Safely Lifting Boats: Guidelines for Using Boat Slings

What are boat lift slings?

Boat lift slings are specialized straps or bands used to lift boats. Slings make the boat safe and secure during storage, maintenance, or launching/retrieval operations. These slings are typically made of durable materials like nylon, polyester, or wire rope. They are designed to withstand marine environments and heavy loads. Boat lift slings come in various sizes and configurations to accommodate different boat weights, lengths, and hull shapes. They are essential components of boat lift systems. They provide support and stability while ensuring the boat remains level and balanced during lifting and transportation processes.

Different Types of Slings

Polyester Web Slings

These slings are lightweight, flexible, and ideal for lifting boats with delicate surfaces as they minimize the risk of damage.

Nylon Slings

Known for their strength and durability, nylon slings are suitable for lifting heavy boats and providing excellent load support.

Wire Rope Slings

Constructed from steel wire, these slings offer exceptional strength and are often used for lifting extremely heavy loads.

What size slings should I use for my boat?

The size of slings you should use for your boat depends on several factors, including the weight and dimensions of your boat. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate sling size:

Boat Weight

The primary factor in selecting sling size is the weight of your boat. Slings are typically rated by their weight capacity, so you’ll want to choose slings that can safely support the weight of your boat. Refer to your boat’s specifications or contact the manufacturer to determine its weight.

Boat Length and Beam

Slings also come in various lengths and widths to accommodate different boat sizes. Measure the length and beam (width) of your boat to ensure that the slings you choose are long and wide enough to provide proper support without placing undue stress on the hull.

Hull Shape

Consider the shape of your boat’s hull when selecting slings. Some boats have flat bottoms, while others have V-shaped or rounded hulls. Make sure the slings can conform to the hull shape to provide secure and stable lifting.

Safety Margin

It’s recommended to choose slings with a weight capacity that exceeds your boat’s actual weight. This provides a safety margin and ensures that the slings can safely handle unexpected loads or variations in weight.

Material and Construction

Slings come in different materials such as nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. Consider factors like durability, abrasion resistance, and UV resistance when choosing sling material.


Determine how you plan to use the slings. If you’ll be using them frequently for lifting and launching your boat, opt for high-quality, durable slings designed for marine use.

It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines when selecting slings for your boat. If you’re unsure or need assistance, consider consulting with a professional boat lift or marine equipment supplier for personalized advice based on your boat’s specifications.

Consulting with Experts:

If you’re unsure about the appropriate sling size for your boat, don’t hesitate to consult with lifting equipment experts or boat manufacturers. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your specific requirements and ensure that you select the right slings for safe and efficient boat handling.

What type of slings do we offer?

The marine slings offered with widths of 4 inches, 6 inches, and 8 inches. Made of durable polyester material, ensuring reliable performance in marine environments. With lift ratings ranging from 8,400 lbs. to 12,000 lbs. in a basket configuration. They have a working load limit (WLL) rated capacity from 4,200 lbs. to 6,000 lbs.. These slings are designed for robust lifting applications. They feature galvanized pear rings with varying thickness for added strength and corrosion resistance. The double kneel pad includes sewn-in lead weights to maintain sling shape and prevent floating. However, while these weights help with stability, additional cable weights are recommended for maintaining adequate tension on the boat lift cable. These slings are not intended for lifting humans or overhead loads.