Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Easily Attach a Boat Lift Canopy Cover

If you live on a lake and own a watercraft, chances are high that you keep your boat protected from the elements with a boat lift. With proper care, boat lifts and their covers are important apparatuses that extend the life of your boat and upholstery. In this post we will provide tips on how to attach and install a boat lift canopy cover for top lift manufacturers: ShoreMaster, Hewitt and Shore Station.

Before you begin, you need to retrieve the canopy cover from out of season storage. When stored, the canopy should have been completely dry, carefully folded then stored in a dry area to ensure no mold or mildew can grow. If your canopy cover was not cleaned at the end of last year’s lake season, check out our cleaning steps.

When installing a boat lift canopy cover we recommend calling a friend for help as it’s a two person job. If you don’t have a neighboring lake friend already, throw a BBQ or go out and make one. Having a trusted friend to watch your property will make your life a lot easier and give you peace of mind during harsh winter months.

If this is the first time installing a canopy on a new boat lift frame, be sure to measure the lift ensuring the frame’s dimensions are all square. You don’t want to get ¾ of the way through the install to realize the lift awning is crooked.

Next, roll the awning canvas long ways on top of the frame’s center line. Ensure the awning is centered and there is equal amount of canvas overhang on all 4 sides. Attach a width end of the canopy completely to the frame with bungee attachments. Then move to the opposite end and attach the other short side. Continue to attach a bungee every 2 feet around the perimeter of the frame until you complete the final 2 corners at the same time. Our toggle bungee fastener tips are coming up next.

We recommend using multiple toggle ball for attaching canopy covers instead of one long attachment cord. This way if a strong wind breaks a single toggle strap there will be plenty of other attachment points remaining. We provide bungee fasteners on all of our replacement boat lift canopy covers.

Attachment Steps for Hewitt
  • Tie down Hewitt covers using 10” bungee ball
  • Feed the end of the bungee in the canopy’s D-ring and loop through
  • Wrap bungee ball around rail and lift ball through loop to secure
  • Continue this process around the frame until the cover is secure

Attachment Steps for ShoreMaster
  • Tie down ShoreMaster covers using 10” bungee ball
  • Feed the end of the bungee in the canopy’s D-ring and loop through
  • Wrap bungee hook around rail and lift hook to the hole in canopy rib or frame
  • Continue this process around the frame until the cover is secure

Attachment Steps for Shore Station
  • Locate your original canopy hardware transfer metal bands and compression hooks to your new canopy
  • If you purchased a replacement from us, we will provide you with our universal attachment system which attaches to the frame with continuous bungee rope and "S" hooks
  • With canopy in place run bungee rope through all four side sleeves
  • Make sure rope is slightly slack, then make small half-moon shape cuts in sleeve beneath each hole in bow or frame
  • Place "s" hooks into hole and lift rope to hooks
  • Bungee rope will tension as you complete a "saw tooth" attachment

If you still have boat lift canopy questions or need guidance on installing a different brand please email us!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Universal 24' x 108" Boat Lift Frame & Canopy

Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is home to Boat Lift & Canopy, makers of the new Lake Time Boat Lift Canopy and Frame System. Boat lift canopies are essential pieces of equipment for boat owners storing their boats outside, because a quality canopy will protect a craft from the damaging effects of sun and harsh weather while allowing the boat to remain safely above the water on its lift.

If you're looking for one of the highest-quality, affordable boat lift covers available, you can't go wrong with this veteran-owned, made-in-the-USA family business started by an ex-parachute rigger/fabricator who learned his trade in an environment where people's lives were on the line. Whether you simply need a replacement cover for your existing boat lift canopy frame or you need the cover and frame complete, you'll find the options available within the Lake Time product line cater precisely to your needs. The frame is 24' long and 108" wide and features 36" long legs that can easily be attached to your existing lift. With built-in vertical and horizontal adjustments, you'll be able to quickly engineer a perfect fit with your lift. As an alternative, the frame can also stand on its own.

The canopy is deep and designed to protect your boat on all four sides, as long as the boat is no longer than 24' and no wider than 104". This is a universal boat lift frame and will accommodate most watercraft falling within the given dimensions. The frame is quickly and easily assembled by just one person, as demonstrated in the YouTube video found on the product website.

