Best Kept Secret.

Work on “Leisure Boat Lift.” Often referred to as the most enviable position in qualified trades. A good job, in  industry. Good in  the commercial trade world.  Many times comments within ear shot proclaim, “wow what an excellent job” and “what cool stuff!” Nice to hear of course. A form of compliment, and admiration. Any work on the the lake is enviable. Right? More on hard work and inclimate weather, in posts to come.

Truth be known. Every job has its ‘story,’ so here is a partial post of what is behind the scenes today, to bring light on the subject of Leisure Boat Lift.

Start off with owning a boat and having access to lake front property and a dock. Yes this is how Leisure Boat Lift started. Work at a 1980 established welding business, with the 1977 16 ft. runabout tied to the dock, and be notified mid way through the day, the boat has sunk. Word has it, the wind has come up big time and the waves have filled the boat which is hitting the lake bottom and careening the bow under the wharf deck.

This happens twice in one month and damage is getting expensive. What to do? Okay, get the boat out of the water every time you use it. Oh boy, that would really be a pleasure. Jockey for position at the boat launch? Not pleasant.  So how about lifting the boat clear of the water after using the boat, each time? Bet there is some lifters for sale at the dealers, in the middle of British Columbia, somewhere. Well a quick 500 mile trip around to each of the retail boat sales establishments rendered a count of 19 lifters sold in 6 months. Figures from a list compilation including 24 businesses and only 6 of them knew any thing much about “Shore Stations.” Time goes on, friends with information suggesting to do this and that, finally getting a glimpse of the Trojan Hoist for car and truck. Now we have some thing for an idea! https://leisureboatlift1dnr.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/the-spark/

With a full machine shop facility, the wheels begin to turn. Metal is acquired, cut and formed. Sparks fly and spray gun flailed, voila. Something that sort of looks like it might just lift a boat while securely adjusted on a lake bottom, beside a dock. Interestingly, again friendly input such as ‘ you know what you should do’ gives momentum to the project in more ways than one.

High Flying LBL 1988 Courtesy Morning Star <<<Click on

       It doesn’t take long for the local businesses to become involved, unselfishly at their own time expense, encouraging research and development. Eventually after a number of lifting failures, unscathed at least, Leisure Boat Lift takes off, literally for the last time by air. It becomes a viable product to fabricate, handle and market. In the least, locally with in the realm of lakes affording lake front luxury.

       So who would like to buy a Leisure Boat Lift? Everybody of coarse. Even people without boats had a good mind to own a Leisure  Boat Lift, just as soon as they could see how well the Lifters stand the test of time. That shouldn’t be so hard. Just build a whole bunch and install them in the neighbours’ lake front for free and wait about 5 years. Well you certainly don’t go far on ‘wait and see.’ Found that out right o’ way. Back to work, specialty welding, pretty much anything. Enjoyed endless summers with the old http://www.campionboats.com/ 16 ft. model, safe and sound. Friends and neighbours the only great ambassadors for Leisure Boat Lift. A year or two or three later, slowly but surely inquiries turned into sales and support.

Four Things Older Now 2011 Courtesy of DNRLBL

This excerpt1, is basic Leisure Boat Lift history. Posting with regard to the time between 1985 and 1989.

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Not as it seems –

It can be hard to install and work with Leisure Boat Lift under a smaller roof.

Although having a roof over top your boat may seem ideal; as it does help protect against the elements, there are a few things that can be overlooked when deciding on a roof to go over your boat.

A problem that can come with having a roof is simply losing it – wind can pick up, and some models of roof aren’t planted steadily enough and can get picked up and thrown away by the wind, causing all sorts of damage.

A roof over your boat also comes with its own maintenance, cleaning and care like any marine product. In some cases, they’re known to become hosts to many birds as well (shown above) which might not be the most pleasant company to have on your deck.

Fins underneath –

A matter that’s been resurfacing in the past few weeks, as the installation season begins, is people requesting Tournament Kits for their Leisure Boat Lift. That’s great when you know you need it. A Tournament Kit provides the extra height needed for the propeller and fins to clear the lift, as well as a different style of stopping board that the fins rest on.

Gorilla Brackets (Right) are sometimes needed to give the boat extra height above the lift.

Most new tournament-style boats will have large fins underneath the bottom and it’s easy enough to tell if you’ve got them – just take a look under the hull. If you don’t know, just check next time you’ve got your boat out on a trailer. It’s important to know this so that if you do decide to get a boat lift for your boat, that it be equipped with a tournament kit or Gorilla Brackets to rise it from the water even further. Although the fins are important, the even bigger problem that can come from having an improper lift is damage to the prop. The prop needs to be able to clear the lift or have the fins stop at a board to avoid any damage.

