M-F: 9AM-6PM EST | Sat: Limited Hours

Knowledge Center Menu

The Competition - How JetDock Boat Lifts Measure Up

The patented JetDock modular drive-on docking system is the most versatile, functional and durable boat lift system in the world. But don't take our word for it -- study the options. The more you know, the more likely you are to select one of our JetDock boat lifts.  Learn about the 5 main categories of boat lift devices and be sure to check out our Questions for the Competition before buying.

Boat lift categories

1) "Construction" boat lifting devices like 4-post lifts, elevators and davits that are normally installed by marine contractors with pile-drivers, skilled construction staff, permits, etc.

2) "Standing" boat lifts, like hydraulic, cantilevered or crank-wheel lifts that sit on the sea floor and raise the watercraft up.

3) "Tank-type" boat lifts that have a metal frame suspended over hollow tubes that inflate and deflate with an air pressure motor.

4) One-piece Units for drive-on docking.

5) Other multi-piece, drive-on systems that violate JetDock's patents.

Boat lift construction devices

The market has many construction-type boat lifts available, depending on the region in which you live and the availability of an installer. These boat lifts are, generally, "Four-Post Lifts", "Elevator Lifts", and "Davits".

1 ) Lift boat in air, above rough water. 1 ) Must be professionally installed, often with permitting process.
2 ) Reasonable cost so long as existing infrastructure, need for dredging, etc. already purchased. 2 ) Restrictive access to boat for boarding, covering and cleaning.
3 ) Keep boat high and dry. 3 ) Can block your view of the water.
4 ) Sturdy. 4 ) Rarely for rented marina slips.
  5 ) Mechanical parts, motors, cables, signify maintenance or limited life.
  6 ) Not designed to be modular, expandable or portable.


Standing boat lifts

There are many manufacturers of standing boat lifts.  These devices rest on the sea floor and raise the boat up by hydraulics or a crank wheel.

1 ) Relatively low cost. 1 ) Does not work in deep water.
2 ) Can incorporate a covering to tent the boat. 2 ) Minor water fluctuations only.
3 ) Keeps boat high and dry in steady waters. 3 ) Sea floor must not be too muddy, rocky or inconsistent.
4 ) Somewhat portable. 4 ) Not for most rented marina slips.
5 ) Works in shallow waters. 5 ) Mechanical parts, cables, etc. means maintenance or limited life.
  6 ) Restricted access for covering and maintaining.

Tank-type boat lifts

There are many manufacturers of tank-type boat lifts. These devices have a metal structure attached to tube-shaped tanks that inflate and deflate to raise and lower the boat.

1 ) Keeps boat high and dry. 1 ) Requires operational depth from front to back.
2 ) Can incorporate a covering to tent the boat. 2 ) Mechanical parts, motors, cables, etc. means maintenance or limited life.
3 ) Moderately portable. 3 ) Not designed to be modular or expandable.
4 ) Floats with changing water levels. 4 ) Can block your view.
5 ) Works in deep water.
5 ) Restricted access to bow and stern for covering and maintaining.

One-piece plastic units for drive-on docking

There are several manufacturers of one-piece plastic “slab” style boat lifts for drive-on docking PWCs or small watercraft.

1 ) Low maintenance. 1 ) One-piece means the unit cannot be re-configured to fit changing watercraft sizes and shapes.
2 ) Portable. 2 ) One-piece construction “teeters” at stern during drive-on and for storage.
3 ) Floats with changing water levels. 3 ) Debris and dirt can gather on center "dish" or trough area.
4 ) Works in deep water. 4 ) May need to replace the entire unit if a single spot gets cracked or broken.
5 ) Works in shallow water.

A note about other multi-section drive-on docking systems

There are several manufacturers of multi-section drive-on docking systems that violate the JetDock United States patents 5,529,013, 5,682,833, 5,931,113, 5,947,050, 6,431,106, 6,526,902, 6,745,714, Canadian Patent 2,174,705, and European Patents 0,837,815 and 1,440,003. Patent infringement lawsuits have been filed in Federal Court to stop such illegal copying: see Ocean Innovations, Inc. v. Zeppelin Marine, Inc., Case no. 5:98CV1515, US District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, and Ocean Innovations, Inc. v. Ahern, Case no. 1-03CV0913, US District Court, id. 

Your JetDock representative is knowledgeable about and can provide distinct product differences and quality advantages of the JetDock Boat Lift over these devices. However, since we do not acknowledge these infringing products as being legitimately offered to the marketplace, we have chosen not to enumerate their product features here in this Competition section.

Patent Infringing Boat Lifts

Patent Infringement

"Knock-off" products cost US inventors millions of dollars. Protect Innovation. We do!

N/A 1 ) U.S. Patent laws prohibit the sale or use by customers of infringing products.
N/A 2 ) Infringing manufacturers often do not inform customers of pending litigation on the products, or the problems they could face with purchasing them.
N/A 3 ) The original inventors of a technology tend to understand it best – the quality and functionality will reflect that.
N/A 4 ) Attempts to “engineer-around” patents can fail to accomplish this goal AND put the quality and function of the product at risk.

Find Your Dock Now! ▶

Create Your Own!

By answering a few quick questions we will be able to tell you which dock or boat lift is the perfect fit for you.

Start Now! ▶
Talk to a knowledgeable JetDock representative today! call 800-538-3625
Click chat now and you'll be connected to a representative! chat now
Not sure which boat lift is right for you? Use our online tool. find Your Boat Lift
Not sure if a Jet Dock will work in your location? Check out our capabilites! view Lifts by Location
Knowledge is power! Read all about JetDock and make an informed decision. knowledge center
Before you hit the water check the forcast in your area! view Forecast