How Does A Floating Boat Lift Work?

Many boaters who enjoy the open waters want to have the ability to conveniently lift and store their boats out of the water. To facilitate this, a floating boat lift is usually the top choice.

There are different types of lifts for different sizes and types of boats, so buying the right one for your vessel can make all the difference in safety, value, and comfort.

What Is A Floating Boat Lift?

A floating boat lift (also called a pneumatic boat lift) is a relatively simple piece of boating technology to help move a boat to and from the water. So, unlike other boat lift options, you don’t need lots of complicated machinery and buttons to operate it. As a result,, this makes it one of the most convenient, safe, and easy-to-operate marine products selling today.

The innovation behind these lifts and their long-life engineering makes them nearly maintenance-free. And that means you get more time having fun on the water rather than maintaining your boat docking equipment. No wonder more and more people are looking to buy floating boat lifts!

How It Works

The entire system bolts itself to the dock, and a pneumatic air tank is used to, essentially, control the lift. How it works is extremely simple and user-friendly. Your boat will rest securely on the floating platform, which begins above the water. Then, as the lift begins to work, the platform drops down, letting the boat begin to float on the water without any support. It can then be moved away from the platform, with the reverse action allowing a boat to be lifted back up from the water.

Air is pumped into the tanks to lift the boat.

The boat lift works by pumping air into the tanks when the boat is connected to the system. And as you pump more air into the tanks, the lift raises the boat out of the water. This system is capable of lifting boats that weigh anywhere up to 30,000 lbs. A remote button is pressed to allow air to be pumped into the air tank, and you press it again when the capacity has reached a point that the boat is out of the water.

Air is vented out of the tanks to lower the boat.

Similarly, the reverse process happens when the lift lowers the boat into the water. Air is vented out of the tank, letting the boat drop further and further. The more air you vent, the quicker and deeper it sinks into the water. So, you can see how simple this boating equipment would be to operate.

Rear view of a twin engine ski boat ski boat on a pneumatic boat lift
A good way to think of a pneumatic boat lift is as a floating boat lift apparatus that provides both mooring and storage capabilities for your boat.

LOTO Lift experts are here to help you.

There are some important things to consider when you are learning about the ways a floating boat lift can work for your needs. You should find a professional to help you determine the best type of lifting system for your particular boat and this will help you get the best possible results when you are looking at docking your boat out of the water.

Speak to the experts at LOTO lift today and learn why our products are top-rated on the lakes in Missouri and across the U.S. for both new and used lifts

(For more info, see the FAQs below.)

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How Floating Lifts Work with Floating Docks Systems

Many large marinas that have multiple floating docks systems are likely to have floating lifts available, at least at the large lakes in Missouri and throughout the Midwest.

Not quite, but floating boat lifts do provide an alternative kind of drive-on dock for boat enthusiasts! They are the ultimate option for those who want to have a permanent dock solution where they can drive their boat right into the slip and drydock it on the spot. 

These drive-on dock lifts provide bunks for boats to simply drive over them and then get raised up in the dock’s boat slip. The lift offers a secure place to store boats when they’re not in use. They’re also easy to install, making them a great choice for those who want a quick and easy drive-on dock for a boat.

Yes! A floating boat lift is designed to work perfectly with a floating dock. Due to the capability of both to rise and lower with fluctuating water levels, a floating lift is the best solution to use in conjunction with a floating dock.

When docking a boat with a pneumatic lift, there are a few simple steps that need to be followed in order for the process to go smoothly.

  1. Make sure that the boat lift is in the correct position and is ready to be used.
  2. Back the boat into the slip so that it is positioned over the lift.
  3. Slowly drive the boat onto the lift until it is fully supported by the bunks.
  4. Raise the boat lift until it is out of the water.
  5. Go home and enjoy having a dry-docked boat!

Sometimes. However, many of them act as 3rd party resellers. It’s a good idea to learn if they are boat lift manufacturers or whether they are acting as boat lift dealers. In some cases, you may save money and get higher-level expertise if you deal directly with the manufacturer rather than buying through boat dock sales companies.

The Advantages of Boat Lifts with Pneumatic Systems

There are several types of boat lifts, each fulfilling its own specific niche. That being the case, people often ask questions about the purpose and advantage of boat lifts with pneumatic systems rather than those that are mounted on piers at the bottom of the lake or river.

Yes. The primary advantage of pneumatic boat lifts is that they can quickly and easily lift floating boats from the water, even though the water level may be in flux. This is because the lift uses air pressure to raise the boat, which means that there is no need for contact with the bottom of the lake, pond,  or river.

This makes it a great choice for floating docks with limited space, as it does not require any extra room for the boat to come in contact with the dock.

Not exactly, but close! Rather than having a floating platform, pneumatic lake lifts use bunk boards. Bunk boards are like runners that span the full length of a boat. The vessel comes to rest on the bunks as air fills the flotation tanks and they rise up from beneath the boat.

However, we do have PWC lifts for sale that are very much like a Jet Ski floating platform.

Yes! In fact, since they support the boat along its full length, they make excellent boat lifts for pontoons and tritoons. The weight distribution of a pontoon or tritoon benefits from the added support. Additionally, there are heavy-duty floating boat lifts on the market that can support up to 30,000 lbs. 

Another bonus is that the use of bunks protects the pontoons of the boats against damage as they are being raised and as they rest on the lift. In fact, for many boaters floating lifts are their preferred boat lifts for pontoons.

Not all boat lift manufacturers make floating lifts, but many do. The reason for this is that a floating lift has several advantages over a traditional fixed lift. And as such, the product has become increasingly popular, especially for use on lakes, rivers, and large ponds.

Floating lifts can be used in shallow water since there is no need to leave room for contact with the bottom of the lake or river. This means that boat lift manufacturers can enjoy a larger market share by providing for those with shallow water or where water levels are not constant.

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