Inflatables – Care & Maintenance for Storage

It’s that time of year again – time to put your water park and other inflatables away! It is important to make sure your items are properly stored, so you do not have any surprises when installing them next summer.

Here are some important things to remember when caring for your inflatables during the season:

  1. While your product has been initially treated with UV protectant, long-term exposure to sunlight will damage the product. Regularly apply a UV protectant to the exposed surface of the tube to ensure the life of your product. 
  2. Use of a high-pressure washer will damage the product and void the warranty. To clean, use a soft bristle brush with mild soap and fresh water. 303 UV Protectant contains a ‘safe for vinyl’ cleaner and can be used to clean and protect the product at the same time.
  3. Check the inflation of your tube often. Check for proper air pressure using a manometer. It may appear to have lost air early in the morning but will expand once the sun warms it. The maximum expansion will occur in the heat of the day. Proper inflation is critical to the safe operation of your product and will prolong
    damage from wear.

Here are good steps to follow when getting ready to store your inflatables for the colder months:

  1. Before storing, place the product on a clean, level area. Clean with mild soap and water and allow to dry completely.
  2. Remove all attachments and store in a sealed waterproof container (i.e. a plastic covered box or bin).
  3. Remove ALL of the air from the tube using the deflation end of the high output inflator/deflator.
  4. Fold the deflated tube in thirds then roll loosely.
  5. Store the product out of direct sunlight and protected from the environment in a clean, dry location. It is best to store inside a container with mothballs to prevent damage from rodents. NEVER store uncovered, in a damp location, or on a concrete surface! NEVER store at temperatures below 40 degrees F.

By following these important steps, you will be able to keep your inflatables for many more summers to come!

Mistakes When Using Your Boat Lift

No one wants to see their boat sinking or floating away, and losing it even before getting it out on the water can be embarrassing. Boat lifts are designed for specific weights and balancing. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions as well as common sense, you’re looking at a
boat in the water instead of on it. To keep you and your boat safe, ShoreMaster has some tips to avoid boat lift mistakes.

Never Exceed the Weight Capacity

Extensive testing goes into making sure a lift can support certain watercraft weights. Never ignore the results of these tests. Don’t assume a lift can support “a few extra pounds,” and if a salesperson tries to sell you a lift rated for even a pound less than your boat’s weight, find a different seller. At ShoreMaster, we have proper lifts for all types of watercraft, as well as lift canopies, motors and accessories. Our hydraulic lifts even come with a remote control for easy use.

Boaters also need to account for fuel, equipment, and anything else that will add weight to the boat. The listed poundage refers to the maximum weight of the craft without all the extras.
Give yourself plenty of wiggle room by pretending your boat weighs a couple hundred pounds more than it actually does.

Position the Boat Properly

Like with a rowboat in water, balance is essential. When a lift is rated, manufacturers are assuming the load will be balanced when the purchaser uses the lift. On a lift, a boat should be as equally balanced at the front as it is at the back. The left and right sides also should be centered. If the boat is properly balanced, you should not be able to raise the bow at all with your hands.

A boat that is too far back on the lift creates a light front — much like the imbalance of a 100- pound kid on one end of a seesaw with a 30-pound kid at the other end. Waves can easily wash up beneath the front and free the boat. Too much weight also creates additional strain on the cables; if the cables aren’t in perfect shape, they could break.

Although you should load the boat after it’s in the water, if you choose to load prior, distribute that load evenly.

Be Aware of Lifting Height

Do not try to raise the lift once it is fully raised. Continuing to crank the winch places stress on all parts of the mechanism, including pulleys and cables. This may cause damage or failure of any one of these components. Some winches automatically shut off when the lift reaches its maximum height. Make sure this mechanism works as part of the lift’s routine maintenance.

Proper Loading

It may seem easier to load a boat while it is not rocking on the waves, but anything loaded prior to the boat being in the water adds to the maximum weight for which the boat lift was designed. Loading on the water also helps you determine where the best weight distribution is to maintain balance on the watercraft. Lower the boat prior to adding things such as food, extra
rope, and other essentials and equipment.

If your lift isn’t functioning properly, it may be time to get a new one. ShoreMaster offers four lift models made from sturdy materials. We also have the quietest winches in the business. We’ll be happy to help you figure out which lift is best for your location and type of watercraft so you can avoid making any boat lift mistakes in the future.

How Do You Determine What Size Boat Lift You Need?

