Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Boat Lift Jacks Reviewed

Need a safe lift jack to transport your boat out of the water? We have reviewed and compared the best boat lift jacks on the market.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Boat Lift Jacks Reviewed

Need a safe lift jack to transport your boat out of the water? We have reviewed and compared the best boat lift jacks on the market.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Boats are a huge investment, and protecting them during transport and storage is key to keeping them in good working order. A lift is a perfect way to get a boat off a trailer or get them out of the water to prevent damage.

To make adjustments and move a boat on and off a lift or trailer, a lift jack, which functions similarly to a car jack, is essential. If you’re on the market for a boat lift jack, read through this guide to find the most durable, strong, and stable boat lift jack to protect your boat.

Preview

Product

Type

Lift Capacity

Check Price

VeVe Inc. BLJ-60; Boat Lift Jack (with Out...

VE-VE Inc. BLJ60 Boat Lift Jack

Jack

800 lbs.

Quality Mark 28199 Smarte Jack - Pair

Quality Mark 28199 Smarte Jack

Jack

700 lbs.

Seamax Deluxe 4 by 4 Boat Launching Dolly...

Seamax New

Deluxe 4 by 4

Wheel dolly

600 lbs.

Can Am Defender Jack 2,000 lb capacity...

Boat Lift Dock Jack U-5000

Jack

2,000 lbs.

Brownell Boat Stands Boat Lift System -...

Brownell Boat

Lift System

Lift System

3,000 lbs.

Drift Boat Trailer Kickstand

Drift Boat Trailer

Kickstand

Unspecified


Boat Lift Jack Buying Guide

Material Construction

The strength of a boat lift jack and its ability to stand up to rust and weather has everything to do with the material they use to build it. Most models are made with strong aluminum with the smaller pieces constructed with stainless steel.

Other metals are also used from time to time, but knockoff varieties can use inferior aluminum or steel that won't hold up as long. Searching for the strongest and most resilient material is crucial to getting a boat lift jack that will last for many seasons.

Durability

Boat lift jacks have to last through lots of abuse. Contact with a boat lift is one thing, but many of these jacks are designed to be used in both freshwater and saltwater and all sorts of weather. Many are designed to be weather-resistant and withstand heavy waves and currents.

However, the wheels on dollies and other types of boat lift jacks that have wheels are typically not meant to weather all conditions indefinitely and may need to be removed.

Lift Capacity

It’s imperative to make sure the boat lift jack suits the boat and boat lift. If the jack buckles, the whole setup is at risk, and all the damage that was meant to be averted can come to pass.

Just like there are different weight classes of boats, from inflatables to 11-foot motorboats, there are ratings for how much weight a jack can hold.

Lift capacity is typically directly linked to the weight and portability of the jack. Hydraulic jacks usually have the highest capacity, and portable or hand-crank jacks hold less. 

Functionality

Many manufacturers pride themselves on making jacks that have multiple uses. Jacks that can be used to lift a corner of a boat lift can sometimes also be used to raise or level out a dock or get a boat on and off a trailer.

It’s never safe to assume that a jack can be used for anything besides what the manufacturer says it can do, but that’s exactly what this guide is for.

Stability

Kickstands and portable jacks tend to have the least stability due to their lower weight overall. Larger boat lift jacks have more staying power and also offer more stability to the boat lift itself.

The majority of boat lift jacks that can only lift one corner of a boat lift at a time are convenient for leveling out and stabilizing docks and lifts, but more than one might be needed. Even with larger hydraulic models, up to five are sometimes recommended to make sure the boat and its lift won’t go anywhere.

Price & Warranty

Not all boat lift jacks have included warranties. Like most other fishing gear, the ones meant to last longer are the ones more likely to come with warranties. More expensive models also generally have at least a money-back guarantee to make sure purchasers feel confident enough to buy the jack in the first place.

Prices for jacks range from 100 USD to one or two thousand dollars. The specific price range generally suits the type of watercraft, i.e., a less expensive jack for inflatable boats and pricier varieties for full-on motorboats.


6 Best Boat Lift Jacks Reviewed

1. VE-VE Inc. BLJ60 Boat Lift Jack

Our Top Pick!

Type

Jack

Best For

Lifting

Lift Capacity

800 lbs.

Weight

28 lbs. (33 lbs. w/ mud plate)

For docks in the shallows and all the way up to 5 feet of water, this is the best boat lift jack. The aluminum build is lightweight but still sturdy enough to get the job done. It'll still work fine if the wench is underwater.

A rod on the J-hook that slides underneath the boat lift frame makes it easier for the user to get this jack fixed fast for better leverage. The manufacturer recommends using this device on solid lake beds rather than muddy, soft ones. If the boat frame is stuck in any way, it’s best to use a specifically-designed boat lift jack. However, there is an optional mud plate that can be purchased for a bit extra that can help stabilize this jack is slightly softer ground.

