How to Choose a Boat Sling

image of boat strapsIt might not feel like spring in many parts of the country, but we’re more than ready for warm weather and fun on the water.

If you’ll be in the market for a boat sling this summer, we just made it a little easier to find one. We’ve updated our boat lift slings page with a simple form to request a quote for a custom boat sling. Whether you’re looking for a smaller sling for a canoe or kayak, etc., have a larger sailboat or fishing boat, or even need an industrial-strength boat sling like the one shown here, we can make one to fit your needs.

You can see our new boat lifting slings quote request form on our page: Boat Slings & Boat Lift Straps page.

Because there are so many varieties, sizes and options available for a boat sling lift, each sling is custom-made to a customer’s exact specifications. Keep in mind that not all boats are recommended to be lifted with slings; you should first consult with the manufacturer of the boat for proper instruction. When deciding on the right boat lift sling for your needs, there are a few major choices to take into consideration, plus many add-on options as well.

Nylon boat straps or polyester boat straps?

Polyester is a popular choice for a sling boat lift because of it stretches very little, providing more control than nylon, which can have a “snap back” effect when under load. Polyester stretches just 3% at working load limit, and maintains 100% of the work load limit even when wet. Nylon stretches approximately 6-8% under load and can lose 15% of its working load limit when wet. Both polyester and nylon are tough, durable fabrics but it’s important to consider the environmental conditions: polyester is resistant to acids that are typically used to clean the hulls of boats. However, nylon is a better choice if the webbing will be exposed to caustic materials.

Number of plys

The number of plys needed for your boat sling will be determined by the type of boat and the weight of the boat. Typically, smaller recreational boats require just one or two plys of webbing, while larger boats will need up to four plys.

Other options for boat lift straps

image of boat sling

Chine sleeves. Also sometimes called boat pads, these sliding pads can be moved to protect rub rails and boat chines when the boat is being lifted.

Keel pad. This extra sleeve of webbing protects the sling from abrasions or cuts during a lift. Lead weights can also be sewn into the pad, so the sling will sink when it’s placed on the water.

Edge guard. Wear-resistant material is applied to the sling’s edges as a way to extend the life of the sling.

Disconnects. Allows the sling to be removed from the boat without having to detach the boat sling from the lifting device.

Knowing how to choose a boat lifting sling can be confusing, especially with so many options available. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our product specialists at 800-660-3585– they’ll be glad to help.