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View Full Version : Docking - Suggestions For Floating Boat


PeteS
12-20-2004, 10:24 AM
First off, I'm excited to say that I just signed the PA for a house with access to a private lake! The sub that I'll be living in has 50 slips for boat storage, so my boat will be in the water.

I hate to keep my baby floating like that all the time, but I don't think I have an choice -- plus, I'll be on a ski lake, I have no complaints! How hard will this be on the hull, and will there be anything else effected by this type of storage?

You can bet it'll be tied off securely so it won't bang into anything, but are there any other precautions I should take to prevent problems? Should I coat the below-waterline hull with anything? Thanks a million in advance!

André
12-20-2004, 10:30 AM
Can you put a boat lift?

PeteS
12-20-2004, 10:34 AM
Unfortunately not, Andre. And that's where the problem lies.

Mag_Red
12-20-2004, 10:41 AM
Unfortunately not, Andre. And that's where the problem lies.Mooring whips!!!!
:twocents:

mitch
12-20-2004, 10:54 AM
I'll second that, whips are great. My 2000 PS205 is in the water, on whips, May-Oct, w/ no problems. Conditions can get very rough on my lake and the boat has not hit the dock. There's probably a chance they won;t let you use whips as they ain't real pretty. Getting back to your hull question. I have not seen any problems with the boat being in the water full time. I use on/off yearly, before I store it, which bring the hull back to like new condition. I had my previous MC in the water for several seasons, no issues. IMHO It's very nice having the boat in the water full time, after all it is a boat. Just get in and go. For 'me' the worst part of boating is trailering!! PITA

André
12-20-2004, 10:57 AM
You'll get different opinions on that one.My 94 was left in water all 5 months of the season for a couples of years sometime before i bought the boat.The hull had osmosis on it and had to be repaint.The way i understand it is that gelcoat and fiberglass are not totally waterproof and in the long run could cause osmosis to happen and water get trapped in between those 2 materials.Doesn't happen to all boats and i think only a minority of boat would be affected.I'm sure someone else could explain osmosis better then me and also sure that a lot of peoples leaves their boats in water year round withouts problems.
Maybe asking those 49 others skiboats owners would help you...
Good luck and congrats!
Too bad about the boat lift rule...Best thing since slice bread!

PeteS
12-20-2004, 11:08 AM
Great looking cover, Andre! Thanks for the advice as well. Where did you get your cover, did you install the snaps for it yourself, and how much did it run?

André
12-20-2004, 11:15 AM
Got the boat like that but looking to fabricate a canopy(sp) for the lift.Is it a man made lake that your moving to?

PeteS
12-20-2004, 11:44 AM
It's a private lake, with a permanent course. Not man made, but sits low and is protected by trees on all sides. Should be great!

Thanks for your suggestions, Mitch. Not sure if they'll allow whips, but I'll double check. If not, I'll put a couple of poles in the ground on the side of the boat that isn't near the dock and tie off. I hate not using a hoist, but if if I can't, then I'll have to make due. What is On/Off?

mitch
12-20-2004, 03:08 PM
Pete,

Check this link. Never heard of Jamestown, but the link came up quick . Amazing stuff, but be careful as it's corrosive. Try to keep it off plastic and your trailer as best you can. Avail at any marina (around here anyway), West marine etc. Cya!
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/ak/Cleaning/Marine_Cleaners/MKT_2032_MARYKATE_ON_OFF_HULL_BOTTOM_CLEANER_QT_NO _AIR_SHIP_UN1960_prod/

gene dobies
12-20-2004, 03:25 PM
First off, I'm excited to say that I just signed the PA for a house with access to a private lake! The sub that I'll be living in has 50 slips for boat storage, so my boat will be in the water.

I hate to keep my baby floating like that all the time, but I don't think I have an choice -- plus, I'll be on a ski lake, I have no complaints! How hard will this be on the hull, and will there be anything else effected by this type of storage?

You can bet it'll be tied off securely so it won't bang into anything, but are there any other precautions I should take to prevent problems? Should I coat the below-waterline hull with anything? Thanks a million in advance!

