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View Full Version : Do I really need a boat lift


haroldbrogers
05-11-2012, 01:04 PM
Trying to figure out if the capital outlay is really worth the benifits of a boat lift. I have an X15 that sits in the water for roughly 4 months a year. My current dock setup is such that the boat never really touches the dock, as it is pulled away from dock, unless I want to pull it over to load boat. Not a lot of boat traffic, so boat does not get nocked around much. Set up is a close to being on a mooring as can be. I know that the lift will keep the hull clean, but what else am I gaining by spending $4000.00 Thanks in advance

Lumbergh
05-11-2012, 01:42 PM
Gel coat can blister if left in the water.

RustyMC
05-11-2012, 01:52 PM
Just my 2 cents - a lot of if depends on the water you are in. I left mine in the water all summer year before last and I had some serious staining of the gel coat. Once it's there, it's a pain to get off. If the water you are in is clear/cooler, that might not be an issue.

Regardless of the staining possibility- the blistering Lumbergh refers to will be a concern. Over time, your boat WILL absorb water. I bought my boat used and after the 1st year of leaving it in I pulled the trigger on the lift and have not looked back.

One last thing - look at the used lift market. You can usually find one if you look long enough and they are fairly simple and easy to fix if you find one that needs a bit of work.

19_Skier
05-11-2012, 02:12 PM
I know of 5 MC's (a couple are early 90's) plus several moombas/nautiques that all sit in our lake over the summer and have never had gelcoat issues - :twocents:

However, if given the option I would chose a lift, but there is a rare lake trout species in our lake which restricts what we can put in the water.

SilviaMan
05-11-2012, 02:18 PM
Just my 2 cents - a lot of if depends on the water you are in. I left mine in the water all summer year before last and I had some serious staining of the gel coat. Once it's there, it's a pain to get off. If the water you are in is clear/cooler, that might not be an issue.

I agree. we would camp at our local lake for a week with the boat in the water and the nasty ring left on it was a major PITA to clean off.

JulioX2
05-11-2012, 02:38 PM
Wouldn't you be concerned if your lake gets choppy from the wind and getting banged around the dock. Or fluctuations in Lake levels? Not sure what your lake or situation is like, but I have friends with boats lifts and that's some of the reasons they got the lifts..

tommyadrian5
05-11-2012, 04:36 PM
Ummm, for nasty ring around boat, one wipe with 'Blue FSR' (wear gloves), wait 2-3 minutes, spray off, and its gone.

kskonn
05-11-2012, 04:38 PM
Yea, for those with the staining issue I use a little watered down Muratic Acid, spray let sit for a few minutes and spray off, good as new.

cdstukey
05-11-2012, 04:57 PM
Boats stored on lifts rarely sink during freak storms or other accidental occurrences. It just a matter of how secure you want your boat to be when stored. It sounds like your set up is more secure than an average dock side tie up, so that's good. Only you will know about the staining.

19_Skier
05-11-2012, 05:34 PM
Wouldn't you be concerned if your lake gets choppy from the wind and getting banged around the dock. Or fluctuations in Lake levels? Not sure what your lake or situation is like, but I have friends with boats lifts and that's some of the reasons they got the lifts..

http://wakewatcher.com/

these are fantastic for choppy waters and fluctuating water levels, not sure what the weight of an X15 is though...

Latin Flyer
05-11-2012, 09:00 PM
Peace of mind, peace of mind on a storm, on the battery dying (no bilge) peace of mind of going away a week end and not having to think about it, ................. I can go on and on.

RustyMC
05-11-2012, 09:11 PM
The cosmetic issues for me were not the determining factor - although it was easily a day of cleaning at the end of the season (On/Off worked but we had to do the WHOLE boat from waterline down).

For me it ended up being about blistering concerns, storms, bilge/battery, etc. As I said - there are used lifts out there and that's the way to go IMHO.

Double D
05-11-2012, 09:22 PM
I agree. we would camp at our local lake for a week with the boat in the water and the nasty ring left on it was a major PITA to clean off.

Agreed!! Ring Around the Boat sucks!!


Sent from my wife's old iPad using Tapatalk....

JohnnyB
05-12-2012, 07:46 AM
I leave mine in the water for 10 days every year when we vacation. PITA to get the ring if stain off. Lake is gin clear but the tannins from the trees turn the hull brown. Plus I pull it when there is storm threat. I am pretty paranoid for reasons others mention and begin and end every day checking on it.

