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Buying a boat lift, and looking for reviews


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32 replies to this topic

#1
birsling79

birsling79
  • Trailer Polisher
  • 104 posts
  • Joined July 31, 2009
  • Location: Spring Grove, IL
  • Boat: 2005 Wakesetter VLX
I managed to find a slip, so now I need to purchase a lift. In Northern IL/Southern WI, Shoremaster and Shore Station are the big names, but I am seeing others popping up. I have found local dealers for Lakeside Products, Craftlander, and am hearing of a dealer for Northern Lights. What do you guys use for lifts? Anybody have the pros and cons to pick one name over another?

I realize I really only need a 4000#/108" wide lift, but I have one dealer talking to me about a 4500#/120". Any advantage/disadvantage to the larger lift for my 2005 VLX?

Thanks again, in advance, for your opinions and help

#2
h2oski

h2oski
  • Ballast Buddy
  • 21 posts
  • Joined March 25, 2008
Get the Bigger lift! Your boat already weighs in @ 3600lbs add in a couple people gear and the fact thats it lift 4000lbs under ideal conditions is cutting it close. I have a Sunstream and it works great.

I managed to find a slip, so now I need to purchase a lift. In Northern IL/Southern WI, Shoremaster and Shore Station are the big names, but I am seeing others popping up. I have found local dealers for Lakeside Products, Craftlander, and am hearing of a dealer for Northern Lights. What do you guys use for lifts? Anybody have the pros and cons to pick one name over another?

I realize I really only need a 4000#/108" wide lift, but I have one dealer talking to me about a 4500#/120". Any advantage/disadvantage to the larger lift for my 2005 VLX?

Thanks again, in advance, for your opinions and help



#3
kiley

kiley
  • A Decent Third
  • 329 posts
  • Joined June 06, 2006
  • Location: Belleville, MI
  • Boat: 05 iRide

I managed to find a slip, so now I need to purchase a lift. In Northern IL/Southern WI, Shoremaster and Shore Station are the big names, but I am seeing others popping up. I have found local dealers for Lakeside Products, Craftlander, and am hearing of a dealer for Northern Lights. What do you guys use for lifts? Anybody have the pros and cons to pick one name over another?

I realize I really only need a 4000#/108" wide lift, but I have one dealer talking to me about a 4500#/120". Any advantage/disadvantage to the larger lift for my 2005 VLX?

Thanks again, in advance, for your opinions and help


I have the Lakeside 4500# 108" lift. I have had it for 2 years and had no problems with it. It took about 3 hours to assemble and get it in the water with myself and a couple of friends.

One of the guys down the lake liked mine so much he decided to get one of his own.

#4
Jimmypooh

Jimmypooh
  • Crew Devotee
  • 1,405 posts
  • Joined September 03, 2008
  • Location: Grayslake, IL
  • Boat: 2006 Malibu VLX
Boat House View Boat House
When are you planning on purchasing? Are you looking at used? I might have a lift for sale that I've been using on my 06 VLX (provided we finish our boathouse lift soon). It will likely need new cables. It is a 4K lift 104 inch electric with red canopy. We also installed guide poles on it. Lift is on Pistakee Lake.

Edited by Jimmypooh, March 21, 2011 - 11:02 AM.


#5
birsling79

birsling79
  • Trailer Polisher
  • 104 posts
  • Joined July 31, 2009
  • Location: Spring Grove, IL
  • Boat: 2005 Wakesetter VLX

I have the Lakeside 4500# 108" lift. I have had it for 2 years and had no problems with it. It took about 3 hours to assemble and get it in the water with myself and a couple of friends.

One of the guys down the lake liked mine so much he decided to get one of his own.


Cool, so you're happy with the Lakeshore (I think it's Lakeshore, not Lakeside like I said originally)? They seem to be really competitively priced. Do you have guides? Carpeted or foam/spring poles?

Jimmy, you have a PM

Thanks guys!

#6
kiley

kiley
  • A Decent Third
  • 329 posts
  • Joined June 06, 2006
  • Location: Belleville, MI
  • Boat: 05 iRide
Here is the company mine came from, lakeside lift: http://www.lakesidelift.com/

I don't have guides, where I am at, there is very little current. The cove is pretty well protected.

I did add the ski boat bunks, they are a little higher off the cross members for more clearance.


Cool, so you're happy with the Lakeshore (I think it's Lakeshore, not Lakeside like I said originally)? They seem to be really competitively priced. Do you have guides? Carpeted or foam/spring poles?

Jimmy, you have a PM

Thanks guys!