Keeping in mind that this is a manual crank boat lift jack, boaters would do well to position themselves to get the hold they need on the crank handle to get the most power out of it. The jack can be used to level a boat lift in the water by raising the lift hoist by its lower framework, to hoist the frame to install or remove wheels or to balance or raise the dock itself. It might not look like the fanciest boat lift jack, but it’s dependable and powerful just like it should be.

Pros
  • Included rod for added depth
  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Multiple possible applications
  • Works submerged
  • No additional tools required
Cons
  • Mud plate sold separately
  • Not rated for very soft ground

2. Quality Mark 28199 Smarte Jack

Best Versatile Boat Lift Jack

Type

Jack

Best For

Lifting

Lift Capacity

700 lbs.

Weight

Unspecified

The Smarte Jack boat lift was built to allow one person to move a boat lift by themselves. Comprising two jacks and durable plastic wheels, the Smarte Jack installs fast and can be left on the boat lift indefinitely in almost all conditions.

For docks that get substantial wave action, the wheels should be removed to prevent damage to the axle, but that's easily done without extra tools. Adjusting the height of the jack is done with either a cordless power drill or a wrench. Leveling out a lift goes quickly, and there's up to 20 inches of room for adjustment.

Since it has a universal fit, the Smarte Jack is a smart buy even for boaters who might upgrade to a new boat lift in the future. In addition to the durable aluminum construction, Quality Mark also includes a one-year limited warranty with this boat lift jack, protecting the original purchaser from defects in the original manufacturing starting from the date of purchase.

This is an easy-to-install model, but it is nonetheless easier to put on the boat lift outside the water. Making adjustments with a wrench underwater works, but for the original installation, the lift should be on land. Also, keep in mind that while it does enable one person to move a boat lift, it doesn't make the boat lift any lighter, so it could well still take more than one person for heavier lifts.

Pros
  • Quick installation
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Universal fit
  • Strong aluminum build
  • Remove wheels without tools
Cons
  • May need 4 for heavier lifts

3. Seamax New Deluxe 4 by 4

Best Boat Launching Wheel System

Type

Wheel dolly

Best For

Launching, draining

Lift Capacity

600 lbs.

Weight

18 lbs.

Inflatable boat owners love this boat launching dolly because it’s comparatively lightweight and makes moving 11- and 10-foot craft a breeze. Between about 140 and 150 pounds, a craft can even move over soft sand with these wheels equipped.

Thanks to the tread on the tires, the wheels move great over rocky and uneven ground. The marine-grade aluminum alloy used on the rest of the device weathers any storm well and even works in saltwater. The smaller parts, such as the gears, are made of stainless steel to make sure they last a long time.

To prevent the wheel extensions from catching on anything while sailing or returning to land, the arms are retractable to four different lengths. This feature can also help give a boat more clearance on the way to and from the water. Install the 4 by 4 at or beneath the waterline to prevent water leaking in through the mounting holes.

In a recent redesign, Seamax shortened the bracket that attaches to the transom so that it can be installed with just two screws. That saves time attaching and detaching the setup. The wheels keep air well and don’t tend to stick or jam. Best of all, the whole thing is backed by a 2-year warranty. The only significant improvement these wheels could have is a wider tread to prevent it from sinking in softer ground, but the ones it does come with do the job in just about any scenario.

Pros
  • Installs with 2 screws
  • Retract for clean landing
  • 2-year warranty
  • Marine-grade aluminum alloy
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Slightly narrow wheels

4. Boat Lift Dock Jack U-5000

Best Budget Boat Lift Jack

Type

Jack

Best For

Lifting

Lift Capacity

2,000 lbs.

Weight

13 lbs.

Although it’s a simple device, this boat lift jack is a powerhouse. It can lift more than most others because it’s a simple mechanical device. That also makes it versatile. It can be used to lift the whole dock as well as a boat lift.

Using the device is as easy as aligning it in the proper spot and applying pressure to the crank handle. You can also remove the crank handle entirely and use a wrench or a cordless power drill. While it was built for use with an ATV, it has a much wider appeal for anglers and boat owners.

There are some features on more robust models, but for the price, this is the best performance available in a super-strong jack. The galvanized metal used in the construction is durable and should stand up to corrosion in all types of water.

Transporting the device is easy since it fits readily in a truck bed or the trunk of a car and doesn't weigh very much at all. Adjustments and jobs with boat lifts can be done by one person assuming they can be done one side at a time. This is a must-have tool for any boat lift owner to have on hand for the low cost.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Galvanized metal build
  • Easy to use
  • Many uses
  • Removable crank handle
Cons
  • No additional features

5. Brownell Boat Lift System

Best Boat Lift System

Type

Lift System

Best For

Lifting

Lift Capacity

3,000 lbs.

Weight

Unspecified

American-made steel sets Brownell Boat Lifts apart from imitations, and with this grade of boating equipment, it's vital to get the highest possible quality. It's definitely overkill for smaller watercraft, but for serious boating enthusiasts, nothing will beat the power and reliable performance and support of these heavy-duty hydraulic boat lift jacks. Hauling a boat over land on a trailer is much easier, and the huge investment placed in a boat is more secure with the help of these heavy-duty jacks.

