Fall Boat Lift and Canopy Maintenance

boat lift maintenance

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that, and all will be well.”

– Buddha

As much as it pains us to say it, fall is fast approaching – and winter lies in wait. That means no more cruising across the glassy surfaces of Minnesota’s pristine lakes. No more beelining to your favorite fishing spots as easily as starting an outboard motor. But most importantly, the upcoming cold weather means performing important boat lift and canopy maintenance.

Fortunately, maintaining your boat lift and its canopy is quite easy. Here are the actions you should take before shelving your boat for the winter!


Boat Lift Maintenance

  1. Lubricate moving parts. Doing so will reduce friction which gradually contributes to a boat lift’s wear and tear. Move each part after lubricating it to ensure even distribution of the grease.
  2. Check pulleys. Ensure they move freely and don’t exhibit signs of unusual wear. Replace pulleys if they are broken (or pose a risk of failure when you are nowhere near a replacement part supplier).
  3. Remove batteries. If your boat lift is battery operated, remove its power supply and store it in a semi-warm environment. Make sure to fully charge your batteries before spring returns.
  4. Inspect cables. Does your boat lift have frayed cables? Then we’re “a-frayed” they need to be replaced before their inevitable failure.
  5. Check welds. Closely inspect every weld on your boat lift. Any cracks must be addressed by a boat lift repair company before they can threaten the integrity of the lift.
  6. Remove zebra mussels. This invasive species of mollusk has several adverse effects on Minnesota’s natural ecosystem. When you remove them with a pressure washer, you aren’t just helping to reduce their population numbers; you’re also helping to preserve your boat lift’s functionality.


Boat Lift Canopy Maintenance

  1. Spray off canopy. Once you have removed it from the lift, spray down both sides of the canopy. That will remove larger dirt and debris.
  2. Scrub down canopy. Once you have sprayed it down, use a soft-bristled brush to clean both sides of the canopy. That will remove finer dirt and debris.
  3. Dry canopy. Hang up your canopy where the sun can work its magic. Storing it while it is still damp is an open invitation to mold and mildew.
  4. Fold canopy. Once your canopy is completely dry, lay it on a flat, clean surface facing upward. Fold the sides of the canopy over the top so the width is approximately 9.5′. Fold each end of the canopy over approximately 32″. At one end, measure in 16″. Fold the canopy toward the opposite end, and continue folding until you reach the other side.  The canopy should now be approximately 20″ wide. Begin rolling the canopy in 16″ increments until it reaches the other end. (Check out this helpful video by FLOE International for a demonstration!)
  5. Add dryer sheets. Mice hate the smell of dryer sheets. Make the gnawing rodents’ sensitive noses work against them by slipping a few dryer sheets into the folds of your newly folded up canopy.


Do you need professional boat lift repair or a replacement lift canopy in the Otter Tail and Becker County area? Contact Richter’s Dock & Lift today! Our experts are standing by to make sure your lift is fully operational and protected against the elements all year long.




42525 Fort Thunder Road Perham, MN 56573

Business Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm