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How Do I Choose the Best Personal Watercraft Lift?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
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In order to choose the best personal watercraft lift for your lifestyle, you must decide on what you are really wanting in a lift. There are personal watercraft lift designs that run the gamut from a stand-alone, vertical four-post lift similar to a speed boat lift, to a ride-on floating type of personal watercraft lift that attaches to a dock. Factors such as frequency of riding the watercraft to duration of storage should be considered to ensure that you get the best personal watercraft lift for your individual preferences. Options such as the lifting mechanism and sun shade roof attachment all contribute to providing you with the best personal watercraft lift for your money, as well as your individual needs.

Personal watercraft are gaining in popularity in nearly every type of water system around the world. The problem facing many owners is how to store the craft both long-term and short. It is not always plausible to trailer your watercraft away from the water every time you have finished riding it. This is where many owners decide to purchase a personal watercraft lift to leave their watercraft on the water while also providing protection from the damaging waves and weather.

One style of lift is very similar to the four-post vertical lift used by many speed boats and pontoons. This is an entry-level personal watercraft lift and does a good job of holding and protecting the watercraft. The problem with this style of lift is that it commonly sits away from the dock, requiring the rider to wade a distance into the water in order to lower the watercraft. Once lowered, the rider is left to gain a seating position any way possible and then commonly has to ride the vessel back to shore to fuel it for the day's riding. Floating dockside lifts are often a better choice since the rider can drive the vessel on and off of the lift and then simply exit the vessel and walk down the dock.

The floating personal watercraft lift is often expandable to include two or more watercraft on a single lift. Often made from non-damaging plastic, the floating lift is preferred by many riders for the ease of exit and entry to the water while also allowing for fueling and maintenance right at dockside. Another form of floating personal watercraft lift is a platform lift. The rider is able to pull directly on and off of this stable floating lift as well, and it can be positioned dockside or stand alone.

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