How to Build a Boat Lift on Your Houseboat

What You'll Need
Pen and Paper
Measuring tape
Boathouse lift kit
Steel I-Beams
Trailer Bunks

A boat lift is an apparatus that is used to lift the boat out of the water. Sometimes boat lifts are used in replace of a canal lock. The boat lift, in this instance, will be responsible for transferring the boat from one level of water to the other level of water. For a houseboat, it may be used to lift the houseboat off the water during stormy weather or to transfer it to another location. It can be built by a fairly handy do-it-yourselfer in a couple of weekend afternoons. Here's how you get the perfect boat lift

Step 1 - Measure Your Houseboat

Begin by measuring the length and the width of your boat. Take out your measuring tape and run it from one end of the boat to the other. Your boat lift will need to be as long as and as wide as your boat. Note the measurements on a piece of paper so that you can refer to it later when you are in the process of building your boat lift.

Step 2 - Purchase a Boathouse Lift Kit

Some manufacturers will allow you to purchase a kit. The kit will contain all the necessary instructions and how-to information regarding how you will go about building your boathouse lift. This is a great option for someone that has a standard houseboat with standard dimensions. This is not so great of an option for someone that owns a customized or different shaped houseboat.

Step 3 - Secure the I-Beams

A lift for your boathouse is nothing more than four I-beams put together. You will pick a size of an I-beam that fits with the dimensions of your houseboat. Drill holes in the I-beams and secure them together will non-rust bolts and fasteners. You can add another I-beam in the middle of your boat lift for additional structural support.

Step 4 - Attach Trailer Bunks

Attach Trailer bunks to your I-Beams. The trailer bunks will ensure the boathouse does not become scratched from the transfer between the water to the boat lift. Trailer bunks come as a kit. They are designed to properly support your houseboat in the air. Follow the manufacturer's directions for the trailer bunks you have purchased. They will direct you step by step how you are to install the carpeting, the glides and the other components. By following the manufacturer's directions, you will ensure that your houseboat is lifted properly into the air, that is protected from scratch and harm while transferring from the water onto the boathouse boat lift.

Step 5 - Test

Test out your newly designed and constructed boat lift for your houseboat. Make sure your houseboat transfers easily onto and off of the boat lift. Make sure the trailer bunks are properly installed and allow the houseboat to enter and get off of the lift without damage.