17 Homemade Boat Lift Plans You Can DIY Easily

So, you’ve finally decided to build a boat lift? Well, good for you! A boat lift can truly add invaluable years to your boat life. On the downside, it can cost you quite expensive to buy and install.

But if you have faith in your handyman skill, you can DIY a boat lift for much less cost than you’d spend on commercially available designs. And, as per plans and tutorials, we’re here to help you!

Here are 18 fantastic DIY boat lift ideas available on the internet! From simple PVC boat lifts to motorized ones, we’ve got it all! Let’s get started!

1.  DIY – Cheap Motorized Boat Lift

Even if it’s a manual one, having a boat lift can be a big help to you. But how would you like to convert your manual boat lift into a motorized one? We’re sure you’d love it!

Watch this tutorial video by Marc Grenier to build an inexpensive 12 Volt motorized boat lift. The Youtuber shares with you what supplies he needed for the project at the beginning of the project and then demonstrates briefly how he completed the DIY.


2.  Build a Homemade Boat Lift

Build a Homemade Boat Lift

Niki Hampton from doityourself, in this blog post, shares with you the DIY procedure to build a cost-effective boat lift by yourself.

Check the ‘What You’ll Need’ section for all the tools and supplies and follow the 4 steps to complete the DIY. For beginners, you might need to be guided with a bit more detail than the information given in this blog post.

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3.  DIY Dinghy Boat Lift

Do you have a Dinghy boat? If yes, we’ve got just the perfect boat lift tutorial for you! Everett Ogden, in this video, builds a boat lift for his 265 lbs Hobie Holder 14. He has shared all the supplies and their prices in the description box with his viewers.

This boat lift DIY is not only brilliant but also easy to follow. On the downside, if you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial, this tutorial is not for you.


4.  Homemade Boat Lift

Homemade Boat Lift

If you have a used galvanized boat trailer handy with you, you can definitely follow this tutorial by It STILL RUNS to convert it into a brilliant boat lift.

As per the blogger, the frame holds the boat around 6 inches off the regular water level, and the water depth must be 3 – 5 feet for the shore installation of this DIY boat lift.

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5.  Boat Lift Do It Yourself DIY

John Wiese’s boat weighs around 500 lbs with batteries, and he claims that this homemade boat lift has been working way better than he imagined. The best part is that this DIY uses all the readily available supplies – 2’’ PVC schedule 40 pipes, 2’’ conduit, brackets, concrete, and wood.

For those interested, here’s Part 2 of the DIY, where he demonstrates how his build works underwater.


6.  Homemade boatlift… Pretty interesting.

Homemade boatlift... Pretty interesting

Find an interesting homemade boat lift design shared in The Hull Truth forum by the user Afishinado. However, he is unsure about what size winches the design would need and has asked for others’ advice in the thread.

If this is one of the issues you’re suffering from, give this forum a read. You’ll probably find all the answers to your queries here.

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7.  How to Install a Boat Lift: DIY

Boat lift installation costs can be brutal! To your rescue, Sethro335 has come up with a brilliant idea to install a boat lift to your dock using a car trailer, a truck, and two ratchet straps. The Youtuber explains the installation in detail.

The Youtuber mentions in the descriptions that the boat lift shown in this video lifts by an air tank. And he further gives a notice that you might have to take the sidebars off if the width is 10 feet.


8.  Arbor Boat Lift

Arbor Boat Lift

Instructables features a range of interesting DIY plans and ideas. For instance, here’s an awesome tutorial by Two Paddles Design where the blogger shares with his readers how he built an Arbor boat lift.

Unfortunately, this boat lift doesn’t lift heavy boats and aren’t meant to handle human weights. Nevertheless, if you own kayaks or other smaller crafts, this tutorial is perfect for you. The tutorial is quite organized and detailed. If you’re a beginner, we’d highly recommend you this tutorial!

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9.  How to make a simple boat lift

As per the Youtuber from Lsailor1, this simple boat lift has worked perfectly even after two years of DIY. This cost-effective boat lift DIY requires schedule 40 PVC pipes.

