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Old 01-31-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
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Default Advice on Boat Lifts

New to the lake and boating. I just purchased a 24' runabout and I have a sturdy year round dock. I'am planning on a lift for several reasons including a fair amnt of wake water. What are the experiences, good and bad, with the various types cable driven, sealift etc...
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:08 PM   #2
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ShoreStation and Hewitt both have the large diameter wheel handles for manually raising/lowering and both are well made, all aluminum, traditional cable hoist lifts. For a 24' boat which weighs a lot, you will most definitely want to get probably a new 110v, house current, or 12v, car battery, rubber wheel motor from ShoreStation or Hewitt that powers the big wheel handle up or down by pressing the toggle button. The 110v motor is very strong and powerful ....... the 12v motor is slow and steady.....and the car battery needs to be recharged from time to time.....like once/month.
Beside being less costly than the hydraulic lifts, the cable lifts give you a 10' x 4" horizontal aluminum beam support, under foot, on both sides, port and starboard, on the lift, which helps a lot for removing/replacing the cover, and accessing the boat. Something you do not get with the hydraulic, bunk support lifts.

Every once in a blue moon, a terrible tragedy occurs when someone drowns due to electrocution problems with the 110v motor power supply line so's the power line, ground fault interrupter safety is not to be assumed, and can be tested with a ten dollar, red light-green light tester, that's easily available.

In Lake Winnipesaukee you can keep an aluminum boat lift running smooth for years and decades by rubbing vaseline onto the stainless steel cable, pulleys, vinyl, and moving parts, once a year.

Unless you use an ice-eater for ice protection, a cable boat lift capable to hold a 24' boat maybe weighs in at 500-lbs, is about 10'x10'x 6' height?, and needs to be removed and reinstalled in the water, twice every year.

Plus, it is not too difficult to find a decent used traditional cable boat lift on craigslist, in boats or boat parts, and they cost a lot less than the hydraulic models. Even an el cheapo, broken down, cable boat lift bought for short money on craigslist can be restored with a new stainless cable, and whatever new parts needed from the original maker, or with pulleys from Lowe's, or from the hardware store. Cable boat lifts are like a giant erector set and are relatively easy to repair.... unlike the very pricey hydraulic scissors lifts.

Any local nitwit can do it! ......

So, all things considered, maybe you be better off with a mooring and a tiny, little rowboat tender?

......or, for a boat lift that's really, really different; here's the floating AirBerth - So easy to use... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFcQcuYDG4E
Down & out, livn that Walmart side of the lake!

Last edited by fatlazyless; 02-01-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:39 PM   #3
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Default Talk to an expert....

Congrats on the new boat, Eyeboat!

Certainly not discounting the opinions you will receive here, but I'd highly recommend speaking to an expert on the topic. Watermark is an excellent group of folks and can give you the info u need to make an informed decision, as well has handle the required permitting if you bought one.

I am in a turbulent area and really wanted a boatlift. The Sunstream solar-powered unit is the way to go, IMO. Things to consider:

1) Depth of water at your dock at its lowest point in the fall, vs. the size of the boatlift needed. In my case, I have a 27' boat, which requires a large lift that even all the way down would be above the water level at my dock in the fall. Unfortunately, this was a non-starter for me.

2) Ability to get the lift in and out of the water in the spring and fall. These units are pretty big and heavy. Does your waterfront allow easy access in and out of the water? Do you have a beach or a rock wall? Do you have someone to help you each season or would you outsource it?

3) Cost. They are not cheap. You can usually find a used one through Watermark or the other dock companies, but you are still looking at thousands of dollars, not hundreds.

If you have plenty of depth, plenty of dough, and easy access in and out of the water, a boatlift is a great invention! Good luck in your research and decision!
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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The yearly cost and aggravation of removing, storing and re-installing a boat lift every year is not something you'll be looking forward to.
I would have a permanent lift with pilings and that's the end of it. The cost of running a circulator is not excessive. Also, with a permanent lift you have the option of installing a boat canopy.
Life is good when you can drive your boat right onto the lift and don't have to work up a sweat putting the canvas back on.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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You can also apply to DES for a permit to install a canopy on a seasonal boat lift. I used to have a canopy on mine.
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