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Marine Railway for my Bu


Johnny Response

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Happy New year!

The lake I'm on here in Canada, Shuswap, is a bit of a nightmare for boat hoists as the water level fluctuates dramatically from spring to fall. Like 8 or 9 feet. So a typical stationary boat hoist is not really feasible. I am aware of the floating lifts but the storms that blow up on that lake are unbelievable.

I've seen boats (and their anchors) dragged down the beach by the strong wind and surf, tearing up cabin water lines.

I'd rather get the boat right onto shore without having my truck down at the beach every day.

So another alternative is a MARINE RAILWAY. Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions on a design or manufacturer?

. . . Johnny

Edited by Johnny Response
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I'm in Ontario and a lot of people use the Naylor marine railways for their inboards. I'm not sure, but I think there site is naylorsystems.com They build a good rail system and have a good reputation. Hope this helps.

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Happy New year!

The lake I'm on here in Canada, Shuswap, is a bit of a nightmare for boat hoists as the water level fluctuates dramatically from spring to fall. Like 8 or 9 feet. So a typical stationary boat hoist is not really feasible. I am aware of the floating lifts but the storms that blow up on that lake are unbelievable.

I've seen boats (and their anchors) dragged down the beach by the strong wind and surf, tearing up cabin water lines.

I'd rather get the boat right onto shore without having my truck down at the beach every day.

So another alternative is a MARINE RAILWAY. Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions on a design or manufacturer?

. . . Johnny

I don't have any first-hand experience w/ these types of "railways," but our neighbor on the lake in WI had a rail type system for his boats. Two metal tracks per boat that ran up about 15 yards into his boat house. The boats were driven onto carpeted bunks on wheels and pulled by cable winch into the garage. The two rails were mounted on a concrete path and ran into the water about another 10 yards (for the fluctuation in water levels). No idea what kind of outfit this was and I don't live there anymore to find out for ya either Dontknow.gif I do know that it always seemed like sort of a pain in the arse having them steel rails in the yard (always tripping on them and the kids had to be watched quite closely around them). Other than that it seemed like a sorta neat system for your predicament :)

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Happy New year!

The lake I'm on here in Canada, Shuswap, is a bit of a nightmare for boat hoists as the water level fluctuates dramatically from spring to fall. Like 8 or 9 feet. So a typical stationary boat hoist is not really feasible. I am aware of the floating lifts but the storms that blow up on that lake are unbelievable.

I've seen boats (and their anchors) dragged down the beach by the strong wind and surf, tearing up cabin water lines.

I'd rather get the boat right onto shore without having my truck down at the beach every day.

So another alternative is a MARINE RAILWAY. Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions on a design or manufacturer?

. . . Johnny

I don't have any first-hand experience w/ these types of "railways," but our neighbor on the lake in WI had a rail type system for his boats. Two metal tracks per boat that ran up about 15 yards into his boat house. The boats were driven onto carpeted bunks on wheels and pulled by cable winch into the garage. The two rails were mounted on a concrete path and ran into the water about another 10 yards (for the fluctuation in water levels). No idea what kind of outfit this was and I don't live there anymore to find out for ya either Dontknow.gif I do know that it always seemed like sort of a pain in the arse having them steel rails in the yard (always tripping on them and the kids had to be watched quite closely around them). Other than that it seemed like a sorta neat system for your predicament :)

There is a housing development on the delta that uses that same system. It looks like most built them themselves.

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Where is Rutat when you need him.. isn't he on that lake?

Yup. And he has a railway.

Johnny, do you by chance know Tommy Boy®? He has an RLX w/purple gel.

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On this side of the border (in Washington state) they are not permitted any more. Something about the big iron rails rusting in the water. I thought it was a national thing with the EPA, but who knows. There are still quite a few of them around but apparantly their grandfathered in.

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Happy New year!

The lake I'm on here in Canada, Shuswap, is a bit of a nightmare for boat hoists as the water level fluctuates dramatically from spring to fall. Like 8 or 9 feet. So a typical stationary boat hoist is not really feasible. I am aware of the floating lifts but the storms that blow up on that lake are unbelievable.

I've seen boats (and their anchors) dragged down the beach by the strong wind and surf, tearing up cabin water lines.

I'd rather get the boat right onto shore without having my truck down at the beach every day.

So another alternative is a MARINE RAILWAY. Does anyone have experience with these? Any suggestions on a design or manufacturer?

. . . Johnny

Hijack-

We rented a house on little Lake Shuswap a few years back. That was sweet! We'd mosey on out finally at about 10 am and the lake was still glass every day in August, but even then, 2nd or 3rd week of the month and the lake was almost too low to use the dock anymore (on a cable).

-Unjack

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I'll check out your suggestions guys. Thanks, . . . any other ideas?

Jack, no I don't know Tommy. He's on the Shuswap?

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post-30-1199715624_thumb.jpg

Above is a pic of his railway, complete with shoreline litter. Shocking.gif

Here is a link to the thread from which I borrowed it.

