PWC Lift Pre-Season Inspection
Safety & Maintenance of your PWC Lift
You may have just purchased a new PWC lift or you may have a lift that has been reliable to you for many years. Either way, it’s important to be sure that your PWC lift is in good working order. As any seasoned boater knows, safety is the most important part of having fun on the water.
Dock-Mounted PWC Lifts and Piling Mounted PWC Lifts
Dock-mounted PWC lifts typically mount either to a dock or a post and use a winch and cable system to lift the PWC. Several components should be thoroughly checked for wear.
- Check all the cables for any sign of fraying. Cables are wearable parts and should be replaced regularly depending on their use. Once a PWC lift cable begins to fray it will become progressively worse.
- For manual winches, check that the winch operates smoothly and stops properly. Although it is rare, If the winch doesn’t stop properly then the auto-brake mechanism may be worn and the winch may need to be replaced.
- For electric winches, make sure all grease points are properly greased. Plug in the lift and test that the motor operates smoothly and lifts the PWC out of the water without stalling. Any unusual noises or problems lifting the PWC should be inspected and fixed.
- Inspect the track for any marine growth that may interfere with the operation. Check that all rollers are in good condition and move freely and that the lift sounds smooth throughout the entire travel range.
- Check the mounting points to make sure that all the bolts are still tight. Wooden posts can warp over time and mounting bolts may need to be re-tightened.
Drive-On PWC Dock
Drive-on floating PWC docks require very little maintenance but still need to be inspected at the beginning of each season. Look for the following:
- Check that the mounting point of the drive-on dock is secure and that all of the bolts are snug.
- Ensure that the lift moves evenly when driving on a PWC. Any sign of pulling to the left or right could mean something is worn or loose.
- If mounted with pipes, ensure the pipes are snug in the ground.
- If mounted with rubber connectors to the dock, then check that the rubber is intact and in good condition.
- Inspect all hardware for signs of corrosion and replace any compromised components.
Freestanding aluminum lake PWC lifts have four feet that rest at the bottom of the lake and usually use a large wheel for cranking the lift. In very cold areas these PWC lifts are often removed during the ice season and then put back when the weather warms up.
- Inspect the cable for signs of wear and if it’s frayed then replace it. Check that the pulleys roll smoothly.
- Check that the PWC lift frame travels evenly throughout the entire range.
- Ensure that all hardware is still snug especially if the PWC lift has been moved at all.
Performing this basic inspection and maintenance at the beginning of the season ensures the safety and longevity of your PWC lift. For any questions or help preparing your PWC lift for the season, call Boat Lift Warehouse at 877-468-5438.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.