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

Jeff Lyman
05-12-2012, 07:53 AM
Putting in my just purchased used Shore Master lift thats about 10 years old today. Total investment $995.00. My boat will be happy all summer with a dry arse! A lift for you boat is like deciding to use tires on your truck. I now have 2 USED lifts at both houses.

TN X-45
05-12-2012, 08:24 AM
+1 on used lift. Just bought a hydrohoist. Great dael on the hoist - expensive install but worth every penny!

hragsarkissian
05-14-2012, 05:53 AM
I've always contemplated getting a lift. I currently dock on a saltwater marina for the season. Had the boat sitting all summer last year and so far so good (Boat is X25 SS with antifouling).

I would like to be able to have it out of the water though. Thing is I can't have pilings or anything on the bottom so it has to be floating which is quite expensive and difficult to find here in Lebanon.

VTJC
05-14-2012, 10:48 AM
I also vote for a used boat lift. I have bought and sold several, leap forging my way up to a lift with a canopy. Its very nice to keep the boat dry and clean all summer long. Prior to having a lift, I would pull my boat month for a few days to allow the hull to ‘dry’.

wheelerlake
05-14-2012, 10:55 AM
Just so much more secure on a lift, no bilge worries. The first summer we took it out when we went home from the cottage-PITA. Bought a used lift-$1000 plus the cables that have broken, and the canopy and the lift motor we installed-best investment we ever made. It's amazing how much water that basin of a boat can collect into the bilge. None gets in now, cover has lasted a lot longer, I still get a ring around the boat but a little gentle wash removes that. I just sleep better:) I wouldn't be able to replace my investment if I found it at the bottom of the lake!

jamisonsbrodie
05-14-2012, 11:07 AM
IMO, every time you use acid like On/Off or other hull cleaner, you are removing some gelcoat. The boat will never be the same after each use of that stuff. I could be wrong, but it seems like they stain easier every year after using that stuff and from the waterline down, it never looks looks the same as new. Obviously waxing will help negate this, but Wax is no replacement for factory gelcoat. For this reason, I would NEVER moore my boat for an extended period of time. On a new boat, it may take several years for the issue to show up, but it will eventually IMO. As someone that usually buys used boats, I also would never consider buying a boat that was moored each season regardless of how it looks because I will end up having to deal with issues down the road. A boat lift is very inexpensive insurance IMO.

Barefooter92
05-14-2012, 12:14 PM
It only takes one storm and one broken dock line, while your not there, to do $x,xxx in damage to your fiberglass.

Totaly up to you but a used lift one time will last through many years of boating.

CottagerGreg
05-14-2012, 03:25 PM
I'd love a lift or a steel dock but they are out of budget. Also If I had a lift I wouldn't be able to lift it out of the water in the winter.

I use dockedge mooring whips and it safely keeps the boat off the dock during storms and lots of recreational boat traffic including tubers, ski, boarding traffic. Some boats in our bay are over 25' long and make a big wake...

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k212/GTI2lo/Cottage%202011/IMG_4079.jpg

Granite_33
05-14-2012, 05:20 PM
IMHO, you should now be in the market for a used lift. Blisters, stains, etc, etc. I used boat armour on a previous boat and its just nasty stuff......gloves, eye protection, etc. Not fun, and though I have no scientific evidence to support it damaging the gelcoat, I always felt that "hey, its acid" it will have a bad effect. I dont use it anymore, because I have a boat lift and can usually get everything off with vinegar.

Panda Cub
05-14-2012, 07:48 PM
+1 on the lift. I hate doing maintenance on my boat, and a lift will only prevent problems to your gel coat, and all other parts of your boat.

swc5150
05-15-2012, 01:55 PM
I'd even go one step further and get a lift with canopy. You bought a world-class boat, protect it. You wouldn't leave your high-end car sitting in the driveway;)

mikeg205
05-15-2012, 02:23 PM
+1 on the boat lift.... if you have the budget... read and heard too many stories of storms killing boats....especially on an MC.

