Installing a boat lift canopy over the lift in which you've been storing your boat can offer a lot of protection to anything underneath the canopy, but this only works if the canopy remains in good shape. These structures, while designed to be sturdy, can still encounter problems. Knowing what to look for and what to prepare for will help you keep that canopy in one piece.
While objects closer to the ground are usually more likely to have to weather the effects of raccoon claws, squirrel invasions, and other pest issues, the elevated canopy can occasionally see problems if wildlife can jump onto it from trees, or if birds decide they want to make the canopy their home. You might not be able to trim the trees back from the canopy depending on who owns the dock and the surrounding land, so take time to inspect the canopy's top when you go to the lift to use your boat. Look for scratches, stains, punctures, and so on. Have the canopy patched or replaced as necessary before the damage spreads. You may also want to talk to the dock owners about what their or your insurance might cover if you encounter problems with wildlife.
UV Rays and Harsh Summer Sun
You've got to make sure the canopy material can withstand damage from UV rays. Weak material can dry and crack, allowing sunlight and dust to hit your boat. Once in a while might not be bad, but a permanent crack in the canopy can lead to the UV rays affecting your boat's finish, for example, or to the light causing fading on material on the boat. Just check out the material of the canopy when you buy it -- good brands will be protective brands.
If there's nothing in the boat lift, then the boat lift itself can take off or tip over if wind blows underneath the canopy. That, obviously, can damage the canopy once the boat lift lands on its side or upside down. To protect the canopy from that effect, anchor the boat lift. This can be as simple as sinking stakes into the ground under the shallow water in the dock and tying the boat lift posts to the stakes.
Boat lift canopies can last a long time if taken care of properly. Ensure you can keep your canopy around for years by checking it constantly and keeping it well-anchored.