#7
Glen Lake Malibu

Glen Lake Malibu
  • Wrench Monkey
  • 32 posts
  • Joined May 06, 2010
  • Location: Glen Arbor, Michigan
  • Boat: 2008 Sunscape LSV
My lift is a Floe Brand. Pricey, but loaded with options. It's a screw drive with leveling legs that adjust with a power driver. No problems in three years of ownership. Options include solar charger for the duel batterys, guide posts, full length bunks,remote lift key fob,many canopy options.

#8
Boatman

Boatman
  • Deck Hand
  • 245 posts
  • Joined September 07, 2005
  • Location: Stony Lake, Michigan
  • Boat: 2007 RLXi
I have a Harbor Master Elite. There are several on our small lake and I haven't heard a bad word about any of them. The West Michigan area is loaded with them.They are made in the Grand Rapids MI area. I love mine and would highly recommend you at least look at one before you buy. They don't need very much water.

http://www.harbor-ma...ftsmainpage.htm

#9
birsling79

birsling79
  • Trailer Polisher
  • 104 posts
  • Joined July 31, 2009
  • Location: Spring Grove, IL
  • Boat: 2005 Wakesetter VLX

I have a Harbor Master Elite. There are several on our small lake and I haven't heard a bad word about any of them. The West Michigan area is loaded with them.They are made in the Grand Rapids MI area. I love mine and would highly recommend you at least look at one before you buy. They don't need very much water.

http://www.harbor-ma...ftsmainpage.htm


The Harbor Master lift looks very nice, but they don't seem to make a 108". I called the marina, and my slip spot will only fit a 10' wide (outside width), which seems to limit me to most companies 108". I'll have to call them to check the dimensions. What kind of money do they run?

#10
augie09

augie09
  • Beyond Help
  • 854 posts
  • Joined October 02, 2010
  • Location: Kansas City
  • Boat: '14 LSV
Boat House View Boat House
Get a remote for your lift :biggrin:

Not sure about others lifts ,but our lift dealer said if we leave the lift in the water while we go out for 4+ hours, it can get trashed from waves. We always put ours up after unloading the boat. Thinking of getting a remote this year so we don't have unload one person and wait for them to lower the lift.

Edited by augie09, March 22, 2011 - 05:57 AM.


#11
birsling79

birsling79
  • Trailer Polisher
  • 104 posts
  • Joined July 31, 2009
  • Location: Spring Grove, IL
  • Boat: 2005 Wakesetter VLX

My lift is a Floe Brand. Pricey, but loaded with options. It's a screw drive with leveling legs that adjust with a power driver. No problems in three years of ownership. Options include solar charger for the duel batterys, guide posts, full length bunks,remote lift key fob,many canopy options.


Floe looks like the same issue as the Harbor Master. They look nice, but the 4000# lift is too wide for the slip. Screw drive looks like a very nice system though

#12
Indyxc

Indyxc
  • Beyond Help
  • 810 posts
  • Joined December 08, 2010
  • Location: Keego Harbor, MI
  • Boat: 2006 Mastercraft X2

I have the Lakeside 4500# 108" lift. I have had it for 2 years and had no problems with it. It took about 3 hours to assemble and get it in the water with myself and a couple of friends.

One of the guys down the lake liked mine so much he decided to get one of his own.



I'm picking my lakeside lift up today. Was local and fairly cheap so I decided to go with it. Did you get the canopy? How does the tower fit under it?

Also, I didn't order the ski bunk kit? Says standard, so I am not sure if that is what I got. Dave said the standard is 19.5" inches off the cross beam, which I thought would be plenty?

What do you think? How did you setup your bunks?

Thanks!

Edited by Indyxc, March 22, 2011 - 08:52 AM.


#13
augie09

augie09
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  • Joined October 02, 2010
  • Location: Kansas City
  • Boat: '14 LSV
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I'm picking my lakeside lift up today. Was local and fairly cheap so I decided to go with it. Did you get the canopy? How does the tower fit under it?

Also, I didn't order the ski bunk kit? Says standard, so I am not sure if that is what I got. Dave said the standard is 19.5" inches off the cross beam, which I thought would be plenty?

What do you think? How did you setup your bunks?

Thanks!


my bunk arms are 20" high

#14
kiley

kiley
  • A Decent Third
  • 329 posts
  • Joined June 06, 2006
  • Location: Belleville, MI
  • Boat: 05 iRide

I'm picking my lakeside lift up today. Was local and fairly cheap so I decided to go with it. Did you get the canopy? How does the tower fit under it?

Also, I didn't order the ski bunk kit? Says standard, so I am not sure if that is what I got. Dave said the standard is 19.5" inches off the cross beam, which I thought would be plenty?

What do you think? How did you setup your bunks?

Thanks!


I do not have the canopy, so I cannot speak to that.

I _think_ that there were different bunks that sat right on the cross members standard when I bought mine, or they were very close to the cross members. The 19.5 seems to be about right for what mine bunks are.

