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Floating Boat Hoist


Marmonick

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I just recently purchased a shorestation 4000lbs lift with a canopy that is on the other side of the bay that I live on. It is about 400 yards away and would be way easier if I could just float it across but I am very hesitant. If I have to I can bring it around the lake with trailer but i think this would be a PITA. Anyone ever floated a hoist this far and how did you do it? pics would be great! I just dont want to attempt this and then be fishing my hoist out of the middle of the lake because it tipped or something crazy. Any help is greatly appreciated. Rockon.gif

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I would not hesitate to float the lift, much easier than lugging it to a trailer. I do this twice a year with old tractor tire innertubes (very large) and simply put them uner the bracing and then inflate. Now, with my cantilever lift it is a little easier than with my dad's vertical lift. With the vertical, an easy solution is to tie the lift frame to the main frame right about at water left so you can squeeze the innertube under it.

Sorry no pics of the operation, but it is quite simple. If I was moving over deep water, I'd probably overkill with innertubes and use 4 instead of only using 2 like I do for the short move across shallow water.

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I have seen guys float stuff on those hard plastic cubes used for making piers and docks. If the shore station is already in the water it would but a pain to get them underneath.

Large tire tubes would be the way to go. Tie a long rope onto the rig with a plastic jug on the end just incase things go wrong and it sinks. Pick a super calm day.

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I was thinking about using 4 or 6 tubes that you use to take the kids out on and then strapping them to the frame. Good idea on using a safety line with a plastic jug, but hopefully wont need it!!! Cry.gif

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MalibuNation

The way we get new lifts to people on the lake is to float the lifts on row boats and then tow the row boat slowly on a calm day in the am before a lot of boats are making a chop.

One year my boat lift got so stuck in muck and the lake had risen rapidly that I couldn't get the lift out as there was no way to get good footing in the deep water ... ended getter two of these ... but smaller. Each have lifting capacity of 500 lbs and could easly float my 4000lb Shore Station w/o it's canopy. Downside ... ain't cheap. But now we use it every year, real helpful in removing the lift in the fall. Use it on all the lifts on my lake and they pop the lift out of the muck.

Carter Lift Bags

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I float my 4000lbs lift in and out of the water every year. I only move it about 60 feet or so but once you get it floating, I don't see a big deal with going that distance as long as you take your time. Here's what I do and it works good.

-Take big inner tubes like the tractor ones mentioned or use your kids tubing tubes.

-Put the lift up to the highest point ( or as high as you need). I use a section of dock decking (you know the lift out sections) and place them on top on the inner tubes so the movable carriage can't puncture the tubes. I then place the tubes under the carriage and let the carriage down so the tubes take the weight of the carriage. This part is by far the heaviest part of the lift.

-Then I use RATCHET tie down straps on both sides of the lift and wrap them around the stationary bottom frame and the movable carriage. then take your time and ratchet up the straps so you Squeeze the sections together by letting down the carriage and tightening up the straps as you go. Once you do this the lift will start to float on the tubes when the frame gets squeezed up closer to the carriage. Kinda like putting down pressure on the carriage. Once it's floating you're golden.

-Move the lift to the new home, center it where you want it and let off the tension on the straps and it will literally drop into place

If moving it that far I would probably use 4 straps ( two on each side). Move the lift fairly slow so it can't shift too much on the tubes.

One more important point... Put more tube or another tube under the winch portion of the lift because this is heavy and if the lift is centered on the tubes can start to "fall over" at the winch side. Just put more floatation there. the first time I did this, I didn't put enough floatation at this point and the lift almost flipped over.

I know this may sound confusing and no I don't have any pictures (sorry). Good Luck,

Kevin

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Like the others have said, we've done this plenty of times, sometimes going several miles. We've used JetDock cubes, an old tinny fishing boat, several rubber inflatable boats, whatever you can securely tie the lift to that will float.

You could even use your own Malibu to do it. Pull the boat up on the lift. Tie the lift to the Malibu's bow ring, transom rings, run a couple of heavy duty tie down straps under the lift bunks & over the top of the boat. Then lower the lift. It takes a little time for the legs to pull out of the mud, but as the lift goes into it's down position, the legs will pull upwards & be floating under your boat (remember the old joke about the rookie who put the boat in the water with the trailer still attached?). Then you can use another boat to pull yours (and the lift) to the new location.

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I have seen guys float stuff on those hard plastic cubes used for making piers and docks. If the shore station is already in the water it would but a pain to get them underneath.

Large tire tubes would be the way to go. Tie a long rope onto the rig with a plastic jug on the end just incase things go wrong and it sinks. Pick a super calm day.

Make sure not to tie the rope off to your tow boat. Don't want to go diving for a lift AND a boat.

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I have seen guys float stuff on those hard plastic cubes used for making piers and docks. If the shore station is already in the water it would but a pain to get them underneath.

