The answer to this question is highly relative to the intensity of the sunshine, the size of the solar panel, quantity of associated batteries and frequency of use. If you only use your boat lift once or twice a day then you should always have power regardless of the size of panel and weather. If you plan on using your lift many times over a short period of days or hours then it is recommended to purchase a larger panel and perhaps a second battery. This ensures you that regardless of weather and frequency of use that you always have power for your lift. The second battery also has the added bonus of speeding up the motors ability to go up and down.
The first thing you need is determine which type of watercraft you have. Is it a pontoon or V-hull boat? If it is a V-hull then you just need one set of bunks set at the height that provides clearance of the bottom of your boat above the frame of the cradle of the lift. If it is a pontoon with dual-toons you are going to need two bunk sets and three sets for tri-toon pontoon boats.
No. Increasing the gage of your cable does not improve the capacity of your lift.
Here is a helpful video on how to assemble your aluminum stairs.
You may leave your motor attached to your lift year round they are designed to be weatherproof. However, we recommend putting a plastic bag around the motor and bungie tying it down around it or using zip ties. This puts an extra layer between the elements and your motor.
In most instances it can take 4-6 people to move an assembled lift from the yard out into the water. If you have seawalls rock walls it can be more difficult to place and require more people. Assistance from a standard appliance dolly, foam floats, a Smarte Jack Retractable Wheel Kit, or a CraftLander Lift Jack installation tool can make moving the lift into place and adjusting the pads to their proper height much easier and require fewer people.
Salt water is very corrosive to many different metals used in marine equipment. If you plan on buying a dock or boatlift you should make sure it has stainless steel fasteners and a aluminum frame or supports as to prevent corrosion.
A common question for people getting into a new dock or lift system is whether they can leave their dock or boat lift in through the winter. In almost every situation we highly recommend that you take your equipment out of the water to prevent the ice from damaging it. Ice flows during the winter months and as the ice begins to break up in the spring are the biggest cause of damage to lifts and docks during the winter season if left in. The wind can push the ice down the lake shore taking your dock or lift with it or bending up the posts or framing. For a first person perspective watch this video captured on a lake in Minnesota.
The only exception is for people who may be canals, small ponds, or coves that are protected from the high winds and ice flows that can come across the lake.
Just remember “When in doubt, take it out.”