This is a question we get a lot, and the answer is a resounding……”maybe”. Our best advice is to ask your local authorities or neighbors. Because we install lifts all over the place, and because each place has varying rules and regulations to follow (and sometimes, individual neighborhoods have more strict rules than the greater surrounding town does), we’re simply unable to keep track of them all. We do not check or verify if a permit is required and in hand. If we know specifically for a particular area if there are regulations to consider, we’ll certainly share that information with you, however it is ultimately up to you to determine exactly what you need to have in place prior to installation of your boat lift.

When we started this business in 2007, we were distributors of modular cube docking systems. In fact, the system we sold was made by the company that invented modular cube docks way back in 1976. Unfortunately, we had to learn some very hard and very expensive lessons on why mod-cube systems are not suitable for boat lift platforms. Regardless of what anyone has ever told you, a mod cube system will seep water over time. What may look good on day one, doesn’t always look the same way a couple of years down the road. Additionally, working on these types of systems is a nightmare. While many mod-cube manufacturers tout a “lifetime warranty”, and will gladly send you a replacement cube for your repair, it does little when the cube is smack dab in the middle of your dock and you have to disassemble the entire system to replace it. These docks are notorious for bending and taking the shape of a taco when a boat is on them…unless you put a piece of metal in the water to help maintain the flat shape of the dock…and putting metal into water — especially saltwater — goes against everything we believe in.

In theory, and given the limitations on pipe diameter that is available on the market today, we can lift a vessel that weighs up to 275,000 pounds (which equates to about a 110’ motor yacht). The reality, though, is that if you have a 110’ motor yacht, chances are, you have a dive team keeping her pristine on her underside. Our DryDock lift system has found a great niche in the large outboard market, and we routinely build lifts for multi-engine boats in the 32’-40’ range. We have worked on projects for boats in excess of 60’ long. We’ve also learned that DryDocks are particularly well suited for any boat with a stepped-hull that won’t work well on a platform style lift, and inboard boats that are stored in salt water.

For our platform lifts, like Safe Havens and EZ Docks, we’ll load your subassembled lift on top of one of our work boats at our shop. Then we’ll drive to nearby boat landing and launch our work boat with your lift loaded on it in the water. We’ll motor over water to your dock, unload the boat and finish the assembly at your dock site. For larger lifts, like our DryDock system, we’ll actually deliver the lift itself to the boat landing and meet it there with our forklift to unload it and assemble it in the parking lot. We’ll then launch one of our work boats in the water to use as a tow vessel, and we’ll use the forklift to get the big lift in the water. We’ll tow around to your dock and finish the installation there. No matter the complexity of your project, we’ll get it done. And throughout the process, you’ll enjoy having a dedicated team leader working as your project manager to make sure all the logistics are figured out before hand so everything is smooth and coordinated on delivery day and not a 3-ring circus.

You don’t even have to finish the question. The answer is “Yes.” While we haven’t delivered to every corner of the globe, we are certainly willing to. We have shipped lifts all over America from California to New York to Texas to Kentucky to south Florida. We have lifts throughout the Caribbean and in Central and South America and have even worked on projects in the Middle East. There is no place we will not go to deliver and even install a boat lift.

You can, but most of the time it won’t make sense…particularly if you’re in our immediate service area. Our delivery and installation fees are very reasonable and our unique handling methods makes the process very efficient and smooth. The actual installation itself is not all that hard. But getting a 3000 pound platform or 8000 pound DryDock assembled and to your dock takes some practice. Your job is to enjoy the boating life; our job is to do the heavy lifting. For as little as we charge for our services, you might as well sit back and enjoy the show!

We sure do, along with a plentiful garden. We’ve got six chickens and one goat. We actually had seven chickens at the shop, but our rooster, Emperor, who was an ornery old bird, picked a fight with barred owl one night…and lost. The hens don’t seem to care too much though and are happy to be able to eat without being accosted by him. Our goat, Scout (like the boat…get it?), is just a chill old goat. We let him out to be our lawn mower from time to time. (The boss grew up on a farm and was never quite able to shake it.)

