Thanks for the prompt help with our dock. Looks Great. Guys were very efficient. Hope to continue your services going forward.
Jim G. Door County
Thanks for the prompt help with our dock. Looks Great. Guys were very efficient. Hope to continue your services going forward.
Jim G. Door County
Your boat is a BIG investment. You want to protect it for years to come. It only makes sense that your boat lift system should last at least as long as your boat. If your boat lift is well-built and maintained, it can last 25 years or more. In general, a boat lift will last much longer if you take care of it.
Look at these areas as part of a regular boat lift maintenance schedule.
A properly sized boat lift will handle the weight of your boat plus the equipment you put in it. PWS will assist in selecting the proper size and type of boat lift for your hull and shoreline conditions.
The average boat up to 20′ will weigh in the 4 – 6,000 lb range. This includes the fuel, water, gas, motor(s). Don’t forget your passengers – including your friend – Big Bubba.
Don’t let people get in or out of the boat while it’s on the lift to avoid straining the system. When you’re not using your boat, remove the drain plug at the back of the boat. Rainwater can’t collect and add extra weight (roughly 8 lbs/gallon) if you do. Don’t forget to replace it before you go out again.
Lubricate your cables with penetrating oil instead of grease. Replace any cables with rust spots, broken strands, fraying, or kinks. Grease the lift pulleys if required. Be sure to check the nuts and bolts to ensure tightness.
Check your winch drum as the cable is winding onto it to avoid slack, misalignment, and uneven wear. Never allow your lift cables to go slack. A slack line will result in damage to the system. It’s like a backlash on a fishing pole, only with a rigid steel cable. It can be challenging to unravel.
Never use a screwdriver or hit the cable with a hammer in an attempt to release the line. You’re almost guaranteed to cause severe damage.
If your boat lift has a motor, examine it for signs of rust or water retention. Ensure that any holes on the top of the motor or winch are closed.
The bottom holes must be open for proper drainage.
Inspect your gearbox and drive units regularly. Check for appropriate alignment, damaged cables, and areas that need lubrication.
Inspect your bunk carpeting for wear and tear and any wood underneath the carpet for cracks and rot. Lift beams should be kept out of the water when not in use. Better yet, get an aluminum/vinyl set and never have to replace the carpeting again.
Keep your hardware tightened, and be sure that the bunks line up correctly with your boat hull.
If you’re storing your lift in the off-season, remove the battery if you have a power hoist. Store it on a small piece of wood. Store your lift with the cradle or platform to the top.
Your boat lift protects your boat, so it’s essential to keep it in good condition.
Proper care and maintenance can help you avoid costly damage. Your dock and accessories need to be inspected for damage, also. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines for more specific care instructions.
It’s up to you to stay within the manufacturer’s specifications. Staying within those specs is crucial.
Even lifting a boat with the wrong hull design can cause damage. Never add more weight to your boat while it’s on the lift.
Entering or exiting a boat while it’s on a boatlift can be very dangerous. Ensure you have proper weight distribution when lifting.
Cables are usually made of stainless steel and need lubrication. Regularly apply penetrating oil or chain and cable fluid to reduce abrasion.
Make sure not to use grease on the cables. Grease traps moisture inside the cable strands. However, boat lift motor components and pulleys usually require grease.
Since you’re lubricating your lift, check for damaged cables that need to be repaired, replaced, or tightened.
Boat docks and lifts are still susceptible to water-related damage. Lift beams and bunks can be damaged by a boat coming in “hot.” When docking, check your speed, so you are not going faster than you are willing to hit the dock.
Keep your lift out of the water as much as possible. Small amounts of rust can be ground off and touched up.
Never place a plastic bag or cover over the winch and/or motors in the winter. Condensation will form inside and cause excessive damage.
Uneven wear can shorten cable lifespan, so keep an eye on the cable alignment. Make sheave alignment part of your regular inspections. Keep an eye on the winder, drum, and spool.
If you notice a backlashed cable, slack, or other boat lift problems- STOP. Don’t go any further. Adjust the cables immediately. If you’re not sure of the alignment, contact the professionals at PWS.
Reminder – Use leather gloves to protect your hands when handling the cables.
Even off-season storage can contribute to how long your boat lift lasts. Store your boat lift with the platform up.
If you have a power hoist, remove the battery and store it inside on a small piece of wood.
Once the flood or storm has died down, clear any debris off of your dock and lift. Look for bent or twisted beams, damaged drives, or broken bunks on your lift. Look for bent or damaged bolts and loose fasteners.
Check the lift cables for kinks, abrasions, frays, or breaks. Do not operate your lift until those cables are repaired or replaced.
