How to Prepare a Boat Lift for a Hurricane: 3 Ways to Secure Your Lift for Bad Weather

Florida usually has clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. We also get intense rainstorms and hurricanes, whose strong winds and rain can lead to power outages, downed trees and property damage. 

Floridians take precautions by stocking up on water and canned goods. To prepare their homes, Floridians board up their windows and place sandbags. But what should you do as a boat owner?

Here are a few commonly asked questions:

  1. Can I leave my boat on a lift during a storm? It is best to store your boat on a trailer if possible. Keeping your boat on the lift puts the boat and lift at risk of more damage from wind, waves and debris.
  2. How do I tie a boat to a boathouse lift for a hurricane? You should remove your boat from your lift and store it on a trailer if possible. Then, tie off each of the corners of the cradle. If that is not an option, raise the lift as high as it can go. Still tie off each of the lift’s corners to prevent your boat from swinging and being damaged or harming your lift.
  3. What do I do with a boat on a free-standing lift during a hurricane? Remove the boat and lower the lift as low as it can go into the water to prevent it from being damaged by debris. If you have to leave your boat on your ShoreStation, raise the lift as high as possible to keep the boat above the waves.
  4. What should I do with my jet ski lift during a storm? Prepare your PWC lift like you would a boat lift. If your jet ski is stored on a boathouse lift, tie off each of the four corners. Remove your jet ski and store it on a trailer if possible. If you have a dock mount lift, raise it as high as possible to keep it out of the waves.

While there is no sure guarantee against hurricanes, you can take steps to make your lift and boat as safe as possible.

Here are three things you can do to prepare your boat lift for a storm:

1. Trailer your boat.

No matter what kind of lift you have, you need to take your watercraft off and store it safely on a trailer. Removing your boat or jet ski will keep it as safe as possible from the wind, waves and debris that may be stirred up by the storm.

If trailering your boat isnt an option, raise the lift as high as possible and follow the steps below.

2. Secure the lift. 

Once your watercraft is safely stored, you’ll need to secure your boat lift. If you have a boathouse lift, which hangs from the ceiling of your boathouse, raise the cradle as high as it can go. Tie off each of the four corners to prevent it from swinging. Do not lower the cradle into the water, as resting it on the lake bottom can cause the cables to unwrap or be tangled.

If you have a free-standing ShoreStation or dock-mount jet ski lift, you’ll need to lower it into the water to prevent it from being damaged by debris or waves.

A boathouse lift (left) and a free-standing ShoreStation lift (right)

3. Remove your canopy.

You’ll need to remove the vinyl from your free-standing lift and safely store it. Otherwise, the strong winds can catch the vinyl like a sail, lifting it out of the water and causing damage to your lift.

If you have a Revolution Canopy (pictured on the right), simply roll up the vinyl and tie it down to the frame. For other canopies, remove the vinyl completely and store it. 

If you have a mesh curtain or Power Screen, that hangs on all four sides of your lift (also pictured above), raise it as high as possible. Raising the curtain will allow the wind to pass through the lift and prevent the mesh from being damaged by debris.

While there’s no guarantee against a storm, there are steps you can take to make your watercraft and lift as safe as possible. You’ll be back on the water enjoying the sunshine in no time. Stay safe!

For the complete guide on boat lift hurricane preparation and how to secure each type of lift, click here.

For questions or concerns, call our office at 352-394-5666 or email us at