A boat lift is incredibly convenient for protecting your boat and simplifying launching. But as with any mechanical system exposed to harsh marine environments, problems can develop over time. By knowing what to look for, you can troubleshoot many bareboat lift issues yourself without calling a repair company. Here are some common problems and potential solutions. Get the Best information about boat lift companies at Table Rock Lake.
Lift Won’t Raise or Lower
If your lift will not raise or lower down, start by checking for power issues. For electric charges, ensure the breaker is not tripped, and cables are not damaged. Clean corrosion off battery terminals if applicable. For both electric and manual bills, inspect pulleys, gearboxes, and winches for obstructions. Built-up dirt, salt, or algae can cause seized pulleys. Lubricate stuck parts with marine grease.
Cables Jumping Off Pulleys
Misaligned cables that jump off pulleys or continuously derail can prevent the lift from moving. This is often caused by worn-out or bent pulleys that need replacement. Ensure cables are properly tensioned – too loose, and they’ll jump; too tight, and they’ll wear prematurely. Use cable tension locks to hold it taut. Straighten any kinked cables.
Lift Motion Uneven
If the cradle travels up in a jerky motion or one corner lags, look for issues with each cable. Fraying cables should be replaced immediately. Ensure all cables are routed correctly through the pulley system and properly swaged at ends. Misrouting can cause uneven lifting. Clean and lubricate pulleys for smooth running.
Frayed cables inevitably happen over time. But to extend cable life, regularly clean them with fresh water to prevent salt corrosion. Apply cable lubricant monthly. Avoid overloading the lift capacity. When fraying does occur, replace cables immediately before they snap. Use swaged fittings and route new cables identically to the originals.
Lift Leaning or Shifting
A leaning lift structure or cradle shifting position under load indicates potential foundation issues. Securely anchored guide posts are essential for stability. Underwater poles may have broken loose or sunk into soft bottoms. Cables may have also stretched unequally over time, throwing the cradle off. Professional resets of lines and guide posts may be needed.
Unusual squeaking, grinding, or knocking noises when operating the lift typically signify a worn-out component in need of lubrication or replacement. Isolate the source of noises. Check for seized pulleys, a slipping belt on a windless drive, or metal-on-metal contact somewhere. Lubricate and tighten components. Replace damaged parts.
Rust damage on any lift parts in contact with water will lead to premature failure. Use premium marine-grade aluminum, stainless steel, and galvanized components. Routinely wash down all parts with fresh water. Lubricate cables and pulleys monthly to displace moisture. Address any scratches or cracks in surface coatings that allow corrosion.
By regularly inspecting your boat lift system and quickly addressing any issues, you can prolong its trouble-free functioning for years. But for any problem you can’t readily identify yourself, consult a marine contractor for diagnosis and repair. Following proper seasonal maintenance will help minimize headaches down the road.
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