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How to Avoid Un-spooling Lift Cables

Although there is the occasional rogue squirrel, lightning strike, or equipment malfunction, most cable problems are user error and avoidable.

The most common reason a cable will un-spool is lowering the lift too far so that the cradle is resting on the bottom of the boat slip, etc. When this happens, it releases tension on the cables, causing them to un-spool or bird nest. Another reason cables may do this is because the lift was raised too far, causing the cables to overlap on the drive. When this occurs, the cables will overlap and the fibers of the cable will begin to break.

Rough water can also play a factor. Some bunks (what the boat sits on) are made of wood and some are made of aluminum. When waves get under the cradle, it causes the wooden bunks to float, putting slack in the cables. To prevent this, extra weight can be added so the wood bunks do not float when the waves hit.

The last common cause of cable issues is incorrect rake (pictured to the right). “Rake” is the angle (forward or aft when looking at the lift depending on the direction of the boat) at which the lift is set. This can cause either the front or rear of the boat to lift first, un-spooling the cables, once again possibly overlapping and cutting the cables.

If you encounter any of these issues with cables, please call our office at (941) 629-4900 to schedule a cable repair/replacement with our service crew.

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