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DarkKnight

In water or lift?

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DarkKnight

Hi guys, first time malibu owner. I was planning on keeping the boat in water at the cottage, but since being on this site have been realizing I have lots to learn. I've been thinking about a lift but the cost scares me. Any comments on pros and cons, of being in water vs. lift would be greatly appreciated. FYI fresh water, at cottage.

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Michigan boarder

LIft. Hands down. The gel coat is porous and requires more to maintain it if you leave it in the water, and you run the risk of gel coat bubbles.

Since it's you're cottage, with a lift you can crank it up and leave, and never have to worry about it banging around. You can install a locking device too on your lift for safety (to prevent it from accidentally lowering) or security (getting lowered and getting stolen).

The real question is not whether to have the lift, but whether to have a canopy or no canopy on the lift.

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23LSVOwner

LIft. Hands down. The gel coat is porous and requires more to maintain it if you leave it in the water, and you run the risk of gel coat bubbles.

Since it's you're cottage, with a lift you can crank it up and leave, and never have to worry about it banging around. You can install a locking device too on your lift for safety (to prevent it from accidentally lowering) or security (getting lowered and getting stolen).

The real question is not whether to have the lift, but whether to have a canopy or no canopy on the lift.

Well said. Boats left in the water require a barrier coat to prevent osmosis from happening. Barrier coat needs to go up the sides of the boat as well to at least the water line, preferable above due to waves, etc.

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BlknYlwT22

It would be very hard for me to own a boat and leave it in the water, especially after spending 60k-100k. A lift is a fraction of the cost of a boat and the benefits far outweigh any negatives. You should be able to find a decent used lift with the proper capacity for 3-5k.

Edited by BlknYlwT22

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robbennett

Yes I agree with these guys you will definitely want to get a lift. It will more than pay for itself when your boat isn't scratched up and the bottom stained and ugly when you get ready to sell. I'd never leave my boat in the water more than a couple days then back to the trailer.

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minnmarker

:plus1: on the lift. If you are in an area with aquatic growth, in addition to the above issues, your boat will soon be covered in all kinds of green and brown stuff. If you're on an inland lake with consistent level check out the lake shore for unused lifts. My lake is littered with lifts that are no longer used due to the people that have them aging beyond the ski boat stage. There's usually a pontoon on the shoreline and a lift in the yard. Familiarize yourself with the lift types and capacities or take a friend that knows that stuff. If there are no cracked welds you may just need a new cable or two and adjust the bunks.

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Bill_AirJunky

Lift is definitely more desirable. That said, I've kept multiple boats on the water (I live in the area though) over the years & never seen osmosis happen. I do try to pull my boat every few weeks or month to clean it. I also pull it anytime there is a big storm, just to be on the safe side.

I've been playing with boats on the water for over 20 years now & have lots of friends who have been around them too. I've only actually seen osmosis one time on an MC X25. He kept the boat in a very stagnant part of the lake. No idea how often he cleaned it.

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Michigan boarder

My lift experience:

1995 - bought a used steel lift for $400 for my $1200 Glastron tri-hull.

1996 - Sold the steel lift for $400 and bought a used aluminum lift with canopy for $500 for my $4000 Four Winns I/O.

1997 - Sold the POS lift for $350, kept the canopy, and put it on a nice used $800 lift.

1998 thru 2008 - added deep water extensions and nice side bunks for $500 for the same lift. Also replaced cable and pulleys.

2009 - added cradle bunks to support the $11,000 Bu.

2011 - had a new canopy made for $450

2015 - replaced cable, 1 pulley, and winch assembly for $150

2016 - I'll likely sell the 23' canopy and frame for around $800. We keep the boat at a slip since last year and I don't use the canopy.

So I've had anywhere from 30% to 20% of the value of my boat into a lifts. I bought them used, upgraded/customized for my set up as needed, replaced simple parts as needed, etc. Personally, I think I did it right, and would definitely buy a used lift again. Like minnmarker said, familiarize yourself with them, they are very simple machines. Check all welds closely.

Edit: OR, you could buy a brand new one, customized to your set up, and not turn a wrench on it for years.

Edited by Michigan boarder

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Sixball

Another lift guy. You may never get blistering but if you do the cost to repair can easily out price the cost of a lift. As said the next question is canopy or not. I also would invest in the canopy. The boat should stay dry and safe at that point. For me the canopy is not a replacement for the cover. If I am not using the boat for some time I cover and lift it up into the canopy.

