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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default Boat Lifts - permanent, or take out every fall

    Whitedust, or anybody else on a lake, or in the business....
    What's your opinion of boat lifts, vs. just covering and leaving in the water, and do you have to take them out every fall, with ALL designs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Highland,IN.
    Posts
    415

    Default

    Call Chad at M&M he’ll let you know

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Phelps, WI
    Posts
    9,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrus_Driver View Post
    Whitedust, or anybody else on a lake, or in the business....
    What's your opinion of boat lifts, vs. just covering and leaving in the water, and do you have to take them out every fall, with ALL designs?
    Good question but you can’t buy your way out of aluminum or steel boat lift removal. As far as ice goes steel or aluminum boat lifts are equal ice can bend and break them. I would go aluminum lighter to hump in and out don’t rust and new designs are stronger than steel. I bought a Floe lift with canopy top has socket wrench adjustments for everything. You sure don’t want to pull pins and jack to change height cheap and dated way of doing adjustments been there done that. Also look at how the canopy top goes on again Floe very easy clamps down with elastic clamps and top material allows wind to pass thru vinyls tend to become sails flip lifts or burst under pressure. Tops and springs are old tech forget that total pita. Warrantees are good now can see up to 20 years on cables and metal parts
    some use stainless cables. I prefer 12volt winch motors run off boat battery or off solar battery KISS for me I run cable off quality boat battery. In the 70s and 80s Shore Station dominated the Midwest market then Floe , Pleasure Pier and others got in the game blew Shore Station away lots to choose from now. This is an excellent time to comparison shop lifts and piers all demos set up and you can see how canopy tops attach and can see each adjustment. Ease of adjustments are very important for water levels will be dear to you in Eagle River area. I would go with aluminum, all socket adjustments tops and legs, lightest weight for strength needed, ease of top installation and 15 to 20 year warranty. Let me know what brand you bought plenty available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    So I take it, you pull yours out every fall and "spring" it back in....what's your typical time to complete the install/removal? I value real world experience vs. dealer claims.
    Does it have wheels on the posts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Phelps, WI
    Posts
    9,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrus_Driver View Post
    So I take it, you pull yours out every fall and "spring" it back in....what's your typical time to complete the install/removal? I value real world experience vs. dealer claims.
    Does it have wheels on the posts?
    2 ways I do mine depending on available muscle. 4 guys just carry in and out 15 minutes at most with breaks I’m 100 feet from shore since on a sandbar no wheels. #2 method is to float in or out on row boat my preferred method less muscle a little more screwing around on and off boat but zero effort to glide in or out maybe 20 minutes including level. Canopy top 10 mins to take off and fold store in plastic garbage can. Floe pier with wheels is piece of cake just walk in or out. What will piss you off is the pros use boat with winch or pure muscle 5 minutes of work $125 to $150 per lift. That’s why you do it all you all yourself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Tower MN
    Posts
    403

    Default

    First off I don’t think they make a boat lift that can withstand ice shifts. If you have more then 1/8 of a mile of exposure to open water, pull it out in the fall. I have a 6,000 # rated aluminum lift with a 27 foot canopy and it takes me about 1 hour by myself to either pull it in or out. I have 2 wheels attached to one side of the lift and 1 wheel attached to the other. The wheels on my lift stay on all year round. I like the 3 wheel configuration because of the maneuverability it gives you. 4 wheels turn harder and 2 wheels require a balancing act. Next if you don’t want to get wet buy a lift with adjustable leveling pads that screw down with a drill.

    Now the most expensive and most fun part buy a nice ATV/UTV with a winch. I made a steel bar that attaches to the dock that has a pulley on the end of it. I attach the bar to the end of my dock then to the lift with the UTV winch rope and simply winch the lift out in the spring. In the fall I attach the winch rope directly to the lift and winch it in. Make sure when installing your canopy cover you do it when the boat is on the lift and use the boat as scaffolding to get at all of the corners.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Elkhorn, Wi & St. Germain, WI
    Posts
    327

    Default

    I am in the marine industry, and leaving a boat lift in the water is a gamble for sure. I am on a 100 acre lake up north with limited ice movement and still pull it out each fall.

    I have some customers that are in secluded bays that leave their docks/lifts in the water and it still seems that someone has a ice issue every handful of years.

    Like Whitedust said, look at all the options out there and see what suits your needs the best, and what you have the easiest access to service/support on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    Thanks for all the comments. Whatever I get, I won't be leaving it in the water over winter.
    I originally thought of the winch idea. We will have a Razor SXS, so I'll need a lift with wheels on it for sure.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Western Suburbs of Minneapolis
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I only manufacture tip-in docks (not boat lifts), but I own two lifts and have lots of experience pulling lifts in and out. If you get a hydraulic boat lift with hydraulic cylinders under the water, you can put two dock floats (from Menards) under the boat lift cradles, "lower" the lift to bring the feet off the lake bottom, and float the lift to shore with one hand. Wheels mounted to the lift frame will get you the rest of the way onto shore using a winch or atv.

    John Gehring
    Owner
    Solo Dock

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hamlet, IN
    Posts
    771

    Default

    I only do a handful of lifts, but about 40 docks a year.

    Every lift comes out in the fall. Some docks can stay in if they are in a protected area, but they have me lift the boat lifts to shore or just move them to shallow water and set up on cement blocks.

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