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View Full Version : Removing Your Boat Lift


JohnnyB
10-17-2009, 02:21 PM
How do you remove your boat lift from the water at the end of the season.

The area where mine is has about 1ft of muck on the bottom. I floated it on a jon boat as close to shore as I could and then put the wheel kit on. Now I'm trying to think of which buddy of mine has a truck winch to pull it out with........

What do others do???

3event
10-17-2009, 02:31 PM
Used to get 4-6 of my friends and do it the hard way. Now I pay $75 for a local outfit that has the equipment on a boat - it's done without any intervention by me other than mailing a check.

Friend of mine uses a winch. He's got a wheel kit on it that he never removes. Works fine. Attach the winch hook to 2 sections of chain - one goes to each of the two front corners. He doesn't even use a spreader bar, but if it were my lift I probably would.

peason
10-17-2009, 02:31 PM
I am on a pretty flat beach front. I use my 4 wheeler winch - after securing the 4 wheeler to a post on my deck in the yard I then use the winch to pull the lift up the beach. This year because the lake was so low- I did need to dislodge the lift out of the muck first and then used a couple of boards for the front pads to ride over the mud. Once I get it on the sand the pads slide pretty easily.

yippikaiyay
10-17-2009, 02:33 PM
I just use truck inner-tubes under mine, once in place I inflate, then float it to shore and hook on a come-along tied to a tree and winch it up the last 20 feet onto shore...

88 PS190
10-17-2009, 02:48 PM
Boat out or in?

A slick method is to attach a pulley to a post, and run a cable from your lift, up to the pulley and out to the boat. You then pull slowly (wheel kit on) and it comes up the shore. This is very similar to what one company sells.

I've pulled ours with tractors, leveraged it up with boards, etc. If you can get wheels onto solid ground pulling with any sort of engine cannot be beat.

bigmac
10-17-2009, 05:27 PM
Decades of living on lakes...I've done everything from winches to tractors to buddies and a couple of 6 packs. All that experience has led me to the conclusion that by far the best way to do it is to pay someone to come do it for you.

Costs me $190 to remove eleven 10-foot sections of dock and two boat lifts.

The guy and his crew that do mine just use muscle. There is a guy around here that uses a very clever forklift to do it, but he's just too expensive---about $240 just for one lift, no dock.

http://mccollister.info/jukish2.jpg

http://mccollister.info/jukish1.jpg

Set
10-17-2009, 06:07 PM
Not a bad wake on that pontoon except for the rooster tale.

Ben
10-17-2009, 07:53 PM
4-6 guys for us. 4 of us in a 5 house streak get together & grab 1 or 2 neighbors. Takes less than an hour. Have thought about floating them to shore 1st, but would be more hassle than anything.

edit: forgot to add that we all have seawalls, about 2-4 feet, so it takes this many guys to lift up onto the shore. Otherwise, dragging outmay be an option.

FamilyX2
10-17-2009, 10:18 PM
FLOE lift.
I used concrete sidewalk blocks under the back legs so it wouldn't sink into the muck.
IIRC, wheels (4) provide 60lbs flotation each.
Wife operates winch on the quad & i guide the lift to shore.
It took the 2 of us about 15 minutes.

Datdude
10-19-2009, 03:18 PM
FLOE lift.
I used concrete sidewalk blocks under the back legs so it wouldn't sink into the muck.
IIRC, wheels (4) provide 60lbs flotation each.
Wife operates winch on the quad & i guide the lift to shore.
It took the 2 of us about 15 minutes.

Floe lifts with their screw-jack legs and wheels work great!:cool:

JohnnyB.......PM at you. I have an easier way!

erkoehler
10-19-2009, 08:50 PM
Usually just pay someone to pull it out for me.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
10-19-2009, 10:06 PM
Mine comes out with a couple of 2X10 planks over the rocks on the shoreline and a rope in a bridle tied to the hitch on the back of my plow truck......4-wheel low and out it comes. I usually have someone on the side of the lift doing a little guiding but it it easier pulling it out in fall than pushing it in using the planks as levers once it is in the lake...I actually look forward to that springtime chore since it means another summer of skiing is just around the corner.

mess33
10-19-2009, 10:32 PM
I have seen it done just about every way possible. I hook it to the front of a pickup that has a winch. I put the wheel kit on and pull it right on. A really slick way I saw a guy do it by himself was he took a chainsaw and bought a log skidding attachement for it. He attaches the handle of the chainsaw to a tree with a chain. He then attaches the log skidding cable to the lift and lets the chainsaw do all the work. He is a one man show and does not even put tires on the lift. He does this for hire.

