I have a boat lift in my boat house. I'm concerned that leaving the lift in the water will cause the carpeted bunks and metal cross beams to deteriorate more quickly.
Should I keep it up or down when my boat is in storage?
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I would say yes. From experience, leaving your lift in the water will cause damage to the lift itself more quickly than leaving it above. Also lifts are not usually made to hold a boat in the water with the frequent wake action you find on lakes. The force of wakes pushing the boat is probably more than your lift is designed to handle on a steady basis. The entire purpose of the lift is to be able to suspend the boat out of water but under cover when not in use.