Floating Boat Lift FAQs - Your Ultimate Resource for Answers

Welcome to the LOTO Lift boat lift FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page! This is your go-to resource for all things related to floating boat lifts and the unique boating experience at Lake of the Ozarks. 

We understand that navigating the world of boat lifts, maintenance, and Lake-specific insights can raise a sea of questions. That’s why we’ve assembled this comprehensive FAQ section to provide clarity and guidance on topics crucial to both new and experienced boaters. For additional information on how to buy the right boat lift for your needs, read our buying guide for boaters.

Whether you’re curious about the benefits of floating boat lifts or simply want expert tips on maintaining your investment, you’ll find the answers you seek right here. If you need information on Lake of the Ozarks regulations, click here. Let’s embark on a journey of knowledge, helping you make the most of your boating adventures in this remarkable region.

Please note that our boat lift FAQs pertain to floating boat lifts, the most prominent type of lift at Lake of the Ozarks. To see lots of videos of these lifts in action, view our Video Gallery page.

Boat Lift FAQs

A floating boat lift is designed to raise and support boats out of the water when they’re not in use. It uses pneumatic flotation tanks to keep the vessel above the waterline, protecting the bow of the boat and the hull from damage and corrosion. The flotation system allows for lifting boats amid changing water levels which makes it perfect for use with floating docks and on bodies of water where the level fluctuates.

Floating boat lifts work by using air (or pneumatic) chambers to provide buoyancy, allowing the boat to stay afloat. Some of these chambers are in the shape of large pontoon tanks while others use roto-molded poly tanks. They typically feature a cradle or platform on which the boat sits. The lift uses an electric pump to control air pressure in the flotation tanks to raise and lower the boat. The electric pump can also be conveniently controlled by a handy remote.

Floating boat lifts offer several benefits, including preventing hull fouling, reducing maintenance, extending the boat’s lifespan, and providing easy access for cleaning, inspections, and repairs. Other benefits include ease of installation, the longer life and protection against rust and corrosion provided by keeping the steel above the waterline, and the ability to use where water levels change with weather events or seasonal drawdowns. Likewise, the advantages of a floating PWC lift include the addition of an excellent platform for quickly getting on and off the jet ski.

As you can imagine, your price range will vary considerably depending on the model and size of a boat lift your situation requires, the quality of the lift itself, and the company from which you purchase it. Read our boat lift price tips here before buying your boat lifter!

Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for smaller lifts to several thousand dollars for larger, more advanced models. Installation costs may also vary, depending on the complexity of the setup.

On average, a lift designed for a 4,000 to 5,000 lb load may be priced somewhere near $5,500 to $6,000. A larger scale product, such as a higher capacity 30,000 lb lift, will necessarily cost more, and you can expect to pay up to $30,000 or more.

A generalized scale that could help get you in the ballpark would be to figure (roughly) $1 per pound. It would be best to remember that models, features, custom work, specials, the current market, etc., can cause your price to fluctuate a good deal in either direction.

As a supplement, read this article if you want tips on purchasing a used boatlift.

Yes! At LOTO Lift, we proudly utilize Firstmate boat lift controls for all our boat lifts here at Lake of the Ozarks. To assist you in mastering these advanced systems, we’ve prepared an informative video that offers essential insights and instructions for boat lift controls. This comprehensive instructional video provides step-by-step guidance on operating your Firstmate control system, ensuring you can make the most of this technology. Watch the video here.

All boat lifts will require some maintenance over time. So if you will service and maintain an average lift as recommended, barring any unusual circumstances you can reasonably expect your boat lift to have a good 25-year lifespan. However, on our LOTO Lift models, because we build them to keep all the steel up out of the water you can reasonably expect a life span of 35 – 40 years. Furthermore, the basic product frame and tanks can still last much longer than that! (Read more here.)

Floating boat lifts can be suitable for a wide range of boat sizes and types, but choosing the appropriate lift capacity and design for your specific boat is essential.

LOTO Lift recommends our LT Model lift for a V-Hull, which has the bunks slightly angled so the hull fits into the bunks. Our pontoon and tritoon lifts are outfitted with flatter bunks, so the pontoons rest on top of the bunks.

Certainly, here’s a revised response to the FAQ, “Can I increase the capacity of my boat lift?”

