Boat Lifts Are Key to Convenient Pier Access
There aren’t many recreational activities that offer both thrills and relaxation quite like spending a day on the open water with friends or family. Whether you’re an owner, renter, or “that guy” who always bugs your friend to take out their boat, most of us have experienced the joys of boating.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a boat then you know the importance of keeping it protected and well-maintained. Owning a boat is a costly investment with large payoffs. If you’re like most boat owners, you understand the amount of time and money it takes to own and use a boat. Washing, waxing, cleaning, scrubbing… Then after you’re finished getting ready for the beach, you’ll need to start cleaning your boat!
We’ve discussed previously how boat lifts are one of the most beneficial pieces of boating equipment. The old-fashioned way of manually pushing and pulling your boat onto land to protect it, store it, clean it, or perform other necessary maintenance is a thing of the past. Boat lifts eliminate the hassle of transporting boats from land to water and vise versa. They also increase the functional and operational longevity of your boat.
The irony of owning a boat is that when your boat spends prolonged periods of time in the water it is likely to succumb to corrosion or damage.
These are a few examples of potential causes of damage:
- Adverse weather can cause objects on the surface and below the water to strike your boat.
- Water organisms like moss and algae can adhere and grow on the exterior.
- Pitting and blisters form at the bottom of your boat from small electrical currents that are naturally generated in water.
It should be a no-brainer to invest in a boat lift if you don’t already have one. Eventually, the cost of a boat lift pays off by reducing the costs of cleaning, fixing, and restoring your boat.
If you’re an experienced boat owner, this may be information you’re already well aware of. Instead of continuing to lecture about the importance of investing in a boat lift, let’s learn a little about the history of this equipment and review some interesting facts.
History of Boat Lifts
The first boat lifts used a pair of davits to lift tubs and boats out of the water. The earliest available documents reveal that the first boat lift was constructed and used in Halsbrücke to lift a tub boat out of the water. Tub boats primarily carried coal and other minerals between different ports and mining canals.
Advancements to Boat Lifts
Lifting boats out of the water using davits was a difficult and arduous task. Normally, larger boats required multiple people to do it. New inventions eliminated the difficulty of using davits and made the task easier and less time consuming.
Cradle systems later became the standard for modern day boat lifts. Bunk boards that connect to a lifting platform or cradle system support these boat lifts. Different types of cradle systems are used today including hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic floatation, wound cables, vertical boat lifts, electrical boat docks and lifts, hydro-pneumatic, and many more.
Another development that further improved boat lifts was replacing the widely used galvanized steel with aluminum. Initially, most boat lifts used galvanized steel. However, it proved too weak for supporting larger boats, and was more conducive to corrosion over time.
Different Kinds of Boat Lifts
Walking or cruising along the shore, you’re sure to see a variety of different boat lifts. The different elements, designs, and brands prove there’s no one lift suitable for all boats. Choosing the right boat lift depends on the size and shape of the boat, the location or docking point, the expense of the system, and the type of water the boat is in (fresh water or salt water).
Two of the most popular high-quality companies supplying boat lifts and boat lift accessories are MAX VL Pro boat lifts and Summit Marine Lifts. We offer both these brands ourselves here at Captain Rods Boat and Pier Services. Scouring hundreds of companies, we found Max VL and Summit to offer the most durable and affordable lifts and supplies on the market. With over 30 years in the industry, these brands have the most versatile, modern, and long-lasting products in the country.
A Record-Holding Boat Lift
We’ll end with one last piece of interesting information about boat lifts. Did you know the largest boat lift in the world is 240 ft long? The Strépy-Thieu boat lift is located in the Canal du Centre in the municipality of Le Roeulx, Hainaut, Belgium.
During the mid 1900’s, larger boats were traveling through this canal and the docking locks and lifts were insufficient and unable to accommodate the larger vessels. Because of this, construction began on the Strépy-Thieu in 1982. All in all, it took 30 years to complete. The final price tag was a whooping 160 million Euros.
Completion of this lift allowed traffic up to 1350 Tonne to pass between the Meuse and Scheldt rivers. This increased river traffic from 256 kt to 2,295 kt. You won’t find anything that large near our area!
Final Tips on Boat Lifts
If you’re thinking about buying a boat lift, do your homework. Figure out the most suitable type that can offer convenience and ease while fitting into your budget. The experts here at Captain Rod’s Boat Lift and Pier Services provide recommendations and tips for boat lifts and other equipment. Give us a call at (815) 759-9134 and we’ll help set you up with the right pier, boat lift, or seawall.