Pete. You should do your best to keep it out of the water. Is it a new boat. My SportStart 1999 was brand new and after two summers in the water I found some small blisters on the bottom. Last year I found a lot more. I wrote a letter to MasterCraft and after I sent it in the mail I looked at the Warranty section of the owners manual and found a paragraph that stated if the boat was to be kept in the water a special paint should be applied. MasterCraft called me at home and explained to me that the gel coat is not impervious to water, I know it seemed strange to me. I was just upset that my dealer didn't tell me right off when I bought the boat that it should have the special paint on it or keep it on a lift or trailer. It is not covered under warranty. So keep that in mind. They told me it was just cosmet and no harm would come of it, but I didn't like seeing those blisters. This last summer I bought a lift and sold that boat to my neighbor and have a PS190 to be delivered to the dealer soon. Good luck. Great living on or near water for sure.

OhioProstar
12-20-2004, 04:10 PM
Pete,
I guess I don't understand why they would not allow boat lifts on a ski lake, is it a covenant issue? You would think boat houses and lifts would not not decrease the value of the lake front as long as they are maintained.

dmac
12-20-2004, 04:17 PM
Pete,
I guess I don't understand why they would not allow boat lifts on a ski lake, is it a covenant issue? You would think boat houses and lifts would not not decrease the value of the lake front as long as they are maintained.
Agreed - in fact I believe that a boathouse and lift greatly increase the value of waterfront property.

Rockman
12-20-2004, 07:33 PM
Andre,

Very nice picture. Wish I was there today!

André
12-21-2004, 09:52 AM
Rockman
Not sure about that!
-24 f last night...Not cold, sofa king cold!

ski36short
12-21-2004, 12:58 PM
Congrats Pete - By the sound of things I'm guessing you got on Upper Straits, if so that's a solid choice. I kept my boat in the water for a couple years in the same situation - I hated to see the brown-ish bottom but I skied alot! You should be fine leaving it in, just put some thought into a good setup at your dock. I did have some blistering on the rails but that should be special to 99/00 hulls. The "real" hull is none the worse for wear.

There are quite a few lakes around here that don't allow lifts - I don't understand it either. Seems to me that if you have a slip, who cares whether or not you have a hoist as long as it isn't interfering with the adjacent space!?! Probably a rule crafted by rich lake nazis - there is an abundance of them too!

PeteS
12-21-2004, 01:18 PM
Thanks for all the great info! I guess lifts are not allowed because the lake bottom is pure peat, and the association outlawed them due to sinking hoists. However I learned something interesting today!

We can use the inflatable style, "Air Bag" lifts. Not sure what the brand or trade name is for these, but you drive on the fixture, and use a compressor of some sort to inflate the bladders, which in-turn lifts the boat out of the water. Don't know too much about these, but am curious. Does anyone have any experiences with them?

The boat is an 88' PS 190, Gene. The hull is in great shape. Do you happen to remember the product name of the coating reccomended by MasterCraft?

Mag_Red
12-21-2004, 01:24 PM
One brand of submersible hoists is called Hydrohoist.

PeteS
12-21-2004, 02:35 PM
You've got mail, Geoff. Thanks for the congratulations! As for the HydroHoists, they look great -- pricey, but they look cool.

A friend has reccomended a type of bottom-paint, for boats stored in the water. I don't think I've seen a below-water-line bottom paint on a ski boat, but has anyone else?

gene dobies
12-21-2004, 02:55 PM
You've got mail, Geoff. Thanks for the congratulations! As for the HydroHoists, they look great -- pricey, but they look cool.

A friend has reccomended a type of bottom-paint, for boats stored in the water. I don't think I've seen a below-water-line bottom paint on a ski boat, but has anyone else?

I think your dealer should know about the paint, since it is MasterCraft that recomends it to begin with, if it is to be in the water all season.

east tx skier
12-21-2004, 03:33 PM
I suppose another option is to have a cradle on rails that you can pull onto shore with a winch. Somebody on here has one and had posted a picture of it. Really cool set up.

mitch
12-21-2004, 04:47 PM
I saw the inflatable style on a trip on the No. Cal Delta last year. Everybody had em due to the deep water (that's what I was told). I have never seem them before, but they were everywhere. Can't remeber the brand names though. Looked almost like pontoons.

Buddha
12-21-2004, 06:01 PM
I have my boat sitting on a float-lift

http://www.floatlift.com

They are spendy, but they dont touch the bottom and insure the boat doesnt touch anything.

I have some pictures, but not on this computer :(

Ian

AirJunky
12-21-2004, 11:18 PM
I suppose another option is to have a cradle on rails that you can pull onto shore with a winch. Somebody on here has one and had posted a picture of it. Really cool set up.


