Monday, October 31, 2016

How do I determine where my boats center of gravity is?

When placing your boat on a FLOE boat lift it is important that the center of gravity is centered on the lift cradle to avoid overloading one of the lifting beams.  An easy way to find the center of gravity is to look at how your boat is positioned on the trailer.  The center of gravity would be just inches ahead of the axle because the trailer needs some tongue weight to tow properly.  If you have tandem axles the center of gravity is just in front of the center gap between the two axles.  On a triple axle the mark is just ahead of the center axle.  It is important to note that this is only true if your trailer is set up correctly.  You also need to pay attention to additional weight like fuel, batteries, and gear.  Think of the axle(s) as the fulcrum point.  Zero tongue weight would put the center of gravity directly over the axle(s).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SDP is a woven fabric and will not support the growth of mildew. Mold and mildew needs “food” to grow on, and polyester isn’t a desirable substance for mold. Dirt or dust on the fabric is a perfect “food” for mildew growth, which makes regular cleaning important.
There is no set time for when a fabric should be cleaned. The local environment has a great deal to do with determining cleaning frequency. Cleaning is required less frequently in a dry environment than in a humid one with heavy foliage cover. SDP has a finish applied to the fabric to deter mold and mildew growth, but does not make it mold-proof. Keeping the fabric free of dirt is important to deter mold growth.
FLOE SDP fabrics will provide excellent protection to your boat from harmful sun exposure. Also, the combination of heat-sealed seams and the water repellent fabric will minimize rain from entering the boat. Heavy and/or persistent rainfall can increase the likelihood that a limited amount of water could pass through the fabric. It is recommend that the canopy be kept taut using FLOE’s horizontal fabric tensioner and Quick-Clip with elastic tension belt system. A taut canopy fabric promotes water runoff and will minimize water penetration. Also, applying water repelling fabric treatments such as 303 may increase the water repellency further.
One of the best ways to keep SDP looking good and to delay the need for deep cleanings is to hose fabric off on a monthly basis with clean water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years. To thoroughly clean SDP fabric, follow these simple steps:
1. Brush off loose dirt.
2. Hose down.
3. Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild natural soap (no detergents).
4. Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
5. Allow soap to soak in.
6. Rinse thoroughly.
7. Air dry completely before storage.
Size permitting, SDP fabric can be cleaned in a large commercial washing machine with mild natural soap and water.
SDP fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for years but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. The fabric manufacturer recommends 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product. Fabric should be re-treated after a thorough cleaning or after five years of use. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ can be purchased at most marine supply stores or online at
If a canopy fabric has any build-up of dust or dirt in the pores and it is in a moist environment where it cannot dry out regularly, it may cause mildew to grow on the fabric. Although this mildew can be removed, it can be very difficult or even impossible to remove the stain on the fabric left by the mildew. With darker colored fabrics, even if such a stain occurred it is much less visible to see.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How can I get an Owner's Manual for my FLOE Product?

Click Here:  FLOE Manuals and Set Up Instructions

Manuals contain Warranty Information, Parts Diagrams and Part Numbers.

What is the proper way to set up my FLOE Dock and/or Boat Lift?

We have some excellent videos on our website that demonstrate how to set up your new FLOE Dock and/or Boat Lift.

Click here:  FLOE Boat Lift and Dock Set Up Videos

Monday, October 24, 2016

What size canopy should I buy for my boat?

The general rule is to add a minimum of 2' to the total length of your boat.  Be sure to include the outboard motor or swim platform that extends off the rear of the boat in your total length measurement.  Our canopy systems can be easily adjusted forward or back to accommodate your boats position on the lift.
How can I tell what size canopy I have?

To determine the width, measure from outside the frame to outside the frame.  Floe offers canopies that are 8, 9, 10, 10.5, and 11.5' wide.  To determine the length, count the spaces between the hoops which are 2'.  If you have 10 spaces it is a 20' canopy.  Your old canopy should also have a tag sewn into an inside corner with year of manufacture and size.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What size plywood & screws are needed to re-deck my ramp and trailer?

