By: Stokes Marine
No two boat lifts or docks are exactly the same so chances are you’ll need a bit of customization to fit your needs. These needs might include washing your boat, boat maintenance, entering and exiting the boat, and accessing different areas around your boat.
If the dock does not wrap all the way around both side of the boat, washing the boat can become very difficult. Washing the hull of a boat while being on the boat can be rough on your back and sometimes impossible depending the what kind of hull you have.
Walk boards can be installed on your boat lift. A walk board is bolted to the cradles and allows you to gain access to the side of your boat. They are made from aluminum. There is an option to have a plastic decking that has a non-slip finish to it along with plenty of drainage to avoid water retention. A walk board can be installed on one or both sides depending on the width of your lift and the beam of your boat. If there is no room to fit a walk board on the cradles of your boat lift, brackets can be bolted to your pilings and the walk board installed on the outside of your pilings. This gives you the ability to wash the entire hull and engine.
If you wish to gain access your engine, a stern access platform can be installed. This bolts to your cradle like a walk board but only extends off the back of the boat. This is a less expensive option and is useful when washing and accessing the front of the boat. This can be done from the dock or land.
Accessing the rear of your boat on a boat lift is important. Being able to flush and wash your engine, change props, remove or install the drain plug, adjust transducers etc. can all be done with the addition of a drop down stern access platform. This platform connects two stern access platforms and is 8-10” lower to allow the boat and motors to float over the top when entering the slip.
If your boat has a very high gunnel or a lot of freeboard, you can add a set of stairs to the stern access platform or walk board. These stairs allow you to access your boat without having to adjust your lift height.
If the distance from the dock edge to the boat is too far of a step to be safe, a loading platform can be added. The loading platform is mounted on a hinge so it can be folded up out of the way when entering or exiting the slip with the boat. When the boat is on the lift, the platform can be folded down and used as walkway onto the boat.
The Gem Remote and Lift Auto Stop is a great option for a boat lift. It is a remote control you take with you in the boat. It allows you to press the button and lower or raise your lift. The Auto Stop feature has the raised and lowered limits set so the lift doesn’t go too far in either direction.
If you have questions about any of these items or would like to add them to your lift or dock, please call Stokes Marine at 239-489-3625.