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  • boat lift

    Looking at a new boat lift. The lift comes with either AC power or DC power with a solor panel. Just curious on what you like better.

    And advantages of one or the other?

  • #2
    The big question is do you have AC power available at your dock? If not will the solar panel be in the sun most of the day?

    Which lift are you looking at?

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    • #3
      What brand?

      We always have power at the dock but I could see an advantage of battery driven. Really only need power to lift anyway.

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      • #4
        We have 120V at our shore now so I just traded my DC motor and batteries for an AC motor.

        I think the AC motor is a no-brainer as you plug it in and use.

        Why mess with a battery(ies), solar panel, etc which will all eventually wear out and need replacing?

        Is there any advantage to a DC unit?
        Former: 2007 X15

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        • #5
          I can chine in on his one since I've had both.

          My 1st set up was a marine battery (a must) operated hydrolic lift by Basta/Neyman. I hated the lift and I hated the DC power. The solar panel was not enough to keep the battery charged up enough to go up. Going down was not a problem. So with this set up you will need to do the following:

          1. Take your lift battery home every 2nd or 3rd trip to the lake (for charging)
          2. Have a really long set of jumper cables to reach the battery from your vehicle
          3. Expect to get out to the lake and not be able to get the boat up or down often

          Do yourself a favor and rent trench digger and have your powewr co come install the conduit/meter for your dock; if it is an option. Or you could have a minimum 3500w gas generator to power it

          You'll be MUCH happier with AC.
          The sea, once it casts it's spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever - Jacques Cousteau

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          • #6
            I started a thread on this about a year and a half ago. Everyone convinced me to just run power down to the dock. I had a local electrician use a vibrating plow to put in conduit, then him and I pulled wire and he wired it up for me. Plowed the conduit in in the fall and once grass grew in the spring I couldn't see the "trench". Super happy I went this route.

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            • #7
              Big difference between DC Hydraulic and DC Mechanical/crank driven.

              The hydraulic lifts suck a bunch of power, its not uncommon for a DC hydraulic power pack to burn as much as 2-3KW/hr when running and depending on the lift they have fairly long cycle times where it might run the hydraulic pack full tilt 5 or 10 minutes. 2 or 3 cycles when you go out and you can deplete the ~1200 watt/hrs pretty fast.

              Compared to something like a mechanical lift where you're spinning the wheel it doesn't consume nearly the amount of power (I know it would seem like physics would say the potential energy of the boat down vs. the potential energy of the boat up would indicate the same amount of work was done - but the hydraulic is quite wasteful. My opinion is that in a Hydraulic lift it is pretty typical to have the weight of the boat directly onto the hydraulic system until the lift reaches approximately full rise, where as something like a Harbor Master where the weight of the boat rests on rollers and only a portion of the weight lives on the main lift cable requires very little force to raise the boat as the bulk of the weight lives on the frame the whole itme. This makes the hydraulic consume a bunch of power.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by slalomjunkie View Post
                I can chine in on his one since I've had both.

                My 1st set up was a marine battery (a must) operated hydrolic lift by Basta/Neyman. I hated the lift and I hated the DC power. The solar panel was not enough to keep the battery charged up enough to go up. Going down was not a problem. So with this set up you will need to do the following:

                1. Take your lift battery home every 2nd or 3rd trip to the lake (for charging)
                2. Have a really long set of jumper cables to reach the battery from your vehicle
                3. Expect to get out to the lake and not be able to get the boat up or down often

                Do yourself a favor and rent trench digger and have your powewr co come install the conduit/meter for your dock; if it is an option. Or you could have a minimum 3500w gas generator to power it

                You'll be MUCH happier with AC.
                My brother has a DC powered cantilever pontoon lift and he has never had to charge the batteries. Not even in the off season.

                He has had it for 4-5 years now. Lifted a 25' tritoon with a 250HP for the first 3-4 years, so it was lifting a fairly heavy boat for a tooner.

                It is a manual lift that was converted to power. I'm not sure what brand parts were used. It uses 2 batteries. Solar panel is roughly 12x12.

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                • #9
                  What is the lake like that you are putting it on? My lift is on a lake that fluctuates a lot. Most people on our lake go with battery lifts as we have to move our lifts a couple times a summer depending on water levels. A few of my friends have battery powered floe vertical ballscrew drive lifts that have no issues with battery life. They typically have to put a charger on the batteries about once a summer if they are using the boats a lot. I have a 120v lift and it is a little more work to unplug it and move the lift and mess with the extension cord to get the right length back to the lift.

                  If you are buying a lift in Wisconsin I would highly recommend looking at the FLOE VSD (Vertical Screw Drive) models. You can sometimes find them on the used market like Facebook market place or craigslist for less than buying new, but they are not cheap. They are quiet, fast and very reliable. They also have legs that can be adjusted with a cordless drill so you can level it very easy once it is in the water.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wheelin98TJ View Post
                    It is a manual lift that was converted to power. I'm not sure what brand parts were used. It uses 2 batteries. Solar panel is roughly 12x12.
                    Ya not hydraulic.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Folks. I’m going to be a contrarian here. We have a Sunstream hydraulic lift. Went from a 6,000 lb two piston to an 8,000 pound 4 piston this past Fall. The latter is new so can’t comment too much on it. But we had the former for about 4 years of trouble free service. Never had a battery problem. Lifted the boat a few times a day during peak use in the summer. Not even a hint of battery depletion (solar trickle charge included). And the hinges and points were in great shape when we sold the unit. We even sold it to a friend and neighbor.
                      We’ve left the lift in the water in winter. Removed the guides, dropped it down to the bottom of the lake, and disconnected the hydraulic lines. Then raised it up again in Spring. Hooked it up. Good as new.

                      The ice where we are can get pretty thick. So important to make sure the submerged lift is clear of the ice level.

                      Honestly - I can’t imagine a better solution. It ain’t cheap. But it’s awesome.


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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