If your boat lift shifted during the storm, realign it and make it square with the dock. When there are high waves, make sure the boat is still in the correct position.
Consult your installation manual or PWS for more information about adjustments. Even if everything looks good, make sure that you perform a test run of your lift. Check for any problems before you get back to boating.
At times large objects, like logs or other debris, strike your boatlift during the night or when you are away. Always look for damage if there was a storm.
ShoreMaster boat lifts are made with premium components. They make the best equipment to protect your boat.
Invest in the best boat lift brand to protect your boat – ShoreMaster.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions, 7325 St. Hwy 57, is located 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay. Go 1 mile PAST the intersection with County MM (heading north). Look on the right at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Hwy 57.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions remains “open” year-round.
The Covid-19 virus is waning thanks to the population getting vaccinations. We hope that the remaining people will get the vaccine to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. We will continue to conduct as much business as possible by email, text, or phone to do our part to keep people safe.
Site visits continue as usual. When making in-person contacts, we follow “social distancing” guidelines when possible by doing any face-to-face contact outdoors.
PWS‘s display area is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays available for sale have a numbered, red tag on them. Want more information on something you saw in our yard? Please reference that number when you inquire.
PWS provides estimates by email to make the process faster, safer, and paperless.
Call, message, or email Jerry with any questions.
Shorestation lifts are the 2nd most popular brand on the Door County peninsula. Their popularity is falling because of the high water and storms we are experiencing.
A Shorestation lift will only raise the rack 54″ and requires an 11″ minimum water depth. Compare that to a ShoreMaster boat lift that goes 66″ high and needs only 6″ of water. [In all cases, add the floating depth of the boat to these numbers.]
Note: Shorestation lift models built before 2021 have been replaced with hydraulic models.
If you need a repair on any model made before 2021, you will need some measurements to order repair parts for your Shorestation lift. First, look in the area marked to see if you can find the model number It’s usually on a yellow sticker.
If that label is missing or unreadable, there is another way to determine the model number.
The bottom tubes of a Shorestation lift connect the four corners should measure either 2″ wide x 4″ tall or the more common size 2″ wide x 5″ tall. These measurements determine the weight capacity and are the first portion of the model number.
Next, measure the inside width across the two sides. The measurement will be 108″ or 120.” On rare occasions, it maybe 132″ if used with a pontoon or a very wide boat.
This dimension gives you the maximum beam that the lift can handle and is a required dimension for most cable repairs. The cable lengths change depending on this dimension.
If the lower frame dimension is 2″ x 4″ and the inside width is 108″, you have a 2600 or a 3000 lb lift. If the lower framework measures 2″ x 5″ with an inside width of 120″, then you either have a 3600 or a 4000 lb. lift.
Finally, look at the front and rear beam, forming the lift rack – ( Not the side beams). Are the front and rear beams on the movable rack flat, or do they have a “V” shape?
Also, note the material used on the lift rack. Are the beams made of aluminum or galvanized steel?
If you have an older flat rack I-beam aluminum cradle, add SS to the front of the number. V-racks with a galvanized steel front and rear rack beam require an “S” before the numbers. Here are two examples: SS26108 or SSV36120.
The model number is crucial when discussing replacement or repair parts for your lift. Without this information, it will be difficult to recommend a course of action.
If you repair a broken cable yourself, don’t order parts only to discover that you have got the wrong size parts. You may have to pay the shipping to return them and then reorder the correct ones.
Remember, All Shorestation models built before 2021 have been discontinued. Even though the models changed, the lifting heights and minimum water depths for the replacement lifts have not.
Today, the importance of the lifting height and the minimum required water depth to launch a boat has become very important. The extra 12″ of lifting height from a ShoreMaster boat lift is very important.
In low water situations, this can be critical. Water depths on the Bay do rise and fall in cycles of about 10-20 years. We will someday be back in a low water situation, at which time the minimum depth will once again be an issue.
Shorestation lifts have a complicated cable arrangement requiring professional repairs. A repair on a Shorestation lift is not for the faint of heart. A statement particularly true when changing the winch tube cable – the main lifting cable.
Here’s a typical Shorestation lift cable assembly:
This video shows the steps to replace the winch tube cable.
ShoreMaster lifts, on the other hand, have a straightforward cable arrangement making it easier to replace cables.
The cable follows the path shown with no special tools needed.
Which cable assembly would you prefer?
Did I mention there’s an easier way to change lift cables? Call Pier & Waterfront Solutions at 920-493-4404. We take responsibility for ordering the correct parts and you can rely on us to do the job right! Call now!
Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look on the right at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Hwy 57.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions remains “open.”
We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors. At the same time, we are working to maintain the trusted service you expect.
