Installing a new tender lift system
Installing a new tender lift system

Discover how a new tender lift system can enhance your sailing experience and make it easier to explore the open sea with your family.

Installing a New Tender Lift System

Welcome to another informative article in our Boat Modifications and Upgrades section. Today, we will be discussing the installation of a new tender lift system for your sailing adventure. A tender lift system is an essential piece of equipment for any boat owner who wants to explore the world with their family. It allows you to easily launch and retrieve your dinghy or tender, making it a crucial component of your overall boating experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the different types of tender lift systems available, the factors to consider when choosing the right system for your boat, and a step-by-step guide on how to install a new tender lift system. So, let’s dive in!

Types of Tender Lift Systems

There are several types of tender lift systems available in the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common types:

1. Davits

Davits are the most traditional and widely used tender lift systems. They consist of two arms that extend from the stern of the boat, with a pulley system to raise and lower the tender. Davits can be manual or electric, and they come in various designs and materials to suit different boat sizes and styles.


  • Simple and reliable design
  • Can be used on a wide range of boat sizes
  • Relatively affordable


  • May obstruct the view from the cockpit
  • Can be challenging to use in rough seas
  • May not be suitable for larger tenders

2. Hydraulic Platforms

Hydraulic platforms are a more modern and sophisticated option for lifting your tender. They consist of a large platform that is lowered into the water using a hydraulic system. The tender is then driven onto the platform, which is raised back up to the boat’s stern.


  • Easy to use, even in rough seas
  • Can accommodate larger tenders
  • Provides additional space for swimming or lounging when not in use


  • More expensive than davits
  • Requires regular maintenance of the hydraulic system
  • May not be suitable for smaller boats

3. Passerelle Systems

Passerelle systems are a combination of a gangway and a tender lift. They consist of a retractable arm that extends from the stern of the boat, with a platform for the tender to rest on. The tender is lifted using a winch system, and the passerelle can also be used as a boarding ramp for passengers.


  • Dual-purpose design saves space on the boat
  • Can be used on a wide range of boat sizes
  • Provides a secure and stable boarding ramp


  • More complex installation process
  • May not be suitable for larger tenders
  • Can be more expensive than davits

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tender Lift System

Before you decide on the type of tender lift system to install on your boat, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Boat Size and Style: The size and style of your boat will play a significant role in determining the type of tender lift system that is suitable for your needs. Smaller boats may not have the space or structural support for a hydraulic platform, while larger boats may require a more robust system to handle the weight of a larger tender.

  2. Tender Size and Weight: The size and weight of your tender will also influence your choice of lift system. Heavier tenders may require a more powerful lifting mechanism, while smaller tenders may be more easily managed with a simpler davit system.

  3. Ease of Use: Consider how easy the system will be to use, especially in rough seas or challenging conditions. Hydraulic platforms and passerelle systems may offer more stability and ease of use compared to traditional davits.

  4. Budget: Your budget will also play a role in your decision. Davits are generally more affordable than hydraulic platforms or passerelle systems, but they may not offer the same level of convenience and functionality.

  5. Maintenance Requirements: Finally, consider the maintenance requirements of the system you choose. Hydraulic systems may require more regular maintenance, while davits and passerelle systems may be more low-maintenance options.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a New Tender Lift System

Once you have chosen the right tender lift system for your boat, it’s time to install it. While the installation process will vary depending on the type of system you choose, here is a general step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you begin the installation process, gather all the necessary tools and materials. This may include:

  • Tender lift system components (davits, hydraulic platform, or passerelle)
  • Mounting hardware
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Wrenches and socket set
  • Marine sealant
  • Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.)

Step 2: Choose the Mounting Location

Determine the best location for your tender lift system on your boat. This will depend on the type of system you have chosen and the size and style of your boat. Ensure that the chosen location provides adequate structural support and does not interfere with other boat functions or equipment.

Step 3: Install the Mounting Hardware

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, install the mounting hardware for your tender lift system. This may involve drilling holes in the boat’s stern or transom and securing the hardware with marine sealant and bolts.

Step 4: Assemble the Tender Lift System

Assemble the components of your tender lift system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may involve attaching the davit arms, hydraulic platform, or passerelle to the mounting hardware.

Step 5: Test the System

Once the tender lift system is fully assembled, test it to ensure that it operates smoothly and can safely lift and lower your tender. Make any necessary adjustments to the system as needed.

Step 6: Secure Your Tender

Finally, secure your tender to the lift system using the appropriate straps, lines, or other securing mechanisms. Ensure that the tender is properly balanced and secure before attempting to lift it.


Installing a new tender lift system on your boat can greatly enhance your sailing experience, making it easier and more convenient to launch and retrieve your dinghy or tender. By carefully considering the type of system that is best suited for your boat and following a step-by-step installation process, you can enjoy the freedom and fulfillment that comes from exploring the open sea with your family.