Back To Top


how much does a boat lift cost

How Much Does a Boat Lift Cost? Everything You Need to Know!

After a blissful day out on the water, cruising and soaking in the sun, it’s time to head back to your boat dock. It’s a safe place to store your precious boat when not in use. But it’s also intelligent to go up a level and consider a boat lift. Boat lifts keep your watercraft out of reach from the water body. They make sure it’s more secure from external damage.

However, before making a great investment and purchasing a boat lift, you must raise the question, how much does a boat lift cost? It’s essential for every boat owner to know what they’re getting into when it comes to financing a reliable solution that will keep their cherished vessel safe and secure.

A boat lift has a number of cost implications, and today, we’ll examine all the factors influencing the cost of boat lifts. In addition, take a closer look at the different types of lifts available in Minnetonka, as well as their average prices. Trust our expertise, and keep reading!

Is a Boat Lift Worth It?

Without a doubt, investing in a boat lift system is well worth the initial cost. Think of it as an insurance policy for your precious watercraft. Boat lifts offer long-term benefits that far outweigh their upfront expenses.

Just consider this: A good-quality boat lift ensures the protection of your boat from various external factors like rough waters, debris, or marine growth accumulation. And, with easy access to your docked boat, you’ll save yourself valuable time and effort. All you need to do is just step onto the boat from the dock, lower the lift, and sail away!

The durability and convenience offered by a reliable boat lift make them an intelligent choice for any enthusiastic boater.

Types of Boat Lifts and Their Cost

Boat lifts come in a wide range of options to suit different needs. From conventional 4-post lifts to floating lifts, each type offers unique features and benefits. At the same time, their costs vary depending on those features, your vessel size, location, lifting capacity, etc.

Let’s explore the different types in more detail, along with their price ranges. Let’s help you make the choice that fits you the best!

4-Post Convention Boat Lifts

One of the most common boat lift options you’ll find on lakes is the 4 post conventional boat lift. These lifts are priced at an average cost of around $5,750.

Perfect for boats weighing anywhere between 4,000-20,000 pounds, these lifts offer reliable and sturdy support. If your vessel exceeds the weight limit of a standard model (over 20,000 lb), you may ask installers to use additional poles. With around six to eight poles, you can ensure adequate lifting capacity.

In general, conventional boat lifts are sold as an entry-level option for owners who have small to medium-sized boats. That’s because they’re easy to use and install, even for those new to boating.

Elevator Boat Lifts

If you’re looking for a sleek and efficient boat lift, an elevator boat lift might be the perfect choice for you. These innovative lifts use an electric winch system to seamlessly raise and lower your watercraft- all at the touch of a button. With their beamless design, they offer clear views of your boat without any tangled cables.

With an average price tag of around $11,500, these lifts are worth considering if you have limited space or prefer a more contemporary aesthetic. They can be installed in narrow passageways close to shorelines without PVC or metal structures getting in the way.

Do keep in mind that installing an elevator boat lift may require obtaining permits depending on local regulations. So, it’s always best to check with authorities beforehand. Must plan your budget accordingly for any additional expenses that may arise!

Hydraulic Boat Lifts

For a boat lift that takes lifting to the next level, consider hydraulic boat lifts. Unlike conventional cable systems, these lifts use a steel tube and piston mechanism to raise your boat higher than the other types.

These lifts are particularly ideal for coastal areas where you may need to keep your boat suspended above water levels. The hydraulic system ensures that even if an unexpected problem occurs and the system fails, your elevated vessel remains securely in place.

hydraulic boat lifts

Most hydraulic boat lifts are powered by low-profile DC or solar power systems, similar to elevator lifts. During installation, make sure each leg has a hoist frame with base pads resting on the water surface. Also important is leveling the contact points for proper stability.

When it comes to cost considerations, be prepared for spending around or above $11,500 for a hydraulic boat lift. Remember, though, actual prices can vary depending on any additional features you choose to include.

Cantilever Boat Lifts

If you’re looking for a boat lift that offers simplicity and durability, then why not choose a cantilever lift? With an average cost of $4,025, these lifts are budget-friendly without compromising on quality.

The design of a cantilever boat lift relies on steel cables. The system utilizes a winch wheel to easily raise and lower your watercraft. This type of lift is ideal for small boats as it doesn’t require access to the nearest power source.

In terms of maintenance, repairs are simple because of the straightforward technology used in this type of boat lift. It’s an excellent option if you prefer something easy-to-use yet effective at keeping your vessel out of harm’s way.

Floating Boat Lifts

Lastly, let’s talk about floating boat lift. It’s a unique type that offers a clever combination of a floating dock and hydro-pneumatic lifting technology. The cost for this type of lift is approximately $8,050.

What makes the floating boat lift special? It utilizes specially designed inflated tanks to hoist your watercraft out of the water. These compact tanks require minimal amounts of water just for lifting purposes.

