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  #21  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:06 PM
jmorone jmorone is offline
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I agree with Zamboniman and Bturner2, go with the 120" wide model. It gives you more room when landing and allows you to easily use side guide rails. When using side guide rails, make sure they do not touch your graphics (in my photo above you can see I positioned them slightly below the "MasterCraft" graphics and angled them froward slightly so they don't touch the rear "X2" graphics).

I thought about matching the bunks on my trailer, but it would have been too difficult to fabricate two sets of off-setting bunks. I use a tennis ball hanging from a string to align to a particular point on the boat...this is where I hold it while someone winds the lift up. Everything (including the shaft strut) under the boat clears the horizontal cross member except the prop. I might increase the height of the vertical unistrut that supports the bunks so the prop clears. Then I would not have to be as careful when landing the boat.

I leave the boat uncovered over the weekend (private lake house), but I certainly cover it when I leave. I would never leave my boat uncovered overnight at public dock.

Finally, I ordered my cover with an extra 12" length of valance. This helps a lot with sun and weather. I think if the valance was any longer, it would not look right.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:36 PM
zamboniman zamboniman is offline
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The other thing that is always not readily apparent until you see them all in person.. Shore station has horizontal cross members across both sides of the lift. Depending on the water depth that may be a "hurdle" to enter the boat. If deep enough they will probably not be an issue but otherwise could be something you have to climb over.. not easy for everyone.

Most other brand lifts have at least one side if not both sides with "V" style supports so you can enter without scaling that support beam.

Speaking of depth if you are in a shallow area the different brands have various minimum depths due to their design. Some cradles go all the way down others don't.. Some have V cradles to git a bit deeper.

Other differences across brands are some have more welded components.. others more bolted components. All have pros/cons and could be argued either way. In the end most are more similar than different. I ended up with the craftlander as it appeared as good or better than the big names at just a bit more than they were used. So far no complaints.

What I found through my lengthy research..
Shorestation/ShoreMaster = Gold standard (not necessarily the best but they seem to have defined the market, nobody is going to laugh at you for buying one of these)
Floe = the most proud of their product (don't believe me price one out)
Handful of other small lower cost players = Some have obvious cost cutting measures.. others arguably better than the standard.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:38 PM
88 PS190 88 PS190 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
88 PS 190:

One question, I get why you recommend comparing the bunks on the trailer to the lift, but what do you mean by "Cheat and set Those up."? (just a typo)

All:
1. How about converting a lift to have bunks, any recommendations? Things to consider? Where to get the kit?
2. Can a guy switch out the winch/cable to increase the weight limits?
3. Can a guy raise the canopy to accomodate the tower on pretty much all lifts?

Lastly, looking at jmorone's pic, as awesome as it looks, I'm assuming this is on your property. I love the idea that I can let it air out and take only minutes to hop in and go, etc but I'm considering this to go in a private party slip, do I dare leave it this open or do I put my cover on it too if I'll be back inside of a week? Or am I just being over concerned?

Bunks are easy, most lift companies sell a kit, or hardware you can buy wood and carpet and finish up. Or you can buy the complete bunks (assuming you bought a pontoon lift)

Weight limits are more than the cable, the whole design is based around it, and I'd wager the cable is one of the more overbuilt components (they still break even within limits due to wear/stress on the cables)

Canopies almost all can be lifted by making extensions for the pipes/posts that hold them, might have to do some sourcing for metal suppliers locally who can get you the material if you aren't an aluminum fabricator by trade.
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  #24  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:46 PM
88 PS190 88 PS190 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post
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.
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  #25  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:48 PM
88 PS190 88 PS190 is online now
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Final thought:

These are made in MI - http://www.harbor-master.com/grand-r...elite-lift.htm

Not terribly well known. But they have a good price point. They have extremely low force required to lift the boat (it rolls up the bar on wheels instead of pivoting or lifting)

One cable, lowers down very far (good for inboards)

Fairly inexpensive. Perhaps not as heavily constructed as Shore Station - but far easier to live with.
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:47 AM
catamount catamount is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
88 PS 190:
Excellent tips for a newbie looking to buy into a used lift, 88 PS 190, thanks! Ideally, would love to "try it" before buying, but obviously that is not an option this time of year, so this really helps!

1. How about converting a lift to have bunks, any recommendations? Things to consider? Where to get the kit?

Hi DoubleE. I bought a Shore Station last year without bunks and purchased this kit to get it to work with my 1987 PS 190. It worked great... all you have to do is supply your own 2x6 for the bunks.

http://www.boatliftanddock.com/p-524...-bunk-kit.aspx

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  #27  
Old 04-09-2013, 01:11 PM
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CBRENT CBRENT is offline
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Air Dock

@ bfinley - not sure if you have looked into this yet but I have one and love it. Works in almost any level of water and I never have to worry about uneven ground. It's super easy to pull out for the winter and gets the boat completely out of the water. The customer service is fantastic as well. I'e owned it now for 6 yrs and no issues.

I have a 2012 X2 and it handles the weight just fine. My only complaint is it doesn't have a canopy.


Couple shots for you. My 86 and the X2

Here is their site: http://www.airdock.com/
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2013, 04:52 PM
catamount catamount is offline
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That is awesome! I would definitely be looking into that if I had the right conditions for it.
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2013, 05:13 PM
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dpolen dpolen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBRENT View Post
@ bfinley - not sure if you have looked into this yet but I have one and love it. Works in almost any level of water and I never have to worry about uneven ground. It's super easy to pull out for the winter and gets the boat completely out of the water. The customer service is fantastic as well. I'e owned it now for 6 yrs and no issues.

I have a 2012 X2 and it handles the weight just fine. My only complaint is it doesn't have a canopy.


Couple shots for you. My 86 and the X2

Here is their site: http://www.airdock.com/
I'm working on a deal right now towards trading in my boat to buy an 2012 X2...which model of airdock do you have there? How easy is it to take out of the lake at the end of the season? I lease a boat slip in the summer and don't have a convenient place to store a boat lift...wondering if this might be an option for me. Thanks!!!
Doug
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2013, 05:45 PM
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CBRENT CBRENT is offline
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@dpolen - As for the exact model I'd have to go look at the paperwork, of which I'm not exactly sure of it's location. I'll give them a call and ask. They keep all those records. It was around $4k.

As for ease of moving it... it's pretty heavy. It takes 2 people to drag it around on dry land. It slides pretty easy when it's inflated. All and all it's way easier then a hoist. Most of my neighbors have hoists and they struggle in the muck every year! Then there's me, floating my dock into place tying it off and opening a beer.

In the fall I pull it into my backyard, deflate it and fold it onto itself. Pull the compressor box off and store that in the garage.
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