Congratulations, you’re in the market for a boat lift! This is an exciting next step to take as a boat owner — one that will make maintenance easier and protect your boat’s value in the long run. As you likely know by now, boat safety and quality are just two of the many reasons to buy a boat lift.

Once you’ve decided that you need a boat lift, the question becomes: How do you determine which size boat lift to get? Although there are many important factors to keep in mind, the two key points include:

  • Boat weight: Knowing the weight of your watercraft is important to determine the weight capacity needed for your boat lift. Along with the base dry weight of your boat (which can be found in your boat specification sheet), this also includes gas, batteries, water, storage, water sports equipment, and anything else you may put on your boat. We typically recommend adding a 20 percent safety margin here, and always sizing up when it comes to boat lift capacity.
  • Boat width: What is the style and beam of your boat? The beam is the widest portion of your boat, so your boat lift has to be able to accommodate that — plus a minimum of a four-inch cushion on either side. If you’re going to use guideposts on the lift, you’ll want at least a ten-inch cushion. The style of lift size you want will depend on the shape of your hull (V-Hull, Pontoon, V-Drive, etc.) draft of the boat, whether you have an inboard or outboard motor, and so on.

The best boat lift is whichever one works for your boat weight and width! Of course, there are also several others factors that will impact your boat lift decision. For example, the type of water your boat is in matters — is it a shallow lake shore or deep, fluctuating water in the gulf? Your answer will determine whether you need a standing or floating boat lift. Your dock location and shape can impact your boat lift choice as well.

At ShoreMaster, we recommend a welded aluminum boat lift for most scenarios. Why? Aluminum boat lifts offer ultimate stability and performance across waterfronts. Aluminum is a lightweight material, which means parts can be made thicker for added strength (without weighing the boat lift down). It also holds up well in different weather conditions and over time. Aluminum boat lifts are low maintenance and reliable — a win for every boat owner.

ShoreMaster offers the best boat lifts in the industry. We are pioneers of the aluminum boat lift, and we strive to provide our customers with top-of-the-line waterfront products. Our boat lifts and docks are built to last, no matter what the wind and waves throw their way!

To learn more about ShoreMaster boat lifts, contact our team with any boat lift capacity or specification questions.

ShoreMaster Aluminum Boat Lifts

A boat lift/hoist can help protect the investment you’ve made in your boat. Boats can be damaged by the elements and side effects of water level fluctuations, so keeping your boat out of the water when it’s not in use means easier maintenance and a longer life for your craft. ShoreMaster pioneered the aluminum boat lift, mastered the welded construction, and continuously improves on the premium components to ensure that boat owners get a stable, reliably performing product—no matter where they are or what the season is. These are the aluminum boat hoists that we have to offer.

Vertical Boat Lift

Our aluminum boat lifts have been providing quality performance for decades. Our vertical hoists are an easy choice for most watercraft owners and the most trusted lift in the industry. They feature dime-welded construction for durability, an eight-piece design for easy assembly and installation, the exclusive Whisper Winch for quiet operation, and a double v-side design for easy access to your boat.

Hydraulic Boat Lift

Hydraulic aluminum boat lifts are an option for boat owners who want convenience and speed. Push-button operation from the standard remote control operation means easy control. Our design is purely hydraulic, which means no cables or pulleys and a quiet, smooth operation. With minimal maintenance, hassle-free operation, and the superior performance and durability you expect from a ShoreMaster boat hoist and dock.

Pontoon Lift

Pontoon and triton owners are looking for something a little different than a traditional aluminum boat lift, and ShoreMaster can cover their needs as well. Our pontoon lifts have the dime-welded aluminum construction that makes all of our lifts durable and reliable, but are engineered, built, and tested for the pontoons of today. Along with a motorized option, Whisper Winch, and double v-side design, our pontoon lifts have wider and longer frames for a more stable platform for lifting, entering, and exiting your boat.

PWC Lift

ShoreMaster can help personal watercraft owners maintain their boats as well. The same reliability, stability, and performance in all of our other aluminum boat lifts is available for smaller watercraft as well. Access your watercraft easily with a double v-side design, and add a boat lift motor for push-button operation.

Lift Accessories

The right accessories can not only make your boat lift and dock look great, but give it functionality as well. ShoreMaster offers the widest variety of accessories for your dock and boat lift, allowing you the opportunity to truly customize your waterfront experience. Among these accessories are the vinyl and aluminum bunks that are designed to help you safely store your watercraft on your boat lift. They’re crafted from durable aluminum and non-marring vinyl, they rinse clean, and offer superior protection for your watercraft. For more protection for your watercraft, consider a canopy frame and cover to tuck your boat away from the elements.