While these canopy covers are OEM for Newmans® Boat Lifts, they are also adaptable to many other boat lifts on the market. For boat owners who already have a serviceable frame, getting a replacement canopy is a doable option. The finest materials and manufacturing processes are used for making the canopies, and you have a choice of four different materials:

•    18 oz Vinyl Boat Lift Cover
•    Sunfield Acrylic Fabric
•    Premier Top Gun Fabric
•    Top Gun/TrueTimber Conceal Brown Camouflage
•    EcoFriendly Hemp Canopy

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Preparing Your Boat and Boat Lift for the Summer

With summer right around the corner, the time is upon us to take our boats, boat lifts and canopies out of storage and get them ready for the months to come. In the winter, lake water freezes, expands, melts, refreezes and expands again. This process puts pressure on anything left in the water and can cause damage to your boat lift and dock. Properly de-winterizing your supplies will ensure that as summer rolls around, you’ll be ready to get back on the lake and enjoy time spent on your boat. This post will ensure that you know the right steps for removing your boat and boat lift from storage and getting your boat and lift ready for summer.

If you had the opportunity to store your boat inside a climate-controlled facility for the winter months, there is a high chance that there is less damage than there would be if you stored it outdoors. However, even if you stored your boat inside, it is still crucial to inspect your boat for any damage. What may be a small problem in spring could turn into a huge headache in the summertime if not handled properly.

First, you’ll want to inspect the engine, making sure that you change the engine oil and oil filter. In addition, check the outdrive oil to ensure that it’s ready. Next, you’ll want to test the battery to ensure that it hasn’t gone bad over the winter. If the battery is completely dry, it’s no longer good. If it’s still full of water, it’s good to go. Make sure to clean off any debris from battery corrosion so your battery can function unhindered.

 After this, you’ll want to refill your cooling system. This is a crucial part of your engine, and if any water was left inside the cooling system over the winter, it may have expanded and caused cracks. Don’t forget to check the hoses for any cracks and drain the filter. If you have an impeller engine, make sure that the rubber impeller hasn’t cracked over the winter. If your engine is a freshwater-cooled engine, make sure that you flush and refill the antifreeze/water solution in accordance with the user manual’s instructions for the engine. Also double check that the ratio of water to antifreeze isn’t off – this could indicate a leak in the heat exchanger. If there is a problem with the ratio, be sure to have your heat exchanger inspected for leaks or purchase a gauge at your local auto parts store to inspect it yourself.

Next, look at your gas tank. If you didn’t add an additive before filling it prior to winterizing your boat, the gas is probably stale, and the gas tank will need to be emptied and refilled. After this, take the cap off of the distributor and clean any debris that has accumulated over the winter. Make sure that when you replace the cap, the connections are tight and secure. Finally, check the belts on your boat. While there should be some give when pushing down, there generally shouldn’t be a lot of movement. If your belts move a lot, this may be an indicator that they need to be replaced. Check for black soot near the pulley, as this is another indicator that your boat belts may need to be replaced.

This may seem like a lot of maintenance to perform. If you’re ready to get your boat back on the water without the hassle, hire a local dock business to take a look at your gas tank, cooling system, engine and battery in addition to other boat components.

For your dock and boat lift frame, be sure to pressure wash these. A wooden dock can accrue algae and become slippery, posing a hazard to anyone who walks on it. Inspect your boat lift awning to make sure there are no cracks, discoloration or mildew on the surface. All of these are indicators that it may be worn out and need to be replaced. Also check the lift's pulley, cables and rail kit for any issues.

This may seem a bit like tedious hard work, but it is well worth it. Once all this is done, you’ll be able to get your boat, boat lift, boat lift canopy and dock all back on the water and enjoy yourself during the summer. Continue your regular boat and canopy maintenance to ensure that they’re protected during the summer months and ready for winterization once the cooler months come back around.

How to Store a Boat Lift Cover When Not in Use

A boat lift canopy is essential to have in order to protect your boat. But when it’s time to close shop for the winter, people often only focus on storing their boat properly and neglect to do the same with their lift’s cover. It’s important to prepare your canopy boat cover for winter, because this can help ensure that your canopy will have a long life and continue to stay strong. By pairing these storage steps with our cleaning guide, you’ll be prepared to properly store your canopy for the winter.

Clean and Dry Completely
The first step of properly storing your canopy is to clean it. Different fabric types require different care measures, and you can find them all listed here. After you finish cleaning, it’s crucial that you make sure your canopy is completely dry. A damp canopy can result in mildew, which will cause the canopy to deteriorate over time. Allow your canopy to dry in the sun, and use towels to make sure it’s completely moisture-free before proceeding.

Carefully Fold
Improperly folding your canopy can cause creases and cracks that will later cause damage. To do this step correctly, fold your canopy lift inward several times until it is in the shape of a small and manageable rectangle. From there, you can either leave it as it is, or roll it into a cylinder shape before continuing to the next step.

