How Much Does A Pontoon Boat Lift Cost?

There really isn’t much better than owning a pontoon.

Of course, this is not to say that owning a pontoon won’t come without a lot of work because it certainly will.

Regular gas fill-ups, oil changes, cleanings, and other maintenance tasks will just be a fraction of what it takes to keep your boat running and looking at its best.

And, if you are going to invest in a pontoon there is no sense in not taking care of it. After all, performing these regular tasks will just ensure that you get the most out of your purchase.

All that aside, there is no set rule that says you can’t at least try to make these tasks easier on yourself.

One of the best ways to do just that is by investing in a pontoon boat lift.

Yes, you probably didn’t plan on dropping a whole bunch more money on a boat lift when you already dropped a pretty penny on your boat, but if it is going to make your life easier while ensuring you get the most out of your initial purchase, the pontoon boat lift will be well worth the investment.

Your first initial question is probably how much does a pontoon boat lift cost and this is understandable. That is exactly what this article is going to cover and more.

How Much Does A Pontoon Boat Lift Cost?

The first thing that you need to know is that any pontoon owner can benefit from one of these boat lifts. Whether you are storing your boat in a marina or in your backyard, a boat lift can provide the extra protection that you need.

For those that have never heard of a boat lift, you just need to understand that a boat lift is nothing more than a large structure that can lift your boat in and out of the water. Not only does a boat lift make this task easier, but it could eliminate the need to paint the bottom of the boat. Boats that constantly sit in the water will need to be repainted more often than boats that do not sit in the water.

Along with this, a boat lift can also eliminate the worries of your boat sinking or floating away. This will be something that should greatly put your mind at ease if you are storing your boat in a marina. Yes, you can simply maroon it to the pier, but what about storms? If you live in an area with a high likelihood of storms, then this could be just the investment that you need to put your worries to bed.

When you factor in the cost of painting your boat along with what it would take to reclaim a sunken boat it should be more than easy to justify the extra expense of a boat lift, but it is still important to take a look at pontoon boat lift prices if you want to go into the endeavor as a more informed consumer.

At the end of the day, the overall pontoon boat lift cost is going to depend on several factors. First, it will depend on the size of the pontoon. Of course, the bigger the pontoon, the higher the price, which is understandable because bigger boats require more materials.

Secondly, the manufacturer of the boat lift will factor in. There is more than one company that makes these lifts and some charge more for their products. These higher charging companies might also offer higher quality and longer-lasting components, so this is just another thing that you will want to factor into your final decision.

All that being said, the average pontoon boat lift cost can range anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. As a rule of thumb, you should probably expect to pay at least $1,000 per ton as well as $5000 per piling. When all said and done, you might end up paying more, you might end up paying a little less, but this number will give you a general number that you can set your budget around. Another thing that will need to be factored in will be the type of boat lift that you want. Cantilever lifts can potentially run anywhere from $700 to $3,500, depending on the weight and size of the boat.

Vertical lifts, on the other hand, tend to run a bit more. For these types of lifts, you can spend as much as $20,000 or as little as $6,000. In addition to this, some manufacturers will also offer other add-ons and expansions that will make operation easier, but the most basic of models really should be all that any pontoon owner needs to make their life a little easier. If you have the extra funds then, by all means, add some of these extra features because they will come in more than handy over the years.

I have created the ultimate Pontoon Boat Lifts and Cradle Style Guide. This will help you identify which type of lift you need for your pontoon boat. I go into depth into what each type of lift has to offer and what circumstances they’re most effective for.

If your pontoon is heavier than the average pontoon, which some are, you might end up having to invest in what is known as the elevator lift. These lifts are capable of handling weights of up to 16,000 pounds. For a lift of this magnitude, you can expect to pay anywhere from $8,000 to $22,000.

Also, remember that these numbers will not include installation. Professional installation will also cost more but will probably be worth the extra expense if you don’t consider yourself to be mechanically inclined. Even if you do know your way around a toolbox, you must consider the fact that boat lifts are immense structures and can weight a lot. It just might not be feasible to undertake the installation on your own.

What Does A Pontoon Boat Lift Cost Annually?

Unfortunately, the initial purchase of your boat lift won’t be the only expense that you are going to need to make.

Just like your boat this lift is also going to need annual maintenance. Once again, this cost is really going to depend on the type of list that you have and how complex it is.

If the boat has a lot of cables and other mechanisms, you can expect to pay more for maintenance because you will have more components to oil and grease as well as more belts to tension. Luckily, oils, grease, and belts are inexpensive, so you won’t have to worry about spending an arm and leg maintaining your boat.

One of the most expensive repairs will be replacing the motor, which could potentially run a couple of hundred dollars.

Boat Lift Maintenance Tips

A boat lift will not only protect your boat for the water, but it can make departures and docking so much easier as well as convenient. Of course, if you want this lift to be convenient and efficient, you are going to need to maintain that lift.

Regular maintenance will minimize the chances of breakdowns and costly repairs, but unfortunately, this won’t make the maintenance process any easier.

Rinsing your lift off with fresh water after every use will help prevent corrosion build-up, which is an extremely common problem with these devices because they are constantly exposed to water. Another good tip to help prevent corrosion build-up is to limit the amount of time that your lift spends in the water. Saltwater can be disastrous to your galvanized cables and lifting mechanisms.

Not only this but lubricating your lift cables with penetrating oil during normal operation can help reduce corrosion build up as well wear and tear due to friction. As far as your cable and metal components go that should be about all you need to do, but that isn’t anywhere near the end of your maintenance duties.

You will always want to make it a routine to check and inspect your lift’s major components after every use. If you see any broken strands, kinks, rust spots, or fraying this could be a very good indication that your cable needs to be changed.

Rinsing off your beams with freshwater will be another good practice that you will want to adopt. Some boat owners even go as far as lifting their beams out of the water when they are not in use. However, this might be a bit excessive, but there is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions. Also, keep a close eye on your gears to make sure that they are freely moving and operating without any snags.


When it is all said and done there is simply no denying that a boat lift is going to be another expense that will put a dent in your pocket.

Even the most basic models can set you back a couple of hundred dollars, which might not sound like a lot of money, but it is. This is especially true when you factor in what you are going to pay for maintaining the boat lift.

However, there is also no denying that a boat lift is almost an essential piece of equipment for any boat owner. It will not only make your life easier, but it could save you some time and money on the boat maintenance end of things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *