All boat lifts are designed to lift boats out of the water, however because the hull of a pontoon differs from traditional V-shaped boats, a regular boat lift design may not accommodate the width and depth of a pontoon boat. Therefore, you should keep a few things in mind when shopping for a pontoon boat lift.
What Type of Lift Do You Need for a Pontoon Boat?
The physical distinction between traditional deck boats and pontoons is the shape and function of the hull. Typically the hull of a deck boat is V-shaped, while a pontoon’s design allows the boat to lie flat on the water, balancing on two or three hollow aluminum tubes. A pontoon’s flat deck and hull provide stability on top of the water by easily resisting side-to-side rocking that traditional deck boats often encounter. Because a pontoon is shaped differently, you’ll need to carefully choose your boat lift.
With a standard V-hull, the boat rests on a single set of bunks that are attached to the boat lift cradle at an angle and support each side of the hull. Whereas, a pontoon boat requires two to three sets of bunks to support each of the vessel’s toons. Boat lifts for pontoons also require larger dimensions and your boat lift will need to be able to support the design, structure and weight of your pontoon.
Additionally, as with any type of lift, you also need to take into consideration the environmental factors where the lift will be installed. You’ll need to determine if the bottom is firm and even, the water depth and any fluctuations in water levels and if you’re in a climate where the water can freeze.
Can I Convert My Boat Lift to Fit My Pontoon Boat?
Storing your pontoon boat on a lift rather than just having it docked in the water prevents damage and corrosion, helps keep your boat clean and allows you to easily keep it maintained. Because pontoon boats are larger, heavier and shaped differently than V-hull boats, you may or may not be able to convert your existing lift to accommodate a pontoon boat.
You’ll need to check the weight limit of your existing lift, and know the exact dimensions and weight of your pontoon. Once you’re sure that your existing lift will be able to safely lift your pontoon, then you can check and see if there’s a pontoon conversion kit available from your lift’s manufacturer to allow it to be able to house your pontoon boat.
RGC’s Pontoon and Tritoon kits can convert our hydraulic lift, vertical hydraulic lift or vertical lift, into a free-standing pontoon or tritoon boat lift. If you need assistance determining the right type of lift for your vessel or want to modify your existing boat lift to accommodate a pontoon or tritoon, don’t hesitate to contact us today.