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kdjose
05-16-2007, 06:35 PM
We are looking for a lift solution that can be easily removed and stored over the winter, and that isn't quite as prominent on the shoreline as a shore station. Has anyone used the airdock system? How have your results been and how has it held up? http://airdock.com/frame_1.htm (http://airdock.com/frame_1.htm)

cst573
05-16-2007, 08:16 PM
Looks pretty interesting. Any idea on the costs?

SHarr5184
05-16-2007, 08:35 PM
I have used an air dock that is permanantly attached to the dock and have had very few problems with it. It isn't for the Mastercraft, a 24' Explorer Deck Boat sits on it all season. The only problem I have had was people walking on the plastic bunks when they are above water...the air pipes were old/brittle and broke when they were stepped on (shouldn't have been stepped on anyway!)

It lowers the boat very quickly and takes about 2 minutes to raise it. Let me know if you want any more information on it.

6ballsisall
05-16-2007, 11:13 PM
At our old place in Indiana my ski partner had one for their Tige. It worked well for them. They did eventually get a tear in the bladder. I don't remember how it happened but they managed to patch it and it worked fine once again.

kdjose
05-17-2007, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the replies! Looks like the model for a MC is about $2k -- not bad and easily removable at the end of the season.

kj

CHaus21
01-07-2008, 12:14 AM
Does anyone have experience putting a MC on one of these lifts?

How do they work with the tracking fins and the shaft/prop?

pflcjl
01-07-2008, 06:56 AM
I purchased my lift for one reason. That is to raise the boat out of the water to protect it from breaking loose or banging into the dock in high winds and the occasional summer storms that occur. I live on the east shore and it gets a good deal of wave action. The lift provides peace of mind, especially when you're not at the lake it nice knowing the boat is up high and dry.

Keeping the bottom clean from lake algae, etc is a nice secondary benefit but not the prime reason for owning a lift in my case.

It seems to me this air dock will not protect the boat from high winds and storms as it could get bounced and banged around, Just my two cents.

ps205
01-07-2008, 08:43 AM
Chaus21,

I have a MC Prostar195 on an Airdock and have never had any problems. Airdock sells a thick rubber mat that you put down the middle of the lift to protect it from the tracking fins. I have owned my Airdock for about 8 years and have had nothing but Inboards on it. Works great.

CHaus21
01-07-2008, 03:44 PM
ps205 - How does the rubber mat work? Does it just pad the fins from pushing down on the bladder? Where does the prop go? Seems like that would do a number on the bladder as well?

Have you had any problems with the gelcoat scratching from driving in and out of the bladder?

I assume the entire hull is completely dry once the bladders are inflated?

My main concern is keeping algae and water stains off the boat - Not knocking the boat around. Will this do a good job of it? Thanks!

CHaus21
01-08-2008, 03:47 PM
These types of docks must not be very popular within the MC community. Anyone else have experience with them?

ps205
01-08-2008, 04:57 PM
CHaus21,

PM coming at you.

88 PS190
01-08-2008, 05:11 PM
There are a few important keys here.

First off, these are held in place solely by being connected to augers and the dock. So if you have much wave action at all your boat will be moving and shaking. If you are in a protected area or on a river this is probably alright, but not perfect. As you mention tha tyou have to remove your shorestation every fall I would imagine you have a dock that has to be removed as well. This implies to me that your dock won't hold a boat in place with much wave action.

On our lake it is pretty common to have to land the boat in wave conditions of over 1.5 foot. These do not provide centering/landing assistance, with a shore station the bunks and centerings help catch the boat and make sure you don't end up in the dock.

If you have one of these underwater you'll need to be super careful to get the boat over it, in neutral and inflate, you cannot go into reverse if you are going to over shoot the landing because you will get the prop into the lift bag.

Additionally you want the lift to protect the hull. but if you start to get build up of grit on the bag it will be held against the hull. continously.

Final gripe. What if the bag leaks when you aren't around? With my lift I crank it up, and put a chain and padlock around the frame to the bunk. If the slipper clutch lets go or some freak accident occurs my boat will not be loose in the water. banging around. If one of these bags develops a leak, or a hose comes off and you don't get there to check the boat it could be very damaged by the time its recovered.

My suggestion would be to streamline your lift removal process. Get a wheel kit and pull the lift to where you want to store it for the winter. It is not terribly difficult to do so.

VirtualWi
01-08-2008, 05:23 PM
Just my $0.02 worth - but have you thought about a track and dolly setup? Only if you have room on shore. We do the ShoreStation ourselves, but one of our neighbors has a track and dolly hooked up to a power winch. It's nice because the boat is basically pulled up on shore and you can work on it, clean it, etc. all without having to pull it out or go in the water. He has a little "tent" he puts up to cover it, too.

CHaus21
01-08-2008, 07:44 PM
Interesting thoughts. What I would mainly be using the airdock for would be to keep the boat out of the water over the weekends during the summer. It would not be on there long term. Why? Because I will be docking at my relatives lakehouse - So installing a shore station, etc isn't really an option b/c they will have their X2 on the lift!

I agree with you 88 PS190 - I would be nervous to keep it on an airbag long term when away from the boat. I'll mainly be using to keep it up and out of the water Friday - Sunday b/c during the weekdays the boat will be trailered to the storage lot a few miles away.

Also, it is a pretty protected cove, so big waves shouldn't be an issue.

I was also thinking about hooking up these "whips" to the boat in addition to the air dock to ensure the boat stays away from the dock.

Thoughts?

oldriver
01-08-2008, 08:13 PM
if they have a floating dock and there is over 5 feet of water then get a hewitt boatport and forget about all the other stuff and dont worry about trailering.you can leave and feel confident its safe.Also can leave it in all year.my 2 cents

Sodar
01-08-2008, 08:15 PM
Interesting thoughts. What I would mainly be using the airdock for would be to keep the boat out of the water over the weekends during the summer. It would not be on there long term. Why? Because I will be docking at my relatives lakehouse - So installing a shore station, etc isn't really an option b/c they will have their X2 on the lift!

I agree with you 88 PS190 - I would be nervous to keep it on an airbag long term when away from the boat. I'll mainly be using to keep it up and out of the water Friday - Sunday b/c during the weekdays the boat will be trailered to the storage lot a few miles away.

Also, it is a pretty protected cove, so big waves shouldn't be an issue.

I was also thinking about hooking up these "whips" to the boat in addition to the air dock to ensure the boat stays away from the dock.

Thoughts?

Whips work well, but the price and use of dock space discouraged me. I chose to use a tried and true method of anchoring. I got a destroyed engine block, ran some chain through it and dumped it off, with a large buoy attached to it. Then, I bought a "Anchor Buddy" (stretch cord anchor line) and attached the to the buoy when I was using the buoy with a line from the back of the boat to the dock (would have also worked to the shore). It worked out great, because the stretch cord allowed you to hop in the boat without getting wet. When I was done for the weekend, I would unclip the anchor buddy and toss it in the dock box.