Considering the alternative is wood blocks that can get waterlogged or cumbersome bricks, and neither is ever going to be completely sure to support, these jacks can also save damage to the hull of a boat. The only disadvantage is that a boat will probably need at least five of these hydraulic stands to have full support, but compared to the cost of a boat or damage caused by a shoddy jack, the cost of a complete lift system like this Brownell isn’t so bad.

Pay attention to the best setup for jack stands and the number you'll need to make sure it doesn't budge. The keels of these jacks are rust-resistant, and shims aren't required because each jack is adjustable. Brownell Boat Lift Systems offer unparalleled safety for bigger boats and are well worth the investment.

Pros
  • 30-day guarantee
  • Crafted from American steel
  • Rust-resistant
  • Adjustable height
  • Optimal with boat trailers
Cons
  • For large craft only
  • 5+ jacks required

6. Drift Boat Trailer Kickstand

Best Boat Trailer Kickstand

Type

Kickstand

Best For

Draining, propping up

Lift Capacity

Unspecified

Weight

15 lbs.

Any sailing enthusiast who transports their vessel on a trailer should have this kickstand. It's easy to install with a 9/16 wrench, and once it's on the trailer, it can be kicked out to provide a perfect storage solution or keep water from filling in the boat provided the drain plug is unplugged. There's no feeling that the stand will collapse or fall over even if someone runs into it. The stand locks up into driving mode with a locking pin, so getting on the road is a cinch.

Granted, it’s not as versatile as a complete boat lift jack, but for propping up a boat trailer, this is the best boat kickstand. It will extend out to about fifty inches to make sure the boat is level (or at an incline if that's preferred) regardless of the size of the trailer. It will even work t on an incline, though how steep a hill you're willing to leave your boat trailer parked on is up to you.

It looks and functions better than stopgap methods like blocks, bricks, or buckets, and not having to carry around those extra materials makes boating trips that much easier. Once you've tried this addition to your boat trailer, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Pros
  • Installs quickly
  • No need to remove
  • Extends to 50 inches
  • Pin lock for driving mode
  • Offers sturdy support
Cons
  • Not multi-purpose

Benefits of Using a Boat Lift Jack

Boat lifts are a great help with transporting and storing boats out of the water, but they can be hard to maneuver and transport themselves.

A boat lift jack can turn this chore into a simple task that may be accomplished by one person. Additionally, if a boat lift is in the water and needs to be adjusted, adding a boat lift jack makes adjustments as easy as using a wrench or cordless drill.


How to Use Boat Lift Jacks Effectively

It’s always going to be easier to install a boat lift jack before moving the boat lift into the water. Folks have varying degrees of success installing them underwater, plus jacks make transporting the boat lift into the water so much easier.

Use screws or mounts to place the boat lift jack on the transom or around the boat lift, depending on the style of the jack and where it’s designed to go. Installing wheels is usually a tools-free process that’s done with a pin. Then you can pick up the lift or the boat and continue on your way.


Other Boat Lift Accessories

If transporting a boat lift is the primary concern, wheels may have to be purchased in addition to a boat lift jack. Some come with wheels, and others are more like stands that are only meant to offer support.

A cordless drill will make the installation and adjustment of a boat lift jack far simpler and much quicker than proceeding with a wrench, just remember not to try and use the drill in the water.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are boat lift jacks easy to operate/use?

Boat lift jacks can be cumbersome depending on their weight, but they are overall very easy to use. Most of the work is done during installation. After that, the boat lift jack can be used to transport or support the boat and boat lift for a decently long amount of time without needing extensive effort.

Are boat lift jacks worth investing in?

There is nothing that will protect a boat lift and make its use easier than a boat lift jack. At the lower price range, there's really no excuse not to have one. Proceeding with a boat lift without the jack short sells the intended benefits boat lifts are meant to offer in the first place, and it will keep the boat in much better shape overall.

How much should I spend on a boat lift jack?

As we mentioned earlier, prices vary, but the price of a boat lift jack should suit the watercraft. Inflatables and kayaks need less expensive dolly varieties, and huge sailboats will likely need a larger investment in hydraulic jacks. If you buy a dependable model, then the money you spend on a jack is money saved in boat repairs over time.

Is it bad to keep a boat in the water for long periods of time?

Boats can suffer from corrosion and damaging invasive species if they’re left in the water too long. Cleaning a boat hull and patching scratches and possible punctures is an essential part of boat maintenance, which means a boat lift and boat lift jack is also an essential piece of boating gear.


Conclusion

A durable, strong, and dependable boat lift jack makes storing and transporting a boat much easier—the VE-VE Inc. BLJ60 Boat Lift Jack is the best on the market for adjusting and transporting a boat lift in and out of the water, which makes it the best boat lift jack available.

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