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Steel vs. Aluminum

The aluminum extrusion plants manufacture a grade of aluminum called 6061-T6.  This grade of aluminum is solid aluminum and is designed to withstand the harsh elements of a marine environment.  It will not rust and, depending on style and manufacturer, comes with a 10 year structural warranty.  IF maintained properly, life expectancy could be decades.  The initial investment is greater than with hot dipped galvanized steel, but the aluminum is more aesthetically pleasing and lasts much longer.  Therefore making it a better investment.

Hot dipped galvanized steel is fabricated raw steel, dipped in zinc galvanizing.  Inevitably, the galvanized coating will break down and the exposed steel will progressively rust the boatlift.  Fresh water installations will fair better than salt water.

Electrical Requirements

The majority of boatlift manufacturer’s offer you an option of 120v or 240v.  Although some may need 240v exclusively, boatlifts from 3,000# to 24,000# usually wire in 120v/30amp or 240v/20amp power.  30,000# to 120,000# lifts require more power and higher amperage.


One year structural warranties are common throughout the boatlift industry, though some warranties run for as long as 10 years.    If maintained properly, life expectancy can range from 7-10 years depending on style and manufacturer.  At the latter half of existence, steel lifts are not aesthetically pleasing, but cost less than aluminum lifts.  Aluminum boatlift structural warranties range from 5-10 years and hot dipped galvanized steel structural warranties range from 1-2 years.  All gear boxes carry a 5 year warranty and all motors carry a 2 year warranty.


We carry liability insurance for every city we work in.  If you would like a copy of our certificate of insurance upon acceptance of your contract, we will be happy to provide you with that information.

Which Lift?

8 post boatlifts are expensive and are specifically made for 24,000# to 120,000# boatlifts, therefore, unless your weight capacity requires such a lift, the expense is not warranted. The difference and decision making comes down to the 4 post and the sidemounted boatlift. The 4 post has structural warranties up to 10 years whereas the sidemounted has a 5-year structural warranty. 4 post boatlifts are independent and free standing and run vertical. Sidemounted boatlifts have to be mounted to a seawall or wood piles and can run vertically or on any number of angles. Water depth and manufacturer design will also determine whether you need a 4 post or sidemounted application.

Why a Boatlift

Boatlifts are advantageous for several reasons. Because no bottom paint is needed, your boat will get greater gas mileage and speed as well as maintain its value longer. When the boat is in the lifted position, it can be readily serviced by mechanics, the outdrives can be rinsed with fresh water and the zincs do not need to  be replaced. The lift provides more than convenience, it provides safety for your boat and peace of mind for you as your boat can be within your eye view at all times and is ready for you to take her for a drive. No more having to worry about a forklift moving her around in storage and damaging her – you will always know her whereabouts and her safety.


Permitting can be as simple as a 2 week process at some building departments to a 2 month process including applications sent to the Department of Environmental Protection if you’re on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Total permit costs including blueprints, drawings, surveys and building department fees generally range from $400 – $900 with the exception of most Miami areas which can run from $1500 – $2500.  These fees are paid by our company up front and the customer is to reimburse us after the job has been completed and receipts are provided.  These costs are not included in the total price of the customer’s quote and are additional.

Why Admiral

We have had nearly 25 years experience in the field of marine construction.  Our scope of work covers the entire marine construction field with the installation and repair of boatlift, docks and seawalls.  We deal with many manufacturers, all of whom have been in business for at least 10-30 years.  Because of this, we can offer an unbiased recommendation to our customers.  We offer 6 and 12 month maintenance contracts and free estimates to all.  We encourage you to ask around and find out for yourself the kind of reputation and work ethic Admiral Boatlifts has to offer.  If you require names and phone numbers for actual references, feel free to call or email us and we’ll be happy to send the information to you.

Hurricanes and Boatlifts

In our past 25 years experiencing hurricanes in Florida, we have NEVER has a boatlift fail during one of these monster storms. This is not to say that it could never happen, but here are some ways to prevent and protect. The lift should be installed properly, so that when it is in the maximum up position, the boat is well over and above the dock and seawall. This way, the water would have to rise substantially more than a normal hurricane would cause it to, just in order to make the boat float enough to damage it. The key to safety during a hurricane is to make sure the boat is tied down to the lift and that the lift is fastened into position with lines. Follow these simple guidelines and your boat and lift should be perfectly safe during these summer-time threats so familiar to Floridians.


We offer a free inspection of seawalls, docks, piles, boatlifts, etc., and a comprehensive assessment of any repairs that may be needed.  In order to enable you to allocate your maintenance expenses properly, we can provide you with an annual preventative maintenance plan which would apply to present and future expenditures.  Implementing this plan will help you to avoid costly emergency repairs and will keep your tenants and guests from injury due to lack of maintenance.
Annual Inspection consists of:

  • In-water seawall foundation inspection determining possible loss of fill and current condition of seawall
  • In-water pile inspection determining possible toredo worm infestation and wood erosion
  • Dock safety inspection evaluating load capacity on existing frame and checking for possible rusted frame anchor supports and loose deck boards
  • Boatlift safety inspection determining the condition of power units, cables, alignment and electrolysis

The annual preventative maintenance program is priced according to geographical location.  Call today for your area’s price quote and take advantage of one of our best values!