The longest my boat stays in the water is 2 weeks...in crystal clear lake in Ontario, Canada...If a wave of storms is predicted - its off to the boat ramp...if weather unstable... trailer and tow vehicle goes on stand by for quick removal.

onewheat
05-17-2012, 12:32 AM
I'd even go one step further and get a lift with canopy. You bought a world-class boat, protect it. You wouldn't leave your high-end car sitting in the driveway;)

I totally agree with the first part, but lots of people leave really nice cars out all the time. Garages are too full of kids toys, bikes, Fisher Price cars, etc. My last house had 1800 feet of attached garage - the only one like it in the subdivision - and everyone asked me why I needed so much garage. They never saw one of my cars, my boat, trailer - anything sitting outside at night or covered in snow in the mornings.

Wish I still had that garage now - 3 cars outside every night now.

ShawnB
05-17-2012, 01:04 AM
If anyone does have scientific evidence on blistering or negative affects of on-and-off I would really like to see it. Town is giving us all kinds of grief over our application for a boat lift....

Barefooter92
05-17-2012, 07:39 AM
If anyone does have scientific evidence on blistering or negative affects of on-and-off I would really like to see it. Town is giving us all kinds of grief over our application for a boat lift....

Dont you love fighting city hall? I have been since October may get in the water in July.

jamisonsbrodie
05-17-2012, 10:40 AM
If anyone does have scientific evidence on blistering or negative affects of on-and-off I would really like to see it. Town is giving us all kinds of grief over our application for a boat lift....

Blistering evidence? Nothing scientific. The only blistering I have seen are on boats that were moored. Coincidence? Also, I can tell a boat that has been acid washed each year, because it dulls the gelcoat. Even if waxed each year, over time it will dull and become more susceptible to staining the more you use it. On a newer boat, you will not notice this for a few years, maybe many years, but eventually it will show. If you always have a newer boat, than you may never see the effects, but I am usually in and around 10-20 year old boats and I have seen the effects many times.

Obviously there are a lot of places where a lift is neither possible, or practical, but if it is an option, I would surely recommend having one.

TRBenj
05-17-2012, 11:07 AM
If anyone does have scientific evidence on blistering or negative affects of on-and-off I would really like to see it. Town is giving us all kinds of grief over our application for a boat lift....
On and Off is muriatic or hydrochloric acid based, I believe... but Im not sure Id go that route.

The warning not to leave a boat in the water for extended periods of time due to potential blistering issues is often stated right in the owner's manual. Osmotic blistering is no secret in the marine industry... if you google it, Im sure you'd come up with a ton of information. The bottom line is that polyester resin (gelcoat) is hydroscopic. Most manufacturers recommend bottom paint if the boat will be left in the water for extended periods... I would neglect to mention this as a viable option if youre not willing to consider it.

Regarding a boat lift, I cant believe that its even a question, especially on a boat this new and expensive. I have found all of my lifts pretty reasonably priced (used) and still have a few boats sitting on them that were cheaper to buy than the lift itself. If you care about the boat, then get a lift.

ShawnB
05-22-2012, 04:08 PM
The warning not to leave a boat in the water for extended periods of time due to potential blistering issues is often stated right in the owner's manual. Osmotic blistering is no secret in the marine industry... if you google it, Im sure you'd come up with a ton of information.

Thanks! From the MC Manual:
"damage to paints, varnishes, gel coat surfaces and colors,
chrome-plated or anodized finishes, floor and floor covers
and any other surface coatings, as well as damage due to
in-water storage without proper barrier coat and bottom
paints (NOTE: Although MasterCraft uses the highestgrade gel coat materials, a condition may develop where
the bottom of the boat may show signs of discoloration
and/or blisters if the boat is left in the water for long periods of time, which is defined as in excess of thirty (30)
days); therefore, a proper barrier coat and bottom paint
should be used whenever it is anticipated that the boat
will be left in the water for an extended period of time);"

BARE5
05-22-2012, 05:06 PM
Never thought about a lift till the Mastercraft came along. It's all worth it. No worries about bilge or broken dock lines etc. it's an investment just like the boat and you can sell it with boat.

toolz
06-17-2012, 10:42 AM
Just bought a lift yesterday- used ShoreMaster 4000 lb. I priced new- with all the options this one has (24' canopy, electric lift, aluminum bunks, long legs, guides) it was $7500. I paid $2000, had to haul it myself, but not a big deal. There's a lot of used lifts out there, and from what I've seen, they're not selling well, so it's a buyers market. I think I could have found even a better deal with some time, but I liked this one. Go get one.