Boat Lifts, Docks, and More from ShoreMaster

When you’re looking for an aluminum boat lift, ShoreMaster is the place to look. We’re experts in boating life and docks and know how important a quality dock is to your waterfront. We can help you create a customized dock with accessories and a boat lift that you can trust will retain its quality throughout its entire life. For more information about what we offer, contact us.

Spring Dock Installation Tips

Spring is a great time to get your dock installed if you’re boating in the north. ShoreMaster started in Minnesota, so they understand the impact of all four seasons on your waterfront life. Whether you’re a seasonal installation pro or just getting started, we have some dock installation tips to help the process go smoothly so you can spend more time having fun on the water when the weather warms up.

Choose Easy Assembly

Tearing down your dock system in the fall and putting it up in the spring can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be if you choose a dock system that’s easy to assemble by hand. ShoreMaster sectional and wheel-in docks have lightweight and durable welded aluminum frames that make installation quick and easy — as few as two people can walk sections of the dock out into the water and connect them (and the more the merrier, but please don’t try to assemble anything by yourself!). ShoreMaster docks also have removable decking and Infinity frame connections that let you snap pieces together in any configuration, so your dock plans can be flexible year after year.

Keep an Eye on the Water Level

Melting snow, rain, and other springtime weather conditions can impact how deep your water is, so another ShoreMaster dock installation tip is to find a dock system with an adjustable height to accommodate changes in depth. The tallest waves shouldn’t hit your dock frame while it’s in the water, so keep that in mind when you’re measuring. ShoreMaster docks have 18-inch leg pockets that allow you to easily adjust the height of your dock in fluctuating water.

Think About Storage

You don’t need to take up your entire backyard, shed, garage, or shoreline with dock parts in the offseason. ShoreMaster docks are as easy to remove as they are to install, whether you have a wheel-in or standing dock, which makes your annual tear-down easier. Once the decking and dock legs are removed, the dock section frames easily stack on one another until the next time you need to get them out.

Don’t Skip Quality or Stability

Among the best dock installation tips is to install a dock that you’re proud to own and that will outlast and outperform other docks. ShoreMaster docks are high quality and expertly engineered to give you hassle-free, convenient, and low-maintenance ownership for the life of your dock system. Our docks also feature five-sided dock legs, larger pass-through foot pads, ultimate configurability, and other exclusive features that help you get the most out of your system. There’s a reason we’re an industry leader in performance and stability for sectional dock systems, and while the seasons might change, our commitment to superior products won’t.

A ShoreMaster Product for All Seasons

Wherever you do your boating, ShoreMaster has the products, accessories, and expertise that can help you make your boat dock dreams a reality. Make your boat dock the truly customized outdoor space it should be, and enjoy ShoreMaster’s easy installation and quality products sure to last from season to season. Get in touch with us for your dock options and dock installation tips, or to find a ShoreMaster dealer near you!

Fixed Docks Versus Floating Docks: Which is Better?

Fixed docks, floating docks, or no dock? What exactly are your boat dock options, and how do you decide which type of dock is best for your needs?

Well, right away, we can eliminate no dock! If you’re reading this article, then you are likely a boat owner who needs a boat dock. Not only do docks store your boat and keep it safe, but they also provide a great way to enjoy the water — from fishing off the dock to watching the sunset from your lakeside bench.    

ShoreMaster TS9 Wheel-In Dock

Fixed docks are the conventional dock structure used across waterfronts. Their solid dock structure helps keep your boat in place. If you purchase a property that already has a fixed dock, it’s likely that you have maintenance dock plans to keep up with and the dock will remain a focal point of your waterfront property. However, if you don’t have a property with a dock already in place, many fixed docks allow for easy installation, disassembly, and movement. At ShoreMaster, our aluminum fixed dock (Infinity TS9 and RS4 model) systems make this possible with welded aluminum frames and QuickConnect section attachments.

Our sectional standing docks will destroy the notion that fixed docks are cumbersome, immovable objects. ShoreMaster fixed docks even allow for easy height adjustments: with our 18” leg pockets, you can move the height of your dock up or down based on fluctuating water levels. It’s important to note that when installing a fixed dock, you need to be aware of local ordinances. You may have to file for a permit in order to place your dock in the below sediment, which can be a time-consuming process.  

