PWC lits double well as small boat lifts.

Boat Lifts for Small Boats: It’s a Big Deal for Small Boat Owners

Though most boat lift manufacturers prefer to focus on large boat lifts, there is still a niche and a need for boat lifts for small boats. At LOTO Lift, while we don’t build lifts exclusively designed for small boats, we see that there is a need. And our customers have found a solution with one of our products!

There are avid fishermen and boaters who use their Jon boats, small jet boats, mini powerboats, plastic fishing boats, paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes regularly and often. And we have clients who use their jet ski lifts for these other types of small watercraft. After all, when someone invests in a small Tracker Boat, they may still want to be able to use a lift to protect it, service it, and make their overall fishing experience more pleasant.

The Exhilarator 109 mini power boat (pictured here) measuring just 10'9", is for sale at

DIY Small Boat Lifts vs. PWC Lifts

If you have ever considered building a DIY small boat lift, you have probably done a Google search. Most of the results seem to turn up systems made of lumber and several sets of small wheels.

While this type of homemade small boat lift would surely work for a while, the contraption will inevitably become loose at the joints and the wood will eventually rot. This means you would need to manage getting your boat lift in and out of the water as well as your boat. If you can afford it, a jet ski lift will last a very long time and will likely provide a much better experience overall. Read on to see why.

Jon Boat Lifts and Other Small Fishing Boats

Many Jon boat owners would love to have a boat lift system that would work for their little fishing boat. And in many of these cases, a jet ski lift will work well. But, bear in mind that some Jon boats are quite long and very heavy. If you have one of these, we would recommend that you find a small boat lift for sale rather than a PWC lift.

On the other hand, you may have a personal plastic fishing boat that’s very nice. So, if you have an outboard motor and a trolling motor and battery on it, it’s still packing some weight. Rather than taking the motors off and putting them back on every time you want to dock or launch, fishermen find that it’s much easier to use lake boat lifts. Plus, you don’t want to leave that type of small fishing boat floating freely in rough waters. And no matter the size of the boat, if you use it a lot and have a dock, you may prefer to have fast and easy access rather than having to unload and load at the boat ramp every time you go out.

Small plastic fishing boat on a boat trailer

What capacity boat lift do I need for small boats?

For Jon boats, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and plastic fishing boats, weight capacity is usually not the issue as it is with a pontoon or ski boat lift. However, some larger Jon boats can be surprisingly heavy when fully outfitted. So it’s best to speak to the seller of the lift and learn what beam their system can facilitate, what length of watercraft, and the weight it will lift to make sure your small boat will fit. 

At LOTO lift, we manufacture PWC lifts (Personal Watercraft lifts) for small watercraft weighing up to 1800 lbs on a single lift and 3500 lbs on a double lift. So if you own some sort of PWC or a small fishing boat, a Jet Ski lift doubling as a small boat lift system is great for offering convenience when you want to launch your boat or dock it quickly and easily. These platform lifts can service small craft up to 13’ long.

A full-size boat lift is overkill and a lot of extra expense when a PWC lift will work perfectly well for most small fishing boats.

How much does a small boat lift cost?

When you need an affordable solution to docking your small fishing boat or fun boat, no need to look any further. Our small boat/PWC lifts typically cost around $2,725. Of course, you can spend more if you need a double, but most small boat owners typically only need a single platform lift.

Whatever type of PWC you own, click here to see our Jet Ski Lifts for Sale at Lake of the Ozarks.
A LOTO Lift double jet ski lift platforms, with a weight capacity of 3500 lbs.

In Conclusion

Regardless of the size of your watercraft, LOTO Lift will elevate your boating experience to the next level. Our line of Jet Ski docking lifts serving as boat lifts for small boats can easily protect and store your watercraft safely throughout the prime fishing and boating season. Our customers find that our floating Jet Ski dock lifts are also ideal for aluminum fishing boats, small sailboats, paddle-boats, and various other kinds of small watercraft. Our PWC platform lifts are available as either a single or double platform lift design.

And remember, if you’re in the market for a small boat lift, be sure to give us a call. We’ll be glad to see if we can be of service!

So give us a call, follow us on Facebook, and look around our website to learn more.

Like this? Please share!

Read more from our blog...