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Boat Lift and Storage Recommendations


cla10beck

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We are in the process if purchasing our first lakefront home, and it will come with a shared covered boathouse.  We will need to add an overhead style boat hoist, and wanted to get the crew's recommendations.

Anything you would have done differently? any brands to avoid?  Straight pull or compounded?  We will most likely go with a 6000 lb unit, as the 4000lb is right at capacity. 

Also, we will be on Lake Anna, VA and many folks seem to winterize their boats on the lift and store them over the winter.  I am leaning towards doing the same thing as it won't be much different than how I currently store in a barn for the winter.  Please tell me I am not crazy.

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I can't comment on specific hoists in your application as in my region, most hoists on inland lakes are of the type that bear on the lake bottom.  I have (2) of them.  The only thing I would say is get a 7,500# or greater.  If you plan to upgrade boats at any point, having to upgrade the hoist after purchase may not be the greatest.  JMHO, but on a hoist, prepare for potentially getting a newer, heavier boat.  It's much more cost effective to do so now. 

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2 hours ago, Slayer said:

I can't comment on specific hoists in your application as in my region, most hoists on inland lakes are of the type that bear on the lake bottom.  I have (2) of them.  The only thing I would say is get a 7,500# or greater.  If you plan to upgrade boats at any point, having to upgrade the hoist after purchase may not be the greatest.  JMHO, but on a hoist, prepare for potentially getting a newer, heavier boat.  It's much more cost effective to do so now. 

Good advice here. I just upgraded my hoist to 8500lb compound pulley system from a 6500lb compound. Do the larger cables as well. You never know what boat you'll have in the future or a when visitor with a larger boat will need the lift. 

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Did you have any issues with the speed of the compound lift?  The 6000lb I am considering is a straight pull, but anything over that would be compounded cutting the speed in half.

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Thanks for the advise, I am looking into the next level up to see the pricing difference.

 

Anybody with a similar boathouse setup store their boat on the lift for the winter?

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45 minutes ago, cla10beck said:

Thanks for the advise, I am looking into the next level up to see the pricing difference.

 

Anybody with a similar boathouse setup store their boat on the lift for the winter?

Many people on my lake do, but I would not.  Firstly even if you can lift it up way out of the water your boat will be exposed to the elements all winter.  Secondly doing maintenance in the lift is a pain, waxing is very hard for me to reach the bow.  I take mine off and then do all the winterizing and our it into the garage at the lake.

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One of my ski buddies stores his boats on his lifts in Maine.  It is fully enclosed boat house, except for maybe the last 2-3 below the garage door bottom to the water.  He uses styrofoam board to close off the bottom for the winter, and the boat house is not heated.  As far as i know, his ski boat has not been on its trailer in the 10 years i have known him.  When he heads to florida for the winter, the boat gets winterized on the lift and stays there. His is a cable style, straight pull, no idea what brand it is. 

I would agree with others, we have a single 6000 lb lift at the moment, bought it when we had a VTX, and now we need a 10k for the 25lsv, its been a challenge to swallow the price of the new lifts, and the 10k is a significant jump over the 6k version we have now, which is overkill for the response, but its here.

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6 hours ago, cla10beck said:

Did you have any issues with the speed of the compound lift?  The 6000lb I am considering is a straight pull, but anything over that would be compounded cutting the speed in half.

Compound will be 1/2 the speed of straight lift. My boat is on compound. The lighter Seadoos are straight.

Most everyone here leaves their boas on the lifts, most winterize or run bilge heaters.  I don't keep a boat in the winter.

I'm not sure how your lifts are up there. This is what we use.

image.png

IMG_3231.jpg

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First u need more capacity, not a big cost difference in these types of Lifts it's accomplished easily mostly thicker cable or compound cables, and larger 1hp-1.5hp motor.

Compound halves speed but is far easier on cables with less stress. U can speed up with cable winders as they increase diameter of the pipe/drum. U can also change from 2-10" pulleys to 2-8" or other and gain back a lot of losss speeds.

Flat plate gear hoists are great And cheap, but they do require occasionally greasing or they squeel.. loudly.. belts last a good amount of time. Flat plates depending on mfg top out at 8-8.5k lbs single line pull.  Some like the belt setup with standard switch if they lift too high they can burn out a belt before motor as some people do IMO a big no-no by using latching instead of spring to off switches because they are so slow compounded and they may not know about changing pulley setup within limits.