And here is the original "Railroad" thread. Of course, this all took place prior to the 'Draft Wars' when a bunch of us ran him out of town on a rail. Hasn't set foot back in this town since. Throwpc.gif

Oh Tommy. . . T o m m y . . . ? Partytime.gif

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Could you just put the boat on a trailer and attach the trailer to a winch? I've seen people do that on a few lakes here in texas.

You mentioned a truck, so not sure if you already have concrete laid down... of course this system would mean having a concrete ramp in the water. If already there it might be easier than building a railway.

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The unit built by Tommy looks perfect and just what I had in mind. Yes he is on my lake and I've talked to him in the past, now that I think of it. I'll need to go see his set-up and maybe get his plans, then I'll spark up the welder.

Thanks again for your help guys!

Tommy!!

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I've seen many implementations and have used a few home grown ones for railways and have had issues with ALL of them. Ours was the kind where the rail wheels go down a mini train track setup, if it's windy or rough it's a hassle depending on the angle/depth. Our problem is the front of the boat will be out fo the water and the back still somewhat floating. If it is windy or rough out, the back can float up and around causing the front to act as a pivot point and pull the back wheels off of the track. I've seen people use groved rails where the U shape rail hold the wheels in, this fixed the problem we have but if you have sand, rock, muck that can get in there, that's another issue.

A couple people I know hooked a trailer to a winch and just poured a slab, that worked really well! I use our rail system twice a year. To put the boat in (it stays in the boat house all winter) and then move it to the shore station. And then in the fall, I put it back on the lift and pull it into the house.

Here's an '06 sitting on our homebrew setup:

http://www.dizzyg.net/photos/albums/early-...05/IMG_0453.jpg

http://www.dizzyg.net/photos/albums/early-...05/IMG_0457.jpg

http://www.dizzyg.net/photos/albums/early-...05/IMG_0459.jpg

I'm not a fan of these types of things at all

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Good point about the trolly floating off the rails, I've heard of this being one of the major issues. Another one for me would be the length of rails into the water since the water drops so much by September. Including the distance into a future boat-house, almost 200ft. Yikes!

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we had to put a 10' extension onto ours a few years ago when the water got really low. It was a major undertaking as getting to the track and removing/adding things in 8' of water is difficult. Picking the tracks up would be worse. So we tied off to the end of the track and used the BU to drag it out 10', then added the section in the boat house.

If our boat didn't knock the back wheels off the track every other time we use it, I'd use that system all the time. It was good peace of mind having the boat inside all the time, but it was a lot more work. We live on a point between a very busy bay and the busiest/roughest spot on the lake. On a weekend or when it's windy, that thing is going to come off, there's no IF about it. We would even leave the rear ballast tanks and 400lbs of lead in the rear until it stopped floating to try to keep it down, it helped as long as a big wave/gust didn't come by. We adjust the whole layout of the dolly and where the wheels are, which helped a bit, but it really wasn't all that fun. Keep in mind, a good winch that is rated to pull your boat around is going to be costly. Using a lesser one nearly killed our boat when the winch died and let the boat start to freefall from the entrance of the boat house. About half way down the track, it re-engaged and stopped the dolly. The momentum of the boat slid the boat backward a bit, enough so the majority of the engine weight was off the back side and it started to tip up and slide off onto the track/rocky bottom. I went diving onto the nose of the boat in a sprint/race to save it. Ended up having to tie it down and get a lot of help from neighbors to lower it down safely and then replace the winch :( I'm scared enough using that system twice a year.

We had used this sort of system since before I was born so early 70's with much smaller boats. It's been slowly upgraded, replaced and rebuilt. We've seen what other people do, asked how it works for them and even have friends with similar purchases setups. It's not fun to deal with.

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I also wanted to mention that the winch we are using is super beefy and it still has troubles occasionally getting the boat going back up if we stop it at a higher degree of incline on the spot. You'll need some heavy duty wiring as well. Just info to consider, I'm happy to answer any questions related as we've dealt with lots of this over the years. I've been wresting with that and watching my dad wrestle with the setup for 30 years. As soon as I had the money and ability, I bought a lift! If I couldn't/didn't do that I like to think I'd have gone with a launch and a winch that just pulled up the trailer. I'm sure that has its own problems but I do know of a couple people that did that for many years without issues other than greasing and otherwise maintaining the trailer.

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Sounds like it could be a lot of trouble in rough water, which we have. Maybe a trailer and a little 4x4 like a Suzuki Samurari would be the simplest solution.

thanks for the feedback,

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The people I saw using a trailer used an electric winch. Just be sure it is rated to haul your boat. I called the guys at Warn (they make winches) and told them what I needed and how heavy the boat is. It's rated to be able to pick our boat up from a stop, straight up all day long. One of the ones we had used only worked under full load for 10 min then you had to let it cool. That one died after 1 summer and was the one that nearly took the boat with.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We custom made one, and it is fine, except when it manages to sneak its way out of the tracks, then its a real pain to put back on the tracks (4 weels per side, nothing like feeling around with your feet or hands at 5 ft. under to see if its in yet).

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