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pauley71

The lift cost scares you but the boat price didn't? Definitely protect your investment.

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CFH

My dad always told me... Don't buy a boat if you cant afford the gas. I feel the same goes with a lift.

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BlknYlwT22

I will also add, that resale on a boat will be affected by how the boat was stored. I, personally, would not even look at a boat that I know has sat in the water. Maybe I am an fool for ruling a nice boat out because of that but I know there are plenty others here that would feel similarly. A boat that has sat in the water it's whole life is definitely worth less IMO.

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Cole2001

How is your water? Some water is much harder on boats, depends on how much weeds and gross stuff is in the water. Our lake is almost crystal clear and we keep it in the water. We took a week long vacation to another lake and the water was filthy and the boat looked almost as bad as it did for much longer in clean water.

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Kalamazoo

Hi guys, first time malibu owner. I was planning on keeping the boat in water at the cottage, but since being on this site have been realizing I have lots to learn. I've been thinking about a lift but the cost scares me. Any comments on pros and cons, of being in water vs. lift would be greatly appreciated. FYI fresh water, at cottage.

would you park a nice car in a garage or leave it out?

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h2oratJR

Lift. My Shore Station lift is at least 20 yrs old other than replacing cables & canopy I've done nothing else. Live in the Northeast my lift / boat stays in year round . Get a lift avoid the blisters in gel coat .

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Ronnie

You might need to clarify your location, and how long it will stay in the water. If you are on a lake that freezes you will have different issues with being on one that doesn't freeze as far as lifts go.

Here in Texas the lifts stay in year round. The boats stay on the lifts. On a freezing lake, you'll have to deal with putting the lift in and out with the season.

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Love2Ride

You might need to clarify your location, and how long it will stay in the water. If you are on a lake that freezes you will have different issues with being on one that doesn't freeze as far as lifts go.

Here in Texas the lifts stay in year round. The boats stay on the lifts. On a freezing lake, you'll have to deal with putting the lift in and out with the season.

Also, it would help to know the depths of water you're dealing with at your dock. Would you need a floating lift or would you get a stationary lift. I've dealt with both and could lend some experience.

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Bill_AirJunky

For me the canopy is not a replacement for the cover. If I am not using the boat for some time I cover and lift it up into the canopy.

Because the canopy just provides the birds & spiders with a great place to nest & crap all over your boat?

There's only a handful of canopies on our lake & they are always fighting that battle.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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Boatman

Lift with canopy. You do get spiders and birds leaving crap but the boat quickly dries out after use which eliminates most mold and mildew.

We have about 30 inboards on our 268 acre lake and probably 90 percent are on lifts with canopies.

Edited by Boatman

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Raimie

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Cole2001

Probably 15 malibus on our lake, a few other tiges and master crafts. And not a single boat lift on the lake

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oldjeep

Must be a regional thing. Pretty rare to see anything but pontoons and big boats moored here everything else is on lifts.

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Michigan boarder

Lift with canopy. You do get spiders and birds leaving crap but the boat quickly dries out after use which eliminates most mold and mildew.

We have about 30 inboards on our 268 acre lake and probably 90 percent are on lifts with canopies.

Hey Boatman!

I agree with the canopy for an inland lake set up, it's the only way to go. Here was mine at the lake house. The boat was always dry, no mold issues at all. Even with a sideways rain, the little bit of spray would dry right up.

Edit: most of the time I dropped the tower, though, and cranked it up tight under the canvas. This pic was with the tower up.
Edited by Michigan boarder

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Sixball

One can spray a spider preventive under the lift cover. I know Bayer makes one but I think others are out on the market. I also went down to the dollar store and bought a half dozen jump ropes with handles that have a bunch of like tinsel. I hang them near the corners and some around the under side of the lift and don't have any bird problems. I still cover over night or if it longer as pollen is a big issue in my area.

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Ndawg12

Maybe most lakes are like this, not sure, but on Lake Norman you can only cover a certain amount of square feet of water with docks, peirs, canopies, etc. A lift and boat don't count against your square footage but as soon as you put a canopy on it then it does. Something the OP may need to look into if he goes that route.

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