A:drives, e-gears are fully enclosed oil bathed gears, quieter and no maintenance. They don't drip grease on the boat! They however will break cables and won't stop for anything no belt to slip.. they are more expensive for many reasons but Many are moving this route for less noise and zero maintenance and grease etc. They come in various gear ratios depending on weights the current largest is rates at 7k lbs but is 600:1 ratio compared to flat plates in the 450:1 ratios.. some gears are 375:1 for smaller Lifts.. again most are rated single line pull. If u compound u can get creative..

Example 7k single line drive can not lift 14k when comping it's slightly less then double because friction. Standard is to multiply by 0.85 for 15% friction and 0.80/20% if compounding a second time.  This is assuming u keep to a single level wrap also. All are these lifts are based in 2" drive pipe with 2-3/8" OD. Depending on lift capacity they will use schd 40 or schd 80 drive pipe. Not big cost difference go schedule 80!! If u add cable winders capacity of drive is reduced but speeds up.

DC motors are stronger and 30-40% faster but cost more as u need batteries solar. But sometimes required when no AC power available or when AC is not permitted by local utilities or for safety laws. 

 

Upgrading from 5k -10k may depend on your contractor. Some like to go 10k with dual motors to gain speed without having to compund band some still do and use lower gear ratios to gain it back. Infinite options in some ways. Dual motors require leveling on occasion.. dual motor DC gets pretty pricey and mostly used when u need lots of power 10k-20k lifts again when no power or overloaded circuit too far from house or when running AC power to dock exceeds the 4-20k cost range.

Regardless get bigger capacity so u can accommodate gas gear and ppl or that occasional almost empty ballast! Ha take your boat weight add 1k absolute minimum for boat lift but should be a min of 1500lbs due to boat lift carriage weight and if u have person or two Taking boat dry weight and buying a lift based on that ends in disaster for many! 

If u need recommendations PM me.

 

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I have a very similar setup to Ronnie and I leave my boat on the lift over the winter.  We usually winterize sometime in late November and I leave it covered and plugged in to a battery charger all winter long.  Our lift cables are doubled and it is rated for 6000 #s on single cables.  It isn’t the fastest but it works just fine for our 23 LSV and is a pretty simple, cost effective setup.  I can’t really go to a bigger boat anyway as it would be sticking out the back of the slip too far. 
My buddy went with a Sunstream hydraulic lift that sits on the lake floor, but obviously this only works in certain depths.  He has a remote and that sucker lifts his boat all the way up in about 15 seconds - pretty sweet but also around $12k.

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For about $1200 u can add wireless and auto run options with limits. 

@Leftlane reduce your large pulley to an 8" to speed up and u will still be over powered! You'll need a new belt size. You'll be going from 2:10 to 2:8 for 20% speed increase. U could even go 7" but hard to find.. easier to go with 2.25 :8 but 2/8 is easy and cheap. Technical u can go further but I wouldn't

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Thanks for all of the great feedback. 

The lifts are the exact same as the ones Ronnie showed.  They are pretty simple overall.

The dry weight of my boat is 3400lb, but I'm assuming with 300lb of gas, tower, speakers and gear, I'm +/- 4200 lbs.  I had narrowed my focus to a 6000 lb lift which is a straight pull, but after the recommendation from the crew,  I decided to get a quote on the next level up which is an 8000 lb straight pull.  Surprisingly the cost is only $500 more which seems to be a no brainer, but would need wire up 220V to the motor.  I kind of like the idea of the compounded lifts just based on less stress, so I'll look at a few different options.

Here is the exact same slip in our boathouse.

 

 

 

boathouse.PNG

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Just get a 1hp or pay few bucks more and get 1.5hp 110-120motor  which is fine for 8k straight line  especially in your case not sure why they are saying 220 u may want to say your boat weight but u want an 8k incase u upgrade boats later.. if u compund with 1.5hp u can reduce pulley ratio almost in half to gain all the speed back plus some with oversized motor which is only$100 more

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Wondering...........  why a hoist? I love our HydroHoist lift that came with the lakehouse. Two big blue plastic tanks that the control pumps air into or vents. Are cables a Northern thing because of ice or cost? 

Would NEVER prefer cables. I have HydroHoist Ultralift Wake/Surf Lift. Love it, would never have different, but no idea why someone would go cables. Cost, ice.... ?

Have to be another Ice Age for our southern Tennessee lake to REALLY freeze. Cheers

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My understanding there are a couple of reasons for the overhead cable style lift in our area.  First is that our docks are fixed not floating, and the water level fluctuates.  So on a hydrohoist, the lift will only go down so far relative to the dock.  My family has a lakehouse in Indiana with a floating dock and hydrohoist style floating lift and it works great.  I am much more familiar with that type of setup hence my questions on the cable style lift.  You also need to have deep water as the lift is a good 3-5 feet below the boat, where a cable style lift can have as little as 1ft below.  We have about 6 feet at our new dock.  And last is cost.  although I haven't priced out a hydrohoist, my understanding is these are much more cost effective.

