Frequently Asked Questions


A retractable boarding platform can be installed to allow for an easier step on to and off of your boat from your dock. Call us today to have a custom boarding platform installed on your dock.
We recommend using synthetic decking materials such as HDPE plastics and Cellular PVC to meet the weather challenges faced by a dock or deck in Florida. These HDPE plastics and Cellular PVC materials last much longer than traditional wood decking materials. They do not require sealing, staining or treating, and are easy to clean. Stokes Marine also installs traditional wood decking.
Every piling installed by Stokes Marine has piling wrap installed on it. This maximizes the life of your piling by reducing the impact of marine bores.The plastic wrap is installed with stainless ring shank nails.

Boat Lifts

If the water depth is deeper on one side of your slip than the other a shallow water cradle will more than likely benefit you. Measure the depth at the center of the lift piling on the shallow side of your slip and compare it to the depth 3' into your slip. This depth difference tells you how much water depth benefit you will get from electing a shallow water cradle. Lifts that are located parallel to or on an angle in relation to the seawall generally benefit from a shallow water cradle. As the water depth on the outside of the lift closer to the center of the canal is generally deeper than the water depth close to the seawall. If your lift is oriented 90 degrees off the seawall the shallow water cradle more than likely will not help you for a water depth utilization purposes.

Aluminum walk boards do not increase the buoyancy of the cradle assembly like a wood walk board. Wood walk boards often times make the cradle float. This is especially the case with aluminum lifts as aluminum is lighter than galvanized steel.

Aluminum walk boards are stronger than wood walk boards and can be extended past the cradles allowing you to better reach the front and rear of the boat when walking on it. Wood walk boards deflect or break with the weight of a person walking on them if they are extending past the cradles more than a few feet.

Aluminum walk boards can be made in a variety of widths allowing more room to traverse along the side of the boat.

Aluminum walk boards can be easily accessorized with steps, stern cross over platforms, hand rails, guide poles, etc.

Aluminum walk boards do not warp, crack, rot, cup, or splinter like wood walk boards. Aluminum handles the exposure to the water and environment better than wood.

Most lifts add approximately 12” to the required water depth over and above the draft of the boat. The exact distance that the lift adds is the height of the cradle beam plus the amount of clearance between the center line of the boat and the top of the cradle. The full height of the bunks on a “V” hull do not affect the additional water amount depth needed as the center line of the boat is lower than the top of the bunks. We recommend the bunks be positioned so the center line of the boat is only 2”-3” above the cradle. If the amount of clearance is higher than it needs to be one will need that much more water depth to float the boat off the lift.
Aluminum will not rust which is the biggest advantage they offer over galvanized lifts in our salt water environment. Aluminum boat lifts have stainless steel hardware where galvanized boat lifts use galvanized steel hardware. Aluminum boat lifts can have the cradle size reduced by cutting the aluminum cradle beams. If you cut or scratch the galvanized coating off a galvanized steel lift it will rust and continue to peel the galvanization off the steel. Aluminum lifts weigh less than galvanized steel lifts as aluminum is lighter than steel. Most lift manufacturers make aluminum boat lifts. The picture below is a rusting galvanized steel cradle. This will not happen with aluminum.

Yes, a pile riser can be installed on top of the pilings. This allows the top beam on the lift to be raised. Which allows for easier boarding of the boat as well as the ability to raise the boat further out of the water. The aluminum pile riser is bolted into the piling and serves as an extension of the piling.

Services and Work Scopes Provided

Stokes Marine begins the process by jetting the piling into the ground using a pump. The piling is then driven into the ground using a drop hammer. Stokes Marine's barge has a custom outfitted free fall winch installed on a marine crane. Pile driving is an in-house effort as the staff are team members of Stokes Marine and the equipment is owned by Stokes Marine.

Yes, Stokes Marine offers a bi-annual service program for $400.00. Leave the servicing and maintenance of your lift and dock to the professionals. Be certain your lift is in great working condition when your boating plans are on the line.

When was the last time your lift was greased? Have you ever changed the belt on your drive unit? Are your pulleys rotating on your cradle ends or are they causing cable damage? Have your cables ever been changed?

Call us today to schedule a complete service on your boat lift to keep it running for years to come!


Stokes Marine carries Longshoreman's and Jones Act workers compensation coverage. Stokes Marine has a $2,000,000.00 general aggregate limit on its general liability policy.

One can verify contractor licenses with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 866-532-1440 and

Long Shoremans and Jones Act coverage is the specific type of workers compensation coverage required. Adequate general liability protection is also needed for the protection of the property owner.

Optional Items on My Contract

Decorative caps that are installed on top of the pilings. Generally, black cone shape caps are selected by our customers. However piling caps are offered in black, white, and copper and are available in a flat or cone shape.

Furring Strips are decorative strips that are secured to the perimeter of the pilings from the decking up to the top of the piling. They offer a great deal of curb appeal as they give the dock a more finished look by having the pilings match the decking. Furring strips are available in a variety of colors to match the decking selected for your project. They are also available in wood however in the most common installations the material and color matches the decking.

A ladder is required by City of Cape Coral Permitting. Stokes Marine recommends a ladder be installed on your dock for added safety in the event one falls in the water. A retractable ladder allows the ladder to be out of the water when not in use. This prevents barnacle growth on the lower rungs of the ladder.

Remote Control & Automatic Shop

GEM Auto-Stop Limit Switch Step by Step Procedure NOTE: Do not attach the old KFLS (all metal box) limit switch mechanically until the lift is completely set up and adjusted. Attaching the old limit switch mechanically before the lift is set up can destroy the limit switch and cause it to malfunction. Tools: Phillips Screwdriver, Small Regular Screwdriver, wire strippers.