Because the virus has increased its spread, PWS is conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.
Site visits continue as usual. When in-person contacts are necessary, we follow “social distancing” guidelines as closely as possible.
Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays available for sale have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number when you call.
We provide estimates and quotes by email to make the process paperless, faster, and safer. We hope everyone will stay safe with these measures, and we will be back to normal operations soon.
Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails. When you see our crews on-site, please practice “social distancing.”
Call, message, or email us with any questions.
Thank you for allowing us to work with you safely.
Stress – Even boat lifts are under stress – this year more than ever before due to the high waters.
We’ve previously informed you of the danger to boat lift cables during a storm. If the waves hit the bottom of your boat it will momentarily lift the boat and then allow it to fall back on the rack. What if the cables are weakened by rust and frays? The “bouncing” effect can completely sever a cable into two pieces.
How can that movement harm the cables?
Even though the boat only rises a fraction of an inch, the energy of the “falling” boat must be absorbed by the boat rack. The cables in each corner of the lift must, in turn, absorb the stress of a moving 3-5,000 pound boat.
Having said that, a weakened cable is in imminent danger of breaking. Think of an 80-100 lb jackhammer used to break up concrete. Even reinforced concrete can not withstand the movement of the bit hitting the concrete.
With a boat, you are talking about a potential 5,000 lb weight dropping on a rack compared to an 80-100 lb. weight.
Protect your cables! It only takes a minute or two to protect your cables from rust. It’s simple and easy to do. A convenient link* is provided below so you can learn more about this.
There are warning signs of defects in your cables? If your cables look like any of these, it’s time to replace them. Need more information? Here’s an article that addresses this issue.
Always remember – it is possible to have broken strands inside your cable without any exterior signs of damage. This situation is especially true on stainless steel cables which do not rust.
At the beginning of the year, we place your boat lift in the requested location. We adjust the height of the legs based on what the current water level is.
Unfortunately, the water has continued to rise this year and that may no longer be suitable for the conditions you have today. Add to this the Seiche waves (pronounced “say-sh”) which are standing waves that form in a confined body of water. The friction of the wind against the surface of the water causes wave action.
As waves move towards the shoreline the water gets shallower and the moving waves rise higher. Standing waves, in general, can form in any type of semi-enclosed or enclosed body of water. When these rising waves hit the bottom of your boat the boat does what it is designed to do – it floats on the water.
The lift rack could be too close to the water to protect your boat with the rising water. As a result, you are not able to raise the boat high enough to keep it above the waves. On the other hand, If the rack is set too high in the water, you may not be able to get your boat on the lift. It’s a delicate balance. The variable is the changing depth of the water.
One way to raise the boat higher is to purchase longer legs and replace the standard lengths with new ones.
A less costly alternative is to simply move your lift closer to shore. It will be in shallower water and save you having to buy longer legs and the labor to install them.
If you keep the standard legs and don’t allow us to place the lift closer to the shore, you are inviting costly repairs or even replacements.
Get out there and take care of those cables. Check out the link below. Then, consider moving the lift closer to shore.
Have friends or neighbors you believe should see this article? Email them a link to this article – and Thank you!
Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, we are about 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay, and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look for the intersection of Idlewild Road and Hwy 57.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions has remained “open.” We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors. As of Aug 1st, Wisconsin mandates the use of face masks. We also endorse this to slow the spread of Covid-19. It’s the only known method to control the spread at this time.
While all this is going on, we are working to maintain the trusted service you expect. That’s important to us.
We are conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone. Site visits will continue as usual. When in-person contacts are necessary, we follow “social distancing” guidelines as closely as possible.
Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number.
We provide estimates and invoices by email to make the process paperless and faster. With these measures, we hope everyone will stay safe, and we will be back to normal operations soon.
Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails. When you see our crews working in your area, please practice “social distancing.”
Call, message, or use this simple request form to get answers and quotes.
Thank you for allowing us to work with you – safely.
Are you thinking about buying a used boat lift? This two-part series concludes with four additional items to check. Upon completion, we will have guided you through eight problems to look for when buying a used boat lift.
See Part 1 for the first four checks.
Here’s the second list of things to check:
If you look up inside the winch housing, if it has an enclosure, you will be able to see how the cables are winding. It should be a smooth pattern without any “crossed” cables. If the winch has no outer covering, you can readily see the pattern.
The wire cable has a “memory” to it. Once the cable gets crossed, it will tend to do it again the next time the cable rewinds.
If the cable is wrapping in layers, you will get a thunderous sound when the cable finally “falls off” the stack. This movement scrapes the galvanizing of the wire, and rust will form. The “shock” of dropping a 2,000# (or more) weight will also apply excessive stress on the cables.
