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Three Types Of Boat Lift Canopies And What You Can Expect From Each

When you dock your boat on a boat lift, you want to be sure that your boat will stay dry and be reasonably protected from the environment. Unlike docks themselves, which can be constructed from multiple materials, most lifts are constructed of one or two specific materials, and the canopies overhead are only made of three different materials. Here are the three types of boat lift canopies and what benefits each provides to your boat.


Canvas canopies are similar in thickness, color, design and structure to the canopies used on pontoon boats. They are rectangular in shape, may or may not have a decorative fringe, and are generally stretched out over the tops of the boat lifts. Canvas canopies can be treated with a waterproof agent that repels rain and will not allow the rain to seep through and soak the interior of your boat while it is lifted. If rains are especially heavy, the rain may pool on top of the boat lift canopy and cause it to sag, but it should still be resilient enough to keep your boat drier than it would be without a boat lift canopy.

Sloped Wood

Some boat lifts are constructed from rustic knotty pine and split rails to make them look more “wilderness-like”. If that is the case with your boat lift, you probably have a sloped wood roof as your boat canopy. As long as you keep the logs tarred with pine and keep the cracks filled, your sloped wood boat lift canopy will prove even more durable and resilient than a canvas canopy treated with a water repellant. It is comparable to having your very own wooden “boat garage.”

Steel or Aluminum

These two metals are probably the most common type of canopy material because they are cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain. They can be flat with channels that help the rain move off their edges, or they can be sloped, like the sloped wood canopy. Either way, you do not have to wash them, polish them, pitch and tar them or shake them out after a storm; and both steel and aluminum canopies can be ordered with your steel/aluminum boat lift or added later as an accessory. The extra benefit is that they never look out of place on a steel or aluminum boat lift. (Steel will outlast aluminum, but either material makes the best boat lift canopy money can buy.)

For professional boat lift covers, contact a company such as Waterway Boat Lift Covers.