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dtm8119

Boat Lift Install Tips/tricks

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dtm8119

I was wondering if anyone has ever used a big inner tub (like from a tractor trailer?) to help float out their boat lift to its spot off the dock? We have a Vibo cantilever lift with the wheel kit in the center so it teeters, and then 2 of us stand inside the lift on the lake end side and pry it out foot by foot to its spot. The problem that we run into is that there is so much muck on our lake bottom that it really becomes a struggle as the muck gets "deeper."

My idea is to find a big inner tube that we can lodge in-between the boat lift frame to help give it some buoyancy to assist our efforts!

Any other tips/tricks that people have thought of over the years would be helpful too!

Thanks!

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85 Barefoot

inner tube works as does a jonboat that you run ratchet straps "around" and then "around" the frame. Ratchet in then out to control buoyancy.

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Indyxc

Same issue for me, water gets deep and mucky fast.

What we ended up doing is on the back we wedged a truck innner tube of maybe 80 lbs of buoyancy, and then tied 5 5 gal buckets to the frame, roughly 40 lbs of bounancy each for a total 280 lbs. That allowed the rear to float then we just positioned the front of the lift where we wanted it and then slowly lowered the rear. Worked great.

Luckily I only had to do that once as my lift stays in the water.

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malibu vtx

plastic barrels 55 gallon there cheap or some shops give them away

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GrahamM

I just used my tubes for towing... put them under the bunks, lowered it (which raises up the legs once the tubes support the bunks), then moved it around and raised the lift when I wanted to place it down. It worked surprisingly well, but I needed two tubes, one at either end.

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BlitzedVLX

Every year myself and 55 year old father removed our shore station out of the water so that it would not sit in the freezing water. We would crank it about 1/3 of the way up and strap the lift to the bottom of the cradle. We would then use an old towable innertub under the front and back and would then pick it up and move it in 4ft of water from one side of our property to the other. To remove the lift we would attach it to a rope and pull it up the rock shore and haul it back to where we stored it at the bottom of the yard during the winter.

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Jimmypooh

plastic barrels 55 gallon there cheap or some shops give them away

+1 This is what we've done in the past...Thank god no more shore shore station this year! They are a pain to get in place and get out of the water.

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msuwaterski

I just use our regular tow tube. I put the tube in the center of the back of the lift and two guys on the front. Float it into place, let the front down, and the let the air out of the tube to sink the back. Super easy.

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CedarLakeSkier

Regular tow tube under one side to keep it out of the muck. Get a couple of cheep landscape timbers. You and a buddy can "pry" the lift out by putting the landscape timbers under the bottom of the lift and lifting on the other end.

This works well to get it out too, but you may need landscape timbers in the front and back (three or four landscape timber and as many people) to initially get it us-stuck from the mud and muck on the bottom of the lake.

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Bill_AirJunky

We've moved a Nyman lift using the ski boat itself as the float (was a 95 MC Prostar 190 in our case). We moved the lift out in the water by sliding it down the ramp. Got it into deep enough water so that boat was able to get over it, then strap the lift underneath the boat using heavy duty 2" webbed moving straps (padding the boat everywhere the straps touch). Cinch the straps in so they securely hold the boat lift up under the hull. Double check that it's not shifting anywhere. Make sure the running gear is not anywhere near the lift at all. Then you can drive the boat itself at idle speed. It doesn't turn worth a dam, and obviously your not going to go very fast (we only had to go about 1/3rd of a mile). With one guy standing in the bow & one guy on the swimstep, you can paddle into position & then start releasing the straps to lower the lift to the bottom.

Now days you can use 6' long paddleboard paddles for this task & really go pretty fast & very comfortable. We a guy run over some duck fencing last summer with his LSV. Used the paddleboard paddles to move the boat maybe 1/4 mile to the ramp to get it on the trailer get all that netting off the prop & rudder.

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MA 07 LXI

I was wondering if anyone has ever used a big inner tub (like from a tractor trailer?) to help float out their boat lift to its spot off the dock? We have a Vibo cantilever lift with the wheel kit in the center so it teeters, and then 2 of us stand inside the lift on the lake end side and pry it out foot by foot to its spot. The problem that we run into is that there is so much muck on our lake bottom that it really becomes a struggle as the muck gets "deeper."

My idea is to find a big inner tube that we can lodge in-between the boat lift frame to help give it some buoyancy to assist our efforts!

Any other tips/tricks that people have thought of over the years would be helpful too!

Thanks!

We use a 12ft jon boat. strap it in and float it out or in. We usually just use it to take them out.

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Michigan boarder

I am using 4 middle school boys this season. They don't float very well but they will find a way to get it done. Burgers & Sprite when the job is complete.

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Tao of Wake

I use a queen sized inflatable mattress with a sheet of plywood on the top. Works great.

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WoodyBC

I use 4ft x 4ft x 4 inch thick foam floats. They use them for arrow targets, floats, and I think they are used for packing material. Anyway I have 4 of them, place one under each horizontal frame as I back the lift into the water (lift is on a little boat trailer). Then the lift floats to my dock area. Then I just kick out the floats one at a time and sink the lift.

To get the lift out, I built a vertical lift for about $50. I got a hand crank winch like the one on the boat trailers, bolted it onto a 6ft piece of square stock, then welded a plate on the bottom to keep it from sinking in the mud. Stabilize with braces, make a "J" shaped hook to grab your frame. Easy, just crank up the lift and slide the floats under the frame.