Galvanized cables will rust over time. The movement of individual strands of the wire against each other cause rust. This movement occurs as they wrap around the winch and pulleys. There is no way to end this.
The only thing you can do is lubricate the cables. The lubrication reduces the friction between individual strands. Lubrication, in turn, lengthens the life of the cable. For more details click HERE.
Rust on the cable indicates that some galvanizing has worn off. Individual wire strands are compromised.
Stainless steel does not rust, but it does pick up loose rust from the winch. Winches are plain steel with a painted surface. When the paint rubs off, the steel will rust and “bleed” onto the cable.
It’s much like a scratch on a car. The rust will run down the side of the vehicle.
The rust typically appears near the winch when the rack is in a lowered position. Under these circumstances, it’s ok. Try to lubricate the cables every year to slow this down.
We recommend you lower the “rack” down, but DO NOT allow “slack” to form in the cables. Slack in the cables will allow the windings at the winch to unwind and cross over each other.
It’s much like a fishing reel getting snagged when there is no tension on the line.
If three of the four corner cables appear “tight,” the cables will need re-adjustment to re-distribute the weight equally.
Even proper positioning of the boat is essential.
If it takes excessive weight to lower the rack, look at the pulleys in each corner. Are they free to move? Is there sand, seaweed, or reeds packed around the pulleys? Remove any debris to free up the rack.
If any pulleys resist rotation, the rack will not lower smoothly. You must find out why the rack is not moving.
Note: In the case of jet ski lifts, the weight of the rack may not be enough to cause the rack to lower by itself. Have someone lean of the back of the lift to assist the rack in lowering. Still, hanging up? Check all the pulleys as above.
Check the fittings on the ends of the cable. Has rust formed on the fittings, or are there broken strands?
Caution– watch out for the ends of the cables. It’s a painful reminder of exposed strands.
Examine the entire length of the cable for frays (broken strands).
Caution – DO NOT run your hand up and down the cable without leather gloves. Broken strands on the cable will cause painful cuts on an unprotected hand. Ordinary cloth gloves will not protect your hand.
Here are the warning signs of defects in your cables.
If your cable looks like any of these, it’s time to replace them.
Warning – it is possible to have broken strands inside a cable without any exterior signs of damage. This situation is especially true on stainless steel cables which do not rust.
Read this article to learn how to lubricate cables. Lubrication slows down premature corrosion. It’s simple and easy to do.
Cable replacement requires a visual inspection of the lift cables. It’s best to inspect it while it is on dry land to check the critical points. Ideally, the lifting platform (or rack) should be in the lowered position. Of course, make sure the lift cable is not allowed to go slack.
Examine the vertical length of the cable for frayed wires, especially near the winch. Excessive fraying or corrosion near the winch is a top signal of damage.
CAUTION – Always wear leather gloves when sliding your hands along the cable. A frayed wire can cause painful damage to unprotected hands.
There are two types of cable wear:
Every time the boat is raised or lowered, there is internal wear on the cable. Each strand of wire in the winding is moving at a slightly different speed. Abrasion of the cable strands is the result. When the strands break, they lose strength.
Experts say that to be safe- replace a galvanized cable every two years. All things being equal, the stainless cable will last longer. Up to 2X as long.
A point often overlooked – internal abrasion and rust are hidden, and there may be no visible damage. A boat lift cable like this will fail without prior warning.
When in doubt, plan on replacing the cables. Trying to squeeze another year out of a $75 cable isn’t worth the risk of dropping your boat or personal injury.
PWS handles Shoremaster cables and can provide new cables for all brands.
Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?
During this time of uncertainty, Pier & Waterfront Solutions is staying “open.” We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors. At the same time, we are working to maintain the trusted service that you have come to expect.
1. Conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.
2. Site visits will continue but with limited in-person meetings. When in-person contacts are necessary, we will follow “social distancing” guidelines.
3. Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number.
4. Some employees will be working remotely, but they are always available by phone.
5. Any employee with symptoms or illness is sent home.
6. We continue to provide estimates and invoices by email to make the process paperless.
7. Crew starting times are being staggered to limit social interactions.
8. We keep the same crews together to limit cross interactions.
With these measures, we hope everyone will stay safe, and we will be back to normal operations soon.
1. Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails. This step protects everyone involved.
2. When you see our crews installing equipment, please practice “social distancing.”
Thank you for allowing us to work with you.
Jerry @ (920) 493-4404 or Jerry@wisconsinpws.com – Commercial work & new/used Sales.
Dave @ (920) 905-2588 or Dave@wisconsinpws.com – Erosion control & shoreline work.
John @ (920) 493-4405 or John@wisconsinpws.com – Scheduling & Service work