Large black and white V-hull boat docked on a side mount boat lift

High And Dry: The Best Way to Dock Boats at Lake of the Ozarks

No doubt about it, boats are a serious investment. And whether you’re a current boat owner, or you’re looking to own one for the first time, boats require a lot of time, money, and work. As with any major investment, it’s important to take care of your boat, so you want to know how people dock boats in such a way that they are kept safe.

Letting your boat sit in the water all of the time is a sure way to accelerate damage. The water can damage the boat in a number of ways if it isn’t taken out after use.

So this is why it’s important for a responsible boat owner to get a boat lift. It raises your boat out of the water when it doesn’t need to be there, keeping it safe from excess water damage. A good lift makes boating much easier and docking a boat much more convenient.

Convenient Docking Guides

First, most boat lifts offer smooth or carpeted rails to help you dock your boat accurately. The rails are called bunk boards (or just, “bunks”), just like on a boat trailer, and are often made of wood or HDPE (read more on HDPE boat bunks here). They help keep you from bumping the side of your hull into the dock or a neighboring boat. 

Then, as the boat lift platform rises from beneath the floating boat, the vessel comes to rest on the bunks. Plus, an added benefit of docking a boat on a lift is that the front of the boat is protected. In addition to the sides of a boat hull getting scuffed and scratched, the bow of a boat is quite vulnerable. It can easily receive scratches, abrasions, tears (or worse) from bumping against docks. Sitting on a lift offers the ultimate in bow protection while your boat is docked.

Front of the boat view of a V-hull boat raised out of the water on a boat lift

Selecting the Right Boat Lift

If you’re new to all this and are not sure where to start, you need to first understand what a boat lift is. They do exactly what their name implies. They can be set up on your dock to elevate your boat from the water when you aren’t using it. Then, with the push of a button, your craft is gently lowered into the lake or river. It is the best way to dock boats anywhere.

Well, that’s all great, but why do you need one?

Do I really need a boat lift?

If you’re new to all this and are not sure where to start, you need to first un

Don’t boats belong in the water? Yes, when you’re using them. But excess time spent in the water can damage your boat in a number of ways, such as corrosion. Also, as surprising as it sounds, water can penetrate your hull, leaving algae slime and scum, and even unsightly blisters. Water will eventually penetrate any surface leaving residue and stains, no matter what the building material may be.

Not only that, but it also protects your boat from damage as a result of inclement weather. If your boat is in the water during a storm, there’s a much higher risk of it being damaged. A boat lift keeps it out of the water during these dangerous circumstances.

Man power washing the bow of the boat.

The Best Boat Lift System for Your Needs

Now that we know a little about boat lifts, how do you make sure you’re picking the right boat lift? There are a few things to keep in mind when making your purchase.

The variables of your boat lift needs are largely determined by your boat. You will need different sized lifts for different watercraft. Also, there are different kinds of lift systems designed for V-Hulls, pontoons, tritoons, and there are even lifts for PWCs, too.

If your boat is docked in shallow water, there are shallow water boat lifts made for that exact circumstance. Heavier boats, meanwhile, require a sturdier lift. Our LT model boat lift is a heavy-duty pneumatic side mount boat lift for heavy boats and rough water. And a front mount boat lift, our FM model ideal for small slips or shared slip applications.

Depending on the type of lift you need, the price of your boat lift will vary. On average, boat lifts usually cost around $5500 – $6000. However, the heavier, sturdier ones will naturally cost more. So, a rough scale would be to estimate somewhere around $1000 per pound of your boat’s dry weight. 

The good news is that boat lifts are very long-term purchases. A properly maintained lift can last for decades. Here at LOTO Lift, we even have a model that comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, tanks, and bunks.

Get a Lift for Your Boat Today

So, yes, nice boats are expensive investments, and require a lot of time and care to operate properly. Therefore, a boat lift is a smart way to make sure that your boat lasts as long as possible. 

So whether you’re an experienced boater or a first-time owner, you need to invest in a system that provides you the best way to dock boats. And we’re here to help. So we invite you to check out our high-quality boat lifts and make the purchase that’ll keep your boat in top condition.

Like this? Please share!