FLOE uses #12-14 1 3/4" long square drive self tapping screws to secure 5/8"  treated plywood to the deck.  The ramp uses 1/2" treated plywood.  There are 49 screws used on a 10' trailer. There are also 5 3/16" x 1" rivets used to secure the back channel.  FLOE uses CCA treated plywood. You can also use MCQ but do not use ACQ as there is a chemical in it that corrodes aluminum. Instructions for re-decking your trailer can be found at under instructions and manuals.
How can I identify what model lift I have?

V-Lifts have V braces on both sides and use one battery.  VSD lifts have two batteries and have a V brace on one side and a Ball Screw Tube on the other side.  For exact model of lift see sticker on corner post.  If no sticker use caliper to measure the thickness of the corner post in the adjustment hole.  V2600 .090, V3600 .124, V4600 .187, VSD3800 .125, VSD5000 .188.
What is the best way to store my lift?

Store the lift on level ground away from any potential ice movement.  Wireless receiver, motor, and other accessories can stay on the lift over the winter.  If leaving your batteries on the lift, disconnect your wireless receiver from the ASC control box as it has a continuous draw on the batteries.
How often should I replace the batteries on my lift?

Batteries can last quite a few years if taken care of. In the off season you can leave the batteries on the lift if they are fully charged.  If leaving them in an unheated area it is a good idea to keep a trickle charger on them.  If you store batteries that are not charged in freezing conditions your batteries will freeze and will need to be replaced.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

FLOE Vertical Boat Lifts

Your FLOE lift is probably out of the lake or coming out soon.  This is a great time to inspect your lift.  The four corner posts shouldn't show any evidence of the cradle ever making aluminum to aluminum contact.  If you see scrape marks or damage to water depth decals on the corner posts, something is not assembled correctly.  The corner posts must be square to the main beams and the cradle must be assembled correctly.  Your FLOE dealer can provide more help if needed.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In areas that receive large amounts of snow we recommend disconnecting sections so the docks sit at an angle to allow snow melt to run off during thaw cycles.  15" of compacted snow or 6" of ice will exceed the weight capacity of FLOE dock sections.  Keep sections shoveled as you would the roof of your house.  It may be necessary to store dock sections on their side to avoid snow load damage.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I should introduce myself.  I'm Bob Johnson and I am the Technical Specialist at FLOE International.  I work in the McGregor, MN plant Monday through Friday from 8-5 CST.  If I can't answer your technical question about our products I can find someone close to me who can.  I am surrounded by engineers, machinists, production managers, purchasers, and many other resources to answer your questions.  I can help you with part numbers, diagnostics, assembly, and manuals for everything we make.  I live and play in Minnesota.  I understand how important it is for our products to work correctly 100% of the time.
The end of another boating season is rapidly approaching.  I'd like to remind FLOE VSD lift owners to take care of the thrust bearing and ballscrew assemblies when your lift is removed from the water.  I took the following from our VSD owner's manuals:

GREASING THE BALL-SCREW It is important to grease the ball-screw mechanism annually to prevent significant corrosion. The ball screw must be greased immediately prior to winter storage. To grease the ball-screw, lower the lift bed completely. With the bed lowered, the grease fitting should be visible.It may be necessary to raise the lift slightly to align the grease fitting in the hole. Use a high quality extreme pressure lithium grease and a grease gun fitted with a flush style grease tip. A lithium grease that meets these specifications is AeroShell Gadus S2 V220 2. Apply at least six pumps of grease per greasing. Cycle lift completely up and back down to apply a coat of grease to the ball-screw.)

 GREASING THE THRUST BEARING It is important to grease the thrust bearing mechanism annually to prevent significant corrosion. Apply at least 4 pumps of grease.  See maintenance warning on your lift.

This is an ideal time to inspect the lifting cable and the leveling cables.  Make sure the sheaves (pulleys) turn freely and that the cable is in the sheave grooves in all locations.  Check the torque on all fasteners on your lift. Manuals can be found at