Mess

ProStar190Fan
10-20-2009, 07:32 AM
I just use my SUV, hook up some rope from the lift to the tow hitch and go. Dont have to really put too much effort in. After the lift is up shallow enough two people lift one side then put the lift on blocks to get it out of the water, if the ice really wants to move the lift will rest on it. In the spring we just push it back into position. We have a floating dock that sits through the winter.

oldriver
10-20-2009, 09:47 AM
Buy my floating lift and never have to take it out again.
it is in marketplace.All ready to go

nmcjr
10-20-2009, 01:39 PM
Out of curiosity, and having never lived on a lake, why do you have to remove it each winter?

88 PS190
10-20-2009, 01:58 PM
Out of curiosity, and having never lived on a lake, why do you have to remove it each winter?

You don't if your lake doesn't really freeze.

But on our lake if you leave a lift in on the main portion ice movement will drag your stuff and break it.

If your lake only gets a skim of ice it would be alright, ours gets upwards of a foot of ice, and freeze thaw cycles combined with large chunks of moving ice during thaw out destroy your dock, then drag it around.

nmcjr
10-20-2009, 02:19 PM
Ah, that makes sense, thx.

bturner2
10-20-2009, 02:53 PM
Anyone got any tips for getting the legs out of muck without breaking your back? The two back legs on my lift sit in about a foot of muck and are a real bite to lift out after working their way down all summer.

Hollywood
10-20-2009, 03:01 PM
row boats and the big bar with the crank on it

boatinggal
10-20-2009, 03:27 PM
Can a boat lift be left in?

woftam
10-20-2009, 05:37 PM
Can a boat lift be left in?
see p.2, post #17.

bigmac
10-20-2009, 06:13 PM
Can a boat lift be left in?
If the lake freezes, shifting and moving ice will damage or destroy it.

Jorski
10-20-2009, 06:35 PM
There is one that claims that it can be left in the ice...one guy on my lake has had success with it.

http://www.vikingboatlift.com/

http://www.vikingboatlift.com/picture97.jpg

88 PS190
10-20-2009, 06:50 PM
True, there are lifts you can leave in through hard ice.

IF you can have a dock fixed in place with large pilings.

Which if you live in an area where the bottom of the lake is exposed bedrock, (lots of lakes in MN are this way) Or where the DNR says no permanant structures (boat houses, sea walls, docks with pilings) like the lake we are on, then your dock cannot support a lift like that. And your dock is going to be something more like ours, with sections 8 feet long or so, either on floats or legs.

http://shorelinedockco.com/store/media/dockwebpics/wolmanized.jpg

Which as you might imagine will NOT stay put in moving ice, and will not support a lift like the one pictured.

88 PS190
10-20-2009, 06:51 PM
Anyone got any tips for getting the legs out of muck without breaking your back? The two back legs on my lift sit in about a foot of muck and are a real bite to lift out after working their way down all summer.

One method is to raise the bunk all the way up, place a float underneath (row boats and canoes work) Then lower the cradle onto the boat, run a ratchet strap from the cradle to a lower bar on the lift, and ratchet the lift up till the legs are free.

bigmac
10-20-2009, 06:56 PM
Lack of an integrated canopy would be a dealbreaker. Zero interest here.

88 PS190
10-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Lack of an integrated canopy would be a dealbreaker. Zero interest here.

They do show some canopy systems on their website, look more like a cantilevered structure that bolts to the dock. Which in wind would flip my dock right over. Oh well.

If you had a fixed pier and couldn't have a boat house/overhead lift it would be a viable option.

If I had a boat house I would definately go overhead lift, for no underwater galvanized structure.

JohnnyB
10-20-2009, 07:58 PM
One method is to raise the bunk all the way up, place a float underneath (row boats and canoes work) Then lower the cradle onto the boat, run a ratchet strap from the cradle to a lower bar on the lift, and ratchet the lift up till the legs are free.


That's basically how I position mine....I'm thinking truck tubes is the way to go.....

JohnnyB
10-20-2009, 07:59 PM
Anyone got any tips for getting the legs out of muck without breaking your back? The two back legs on my lift sit in about a foot of muck and are a real bite to lift out after working their way down all summer.

I built 20in x 20in pads for under mine....made 'em out of plywood this year to see if they were big enough.....now I'll fab 'em out of aluminum for next season....will most likely add a stout eyebolt that I can chain to and yank 'em out after the lift is off of em...

boatinggal
10-21-2009, 02:17 PM
Thanks...........I thought so, whew...money not spent foolishly

bturner2
10-21-2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the tips getting the lift out.

I definitely need to try the floating method next year. It was a real pain getting it out this year. Also wonder if the larger pads would work in our muck. I'd be concerned that the larger pads would sink in. If so I'd really be stuck.

mess33
10-21-2009, 05:05 PM
http://www.pierpleasure.com/accessories/index.html

The website above shows an excellent tool for raising a lift and putting wheels. I would think you could put a piece of plywood under it and crank up your lift out of the muck. Kind of pricey. I built mine. I have also seen 4' jacks with long handles.