A floating lift becomes particularly useful in areas where water levels regularly fluctuate, like lakes and reservoirs. Even during low-water conditions, you can still use your trusty floating lift to keep your vessel safe and easily accessible.

Remember to consider important factors like the dimensions of your boat and budgetary constraints when choosing the right boat lift type for you. Also, please check local regulations before proceeding with any purchase or installation plans. The regulations vary depending on specific bodies of water requirements in different states or localities.

boat lift costs

What Affects Boat Lift Costs?

The total cost can change depending on the type of boat lift you pick, the size and weight limit of your boat, the cost of installation work, and any extra components or maintenance that you may need. Let’s look into these cost factors in more detail so you have a better idea of what to expect when you buy a boat lift for your next fishing trip.

Labor Costs

After paying the upfront boat lift costs, keep in mind that the expenses do not stop there. You will need to consider any extra fees, such as labor or boat lift installation costs. Some companies may include equipment installation in their packages, but most do not offer this service.

To get your new boat lift installed properly and securely, you may need to contact local construction companies with expertise in marine equipment. They can ensure a smooth and efficient installation process. In Minnetonka, reach out to Tonka Built for the best installation services!

The rates for installation will vary depending on the type of lift you choose and factors like accessibility and project complexity. Remember that larger-sized lifts generally come with higher price tags. That’s because they require additional materials and labor.

By considering all aspects of installing a boat lift beforehand, you can plan your budget more effectively while ensuring professional workmanship.


Accessories play a crucial role in enhancing the functionality and convenience of your boat lift. Personalizing your system can provide extra benefits tailored to your specific needs.

One popular accessory is a railway. It allows for effortless transportation of your boat from the boathouse to shore. A railway simplifies the process and surely increases the value of your boat lift by thousands of dollars!

Other accessories worth considering include carpeted bunks for extra support or motor stops for precise positioning. You can utilize pontoon-specific accessories that ensure optimal stability and protection.

You need to understand which suits your preferences the most. Investing in these customizable options will make using and maintaining your boat lift an absolute breeze!


Maintenance costs are a critical consideration when determining a boat lift’s cost. Just like other equipment or machinery, boat lifts require regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation.

Taking the time to examine and maintain all of your boat lift’s components, such as bolts, runners, nuts, and cables, will help you identify potential problems before they become major ones. You can maintain smooth functioning for years only by lubricating gears and other moving components on a regular basis.

The costs related to regular upkeep may vary depending on the type and brand of the boat lift you choose. But investing time and money into it will ultimately pay off by preserving the value and functionality of your lift system for years to come.

What Are the Benefits of a Boat Lift?

Introducing boat lifts into your boating routine comes with a multitude of advantages. Let’s dive in and explore why investing in a boat lift is not only worth it but also highly beneficial.

  1. Secured Storage: Boat docks or boat houses are safe, but the ultimate secure storage for your watercraft is a boat lift. A lift will keep your boat elevated and out of reach from potential damage caused by waves, tides, or floating debris.
  2. Damage Prevention: Hull blisters are caused by prolonged contact with water or corrosion due to saltwater exposure. A boat lift keeps your boat out of the water when not in use. So, you need to worry less about potential algae growth or body decay.
  3. Convenience: You do not need to deal with trailers or complicated docking procedures every time you want to take your boat out on the water! Launching and retrieving your vessel becomes hassle-free when using a boat lift system.
  4. Value Maintenance and Lifespan Extension: Keeping your beloved investment lifted above the water helps maintain its value over time. Also, enjoy an extended lifespan for your boat compared to the ones left exposed and untended at docks.
  5. Maximized Boating Time: One major advantage is quick access to smooth sailing! Having an elevated platform available for boarding whenever necessary makes quick access possible. Step onto your boat, lower it down, and begin your adventure right away without spending precious moments preparing!

Conclusion on How Much Does a Boat Lift Cost

Now that you have all the information about boat lift costs, it’s time to make an informed decision. Remember, investing in a boat lift is not only about protecting your vessel—it’s also about convenience and maximizing your boating experience.

Whether you have a pontoon boat or a sleek motorboat, there are different types of lifts available to suit your specific needs. The cost of a boat lift will vary depending on factors such as the type of lift, labor costs for installation, and any additional accessories you may choose.

When considering purchasing a new boat lift or upgrading your existing one, Tonka Built is here to help! As Minnetonka’s trusted manufacturer of high-quality docks and lifts, we offer top-notch products tailored for durability and efficiency at competitive prices.

We provide the best hydraulic boat lifts available, and we’re confident that once you’ve tried our boat lifts, you’ll never settle for anything less. Enjoy reliable installation and maintenance service with us, too!

So go ahead—keep your prized possession safe with our reliable solutions designed specifically for passionate boaters like yourself. Reach out today!

Leave a Comment


Make a splash with WaveRide, designed for everyone passionate about all things surfing.

[email protected]
184 Main Collins Street Victoria 8007
Follow Us: