Do’s and Don’ts

The Dos

DO perform a “TEST RUN”.  Carefully as you raise your boat on the lift the FIRST time to check bunk POSITIONING and HULL CLEARANCE over the lifts steel structure and the OVERHEAD/roof clearance.

DO USE COMMON SENSE when operating lift.  You are responsible for its usage and safety!

DO LEARN & REMEMBER the proper positioning of the boat ON the LIFT before raising.

DO give your lift a visual inspection for loose or damaged parts periodically.

It is Your responsibility as the USER!

DO be aware of overhead roof and structure clearance when raising the boat on lift.

DO allow the lift to lower away from the boat hull before pulling the boat out of the slip.

DO ask your Dealer, Installer, or call the Factory if you have questions.

DO remember YOU are solely responsible for the use of the boat lift.


The Don’ts

DON’T put any boat on lift other than what it was installed or built for.

DON’T BACK IN a boat over a lift that was installed and designed for a STRAIGHT PULL IN

DON’T raise lift under a boat BACKED IN when the lift was installed as a STRAIGHT PULL IN

DON’T raise lift under a boat pulled STRAIGHT IN when the lift was installed as a BACK IN.

DON’T pull boat OVER the LIFT area until the lift has LOWERED DOWN COMPLETELY.

DON’T run boat onto bunks of lift that has not been lowered COMPLETELY.

DON’T operate your lift if it has broken, damaged, loose or missing parts.

DON’T let anyone UN-TRAINED use your lift.

DON’T leave the boat without mooring lines (at 3 points is best).

DON’T leave boat lift in DOWN position when NOT IN USE!

DON’T run blower with TANK SHUT OFF VALVE closed.

DON’T operate lift with SWIMMERS IN boat slip!

DON’T operate boat lifts if under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Fiberglass Boat Dock Boxes


Boaters! Before Getting Underway:
Know your boat and know the rules of the road.

  • Take a safe boating course.
  • Check your boat for all required safety equipment.
  • Consider the size of your boat, the number of passengers, and the amount of extra equipment that will be on-board. DON’T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!
  • If you will be in a powerboat, check your electrical system and fuel system for gas fumes.
  • Follow manufacturers suggested procedures BEFORE starting up the engine.
  • Wear your life jacket – don’t just carry one on board.
  • Leave alcohol behind to increase your safety and decrease your risk.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • File a float plan with a member of your family or friend. Swimmers!
    Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in the water and since most people drown within 10-30 feet of safety, it is important that you and your family learn to swim well.
        Please remember:


    • Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.
    • Don’t take chances, by overestimating your swimming skills.
    • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
    • Never swim alone.

    Drowning Fatalities:
    According to the Center for Disease Control, each year over 3,400 people drown in the United States. Drowning is the SECOND leading cause of accidental deaths for persons 1-14 years of age and the sixth leading cause for all ages.

    What is really surprising is that two-thirds of the people who drown
    never had the intention of being in the water! Divers!
    Never dive into lakes and rivers…the results can be tragic. Every year, diving accidents result in thousands of people suffering from paralyzing spinal cord injuries and many of them die before they reach the hospital. All too often, hidden dangers lurk beneath the surface of the water, even in shallow water, including current, rocks, and debris.

    Watch Small Children!

  • Center for Disease Control statistics shows an average of over 800 children under the age of 15 drowns each year. Thousands of others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, accidents which leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems.
  • Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. Children have a natural curiosity and attraction to water. Alcohol- The Fun Killer?
  • It’s a fact; alcohol and water do not mix! More than half of all the people that are injured in a boating accident had consumed alcohol prior to their accident and 20% of them don’t live to tell about it.
  • Being intoxicated is not necessary for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgment, and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.
  • Research shows that four hours of boating, exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare, and wind produces fatigue that makes you act as if you were legally intoxicated. If you combine alcohol consumption with this boating fatigue condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk.
  • So remember, don’t include alcohol in your outing, if you’re planning to have fun in, on, or near the water. Cold Water Survival!
    All boaters should wear a life jacket and dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Cold-water immersion causes many boating-related fatalities. It follows four stages, starting with cold shock, followed by swimming failure, then hypothermia, and finally post-rescue collapse. Most cold-water drowning fatalities are attributed to the first two stages.
  • The initial shock of cold water causes involuntary gasping making it difficult to catch your breath and many people hyperventilate, faint, and drown before they are able to calm down their breathing.
  • The longer you are exposed to cold water, the more you lose your ability to move your extremities. If you haven���t been able to get out of the water in 5-15 minutes you need to stop moving. The movement will deplete your energy faster and increase heat loss.
  • Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may give way to confusion and eventually cardiac arrest or unconsciousness. If you fall in the water, in any season, you need to know cold-water survival skills. Many of our nation’s open waters are mountain fed, and water temperatures even in late summer can run low enough to bring on this condition under certain conditions.
        It’s important to remember:


