Originally Posted by zamboniman
I think the vertical lets you get into some shallower water.
The skinny on the two systems from my experience.
Vertical lifts have bunches of cables and pullies running through the struts.
These cables and pullies lift your boat straight up and down a pipe, so the travel is quite large - best bet for lifting higher, lowering further, and having greater range of lift if your water level changes through out the year. But also more components to break, and the lifts are usually quite heavy.
Advantage to vertical, all the weight is suspended on cables, the craddle has guides to ride up the posts so the cables just hang the craddle.
Cantilevers - less money, usually lighter lifts. Much smaller lift range (limited by the pivot radius of the arm.
A side effect however is that the cables last longer (from my experience) because once you have the boat "up" the boat really is sitting on the frame, and only some % is suspended on cables.
Because the aluminum structure is not much larger in a cantilever, and you often have just the one cable, and a few pullies, these lifts tend to be very easy to move around.
Also, when you are lifting the boat, a cantilever comes up at an angle, it is more like pulling your boat up an incline than "lifting" it up. Which means that the physical effort of turning the wheel is usually a good deal lower (everything else the same) you split the labor with the cantilever arms.