Pack Properly
If possible, you should avoid containing your canopy with restraints because doing so for too long can result in irreversible creases, cracks and splitting. If you have to bind your canopy, make sure never to use a sticky adhesive such as tape, because that can be hard to remove. Instead, opt for equipment that is easy to take off, such as bungee cords.

Store in Right Container
Next, make sure to store your canopy in a bag or box that allows for proper air movement. If your canopy came with a bag, you can use that to store it in. If not, avoid non-breathable plastic bags or sealed containers, which can cause moisture to build up and lead to mold and mildew.

Once you’ve properly stored your boat lift canopy, you’ll be able to relax during the colder months with peace of mind, knowing that once spring comes around again, you’ll be able to get back on the water without having to waste time fixing your canopy or buying a new one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

TrueTimber Camouflage Pattern Available for Your Boat Lift Canopy

Boat Lift and Canopy is home to the most unique boat lift canopy fabrics available, and a favorite of ours is the Top Gun/TrueTimber camouflage print. The Conceal Brown canopy cover print is a woodland camo patterned cover made with the highest-quality tear and abrasion-resistant material. The durability of this product comes from the careful construction and unmatched strength of Top Gun. The 100% woven polyester fabric is made to withstand intense weathering and resist mildew and harmful UV rays, making Top Gun acrylic canopy covers some of the longest-lasting covers in the market. We are excited that our exclusive partnership with TrueTimber and Top Gun allows us to offer you the most unique camouflage pattern from a durable fabric.

The Conceal Brown canopy cover features an eye-catching and hyper-realistic camouflage pattern from TrueTimber. This pattern is incredibly detailed and fits in to many different seasons and environments. The high-resolution features in this print provide just the right amount of detail you need, using subtle forest highlights such as leaves, twigs and bark. This camouflage canopy cover is perfect for outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen everywhere because the pattern has just the right amount of versatility. This exact pattern is used in a lot of hunting and fishing apparel as well, so it’s made to blend seamlessly with the environment. Popular for hunters and fishermen, this patterned cover is perfect to protect your boat during the rainy spring months, heat-intensive summers and windy autumn nights. Even if you’re just searching for a unique look, you can rest assured that this exciting cover is just as durable and effective as it is realistic. This TrueTimber canopy cover was made to stand out simply by blending in.

Any long time boat owner will tell you that one of the best ways to protect your boat from weather damage is investing in a quality-made boat lift awning. What he or she may not know, however, is that you don’t need to sacrifice concealment for protection. With the combination of Top Gun’s durable canopy fabric and TrueTimber’s superior camouflage pattern, you can enjoy premium safety and style at the same time. The Conceal Brown canopy fabric is the perfect replacement boat lift canopy cover for you. Whether you’re an experienced boat owner, a first-time owner searching for the ultimate protection or just someone looking for something more unique, enjoy safety and security with a boat lift cover you have to see up close. 

How to Properly Care for Your Boat Lift Canopy Fabric

Boat lift canopies carry the crucial task of shielding your boat from the elements when not in use. Selecting the right canopy fabric is an important decision when protecting your investment. However, improper care of the canopy will ensure its fast demise and compromise your boat’s protection. Knowing how to clean and care for a boat lift canopy cover is an important step in protecting your boat and increases the lifespan of your boat lift awning. In addition, knowing how to store a canopy properly makes sure it doesn’t deteriorate when not in use. At Boat Lift and Canopy, we offer several different fabric types for your canopy, and each has different care instructions.

18-oz. vinyl
Our aptly named 18-oz. vinyl weighs 18 oz. per square yard and offers many significant advantages over other fabrics. It is heat sealed, rendering the traditional stitching used to hold a canopy together unnecessary. As a heavier, more durable fabric, it is estimated these canopies can last 10 years or more with the proper care. The most prominent enemy of your canopy’s durability is UV rays. These can make the vinyl brittle and inflexible, making it prone to cracking. In order to combat this, rinse it in cool water and wash it with a mild soap like Ivory. When cleaning, use a sponge, cloth or a soft brush for extra stubborn areas. Rinse thoroughly and allow your boat canopy to dry completely before storing. This ensures no mold or mildew can accrue while storing your canopy. Do not use harsh chemical cleansers on your canopy – this could prematurely affect the UV coating on your vinyl. Prior to the season beginning, make sure to spray your vinyl with a UV protectant like Vinylex offered on our website.
vinyl fabric cleaner

Top Gun fabric
Top Gun fabric consists of a woven polyester fabric coated on top and bottom with acrylic. Weighing in at 11.5 oz. per square yard, it’s lighter than the 18 oz. vinyl but still offers strong protection as a mildew and UV-resistant fabric. In order to properly care for Top Gun fabric, prepare a cleaning solution of four ounces of bleach and two ounces of a mild soap mixed in with a gallon of warm water. Use a soft bristle brush or sponge to remove all dirt from the canopy and rinse it with water. Ensure your canopy is completely dry, and then to increase the life-span, use a spray like Aqua-Tite Green water and stain repellent. When storing your Top Gun fabric, always make sure it is completely dry so no mold or mildew can develop on the canopy, diminishing its lifespan and ability to protect your boat.

