isn’t possible or your water rights are limited in narrow canals or embankments.
How Do Elevator Boat Lift Systems Work?
Unlike a standard boat lift that uses pilings to support the top beam, elevator lifts use I-beam tracks or rails supported by a seawall or dock. Before installing the lift, a trusted marine contractor should check if the dock structure is sturdy enough to handle the lift system’s load. They must determine the ideal installation angle and the rails’ required length.
Although your needs determine whether the rails are mounted vertically or at an angle, one end of the rail should be driven into the seabed while the other is attached to the dock with track bracing and mounting brackets. Moreover, elevator lift systems use two aluminum bunks and cross bracing to connect the lift’s carriage’s two “L”-shaped arms. The carriage has wheels that ride along the underside of the I-beam flange and the top surface of the I-beam track. Two powerheads are attached to the top portion of each rail. These powerheads use stainless steel cables to pull the carriage up the rails.