Depending on your dock plans and needs, a floating dock may be more beneficial. Floating docks can be placed in both shallow and deep water, as well as on shore fronts that have fluctuating water levels based on tides. Floating docks give owners the freedom to design their dock in many different configurations — allowing your inner dock artist to come out! They’re user-friendly and can be adjusted and added to quickly and easily. If you have floating dock plans in mind, you’ll be happy to hear that permitting is a simpler process because they don’t impact the sediment.   

PolyDock Floating System

At ShoreMaster, our floating dock systems (FTS9 and PolyDock) are the leading docks of their kind based on industry standards. We stand by our floating docks and ensure that they are able to withstand varying elements based on the Hunt Absorption Test. In periods of stormy weather, for example, floating docks require less maintenance compared to fixed docks. In fact, fixed docks may be damaged and need replacement parts or may even become submerged due to changing water levels, which leads to electrical malfunctions. Most of those costing repair scenarios can be avoided with floating docks. Our floating dock systems can easily be moved prior to storms or the winter season, providing you with peace of mind and less boat dock stress.

Whether you have fixed or floating dock plans, we have dock systems that will work for you. Please contact us for a quote, or to locate a ShoreMaster dealer near you.

Why choose ShoreMaster Docks and Boat Lifts?

Why should you buy a ShoreMaster dock or boat lift? Let us tell you!

ShoreMaster 5-Sided Dock Leg

ShoreMaster docks are the only docks that come with the extra stability of Infinity Leg Pockets with 5-Sided Leg Posts. The great thing about 5-sided leg posts are how they create 3 points of contact for even more stability compared to a normal dock leg from competitors. The leg posts also come with a T-handle adjustment system, which means no tools are needed to make height adjustments. The 5-sided dock legs and pockets can be used on all ShoreMaster Infinity Docks (RS4, RS7, and TS9).

ShoreMaster docks and boat lifts offer a 15 year warranty on their aluminum frames. ShoreMaster knows that their products are made to last the test of time out on the water. All frames are made of robotically welded aluminum for superior precision and strength. You are truly paying for quality when you purchase ShoreMaster products.

ShoreMaster were also the first manufacturers of welded aluminum vertical boat lifts. They are expertly designed with a Double V-Side and corner bracing. Their lifts are easy-to-use and dependable. They can be configured to fit any style of boat, which means less time for you to worry about getting the lift fitted correctly, and more time out on the water with your boat.

QuickConnect bracket

ShoreMaster docks also come with the QuickConnect system, which is the easiest way to customize your dock. The QuickConnect system works with a T-Handle installation, which means no tools are required to install and move your dock accessories. Simply loosen the QuickConnect plate from the side of your dock and slide your accessory to a different place on your dock. No drilling, no holes! Reconfigure and upgrade as your needs change for your dock.

ShoreMaster Infinity docks come with endless configuration options. Design your dock to fit your waterfront needs and dreams. Whether it be standing or floating, straight or curved, trust ShoreMaster to bring your ideas to life.

ShoreMaster TS9 with Wheel Kit

ShoreMaster Floating FTS9

ShoreMaster PWC Lift

ShoreMaster RS4 Dock

Cottage/Cabin Gift Ideas 2017

We all wish we could gift a great big water trampoline to our cottage friends, but they don’t fit under the tree! So here are some cool ideas for the cottage/cabin lovers in your family!

1. Cottage/Cabin Sign

Either the cottage/cabin has been in the family for generations, or a brand new purchase, a sign to let people know “Welcome to ___’s Cottage!” is a great personalized gift idea.

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2. A weather station

Sometimes the weather at the lake is much different than the weather forecast! You can get affordable weather stations for the cottage/cabin to let you know what kind of weather is coming your way!

3. A dinner bell

For those who regularly entertain their friends and family at the cabin or cottage, a dinner bell is perfect to calling everyone in from the lake when it’s time to eat!

4. The ZUP board

For the cottagers that love water sports, the ZUP board is a perfect gift. This 3-in-1 board is great for beginner to intermediate riders, so the whole family can have a try! Sit, kneel, or stand!

5. Binoculars

Binoculars are important for the cottage and cabin for safety reasons, but also for hobbyist that like to observe wildlife. A great gift idea for your cottage or cabin owners!

Image result for binoculars canada

6. Outerwear dryer

When you live at the cottage, you will most likely be walking through a lot more snow than in the city! Get your cabin owners a fancy boots and glove dryer so they’re gear is nice and cozy for the next day!

DryGuy Force Dry DX - Boot & Glove Dryer

Do you have some cottage/cabin gift ideas? Let us know in the comments below!