Absolutely! Our LT model system is designed to be versatile, allowing you to upgrade the lift to accommodate larger weight capacities. So if you decide to invest in a bigger vessel, no worries! Just get in touch with us, and we’ll facilitate the upgrade for your boat lifter to handle your new watercraft seamlessly. This not only provides a cost-effective solution but also enhances the overall value of your investment. Additionally, having one of our industry-leading boat hoists on your floating dock can boost the value of your property.

One definite advantage of a LOTO Lift is that you can find boat lifts for small boats to very large ones, even pontoons or tritoonsThe weight capacity of a floating boat lift varies by design and model. Lake lifts are available to support boats ranging from a few hundred pounds to several tons. LOTO Lift’s LT Model can support up to 30,000 lbs. Consult with a professional boat lift manufacturer or dealer to choose a lift that matches your boat’s weight.

To determine the right size, consider your boat’s weight and dimensions. Another important element in considering the right size floating boatlift is leverage. You must account for leverage and ensure that you have adequate displacement spread over the appropriate distance proportionate to the length of the boat and the sweet spot where the weight is centered. To learn more, we recommend the following article:

How to Buy a Boat Lift: A Comprehensive Guide for Boaters

The goal is to find the right lift capacity for the actual dry weight of your boat. Many boat dealers diminish the dry weight of a boat to make more sales by advertising lighter hauling claims. The problem is that these claims factor out anything else that adds weight to your boat. So, we apply a rule that the listed dry weight of your boat should be 75% of the lift’s capacity or less. With this formula, we have never once had a problem with a boatlift not correctly managing the weight of a boat. So, please be careful not to buy a boat lift whose capacity matches or is near the dry weight of your boat.

As always, consult a boat lift dealer or manufacturer for guidance to ensure you select the correct lift capacity and design.

  • We recommend an annual professional inspection of your boat lift. Many parts are better served when you have an expert check it out for you. This can save you a great deal of money over time.
  • If you use a floating boat lift, primarily used here in the Midwest, the good news is that it requires less maintenance than other types of lifts. The most important thing to do regularly is to keep the surfaces clean and debris-free.
  • Your boat lift is engineered to a particular set of specifications. So absolutely do not put more weight on your lift than it’s engineered to support. You should never even test its limits. (See our previous FAQ answer above.)
  • Inspect all your hardware and bolt mounts. If there is any movement at all in a bolt, this signals that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Maintenance typically includes cleaning, inspecting for damage, and lubricating moving parts. Consult your lift’s user manual for specific maintenance instructions.
  • You can request service here for repairs to your boat lift. 

Installation requirements vary by boat hoist type and manufacturer. Generally, you’ll need a dock with an appropriately sized slip, adequate water depth, and access to electricity to power the pneumatic pump. You may install your pneumatic lift yourself, but we generally encourage new customers to allow LOTO Lift to install your new boat lift. For more info on installing a boat lift, read here.

You’ll typically need about 3 ½ to 4 feet of water for our smaller lifts. You’ll only need 24” of water for our shallow water lifts.  However, deeper water may be required if you have a larger boat. Contact us for personalized guidance based on your specific situation.

Our boat lifts feature tanks made from polyethylene plastic, produced through rotational molding. The metal components are crafted from American-made steel. Additionally, you can choose between marine-grade treated lumber or a reinforced thermoplastic composite with HDPE for the bunks. It’s worth noting that our flotation tanks, frames, and HDPE bunks all come with a lifetime warranty, ensuring a lasting and reliable solution for your boat lift needs.

Floating boat lifts are generally considered environmentally friendly since they help prevent hull fouling and minimize the need for antifouling paints. However, it’s essential to ensure proper maintenance and disposal of lift components to avoid environmental impact.

The short answer is yes. Your boat needs to be as level as possible in order to drain out whenever you raise it from the water. 

When you research this online, there are differences of opinion on this one. At Lake of the Ozarks, most owners leave their lifts in with their boats on them.  A dock de-icer is the key here. You can protect the investment you’ve made in your boat and your dock for just a few dollars. Ice damages both docks and lifts. 

