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Lower-than-average snowfall, a lack of annual precipitation, and average summer temperatures soaring into the high 30s has led to a Level 3 drought here in the Okanagan. If you’re among the many other homeowners with an Okanagan Lake boat lift, you may not be able to get your boat into or out of the water. We can help.

Here’s what you need to know about the Drought Level 3 classification:

Drought Facts

It can be alarming to discover that your Okanagan Lake lift doesn’t reach low enough to drop your boat in the water or your lift is too high to drive onto it. You’re not alone. Currently, the Okanagan has entered into a level 3 drought. This means water restrictions are in effect and lake levels have dropped drastically. In fact, the water level has been dropping roughly half an inch each day.

At Shoreline, we record Okanagan Lake water levels every single day, and according to our records, we haven’t seen the water this low in more than 20 years.

Okanagan drought - What to do with your lakefront dock

Boat Lift Solutions

Lowering the lift

Though we can’t lower all lifts, we may be able to lower some of them. However, we do not recommend lowering single mast lifts. If you’re unsure, give us a call and we’ll provide our recommendations or come out and take a look as soon as we’re able to do so. As you can imagine, we’re getting a lot of calls from concerned dock and lift owners. But we’ll do our best to get to you as soon as we can!

Preparing for lower levels

If you’re concerned about boat accessibility, we recommend sending us a photo of your lift. From your photo, we’ll be able to determine the riser size and/or lifting beam. From there, we can analyze the water depths at the lift locations to ensure the boat can be removed in the future should the lake level continue to drop.

Purchase an anchor kit

We’re currently ordering as many anchor kits as we can get our hands on; however, we’ve had to create a waiting list since the demand is so high. If this is a solution that would be a good fit for you and your waterfront setup, please contact us as soon as possible.

Please note: Dredging is prohibited in the Okanagan and may come with a hefty fine, so we don’t recommend this as a solution.

Stay Calm

If you’re worried about damage to your boat or boat lift during a drought, don’t force your boat on or off the lift. Just keep your boat wherever it is for the time being. If it’s in the water, use a buoy or anchor system to keep it safe. If it’s in your lift, leave it there until a solution can be found.

For all kinds of inquiries, please reach out at your convenience. We’ll do everything we can to help you weather this dry spell.