I used to struggle by using a board, blocks, 5-6 neighbors. That sucked.

This new way is extremely easy.

Good Luck!

Woody

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SkiZilla

I have been using the brute strength method but need to make a change (getting too old for my current methods). I came across this recently, like the idea but I also have a few other ideas I want to try.

My link

Edited by alaidlaw

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Sixball

I have use the 55 gallon plastic barrel. I put a boat trailer winch on a 4x4 with a pulley on the top for the cable to go over. I use it to lift and slide my lift around. I also made ramps out of 20x6 boards with 2x4 bolted to the bottom to stop sag. I put the ramps down and slid the lift close to its resting spot.

I can put my lift in and out on my one but do like to have another set of hands.

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MalibuNation

I have been using the brute strength method but need to make a change (getting too old for my current methods). I came across this recently, like the idea but I also have a few other ideas I want to try.

My link

I saw these @ Boat Show ... couldn't believe how much they cost ... but would work great.

Feet and muck:

For the deep end where it's mucky I screw some marine plywood (4x8 cut in half) to the feet of the lift ... then in the fall the screws break off when the lift is pulled out. Then next spring make sure you put the lift the same place. The wood last a long time with very little oxygen.

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SunriseH2OSkier

Feet and muck:

For the deep end where it's mucky I screw some marine plywood (4x8 cut in half) to the feet of the lift ... then in the fall the screws break off when the lift is pulled out. Then next spring make sure you put the lift the same place. The wood last a long time with very little oxygen.

:plus1: Did this same thing with my lift 12 or 13 years ago, the boards are still rock solid. I have to admit, I'm surprised at how well they are lasting. I thought for sure I'd have to replace them every 4-5 years...

Some great ideas in this thread, really appreciate it! I especially like the trailer winch idea - I've got one sitting on the shelf in my garage just waiting for a reason to be used. :)

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Michigan boarder

I saw these @ Boat Show ... couldn't believe how much they cost ... but would work great.

Feet and muck:

For the deep end where it's mucky I screw some marine plywood (4x8 cut in half) to the feet of the lift ... then in the fall the screws break off when the lift is pulled out. Then next spring make sure you put the lift the same place. The wood last a long time with very little oxygen.

Ballpark?

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MalibuNation

Ballpark?

Think I have the flyer @ home ... nice thing is you hook this up and leave it on the lift.

One year I really dorked up my lift and I ended up custom ordering 2 500lb tube shaped lift bags from:

http://www.carterbag.com/home.html

I've used them multiple times for other lifts including a steel lift that sat in the lake for 20 years and was really sunk in.

** Sprite and Burger ... mmmm ... let me know if you need more helpers ** :lol:

Hoping to put the dock in tomorrow if my neighbor "mans up".

EDIT Just found the flyer and this is 2-3 years old, this is what it says:

Show Special - 10% off list - only $1,345 and free shipping in the USA.

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WoodyBC

When I checked on that air-bag system it was around $1500. The trailer winch works great and total investment was around $200 with the winch, metal to fabricate, labor (I don't have a welder), and the 4 floats. I've loaned it out to friends and then are making their own. Very simple, works awesome.

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Tao of Wake

Think I have the flyer @ home ... nice thing is you hook this up and leave it on the lift.

One year I really dorked up my lift and I ended up custom ordering 2 500lb tube shaped lift bags from:

http://www.carterbag.com/home.html

I've used them multiple times for other lifts including a steel lift that sat in the lake for 20 years and was really sunk in.

** Sprite and Burger ... mmmm ... let me know if you need more helpers ** :lol:

Hoping to put the dock in tomorrow if my neighbor "mans up".

EDIT Just found the flyer and this is 2-3 years old, this is what it says:

Show Special - 10% off list - only $1,345 and free shipping in the USA.

I just received the following information:

"The retail price for the standard size kit (includes 2 – 6' standard size lift bags and all the hardware to install) is $1,495.00. We are having a Winter special with 10% (-$150.00) off. The discounted price will be $1,345.00, for the 2 – 6' standard size lift bags and all the hardware to install.

For $100.00 you can up size the two bags to 8'. This would help you on the stability of your lift.

We will have the majority of the kit assembled for you. You will need no tools other than a knife to cut the hose to your length.

We are now making and available 7 foot bags.:"

Shipping that was quoted was NOT free (must have been a deal at the time).

I've been thinking that I could create something for a lot less with four Fly High 155lb bricks, some hose fittings, hose, some PVC to create a manifold, a boston valve, and a shop vac. Connect the bricks to each corner of the hoist, inflate with the shop vac, deflate by releasing the boston valve!

Edited by Tao of Wake

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Michigan boarder

That's a wee bit steep. My whole lift cost me $850 years ago. I replaced the 23' canopy 2 years ago for $600.

I can buy a lot of burgers and Sprite for $1,400 (w/ shipping). Heck, I can have my lift installed for $75 by the guys that do the rest of them on our lake. So for $75 in and $75 out it would take me 9 years to break even.

Woody, you got a picture of that?

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WoodyBC

I plan to put the lift in Saturday, I'll get some photos then.

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mwood86

I used to mess around with that forever but recently started hiring someone $250 in, $250 out for roll-a docks, boat lift and jetski lift. Saves my back and my friend's backs. But hey that's just me.

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