Originally Posted by bigmac
ShoreMaster, Hewitt, Pier Pleasure, Newman, Porta-Dock, Hi-Tide, Floe are all made here in Minnesota - all within 2 hours of here. There are about 100 boat lift dealers within a 25 mile radius of my house. Practically every bait shop sells one brand or another, as do all of the high-end boat dealers. In 30 years of lake living and boat ownership I've either owned, or seen them all and I have strong opinons about the quality of the various brands. My friends and neighbors on our lake own virtually every one of those brands. I've seen how they stand up to wind, storms, age, neglect, and how they work in normal every day use. These are the kinds of things we talk about at neighborhood barbecues.
Price-point lifts like ShoreMaster and Hewitt are not very good IMHO. High failure rate, mainly cables, winch, and lift pulleys. They are usually the first ones to flip, bend, or break in a windstorm. The canopies don't stand up to the sun well and tend to rip. And they fade fairly rapidly. Most reliable brands around here are ShoreStation, Pier Pleasure and Floe. IMHO, ShoreStation has at least a few drawbacks. They're strong enough, but not terribly functional IMHO with shallow canopies, ring guides that can bind. I think Floe is excellent, but VERY expensive for what you get....even here where shipping is cheap since the Floe factory us about 30 minutes from here and we can all just pick them up ourselves and load then onto our (Floe) snowmobile trailers. Pier Pleasure has been my choice and it's been excellent.