Do you need to be able to lift boats out of the water for repairs? Maybe you run a marina and need to move customers boats out of the water and into dry storage for the season. Finding a high-quality and affordable travel lift can be a little challenging. Here are a few of our suggestions for getting a great deal and still get the best quality possible.
Our first suggestion is to consider used travel lifts if you want to save money. Every season travel lifts come on the market because marinas shut-down, or individual owners decide they do not want to keep a lift and dock their own boat any longer. Buying a used lift can cut your cost by 25 to 50% instantly. https://marinetravellift.com/
You do need to use a little caution when buying used. You will want to inspect the travel lift and make sure all boat slings are in excellent condition. Check the motor, hydraulics, tires and other components at the same time. If you need to replace a few items you could quickly be nearing the price of a new lift.
Our second suggestion is to check directly with the manufacturers of boat travel lifts. While many of them only sell through dealers, others will sell direct to a marina or individual. Buying direct can save you money.
If you can save money with our first two suggestions, why would you ever call a dealer in your region? Dealers provide services you cannot get anywhere else. When you buy your travel lift through a dealer they provide the service, carry parts and can train you on how to operate your lift. You may pay a few extra dollars to get these added services, but it is usually money well spent.
Another suggestion, and one we highly recommend, is to call a few other marinas to find out where they bought their travel lift. You may not want to call a competitor in your area, but you probably know other marina or boat owners who have lifts. They can give you insights into what they like about their lift, their dealer and how valuable it is for their marina.
The other advantage to calling other marinas is you might find one that knows of a travel lift coming up for sale. It expands your chances of finding a used lift that is in great shape at a reasonable price.
Should you explore travel lifts made outside the country? You can find travel lifts that are cheaper alternatives that way, but you will need to verify shipping and import costs for the lift. Sometimes this can still save you money, other times the added costs make buying local the best option. This depends on the size of self-propelled lift you need.
That is one other factor to keep in mind. Your travel lift will need regular maintenance. Hydraulic systems need to be checked and fluids topped off. The engine on your travel lift will require service. You will need to replace the slings on your travel lift. These are all times the local dealer can be helpful.
Finding an affordable travel lift for sale in your area will take a little research. Call your local dealers and other marina owners first to find out what is available. Then you can decide if you want to expand your search or not.