Mess

bigmac
10-22-2009, 07:26 AM
http://www.pierpleasure.com/accessories/index.html

The website above shows an excellent tool for raising a lift and putting wheels. I would think you could put a piece of plywood under it and crank up your lift out of the muck. Kind of pricey. I built mine. I have also seen 4' jacks with long handles.

Mess


I have that device. It is very well made and extremely useful for leveling a lift, for working on the lift, etc. My dock guy uses it to break the legs free from the sand/mud and for putting the wheels on my lift when he takes it out. He likes it so much that he built his own.

Also works great for things like lifting the front of the lawn tractor or ZTR mower for changing blades, lifting snowmobiles, 4 wheelers etc. I don't remember what it cost but I do remember that it's kind of expensive.

http://www.pierpleasure.com/images/accessories/lift_jack_1.jpghttp://www.pierpleasure.com/images/accessories/lift_jack_2.jpg

sethro
10-22-2009, 04:07 PM
I use large cement blocks about 2" thick and 30" in diameter under the rear legs that rest in muck...at least 10-12" inches of muck. It was quite an ordeal to free the legs from the muck prior to using cement blocks. They were poured by a friend when he had extra cement he mixed up when making is own retaining wall blocks. I also put them under the pads of the last section of dock which rests in the same muck.

My docks and lifts go in the same spot every year (within a couple of inches) so I only had to get the cement blocks under the pads once and have been there several years with no settling issues. I would attach extra large pads on the existing pads of the lift if I had to set the blocks under there each year.

I've been thinking about making one of those jacks for a while now, as it would make inserting the tractor tire innertubes I use to float the lifts much simpler.

jwmiller
10-26-2009, 01:29 PM
I have that device. It is very well made and extremely useful for leveling a lift, for working on the lift, etc. My dock guy uses it to break the legs free from the sand/mud and for putting the wheels on my lift when he takes it out. He likes it so much that he built his own.

Also works great for things like lifting the front of the lawn tractor or ZTR mower for changing blades, lifting snowmobiles, 4 wheelers etc. I don't remember what it cost but I do remember that it's kind of expensive.

http://www.pierpleasure.com/images/accessories/lift_jack_1.jpghttp://www.pierpleasure.com/images/accessories/lift_jack_2.jpg

I have used this jack a number of times, it make things very easy.
The current price is $239.00

redrobster78
10-26-2009, 03:20 PM
So were could I find something like that if I wanted one and what is it called? Who makes it? Give me the details!

88 PS190
10-26-2009, 03:27 PM
The link is above, click it, then "lift jack"

Looks helpful, luckily (or unfortunately) our lift doesn't have that many holes for setting the level ,so we can pretty much set the rear at the highest, and the front at the lowest, and go out until that is about right.

catamount
09-09-2012, 10:40 AM
Bumping an old thread in thought that this might help someone else in the future. It's getting to be that time of year here in Vermont and I have started thinking about how I will get the wheels on my lift when the time comes (this is my first year with a lift).

Decided to build my own "lift jack" out of some scrap metal I had around, and a $27 1200 lb winch from eBay.

Used some grade 8 hardware to attach the winch to the 1" square tube, and built a small foot so it doesn't sink into the sand. The "hook" is just a piece of scrap metal I had hanging around that I put in a vice and bent with a sledgehammer.

Total investment: under $30.

http://i.imgur.com/KKsCO.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/GL5o4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/GGBiX.jpg

liledgy
09-09-2012, 01:49 PM
I usually use a cumalong (chain or cable ) . I choke a sling at the top of a 4x4 or 2x6, attach the cumalong to it and the attach the cable or chain end to the lift with a large hook or the hook from the cable and another sling. Pull the slack out and start ratcheting it up. If its really stuck I may have to do it to each leg, but usually just in the middle of the lift, front and rear.
Before I put my lift in I attached 2'x2 plywood to the aluminum feet with drywall screws. The screws were strong enough to hold plywood to the feet and if I need to jack it up in the future the screws will be rotted off and not hinder the removal/adjustment.
I also have used the cumalong to adjust docks,while standing on top attach it to the post, connect to the dock, loosen bolts and jack it up, tighten and your done.

tommy panfish
09-10-2012, 11:14 AM
We leave ours in all winter. We bubble the water. Haven't had a problem with docks or lifts. Too much hassle pulling in and out.

Barefooter92
09-10-2012, 12:44 PM
Same pontoon fork lift thing here but it is only $45 per lift one way. Costs $90 in and $90 out for our two boat lifts. Both in about 2' of muck, saves on any chiropractor visits!