Boat Lift Accessories Reduce Hassles, Increase Safety

Adding a boat lift to your dock sure relieves a lot of stress. You save time and hassle, and your boat stays in good shape. So, what could be better than a high-quality hydraulic boat lift? How about some cool accessories to make life even easier?

Accessories run the gamut, from simple canopy tops to solar panel systems and wireless remotes. Here’s a rundown of 6 types of boat lift accessories we recommend.

1. Guide-Ins Save You Time and Trouble

Getting your boat safely onto your boat lift can be a bit tricky in the best situations. Choppy water, bad weather, and other complicating factors make things much worse.

Guide-ins make it easier to get the boat on the boat lift and keep both from getting damaged in the process. You have several choices, such as:

  • Vertical PVC guide-ins are PVC posts, often covered by fabric. They guide boats by the rub rail to help you guide your boat onto the boat lift.
  • Full-length guide-in systems are sets of guides mounted to the side of a hoist. They adjust both horizontally and vertically for a perfect fit. These systems also provide a visual aid for centering and landing your boat on the boat lift. They’re typically carpeted to protect the hull of the watercraft as well.
  • bow guide, also known as a bow stop, is a bow-shaped beam at the front of the lift. This keeps you from overrunning the boat lift. It also ensures proper positioning for secure storage.
  • Pontoon guides extend up under the pontoon. Vertical posts help you guide the pontoon onto a boat lift.

2. Canopies and Bird Deterrents Offer Protection

A canopy is one of the most important accessories you can get. A complete canopy kit includes the canopy frame, canopy cover, and the posts that support it. The canopy protects your boat from sun, rain, birds, and more while it sits in your boat lift. Sunchaser Canopies do just that and come in completely universal models to accommodate all makes, shapes and sizes of boats.

Take a look at accessories for the canopy as well. A canopy cubby, for instance, gives you extra storage space between the canopy and the boat.

A bird deterrent system is another useful boat lift accessory. You can choose from several types. In some cases, posts extend above the corners of the canopy. The posts are then connected with fishing line to keep birds from perching on it.

3. Solar Panels Save on Power

Your boat lift is outside all summer, so why not take advantage of all that sun? Solar panels save on power costs for your boat’s electrical systems and the boat lift itself.

One or more solar panels attach to various parts of the boat lift. Panels usually attach to the corner post. The kit can then charge either a battery in a battery tray, or directly charge the battery in your personal watercraft.

The battery and the solar panels come in different wattages, depending on your needs. With solar panels, you can keep your 12v battery or personal watercraft charged all summer with no hassle. Max Docks has all kinds of boat lift accessories for your pier, including solar power kits for both your lights and lifts.

Foggy end-of-day at pier with two boats on boat lifts, where accessories make boating easier.
LED floodlights are an important safety feature when you’re getting an early start or coming home late.

4. Floodlights Offer Convenience and Safety

Sometimes, you have to get your boat on or off the lift while it’s dark out. You may be getting an early start, getting home late at night, or battening down the hatches as a storm blots out the sun.

Scrambling around in the dark is a bother and can even be a safety hazard.

Prevent all this by installing a floodlight. LED floodlight systems provide ample lighting for safely getting on and off your boat. What’s more, you can integrate them into the electrical system of your boat lift and pier.

You can power it with your solar panel system and turn it on and off with your wireless remote. Many systems have automatic shut-off features. The lights turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity, preventing unnecessary battery drain.

5. Hull Supports Keep Your Boat Secure

Your boat or other watercraft deserves to have optimal support while it’s on your boat lift. That’s why there’s a whole range of different types of hull supports to get that perfect fit.

Hull supports come in several categories:

  • Cradles, or cradle pad pivot bunks, are pairs of pads that stabilize and support the hull of your vessel. They can be nonadjustable or adjustable both horizontally and vertically.
  • Full-length bunks provide maximum support and stability. These pairs of aluminum extrusions contour to your watercraft. They are covered in vinyl which resists the adhesion of sand and debris. Bunks can be offset toward your pier for easier access as well.
  • Pontoon bunk / guide-in systems are combined bunks and guide-in systems designed for pontoons. They come in both full-length and cradle varieties.
With a wireless remote controller, you can raise or lower your boat without setting foot on the pier.

6. Wireless Remote Offers the Ultimate Control

Once you’ve started to accumulate accessories for your pier and boat lift, you may want a more convenient way to control it all. That’s where a wireless remote comes in.

If you have a vertical screw drive (VSD) or electric winch boat lift, you can get a remote to raise or lower your boat from up to 300 feet away. The same remote can also operate an LED floodlight system. You can turn on the lights and lower your boat into the water before even setting foot on the dock.

If that’s not convenient enough, you can even put the key fob remote on your keychain so it’s always on hand. If you can open your garage and unlock and start your car with a key fob, why not do the same for your boat?

Captain Rod’s Has the Boat Lift Accessories You Want

To make your life easier, consider having a pro help you choose and install the more complex accessories. Captain Rod’s Boat Lift & Pier Services is ready to answer your questions and handle any maintenance you need for your boat lift in the Chain O’Lakes area. Give us a call at (815) 759-9134 to make the most of your time on the water.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on October 22, 2017 and was updated on June 20, 2019.