Large tire tubes would be the way to go. Tie a long rope onto the rig with a plastic jug on the end just incase things go wrong and it sinks. Pick a super calm day.

Make sure not to tie the rope off to your tow boat. Don't want to go diving for a lift AND a boat.

Wow, are your boat lifts really so heavy they would sink the boat? We moved a Nyman lift several times with a 16' tinny jon boat & never even came close to sinking. They weigh like a 1000 lbs.... far less than the average boat full of ballast & people out for a day.

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MalibuNation
I have seen guys float stuff on those hard plastic cubes used for making piers and docks. If the shore station is already in the water it would but a pain to get them underneath.

Large tire tubes would be the way to go. Tie a long rope onto the rig with a plastic jug on the end just incase things go wrong and it sinks. Pick a super calm day.

Make sure not to tie the rope off to your tow boat. Don't want to go diving for a lift AND a boat.

Wow, are your boat lifts really so heavy they would sink the boat? We moved a Nyman lift several times with a 16' tinny jon boat & never even came close to sinking. They weigh like a 1000 lbs.... far less than the average boat full of ballast & people out for a day.

The way I see it ... with the tall boat lift and it's size (sticking over the sides of the jon boat) the jon boat can get real tippy.

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I do this every year to get my lift into position because the bottom is so mucky. I got the idea from "Lift Lugger" (when I checked this product was in the 500 - 600 dollar range) and you can find it here. I made my own... sort of

http://www.rrp-mfg.com/RRPll.shtml

What I did was use some chain and pulleys and connected to pulley's to the bottom cross bars. I ran rope through the pulley's and tied off one end to the boat lift. The other end I tied to those big blue barrels. Once this is done, crank up the boat lift, which will pull the barrels down into the water causing the lift to float.

When you get the lift where you want it, just crank the lift down and it will sink. Disconnect everything and you're done. The pulleys can stay in place, no need to have to take them off.

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I personally have seen a lift strapped to a deck boat and floated across a lake using the deck boats power. But I don't think i would ever try it.

I dont think I will try that either! I do like the idea of floating the hoist with those barrels. My fear is that if I use tubes then it might pop one and then it will flip down into the water. If I setup the barrels properly then it should be pretty stable. If the weather is nice this weekend then I am going to attempt it. However I do it I will make sure that I get some good pics of it for everyone. Hopefully the pics wont include it with one at the bottom of the lake! lol Cry.gif

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I do this every year to get my lift into position because the bottom is so mucky. I got the idea from "Lift Lugger" (when I checked this product was in the 500 - 600 dollar range) and you can find it here. I made my own... sort of

http://www.rrp-mfg.com/RRPll.shtml

What I did was use some chain and pulleys and connected to pulley's to the bottom cross bars. I ran rope through the pulley's and tied off one end to the boat lift. The other end I tied to those big blue barrels. Once this is done, crank up the boat lift, which will pull the barrels down into the water causing the lift to float.

When you get the lift where you want it, just crank the lift down and it will sink. Disconnect everything and you're done. The pulleys can stay in place, no need to have to take them off.

That is a perfect idea, I was going to put mine in the water this week and I'm putting pulleys on it first. All the guys on our lake pay to have their lifts put in and out and I still refuse to, and I was getting concernced about how many more years I have of doing it myself. THANKS!

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I personally have seen a lift strapped to a deck boat and floated across a lake using the deck boats power. But I don't think i would ever try it.

I don't see the issue with it. The last boat lift I assembled was aluminum. Two of us picked it up & walked it across the beach & put it in the boat slip. The thing weighed maybe 400 lbs. Having this strapped to the bottom of most any boat shouldn't be a problem.

Back when we moved them ourselves, aluminum was just starting to be used in boat lifts & many of the older lifts were made of galvanized steel & probably weighed two or three times as much. So depending on what the lift was made of & how much it weighed, we used whatever boat, JetDock, floating dock, etc. that we could find to move them.

There will definitely be some steering issues with the lift attached to the boat. So I don't think I'd do it with the boat under it's own power. And definitely do it on a slow day on the lake.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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I believe my cousin moved his lift using plastic drums he bolted mounting points through the plastic and sealed it up good with silicone. Then used come alongs to pulll the drums down to lift the lift, then secured the cables so they wouldn't slide. One at each corner.

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Hey guys, well we got it done! we had a guy come up to us on the lake and offer us up this contraption that is designed to float these things. It is a row boat with a lifting device on it. it worked great. took us about a 1/2 an hour total to get it in the water and floated over. It was great! here are the pics! THANK YOU for everyones help and ideas! except for the guy who told us to tie a rope and a floaty to it in case it sinks! lol thankfully we didnt need it! Clap.gif

well, i would put pictures but there is no link to allow me to. anyways, thanks again to everyone for the help!

Edited by Marmonick
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