  1. Turn off main power to dock. Strip limit switch and GEM’s units limit switch wires.
  2. Connect wires color to color inside the GEM box (or inside a junction box) using wire nuts.
  3. Bypass the limit switch during initial setup by connecting(wire nut) the 3 limit switch wires together inside the GEM box. It is illegal to sell or run an Auto-Stop unit without a limit switch. If your limit switch does not have wires attached, call the boat lift company that sold you the unit. If It is not a GEM limit switch system, it is not covered under warranty or product liability.
  4. Turn the Auto-Stop switch to the Off position.
  5. Get all motors level and running in the same direction. You might have to rewire the motors internally to do this. Remove the motor inspection cover and wire the motors according to GEM’s wire diagrams. Place the lift near the maximum up position.
  6. Check to see that the manual switches and the hand-held transmitter both run in the same direction.
  7. If installing KFLS on a BHUS or BLUS lift check for clearance of bolt see next page. When mounting the limit switch, the fork must be parallel to the pipe (in the center). If the fork is not parallel the limit switch could get damaged and malfunction. On a KFLS remove the two top bolts on the worm gear. Note the holes in the KFLS that match up to the bolts. Some Flat Plate winches have an extra zerk fitting. You can remove it or drill an extra hole in the KFLS plate. For clearance for the motor and limit you might need to drill 2 holes in the top of the motor cover closer to the edge of your cover. Over the years these hole have gotten farther away from the edge and causing interference.
  8. Press up on the transmitter and watch the direction that the 2 cams turn when your lift is at the max height. Release the up button.
  9. Now remove the bypass wire nut and connect the wires from the limit switch to the corresponding colored wires in the Gem enclosure. (Black 18 to Black 18, Red 18 to Red 18, & Blue18 to Blue 18 limit switch wires). Remove Yellow cap by removing 2 screws (these will be loose from GEM Remotes) Adjustment Procedures: To adjust the upper limit use screw 2o-2(blue wire on micro switch). To adjust the lower limit use screw 2o -1(red wire on micro switch).
  10. Your lift should be at the max height if you followed the directions above. Loosen retainer screw 1o(½ TO 3/4 TURN) inside the case as shown in the picture below.
  11. Adjust the upper limit using screw 2o-2(blue wire). Adjust the screw so the cam hits the micro switch roller arm in the direction the cam was turning. You will hear a small click. If the arm is already on the cam, back it away and adjust until you hear the click.
  12. Press the up button. The lift should not turn on. Re-tighten retainer screw!!!!!(1o). You have succeeded in setting in the up limit.
  13. Now press the down button on the transmitter. Watch the cams to see that they travel away from the roller switch arm. If the down switch arm is on the down cam and the unit will not lower go to step 11 and adjust the lower cam away from the roller switch arm. Always re-tighten the retainer screw (1o) before you activate the lift.
  14. When the lift is at the lowest point to be able to launch your boat at low tide, or before the lift hits bottom, or it has only 3 wraps of cable on the drive pipe, adjust the bottom cam screw (2o -1 red wire) until you hear the click. This should engage the micro switch roller arm. Try pressing the down button on the transmitter. The lift should not turn on, congrats you have, set the down limit.
  15. Re-tighten the retainer screw (1o) before you activate the lift.
  16. Turn on the auto-stop switch. The lift should run continuously by pressing the button once. To test the stop feature on the yellow transmitter, press both Blue buttons at the same time, and the lift should stop.

Now test the up limit by letting the lift go all the way up. Check that the lift stops in the correct position. Test run the lift in both directions to ensure proper operation. FAILURE to follow these directions voids all warranties to equipment as written or implied. GEM will assume no responsibility to damages that were a result of improper installation or user error. The GEM Auto-Stop Limit Switch operates on 24 Volts AC. The black wire supplies the 24v power to the contactors: Through normal closed micro switches the blue wire controls UP/OFF and the red wire controls DOWN/OFF. WARNING: Failure to tighten the retainer screw might not allow the cams to move, therefore the LIFT WILL NOT STOP. This could possibly cause damage to the limit switch, boat lift, boat, and/or the entire system. Read the instructions on the yellow face card. For maximum safety, we recommend that the GEM unit be turned off at the power source when not in use. 3-16-06 1o RETAINER SCREW 1LOWER LIMIT 2 UPPER LIMIT 2o 2o 1 2 Inside the Yellow Limit Switch Box CAM ROLLER ARM MICRO SWITCH GEM REMOTES E-DRIVE LIMIT SWITCH INSTRUCTIONS 1. Mount the unit horizontally as shown in the pictures. Note: There is a small drain hole on the bottom. This allows the water to drain. 2. See next page for adjustment instructions. Questions? Call GEM 239-642-0873 bolts for installing KFLS Picture complements of Atlantic lifts of South Dade. Tools: Phillips Screwdriver, Small Regular Screwdriver, for KRLS units you might need a drill and 1/4 metal drill bit. GEM REMOTE’S Rotary LIMIT SWITCH INSTRUCTIONS See other side of page for complete set up instructions. You may need to drill a hole in the drive pipe and attach the bolt that came with the limit switch. Note: bolt past the bearing. 3-15-06 New KFLS 05 might not work on Boat Hoist US Boat Lift US due to extra long bolt check for clearance here Read instructions on the next page for installation KRLS KFLS KELS Install KFLS limit switch when the bolt on the flat plate is horizontal.


The plumbing work is performed once the dock is completed. The plumber does not begin their work until the dock is completely finished. The electrical and plumbing are the last steps of the process.


Yes, an electrical permit is required. Stokes Marine is happy to recommend an electrician or include the electrical work scope in our proposal for your marine project.

The electrical work is performed once the dock is complete. The electrician does not begin their work until the dock is completely finished and the lifts are installed. The electrical and plumbing are the last steps of the process.