A Finned Tournament Boat without a tournament kit.

One owner hadn’t known he had fins under his new boat and nearly let that get away on him – luckily no damage was done, but you can see how close the fins and prop can get to the lift without Gorilla Brackets. The brackets adds many inches of height to the boat when lifted, taking away the chance of denting any fin or prop.

A prop shown on a boat, the lifter without Gorilla Brackets.

Trouble with Anchors

Deciding on an anchor to tie your boat to can be a great alternative to private mooring. The chains used in these set-ups are galvanized chains that don’t work well in a marine environment is because the galvanized metal wears down under use, and exposes bare metal within a short period of time. Wave action alone moves the chain, constantly works away at the galvanized finish before it exposes the cheap metal underneath. A solution to this is using a different kind of chain that is ‘quenched and tempered.’ A favorite brand name is System 7, a virtually uncoated but through and through high tensile, very tough steel. It keeps its load rating and wears very slowly.

It’s important to look through all your options before deciding on tossing a buoy out front – there are ups and downs to any private mooring choice.

A worn-down galvanized buoy chain found during a dive.

Typically, galvanizing gives materials a protective finish regardless of quality. Galvanizing can be found in tin roofing, siding, eavestrough spouts, exhaust systems, and more. The photo above shows the protective finish has done its job where the work load was not required. Where the worn part of the chain is shown, poor quality material is exposed shortly after the installation of the chain.

Bottom line, if you’re using galvanized chain to anchor a boat and marker buoy, be sure to inspect it far earlier than you would with another chain. The galvanization wears off all too soon and can cause the chain to wear out quite quickly.System 4 / System 7 chain is anywhere from 7 to 10 dollars a foot and is a smart alternative. Galvanized chain is relatively inexpensive per foot.

Have your local dive shop inspect your anchor chain.

Okanagan Waters and Winterization

Murky waters caused by spring run off from the water shed from the mountains.

Some waters in the Okanagan area can become quite murky and dull-looking – this is due to run off from the melting snow held in the mountains. This water fills the lakes, stirring up a lot of muck around creeks and the lake bottom. This happens every year – really nothing to be concerned about. All it really does against our crew is lower the visibility during an installation, but this is of little concern to us and our diving equipment.

But it is important to know that this is all a part of winter ending and starting a new summer season with Leisure Boat Lift. A good season requires a properly winterized Leisure Boat Lift, which is simple enough – cradle lifted out of the water, and a cover over top of your tower and drive.

A cover can be as simple as a big plastic utility/garbage bag tied over the top of the lift tower, or if you’re looking for something excellent in covers – Capricorn Upholstery in Vernon caters to the design of a fabric fitted top for a Leisure Boat Lift’s electric drive.

A properly kept LBL over the winter.


You’ll find this in your owners’ manual!

There are a few things that need your full attention when you’re operating your Leisure Boat Lift. When bringing your boat up or down, you need to keep an eye on the lift and its components. The lift is a specially designed piece of machinery that requires your attention. It is important to keep notice of the chain and make sure that it is straight and all of the links are lined up.

Another very important aspect of the lift is to watch out for the height limit – after each install, we draw a line that the lift cannot pass (as shown in the photo below.) If the line fades, you can simply re-draw it on with any thick felt pen. It’s important to watch for this line in any condition. Bad weather can make it a little harder to watch this line, or get everyone in a hurry, but lifting your Leisure Boat Lift above that line causes the chain hook to suck itself into the chain hoist and cause a big problem.

In normal conditions, you don’t even need to lift your boat as high as the line – as long the cradle is out of the water, you’re good to go.

The line in the photo shows the height limit for the lift.

When someone is operating for the first time (that isn’t the owner) it’s a good idea to supervise them and make sure they’re looking out for the chain and the height of the boat. Anyone who is operating the lift should be attentive and listen to the sounds being made by the lift.

If you hear a lot of clunking around, pausing / stopping as you lower the lift, abnormal whining or any other out-of-place sounds coming from the motor, or any other sound that seems irregular, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Sometimes all it takes is some advice from our crew over the phone, and the problem can be solved. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to ask our service crew to come out and fix whatever ails the lifter.

What Happens When The Chain Gets Sucked Into The Hoist

Not paying attention to the lift height can cause a bit of a mess!

The chain is very important to keep an eye on, as mentioned before – If the chain links aren’t in a straight alignment with eachother, you can get in the water and simply attempt to twist the links back into a straight line with each other. If this doesn’t work, again, do not hesitate to call for service. It can’t be stressed enough how important regular service and maintenance truly is for such a high quality, specially designed machine like the Leisure Boat Lift.

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.