For responsible boat owners, boat lifts are essential pieces of equipment. But how can you be sure you’re getting the best deal when you go shopping? How do you even know what criteria to use? Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you shop for boat lifts.
1. Know Your Budget
First things first: How much can you afford to spend? Boat lift prices will vary considerably depending on the size, scope and model of your watercraft, and you’ll need to pay for things like delivery and set-up, too. Draft a budget to keep your expenses organized.
2. Debate New Versus Used
While used equipment comes with its own set of risks, it can also be a more affordable alternative to something factory-fresh. You’ll need to decide for yourself if new or used equipment is right for you.
3. Consider the Water
Salt water will have different effects on your vessel than freshwater. High water can have different effects than low water, too. If you aren’t sure what the lake will do to your boat, talk to docking experts or do your own research online.
4. Read Manufacturer Reviews
What do previous customers have to say about the lift company? Did their products work as advertised? Were there any unexpected fees on the final bill? These are things you’ll want to know before you swipe your credit card and spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a boat lift.
5. Think About Installation Regulations
There’s more to installing a boat lift than just taking out a hammer and going to town. Depending on the model you buy and the place where you dock, you might need special permissions from your local port authority or homeowner’s association. Be sure to check this out before you decide on a particular boat lift.
6. Read the Warranty
What kind of damage is covered under your warranty? When will the coverage expire? What happens if you need to make a return or exchange? Examine the fine print with a microscope. While some companies are trustworthy, others will try to scam you with bad policies.
These are just a few tips for making a smart purchase decision when shopping for boat lifts. As you can see, there are many factors to consider, so don’t rush it. Take your time, plan carefully and make a choice that satisfies you.