Absolutely. And there are several ways we can go about it. We can take the lift out of the water (a dirty and nasty job, but often times the most efficient approach) by loading it on one of our boat trailers at a nearby ramp for transport over the road to its new location. Or, if you’re moving locally, we can tow the lift to the new dock site, though this is a slowwwwww process, for sure. (We did a 27 mile tow one time…talk about having to time the tides right!). Give us a call if you’re thinking of moving and we’ll walk through what options we can consider.

Hmmmmm, maybe. It depends on what lift you currently have and what boat you are considering getting. If your new boat is generally similar to your existing boat, then you’re probably good to go. Obviously if you’re going from a jon boat to a cigarette boat, we gonna need to talk. But most of the times, our platform lifts can be adjusted to fit boats in the same weight class. Same goes for the DryDock. We’ve had one lift, in particular, that’s held five different boats — and we haven’t even had to make an adjustment! However, if we do have to make adjustments, we can certainly do that. The rule of thumb is same weight class = no big deal. If you’re making a big jump in size, then we need to look at options. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to call your Boat Float representative and talk about your new boat some to see if adjustments should be made before bringing her home.

Each product brand is governed by their respective warranties. Safe Haven, for example, warrants their lifts for eight years and their control boxes for one year. Likewise, EZ Dock systems are covered for eight years on any part that floats and one year for all other parts and hardware. Your DryDock lift is covered for five years on the structure and for one year on the control center. And a LifeDock floating dock system is covered for an unprecedented FIFTY years! As for our part, The Boat Float Company warrants our installation services for a period of thirty days. We are agents to the product brands and in the unlikely event that you have a warranty claim, we will work with you to facilitate its coverage with the manufacturer. Please note, warranty claims do not cover our labor charges. If we need to do some warranty work for you, and it is outside the scope of our own thirty day warranty, you will be invoiced for our time.

We’re sorry that we won’t. We are experts in platform and floating lifts, and we prefer to focus on our narrow brilliance. Besides, we haven’t been popped by electricity over saltwater yet, and we’d prefer to keep it that way! Plus, we’ve heard and seen enough horror stories of lifts failing and dropping boats (one of which had someone who became a client of ours on it — the guy broke 17 ribs during the fall) and we don’t want to be any part of those stories.

We’re bird nerds. We straight love ‘em. In fact, every year we donate our time and boats to the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count here in Beaufort County. Here at our shop we enjoy our red shouldered hawks, screech and barred owls and the occasional rafter of turkeys coming around. We’ve got our chickens on site, have bluebird boxes that keep full, wren houses hanging around, and a pine tree that’s a favorite for woodpeckers and flickers to stage a dive bomb on our feeders. It’s only natural that we’d name all our boats after birds. Our fleet of small work boats through the years has included the Bluebird, the Blackbird, the Redbird, Big Bird, and Freebird. Before they sank in a storm, we had a non motorized barge named The Dodo (Get it? Dodo’s are flightless birds) and a pile-driving excavator we called The Woodpecker (I know. We’re so clever!)

We always tell folks to focus on the important stuff first: life and limb. After your loved ones and home are secured, then there are a couple of things you can do to protect your boat lift. We have Storm Preparedness Guidelines (available here) for each product line, but the basics are the same across all brands. We encourage you to take your boat off the lift. And we want the lift to be stored either in the lowered position (for platform lifts) or in a half-lowered position for DryDocks. By having water in the air chambers of either lift design, we can create a baffle that minimizes the hucking and bucking your lift will do in the wind and wave action. If things are looking particularly ominous with the approaching storm, you can always haul your lift away from the dock and storm anchor it, in the raised position, in either open water, or a hurricane hole. The lift is going to float and ride on top of the water, so the weak link will be how secure it is to the ground tackle. When leaving a lift next to a dock, our goal is to minimize or eliminate contact between the dock and the lift. For added security, in case things get wild and your attachment arms were to break, we suggest using an extra line or two to tie the lift to your dock or structure. That way, if it was to break free of its attachment arms, it’ll still be there after the storm.