I set my bunks up just like the ones on the trailer.

#15
Indyxc

Indyxc
  • Beyond Help
  • 810 posts
  • Joined December 08, 2010
  • Location: Keego Harbor, MI
  • Boat: 2006 Mastercraft X2

I do not have the canopy, so I cannot speak to that.

I _think_ that there were different bunks that sat right on the cross members standard when I bought mine, or they were very close to the cross members. The 19.5 seems to be about right for what mine bunks are.

I set my bunks up just like the ones on the trailer.


Okay cool, thank you the info. I picked up the lift today (nasty weather of course), and Dave gave me the higher ski bunks since I told him what my boat was. Interesting that someone here owns one as well. When I was searching the only info I could find was on a mastercraft forum, and called a local guy that had one.

Which model did you buy? I got the 4500 lb lift, with the 108 inch beam. I kind of wanted the 116, but figured 108 was OK. For your bunks did you set them all the way up (extended the 19.5 inches?) to clear the gorilla fins? For the bunks, did you do the bunks on the outside of the trailer (my trailer has 4, inside, outside)?

Any pictures of your boat on the lift?

For anyone that is interested, here is the lift we are talking about:

http://www.lakesidel...com/details.htm

I paid $2539 for a new lift, plus ~$1700 for canopy. Picking up Canopy in summer though.

Edited by Indyxc, March 22, 2011 - 04:21 PM.


#16
kiley

kiley
  • A Decent Third
  • 329 posts
  • Joined June 06, 2006
  • Location: Belleville, MI
  • Boat: 05 iRide

Okay cool, thank you the info. I picked up the lift today (nasty weather of course), and Dave gave me the higher ski bunks since I told him what my boat was. Interesting that someone here owns one as well. When I was searching the only info I could find was on a mastercraft forum, and called a local guy that had one.

Which model did you buy? I got the 4500 lb lift, with the 108 inch beam. I kind of wanted the 116, but figured 108 was OK. For your bunks did you set them all the way up (extended the 19.5 inches?) to clear the gorilla fins? For the bunks, did you do the bunks on the outside of the trailer (my trailer has 4, inside, outside)?

Any pictures of your boat on the lift?

For anyone that is interested, here is the lift we are talking about:

http://www.lakesidel...com/details.htm

I paid $2539 for a new lift, plus ~$1700 for canopy. Picking up Canopy in summer though.


Ironically I think it was about this exact same weather when I picked my lift up.

I have the 4500# 108" lift. My bunks are all the way up. I didnt want to find out I needed them higher the hard way. I assume you have an Eagle trailer, which is the same as mine. I set the bunks to match the longer set of bunks which run the length of the boat, inside I think.

I don't have any pictures of the boat on the lift, sorry.

#17
Sixball

Sixball
  • Spam Happy
  • 3,933 posts
  • Joined December 04, 2006
  • Location: Wixom lake Gladwin county Mi.
  • Boat: malibu Response lxi 07
Boat House View Boat House
You will want the bunks around 22 inches on the inside. I think this will match up to the boat stringers.

#18
birsling79

birsling79
  • Trailer Polisher
  • 104 posts
  • Joined July 31, 2009
  • Location: Spring Grove, IL
  • Boat: 2005 Wakesetter VLX
Does anyone have any experience with the Craftlander products? I like the guy at the local marina that sells them, and he seems to be the most helpful of the people I have dealt with (outside of this forum of course). Though I know this is probably not the right reason to buy a lift, it's nice to spend money with somebody that is nice and helpful.

I wasn't fond of the Lakeside dealer I called, but if his product is better, I can go that direction

#19
Buwannabe

Buwannabe
  • Deck Hand
  • 283 posts
  • Joined April 19, 2005
  • Location: Southeast Michigan
  • Boat: 2011 SANTE 210

Does anyone have any experience with the Craftlander products? I like the guy at the local marina that sells them, and he seems to be the most helpful of the people I have dealt with (outside of this forum of course). Though I know this is probably not the right reason to buy a lift, it's nice to spend money with somebody that is nice and helpful.

I wasn't fond of the Lakeside dealer I called, but if his product is better, I can go that direction



I'd be interested as well. Just received an estimate from a craftlander dealer minutes ago.

#20
Buwannabe

Buwannabe
  • Deck Hand
  • 283 posts
  • Joined April 19, 2005
  • Location: Southeast Michigan
  • Boat: 2011 SANTE 210
Strangest thing. I have contacted several dealers who also sell Shorestation yet not a single one has tried to sell me a Shorestation brand lift. Are they that much more expensive or are they a pain to setup/operate? Received qoutes for a couple Great Lakes, a Craftlander, Lakeside and a Floe. The Floe was a couple grand more than the others. I have no idea how much a Shorestation is because nobody will quote one for me!




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