This is not a tutorial video per se. However, the Youtuber has presented step-by-step images of the project along with a detailed explanation in this video. We believe it will be a great help for your DIY journey.


10. Give Your Boat A Lift

Give Your Boat A Lift

Some of you might still be wondering if or not building a boat lift is a good choice for you. Or to DIY a manual or an electric one. Or, what are the factors you need to consider before selecting a plan or a design?

To your rescue, this guide by BoatUS will give you all the information you need regarding boat lifts before you actually start the DIY project. This post will definitely be a fascinating read to boat enthusiasts!

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11. (BIG) DIY PVC Roller Bearing Boat Lift!

Here’s another mind-blowing boat lift tutorial for mini boats. The Youtuber from drez20001 built a mini electric boat and decided to build a boat lift to handle the 120-pound boat such that he could store his build in a floating dock.

The Youtuber uses PVC bearing for the purpose, which he claims to be easily customizable into two different lengths. He explains the design in detail at the beginning of the video and demonstrates the entire DIY and the execution process to his viewers.


12. How to Install a Boat Lift

How to Install a Boat Lift

Now in the case you bought a boat lift kit or a boat lift for sale, you might want to install it by yourself to lower your expenses. If that’s the case, you might want to give this guide on how to install a boat lift by Power and Motor Yacht a thorough read.

Different types of boat lifts require different installation techniques. Be it a traditional davit or piling-mounted hoists, whatever your boat lift is, you’ll find the installation overview in this post.

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13. Building a homemade boat lift

Fixin’ and Fishin’ always come up with great boat-related DIYs. In this video, the Youtuber walks you through the process of building a homemade boat lift. This is not a boat lift dedicated for the purpose of repairing hulls and painting the bottom.

Remember that this is just the first part of this project, and for those interested, here’s the link to Part 2 of Fixin’ and Fishin’s DIY boat lift build, where he demonstrates the boat lift at work.


14. Boat Lifts 101: Here’s what you need to know

Boat Lifts 101 Here’s what you need to know

As the blogger from R & J Machine states – it is imperative to install the right products on your shoreline to protect your boats. While you’ll find no boat lift DIY tutorial in this post, you’ll definitely find information on different types of boat lifts here.

So, if you’re unaware of types of boat lifts or are simply unsure of which type to DIY, we hope this blog will give you some insight on the matter.

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15. How to build a boat lift inside an existing boathouse

Do you have a boathouse that you’d like to accessorize with a boat lift? If yes, this tutorial by Lsailor1 is perfect for you.

Although you’ll not be guided in detail on each and every step of the process, the Youtuber has displayed various documented images of the process along with some written elaboration.

It seems like the information provided is quite enough for you to follow along. Let us know how it works out for you!


16. Floating boat lift

Floating boat lift

The user Gregs on Boatdesign.net wishes to DIY a cost-effective floating boat lift, all by himself.

He has requested others’ views, suggestions, and experience on the DIY process in this thread. If your mission is to DIY a similar floating boat lift, this thread is definitely beneficial to you. Do check it out!

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17. DIY make your own boat lift from a boat trailer

Watch this short video to educate yourself on how you can use your boat trailer as a boat lift. This is not a tutorial, just a simple animated illustration of how one can make a boat list from a boat trailer. What do you think of this idea? Let us know your thoughts!



We’ve shared with you 17 brilliant DIY boat lift ideas in this post. Now, the ball is in your court. We’d recommend you gather your tools and supplies and start on the DIY right away! The more you delay the project, the more your precious boat is suffering the abuse of wind and waves.

1 thought on “17 Homemade Boat Lift Plans You Can DIY Easily”

  1. Embark on a DIY maritime adventure with ’17 Homemade Boat Lift Plans You Can DIY Easily’! This treasure trove of plans is a boon for boating enthusiasts looking to craft their own boat lifts. From simple designs to more intricate projects, this guide empowers you to tailor your lift to specific needs. Dive into the world of DIY boat lifts and elevate your boating experience with personalized craftsmanship. Set sail on a journey of creativity and functionality!


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