DNR Specialty Welding and the Lake Front


Often we’ve emphasized that service and regular maintenance are key to a long lasting Leisure Boat Lift. Like any quality machine, it requires care and upkeep. It’s easy to forget that DNR Specialty Welding is nestled right in Vernon, and not at the lake front , your boat lift can’t just be brought to us, or any other technician – it’s specialty work requiring our crew to head out and take care of the equipment; and when you factor in wages, fuel costs, equipment, and supplies, the costs for a simple job to go out and lubricate a lift can rack up.

A few requirements for a service call.

Although we are indeed detached from the lake front itself, we are certainly not seperate from the lake front community. Working in harmony with the community members is just as important as any other step in the process of Leisure Boat Lift.

Southern B.C. Mussels

A problem can arise when it comes to building and adding onto your lake front – an endangered species often forgotten about. Yes, the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel is one creature that really doesn’t get much attention – but the Canadian Wildlife Service has yet to forget about it and has rules in place that oversee the safety and habitat restoration of the mussel. It is the only known living kind left of its own genus, and can be the cause of a lot of distress if there happens to be a group on your lake front property – the construction of a dock would be completely prohibited. The problem stems from the construction of docks / lifts / other lake-front products stirring up and altering the habitat that these mussels reside in.

This small creature can cause quite a stir, so if for some reason you’ve got a hunch that some may be residing around your property, check that first before any construction happens. This could get you into a lot of trouble later on – dealing with an endangered species is quite a process. From the map pictured below, you can see that the residence of these mussels is found mostly in the western area of the states, but their habitat does reach into southern BC and just creeps into the Okanagan.

Only a couple of customers (out of 1300+) have ever run into this problem – but it’s still something to check in on. Make sure your lake front is the appropriate place to have a dock and Leisure Boat Lift!

It’s never too early for a maintenance request –

Regular maintenance is a big part of Leisure Boat Lift’s lifespan. At least once a year must a lift have its roller wheels lubricated by the 4 grease points. This is necessary for the lifter to have fluid, smooth up and down rolling motion. Without yearly lubrication, the lift may begin to chatter and struggle as it moves in either direction. Although this will not immediately harm the lift, it is highly advised to give us a call, or if you are equipped to do so, lubricate the lift yourself. It is not an extremely complex process but requires the correct tools and knowledge.

There are 4 different lubrication points on the cradle (which are situated inside of the tower) that are called grease nipples. The top 2 can be reached from the top but you must go underneath the cradle to reach the bottom 2. We are fully equipped to do this at any time of year, as cold water does not pose a challenge to our dry suits and other gear.

 

Another line on the maintenance checklist would be your lift’s brakes. The chain hoists we use have brake pads just like any vehicle would have – they wear away with use over time. The photo below is a case of very much use with no brake maintenance, it takes a long time to have the pads wear so thin. Over time with regular use, you may hear chattering / squeaking as you lower your lift – This requires a maintenance call but is not related to the brakes wearing too thin. We dismantle the chain hoist safely, and do not replace the brakes but instead clean them of the brake ‘dust’ which has accumulated over use, which is the cause of the brakes becoming shiny and glassy, and slipping just a little bit as it lowers.

 
To keep the brakes of your lift healthy, it is important to lower the lift in increments. Do not just simply hold down the wobble switch in the “down” direction for a few minutes until the lift has lowered – lower the lift 15 seconds at a time, pause for 10 or so seconds, and continue. This keeps the brakes from getting too hot and increases their lifespan.

 

Seahorse Supports and Saving Your Dock

DNR Specialty Welding dedicates itself to more than just our lifts and ladders. For too long have we been going out to install a new Leisure Boat Lift, only to see countless docks leaning and bent, their wooden pilings simply destroyed by time, weather, and waves. We provide an alternative method of dock supports, our Seahorse Supports. Each support comes in a pair of A-shape supports, with a crossbar and 4 adjustable legs. All components are cut, formed, pieced, and welded together here at our shop.

Each foot is planted into the lake bottom, with the weight of the dock and supports bearing down on it. The support acts like the roots of a tree and keeps the dock stable and strong without being worn down by the waves and weather like a piling would. You can see many docks in the Okanagan’s local lakes that are held strong by our seahorse dock supports; and despite their old age, still do not have signs of weakness showing.

The above photo is a dock with the pilings worn right down, tilting and leaning and very damaged. This is just what are seahorse dock supports can do – save your dock. We remove and replace all old pilings with our steel dock supports, and that dock will last for decades. Our supports use the exact same marine-safe paint and epoxy as our Leisure Boat Lifts do, too. They are 100% safe to swim around and cause no harm whatsoever to the marine environment around them.

In The Making,

Just a snapshot of the countless drafts documenting each LBL component.

One example of how many pieces make up all of Leisure Boat Lift can be seen in this blueprint of a PWC Kit – Not even an entire lift, only the kit which attaches onto the cradle, and already there are  25+ pieces of steel requiring a large variety of bolts and different welding techniques, along with the need of being perfectly aligned so the entire kit works together. Just finding the turf-style carpet necessary to cover each walkway and stopping board is a trial; the carpet must be ordered from Quebec, and requires hours of hand work just to cut and size the carpet rolls, and staple it all together proportionately. When it comes to creating a Leisure Boat Lift, there aren’t many short cuts available. Everything is taken into account, and crafted with care – there is no middle man. Just our one crew doing the entirety of work – sales, manufacturing, installing.

Each LBL component has been drafted or is in the process of having its own blueprint made. This is a long project that has been looking over every measurement used by DNR Specialty Welding in the past 30 years, going over every detail involved in a Leisure Boat Lift. In 1986, blueprints for Leisure Boat Lift and each of its components were drafted by hand by one man, Karel Suchma. It’s a painstaking process to be drawn by hand, requiring total focus and concentration. Our current AutoCAD project is drafting done by computer, where much of the line work and mathematical processing is a breeze compared to decades ago. But over those years, a lot has changed, and countless updates need to be done to the original LBL idea, especially to accommodate for the changing world of modern boats in our local lakes. Boats are getting bigger, faster, and longer. A “big” boat, when we started 25 years ago, was a 16 foot boat with 85 horsepower. We’re changing everything to be the strongest, most reliable lifter for the constantly improving boats there are today.