Generally, we recommend storing the lift with the bunks raised above the water in its over-center, locked position. This prevents the bunks from unwanted slime and other build-up that happens naturally over time.
In special circumstances where the lift is sheltered away from the general public, and there is no risk of bodily injury from swimmers, you may store the lift in the lowered position. This may help extend the lifespan of the cylinder(s).
For aluminum boatlift models, if you experience a lot of wave action during the winter months, you will want to leave your boatlift in the “up” position because aluminum is a lightweight material and more prone to shifting.