Plenty of them on Sammamish but they've been outlawed due to the rusting rails & greasy wheels in the water. Old ones are grandfathered in & no new ones allowed.

jimmer2880
12-22-2004, 07:46 AM
A buddy of mine has the large bag that you drive onto, then fill with air. It works, but it's not for me. It traps the dirt, etc so your bottom never dries out & you can't clean it.

Another buddy of mine had a cradle that fills with air to lift the boat with. It's kind of like Buddha's link, but with no moving parts. If water depth isn't an issue for you, try that one instead. My buddy bought his used & saved some significant $$$'s on it. I really wish I could remember the name of it though.

PeteS
12-22-2004, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the tips, Jimmer. I don't want to be too nosey, Buddha, but I couldn't find any pricing info on their website. When you say spendy, what would you say we are talking about in terms of a price range?

I guess a new hoist runs anywhere between 3 and 5 grand. Will it be in that neighborhood?

east tx skier
12-22-2004, 11:41 AM
Is there a ramp? You could just store it in the garage on a trailer.

Buddha
12-22-2004, 03:00 PM
About double that of a regular lift. Not worth it from a technical standpoint but extreamly portable and no hassles as it does not touch the bottom. I found mine used and got a pretty good deal. I cant remember the name of the guy I talked to at floatlift but they are a pretty small outfit and seem to be in to customer service.

c640947
12-22-2004, 03:31 PM
Buddha, if that is your boat in the picture, it is on a Sunstream Float Lift. Sunstream is the brand name. They are all hydraulic with encapsulated foam floats. Like was stated before, they are extremely portable and water depth is not an issue (either too deep or too shallow) which can be a limitation for other types of lifts.

http://www.tigerboatdocks.com/lift/lifthf11.gif

I like them because their operations is extremely quick and you can stand on the floats easily. Here is my PS190 when we first put the float lift in the water to test it:

http://www.tigerboatdocks.com/lift/lifthf12.jpg

There are more pics of the float lift and pictures of all other types of lifts on this page: http://www.tigerboatdocks.com/lifthf.htm

Jerseydave
12-24-2004, 01:58 PM
I think there's also a company called AIR DOCK. I believe they use a water pump that runs either on 110 volts or 12 volts (your boat's battery). It fills the "floats" with water to let the boat down. Pump the water out and it floats to raise the boat. (I may be totally wrong, but I think that's how it works)

I'm going to look for their website now.

Jerseydave
12-24-2004, 02:09 PM
I think there's also a company called AIR DOCK. I believe they use a water pump that runs either on 110 volts or 12 volts (your boat's battery). It fills the "floats" with water to let the boat down. Pump the water out and it floats to raise the boat. (I may be totally wrong, but I think that's how it works)

I'm going to look for their website now.

Ok, I was only 1/2 right. Looks like it pumps air, not water into the chambers to raise the boat. Look at www.airdock.com.
Might be tricky with inboard ski boats because of center fins. I'm already a little skeptical :rolleyes:
May work better with v-drives and I/O's.

Ben
12-29-2004, 02:50 PM
Pete,
That sucks about the peat thing. A friend I have has similar issues with his lift sinking. If you have the depth, the air lift hoise would be a good way to go. I know they use a lot of those down in TN & KY areas where the TVA dammed up lake are. Can't put a michigan style lift in 80 feet of water.... My buddy in NC was stunned when I told him our lifts up here sit on the bottom...
Anyway, I have seen a lot of ski boats on the air lifts w/o any issues. Don't know of anyone personally, but have seen enough to know it is everyday practice for people in that area. You may even be able to find a used one down there, not sure how to ship it though. The ones I've seen look more like pontoons w/a structure on top to support the boat, versus the pivoting thing pictured on a previous page. Looks much simpler. Enjoy the lake, one the ice melts...

c640947
01-05-2005, 05:27 PM
The air lifts are simplier and cheaper, but much slower and require a lot more minimum water depth. If the location is deep enough, air lifts are better for the budget conscious.

6ballsisall
01-05-2005, 08:38 PM
How much are those airdocks??

milkmania
01-06-2005, 11:48 AM
anyone tried Jet Dock?
http://www.jetdock.com/

PeteS
01-06-2005, 01:10 PM
Killer infor, guys. Thanks a million, and sorry for my delay in response. With the guidance of everyone, I've decieded to go either with an Airlift or a Jet Dock, both look appealing.