    • Don’t discard clothing and dress warmly with wool clothing. Clothing layers provide some warmth that may actually assist you in fighting hypothermia. This includes shoes and hats. A popular myth is that wet clothes will weigh you down in the water and they are actually only heavy when you are out of the water.
    • Wear your life jacket! This helps hold heat into the core areas of your body and enables you to easily put yourself into the HELP position. HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) by drawing limbs into your body; keep armpits and groin areas protected from unnecessary exposure – a lot of heat can be lost from those areas, as well as the head.

    View more life-saving water safety tips – Are You Next?

Don’t let winter wreck your dock: winterization tips from the experts

By Nathan Bechtold

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – As winter settles in and cold, Arctic air makes its way through the country, the annual question emerges: “Will we have a rough or a mild winter?”

The secretive gurus at Farmer’s Almanac say Missourians should expect a mild winter overall.

The experts at Accuweather upped their previous predictions of a milder winter, with new expectations of “weak, fast-moving snowstorms and cold for the Midwest.”

But regardless of scientists��� and fortune-tellers’ best guesses, many Lake residents – in particular boat and dock owners – learned in the last decade to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

In 2000, the wind pushed ice through the Lake, demolishing docks in its path.

Snow and ice storms in 2006 sunk docks and boats throughout the Lake and some owners were shocked to learn that their insurance policies were of no use to them in the disaster.

Have you fully winterized your dock? spoke with local experts and gathered the most important winter dock prep tips here:

  • Brad Hollingsworth of Rich���s Dock Company, in Camdenton – “The biggest thing is to check your [dock] cables… in shallow water, the ice will harden around the dock areas and as it melts, it can push the dock further out.” Check dock cables for any weaknesses and repair or replace them as needed.

Other experts also advise dock owners to use a dock bubbler or another device that will keep ice from hardening around the dock.

Ameren Missouri also has suggested dock owners disconnect the hinges linking docks and seawalls or piers to allow the entire structure to follow the water level down.

  • Dean Pluth of FiberSteel Boat Lifts, in Camdenton – “There’s really not much you have to do for winter for most brands of boat lifts. You want to make sure that it’s holding air, so blow it up. Before you leave for the winter, blow it up, make sure you don’t see air bubbling out, so it will keep your boat up out of the water. Give your lift a ‘once-over’ visual exam and look for loose bolts or parts hanging off. Check for visual damage. [Listen for] clanking noises or anything strange when you lift it. If you’re not sure about the lift, you can also call a lift company and have them do an inspection.” In spite of the chill, FiberSteel Boat Lifts will work on lifts through the winter. “We go year-round,” Pluth said, “and as long as the Lake is not frozen, we’re installing lifts, changing, moving, and so on.” Check out FiberSteel Boat Lifts’ website for tips on checking and operating your lift. Pluth concluded by saying boat lift owners should be thorough when inspecting their lifts. “If a $20 bolt-and-bushing assembly goes bad, it can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your boat and dock.”
  • A spokesman from Golden Rule Insurance, in Osage Beach – “Certain carriers won’t even do docks, so you need to check and make sure your carrier covers docks. Some carriers add it under the ‘Other Structures��� class in your Coverage/Liability Limits, which is ‘Coverage B.’ But you have to make sure that the limit is a high enough value [to cover the dock], and that the agent is aware that this other structure is a dock… you may even want to have that in writing. I suggest getting it in writing that your dock is covered, no matter how the agent puts it on the policy. It���s one of the questions we ask when we’re providing a quote for a home… I had a guy come to me that thought his dock was covered all along, and then his agent told him that his carrier doesn’t cover that, so he came to us and we got him switched over.”

So in summary, the experts say:

  • Check your dock cables
  • Use a dock anti-icing device or bubbler
  • Consider disconnecting the hinges linking the dock to a seawall or pier
  • Make sure your lift is in good working order, and consider a professional inspection if you’re unsure.
  • Ensure that you have, in writing, that your dock is covered under your insurance plan.