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I think, but don't know, hydrohoists appear to be used in very protected water.  The tanks would appear to be bounced around  with wave or wind action?  I've used overhead cable systems, portable cable lifts (manual and 24v DC), and hydraulic.  All have their advantages and disadvantages but certainly nothing wrong with overhead cable.  Very reliable and stable. 

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Yes....... ALL very good reasons. Makes sense. Our is a floating dock and probably 20' under our boat at lowest time of year. Water level controlled by TVA flood control. Presently ~3' lowered for winter to spring season. We're also in a nice, typically calm cove.

Fixed docks and depth explains it all. BTW, we have quite a few floating lifts on what we call "Big Water" that see far more waves than ours. But since our lake levels change due to TVA, essentially all docks on our lake are floating.

Thx for the education.

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14 hours ago, cla10beck said:

Thanks for all of the great feedback. 

The lifts are the exact same as the ones Ronnie showed.  They are pretty simple overall.

The dry weight of my boat is 3400lb, but I'm assuming with 300lb of gas, tower, speakers and gear, I'm +/- 4200 lbs.  I had narrowed my focus to a 6000 lb lift which is a straight pull, but after the recommendation from the crew,  I decided to get a quote on the next level up which is an 8000 lb straight pull.  Surprisingly the cost is only $500 more which seems to be a no brainer, but would need wire up 220V to the motor.  I kind of like the idea of the compounded lifts just based on less stress, so I'll look at a few different options.

Here is the exact same slip in our boathouse.

 

 

 

boathouse.PNG

BTW, we run a lot more support under the boat than what you are showing. I had this galvanized cradle made off of a Malibu trailer. I'd be a bit concerned with only that much support.

 

Cradle.jpg

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I upgraded my lift motor at the same time as Ronnie to the same thing.  Mine's a compound system as well.  Definitely get stainless 7x19 5/16" cables for peace of mind.  A couple things I've done on my lift.  The galvanized swivel shackle snatch blocks on my lift froze up after about 12 years of use.  Since I needed to replace them I put in these 3" 2 Ton Swivel Shackle Snatch Blocks.  I like them because they include a grease port and were only like 10% more expensive and have a lot higher weight limit.  If you get them, run the lift up and down a BUNCH of times so the blue powder coating in the wheel groove will flake off into the water and onto the floor instead of into the boat.  Messy.  Also, I'm a big fan of the Split Aluminum Boathouse Cable Winder.

I've also got the KFLS Flat Plate Limit Switch and the Gem Remote GR1A Single Motor Lift Remote - Auto-Stop System.  This is sweet because I keep the remote in the boat and can lower the lift if needed after a day out, and start it up without climbing out of the boat.  That's handy when the lift is WAY down due to low lake levels and getting out requires serious climbing skills.  The Auto-Stop is sweet as well because you don't have to sit there and hold the lift switch the whole time.

Edited by Slurpee
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Lots of good advise.  I agree with Ronnie on the picture that I showed, that doesn't look too sturdy.  While I don't think a custom cradle is in the budget, the lift I am looking at will have 5" cradle beams and I will have double 2"x12" on each side to give much more support.  I looked around any many of the heavier wakeboats have a similar setup.  

 

Anyone have any thoughts on 110V or 220V question.  The lift manufacturer recommends running the motor on 220V, but it is only a 1HP motor and draws ~15 amps on 110V circuit.  That should be no problem for a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wiring.  Am I missing something?

 

I am leaning toward the 6000 lb to start.  I checked and the upgrade to 8000 lb is $500 more for just the lift, but then I need to also get 220V (at least that is what the boat lift seller is telling me).  If I wanted to upgrade down the road, I can convert this straight pull to compounded for about the same cost and keep my power at 110V.  The budget is pretty tight at the moment with all of the work we are doing to the place as well.

 

I also think I am going to try for this year to keep the boat on the lift for the winter.  It will save me from having to pay for storage, and I will at least be all of my normal end of the year stuff on the trailer like oil change, trans fluid, etc.  Then I will just drain the water once she is on the lift for the winter.  I did buy one of these last year which will really help in completing the maintenance on the lift going forward. 

 image.thumb.png.6aebf2cf4ecaeb1e05431aa701ddac47.png

 

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240V reduces voltage drop assuming same size wire.  Ceteris  paribus,   a 120 volt motor will lose 4 times more power through line loss than a 240v motor.  It won't make a huge difference for occasional use, but if you have a long wiring run it adds up.

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