Air Lift's seem to have been used all over the place, matching up well with ski boats. The Jet Dock seems like a reasonable idea, cheap, and easy to install. Does anyone have experience with the Jet Dock and their boat?

jimmer2880
01-06-2005, 01:37 PM
Killer infor, guys. Thanks a million, and sorry for my delay in response. With the guidance of everyone, I've decieded to go either with an Airlift or a Jet Dock, both look appealing.

Air Lift's seem to have been used all over the place, matching up well with ski boats. The Jet Dock seems like a reasonable idea, cheap, and easy to install. Does anyone have experience with the Jet Dock and their boat?
I know someone who uses it on their I/O. It takes quite a push to get that boat (18ish feet long) up onto it. I really doubt it'll work for an inboard since the prop would be out of the water when it's done - hence nothing to push with.

Good luck. Nothing like having your boat safe & secure & out of the water. Go with some kind of lift & never look back - you'll never think twice.

AirJunky
01-06-2005, 01:54 PM
A buddy of mine has the large bag that you drive onto, then fill with air. It works, but it's not for me. It traps the dirt, etc so your bottom never dries out & you can't clean it.

I've considered this one too as our docks are floaters that need to be moved occasionally. So I'm curious about your commnets, Jimmer. Traps the dirt... what dirt? Seems like the bag & cover would sort of self clean when it was deflated in the water. And the boat is certainly not getting nearly as much funk on it while your out skiing than when it's sitting in the slip. Did your buddy's boat get really dirty when on the Air Dock?

PeteS
01-06-2005, 02:42 PM
So much for the Jet Dock, fellas. I gave them a call, and at $10,500.00 it's out of my price range at the moment.

The Air Dock isn't sounding so bad right now, or how about the other types with Pontoons that fill and drain water? What can you expect to spend on an Air Dock?

Leroy
01-06-2005, 02:53 PM
I use the Hydrohoist. I'm in 26 feet of water and it is tied to the dock. It was around $5k installed. To move it they used a flat trailer and launched like a boat and pulled around to the slip. First winter with it in so will see how that goes. The marina had one roof collapse when the 20" snow came through earlier on the big boat dock. Sunk one boat and damaged 3 or 4 others.

http://www.hydrohoist.com/index.php

Have the 4400UL
http://www.hydrohoist.com/lift/ultra_lift.php

AirJunky
01-06-2005, 07:32 PM
I know someone who uses it on their I/O. It takes quite a push to get that boat (18ish feet long) up onto it. I really doubt it'll work for an inboard since the prop would be out of the water when it's done - hence nothing to push with.

Good luck. Nothing like having your boat safe & secure & out of the water. Go with some kind of lift & never look back - you'll never think twice.

I've used the Jet Dock for my 205 & it rocks. The fact that you have access to all sides of your boat is the best. But it's the most expensive lift on the market too.

lsupcar
01-06-2005, 10:29 PM
Airjunky, any pictures? Thanks. Bill Z

jimmer2880
01-10-2005, 08:53 AM
I've considered this one too as our docks are floaters that need to be moved occasionally. So I'm curious about your commnets, Jimmer. Traps the dirt... what dirt? Seems like the bag & cover would sort of self clean when it was deflated in the water. And the boat is certainly not getting nearly as much funk on it while your out skiing than when it's sitting in the slip. Did your buddy's boat get really dirty when on the Air Dock?
When you're out skiing, your boat gets dirty. When you put your boat onto the air-bag, you can't get to the dirt. Granted that most of the dirt is within 6" of the water-line, so it may not be an issue for you.

He drop's his boat in the water once a day & only put's it up at night. I drop mine every time I use it (2-3 times per day on weekends using the old-cable/cradle type).

I know those bags are significantly cheaper than the hydro-hoist type and if that's all you can swing, it surely is better than nothing. But, if at all possible, my money goes with some kind of cradle style hoist (cable if possible, or air/hydro if not).

roddydog
01-18-2005, 05:59 PM
Ok, I was only 1/2 right. Looks like it pumps air, not water into the chambers to raise the boat. Look at www.airdock.com.
Might be tricky with inboard ski boats because of center fins. I'm already a little skeptical :rolleyes:
May work better with v-drives and I/O's.
I don't know about this system. Your boat is just sitting on a bag so any water that was there gets trapped between the bag and your boat.
Wouldn't be my choice.