Only if you’re really, REALLY bored. We get asked this question a lot. There’s no need to clean the bottom of your boat lift. All of our products are made out of high density polyethylene, which, chances are, is the exact same material the floats under your floating dock are made with. So you’re definitely going to get growth on the lift. But as long as it’s on the bottom of the lift, then we’re good with it! You can scrape the beard off the side of your lift where it grows right at the waterline if it get unsightly. And truth is, you can scrape the growth off the bottom of your lift as well…you’re not going to hurt anything. However, know that bottom growth will no adversely affect the performance of your boat lift. Being neutrally buoyant in the water, the fouling won’t really weigh down your lift any, and we’ve built your lift with plenty of extra capacity to account for such things. Expect to see barnacles and slime and oysters to grow to a certain point on your lift, then slough off over time, and start growing again. Think of all that growth as habitat for crabs and grass shrimp and other critters that bigger fish like to eat. It’s all good!

The batteries used in our Safe Haven and EZ Dock solar control boxes are 12V glass mat batteries. Typically, these batteries will provide 3 1/2 to 4 years of service, under normal circumstances. At the end of their service lift, we can help you recycle your old batteries and get you new ones. If you’d like to purchase your own batteries, we can point you in the right direction as well.

Platform lifts like our EZ Dock and Safe Havens can comfortably sit on the mud without any concern. We don’t want them sitting or bouncing on hard stuff like oysters or rocks, but if you’re on a tidal creek that goes dry, we’ll be OK. Generally, in order to actively launch your boat from the lift, we need about a foot deeper than what your boat draws. This includes a safety margin so as to prevent the prop of your motor from digging into the seabed when you’re backing off the lift. Your DryDock lift may require a bit more water to operate, but like the platform lifts, it’ll be OK to sit on the bottom from time to time. In the design phase of a DryDock lift, your project manager will have a conversation with you to understand your water depths to make sure that we build the best DryDock lift for you that is functional at most if not all tides for those folks with bigger boats in skinny water.

Rarely. Every once in a blue moon, a customer will be getting a new or bigger lift and ask us to take their old lift. But more often than not, folks keep the old lift for a smaller boat and enjoy having two lifts at their dock. On the odd occasion that we do get our hands on a used lift, they find a home pretty quickly. Beware when shopping for used lifts…what looks good on the surface could be a whole different story under the water, which is where the important stuff takes place. If you do get a used lift and would like our help getting it set up for you, we can do that. Please note, though, that we will only work with brands that we sell and service and we reserve the right to decline the opportunity to work on any used product.

Oh no! Finding someone who is tired of living on the water is like spotting a unicorn. We don’t see that often. But if you do have a lift you would like to sell (and it is one of the brands that we carry), we’ll be glad to help you find a new home for it. Trust us: it won’t take long.

Yesssssss, but no. We do have modifications for our Safe Haven Harbor models that can be used for pontoons. However, we do not recommend driving a pontoon onto a platform lift. The thin aluminum walls of the pontoons themselves are subject to being bent and deformed as the boat drives onto the platform and the weight of her is transferred through the pontoons to the lift deck. We want to lift your boat…we don’t want to damage it. (These modifications on the Safe Haven system work great for catamarans with fiberglass hulls, though!) For pontoons, your best bet is a submersible lift that can raise up under the boat and cradle the pontoons gently. Our DryDock system will work great for this, however it is often not cost-effective for entry level pontoon boats.

Sure! They’re twenty bucks. You can send us a check or we can invoice you online. Tell us what color you like, where to ship it and we’ll be happy to send you one.