Ice can literally change the dimensions or shape of your boat slip. As the ice freezes and expands, it can enlarge the slip. Your boat lift is calibrated to your dock’s slip size. So, if your slip changes, your lift will no longer fit properly, which will cause problems. 

Here’s the rule of thumb: when your dock needs a de-icer, your boat lift needs a de-icer. It’s a minimal amount to spend to spare you a headache and save you money.

Yes, safety is paramount when using a floating boat lift. Ensure that you follow all the manufacturer’s safety guidelines, including proper boat positioning, securing the boat during lift operation, and using personal safety equipment when necessary. It’s also important to regularly inspect the lift for any signs of wear or damage.

Yes! However, some floating boat lifts are designed to be moved easily, while others are somewhat more stationary. To move a LOTO Lift, you will need to make sure that it will be relocated to the same size of dock slip. If you plan to move your lift, choose a portable or design that allows for relocation. Consult with the manufacturer of your lake lift for specific instructions on moving your unit.

Many manufacturers offer warranties for their floating boat lifts. Warranty terms and coverage can vary, so it’s essential to review the warranty information the manufacturer provides before making a purchase. As a side note, this is one reason we advocate for new boats versus used boat lifts when possible. It’s always good to have a warranty!

Regulations and permit requirements can vary by location. Check with local authorities, marinas, or permitting agencies to determine if any permits or regulations apply to using a floating boat lift in your area.

Yes. Floating boat lifts require electricity to power the pneumatic pumps to fill the tanks with air in order for boat lifting to occur.

The primary difference is that floating boat lifts use buoyancy to keep the boat afloat, while traditional boat lifts are fixed to a specific point of stability. Choosing the best type of boat hoist is vitally important.

For example, a suspended boat lift (or, hanging cradle lift) is moored to a fixed dock or pilings, and the boat is suspended from above using a frame and pulley or hydraulic system. 

Similarly, the bottom-standing boat lift is built to stand on the bottom of the lake, river, or ocean floor. Examples of this lift are hydraulic boat lifts, vertical boat lifts, and cantilever boat lifts.

Floating boat lifts are often more adaptable to various water conditions and are suitable for boats with different hull designs. The most popular lifts in the Midwest are floating boat lifts.

Yes. Shallow water lifts can be used in shallow or normal-depth waters. Some boats with tall wakeboard towers in marinas may require a low-profile lift to raise their boats without hitting the marina or dock cover.

In most cases, if the lift needs to sit on the ground due to a lack of water, your boat should be fine for the short term. However, if the ground is highly uneven or rocky, removing the boat is advisable before this situation happens.

To dock your boat on a pneumatic lift, position it about a foot away from the front of the slip and line it up as closely to the center as possible. Activate the air pump by pushing a button on your remote or flipping the switch in the dock control unit. To return the boat to the water, use the remote or the control unit to vent the tanks, allowing it to descend automatically.

When docking your PWC on LOTO Lift’s platform-style Jet Ski lift, slowly approach the platform while idling the craft. As the watercraft contacts the Jet Ski stand, accelerate enough to push the PWC onto the platform stand gently.

  • Each of our polytanks contains 1-3 psi of air when the lift is fully elevated.
  • Typically, the process for lowering or lifting a boat takes approximately three to five minutes. However, for PWC and our smaller 4,500lb lifts, the time is less: approximately 2-4 minutes.

**Please note that these answers provide a general overview. It’s best to consult with a reputable boat lift dealer or manufacturer for specific details and product recommendations.**

Ready to Elevate Your Boating Experience?

As you conclude your exploration of our FAQs, we hope you’ve found valuable insights and solutions to enhance your boating experience at Lake of the Ozarks. At LOTO Lift, we’re dedicated to providing more than just exceptional boat lift products; we’re here to support your knowledge and understanding. If you still have questions or need personalized guidance, our team of experts is just a click or phone call away. We’re ready to assist you in finding the perfect floating boat lift, understanding regulations, and ensuring your boating adventure remains smooth sailing.

Thank you for choosing LOTO Lift as your trusted resource, and we look forward to serving your boating needs.

Need a lift? Get your boat out of the water in minutes!

Ready to take the next step in securing your boat with a floating boat lift? Contact us today for personalized assistance, installation, and maintenance services. Your dream of effortless boating at Lake of the Ozarks is just a call away. Let's get started!
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