Sunfield Acrylic
Sunfield Acrylic fabrics are 100% solution dyed material frequently used in commercial applications. Its durability as well its colorfast properties make it a great solution for boat lift canopies, and proper cleaning and storage can ensure it lasts for years to come. The main source of damage to Sunfield Acrylic fabrics is UV rays. When these infiltrate the cover, they make it hard and brittle and prone to cracking. If this happens, be sure to replace your canopy cover as soon as possible. In order to properly care for Sunfield Acrylic fabric, wash it in warm water with a mild soap and rinse and dry thoroughly. Although UV rays are the biggest enemy of Sunfield Acrylic fabrics, a UV protectant isn’t necessary so long as you are cleaning and storing the canopy properly.

Hemp cover fabric
Hemp fabrics are the most environmentally friendly option for a boat lift canopy, but just because it’s ecofriendly doesn’t mean it’s weak. These canopy covers are naturally mildew resistant and able to hold their shape well, stretching less than any other natural fiber. Over time, your hemp fabric can be broken in and will hold fast against the elements due to its strong organic fibers. Unlike other fabrics, this one will absorb water to become watertight while still protecting your boat. However, make sure your hemp is completely dry before storing it to protect it from mold and mildew.

By following the care instructions above, you are protecting the investment of your boat canopy and making sure it will last for years to come. No matter what type of fabric, make sure to fold and store it in a bag in a cool, dry place so it is kept from the elements until next summer. The storage bag should NOT be airtight, we want it to breathe if there is excess moisture on the canopy when packed.

Monday, April 11, 2016

All-New TopGun Fabric for Your Boat Lift Canopy

Here at Boat Lift & Canopy, we know how important it is to maintain your boat and boat lift, and that’s why we’re excited to announce the new addition of Top Gun fabric to our store. Top Gun is a premium brand of canopy fabric that is used in countless outdoor applications, ranging from umbrella covers to gazebos to patio furniture. All of our custom-made replacement boat lift canopies are available in the Top Gun fabric, replacing the traditionally used laminate and vinyl covers. Top Gun material is manufactured by Marlen Textiles, and Boat Lift & Canopy currently offers it in four different colors. Our store is the only retailer on the market selling replacement boat lift awnings in this fabric, making this an exclusive opportunity to buy the best and most efficient canopy out there.

About Top Gun
When you look at what Top Gun has to offer, you’ll see where they get the word “top” from. As one of the leading brands in the industry, this fabric is acrylic-coated, 100% woven polyester and reversible, due to a proprietary process that coats both sides of the canopy. The outcome of combining these top-of-the-line materials is a tough canopy that is crack and water resistant that will protect your boat lift no matter how severe the wind, rain, sun or snow.

You can purchase your Top Gun replacement awning in three traditional colors: Sea Gray, Taupe and Green. In addition to these, we’ve also partnered with TrueTimber to become the first business to offer Top Gun in a camo pattern, so your replacement boat lift can both stand the test of weather and stand out among the crowd.

We’ve already mentioned a few of the features that Top Gun has to offer, but here’s a complete list of all the benefits you can look forward to with your Top Gun replacement cover.
  • Puncture resistant
  • Completely reversible
  • Long-lasting colors
  • Highly water repellant
  • Reversible
  • Mildew resistant
  • Multi-ply construction for maximum wear and tear
  • High in abrasion resistance
  • High in tensile and tear strength
Since we have combined the well-known Top Gun fabric with our high-quality canopies, your boat and lift will have everything they need to remain in top condition. We handcraft all of our canopies, ensuring that each one is double-sewn and topstitched with an overlap seam. Canopies vary in size based on your boat’s specifications, so you can get a personalized fit for optimal coverage. Taking care of your boat can get expensive, so we make sure our replacement covers are affordable, and shipping is always free for orders over $99. If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them so you can make sure to find the right cover for you. When it comes to competitive pricing, top-of-the-line products and excellent customer service, there’s really no other option besides Boat Lift & Canopy.

American owned and operated, we’re trusted by our customers to provide great replacement covers, and we guarantee that a Top Gun fabric cover will help ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. Shop now for boat lift covers in the brand-new Top Gun style like our popular Shore Station or Shore Master canopies.