3253 W 1000 N, Fortville, IN 46040, United States

Common Boat Lift Problems and Solutions

As we get deeper into the fall season, many boat owners are getting ready to take a closer look at how their boat lift has been performing. Taking care of any boat lift repair issues before the winter hits can help ensure that your equipment will last through the freezing temperatures. Don’t let these problems keep you from getting on the water next year!

1. Boat Lift Cables

Any indications of rust or fraying on your boat lift cables will require immediate attention. These are sure signs that your cables are ready for replacement. Some manufacturers recommend that you change your cables after a couple years of use—even if they aren’t yet showing signs of wear. In general, this rule of thumb remains: it’s better to be safe than sorry. To help improve the use of your cables, consider applying a penetrating oil. This will help reduce abrasive wear on your cable strands and protect against other boat lift repair problems related to corrosion.

2. Drifting Boat Lift Platform

Some boat lifts have problems where the platform drifts down. This can happen for a few different reasons in hydraulic boat lifts. Usually, the first thing to try is to cycle your boat lift up and down to remove any air in the system. You will also want to check the oil in the reservoir. There may be contamination in the oil or the oil level might just be too low. For more serious boat lift repair issues, you may need to contact your boat lift dealer. They can help determine whether your oil has been seeping past the lift cylinder. If that’s the case, then your lift tube or control valves will also need to be checked.

3. Boat Lift Making Noise

If your boat lift is making noise as you operate it, you may just be dealing with some un-greased gears. A monthly inspection will help keep them running like they should. (During that time, you can also make sure the belts aren’t loose or fraying.) Otherwise, a noisy boat lift could be the result of air in the system. This can create a squealing noise from the pump as your boat lift runs. To correct this, simply raise and lower the platform a few times without any load. This should get rid of any trapped air. When that isn’t enough to fix the sound, you may need to contact your dealer for other repairs.

4. Electrical Boat Lift Wiring

Problems with your boat lift electrical wiring can be more complicated. The motor and controls can run into a number of issues that keep your boat lift from functioning correctly. Sometimes, the solution can be found in increasing the voltage to the pump. You might notice this when the boat lift rises slowly. If your boat lift is rising too high, though, you may have problems with the circuit controls. Corrosion is a regular concern for electrical wiring. In order to make these repairs safely, you may need to contact a professional electrician. But contacting your boat lift dealer first can help you assess the situation.

Need Help with Boat Lift Repair?

Checking your bumps for any wear and tear and making sure you don’t have any loose brackets will also help your boat lift last. Other maintenance and repairs, however, can require some professional assistance. As an authorized dealer for ShoreStation, Poly Lift, and Sunstream boat lifts, Deaton’s Waterfront Services is here to help when you run into any problems.

If you can’t figure out why your boat lift is acting up, just contact our crew. We might be able to assess the situation over a video call with you. Otherwise, we’ll plan a time to come out to your site. Taking care of boat lift problems early can prevent a real boating catastrophe. Don’t get caught in a boat lift emergency. Call Deaton’s Waterfront Services at (317) 747-4933 to keep your equipment operating smoothly.