How Big of a Boat Lift Do I Need?

When it comes to owning a boat, one of the most important aspects is properly storing it when not in use. This is where boat lifts come into play.

A boat lift is a device that raises your boat out of the water, making it easy to keep the hull clean and dry, and also protect it from potential damage caused by waves or inclement weather. But how do you determine what size of boat lift you need? In this article, we will discuss the various factors that determine the size of boat lift required for your vessel.

Boat Weight

The weight of your boat is arguably the most important factor in determining the size of lift required. It’s essential to know your boat’s weight because if you exceed the weight limit of your lift, it could cause damage or even catastrophic failure. Be sure to account for any additional items stored on board such as fuel or equipment.

Beam Width

Another crucial factor to consider is the width of your vessel at its widest point or beam width. The lift’s cradle needs to be wide enough to accommodate this measurement; otherwise, your boat may not fit properly on the lift.


The length of your vessel is also an important consideration as you want to ensure that there’s enough space on the lift for your entire boat. Measure from bow to stern, including any swim platforms or other protrusions.

Water Depth and Tides

You’ll also want to consider water depth and tides when choosing a size for your boat lift. If there are significant changes in water levels due to tides or other factors, you’ll need a larger lift than if water levels remain relatively constant.

Wind and Wave Conditions

Finally, wind and wave conditions can affect how much clearance you need between your vessel and the top of the lift. Boats in areas with rough water conditions will require a larger lift to ensure they’re not damaged.


In conclusion, there are several factors to consider when determining the size of boat lift you need. Be sure to take into account your boat’s weight, beam width, length, water depth and tides, and wind and wave conditions. By using these guidelines, you can be confident that you’re choosing the right size for your vessel.

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Daniel Bennet