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  • Boat lift help

    Hoping to get a basis of what to expect to pay for a shore mate used boat lift, install and potentially winter storage. My family just got a place in northern Indiana and although I'm a fairly seasoned boat owner (end of 4th summer at age 27) I'm new to the lift game. Best brands? Can I move and install myself? Can you take them apart each winter for easier storage? Is there maintence required? Are fixes easy? What to look for when buying used? I've looked on Craigslist in the area and free like I can get in the game for $3000 for a nice lift with potentially a canopy. I'm pretty handy but not sure if it's worth spending the extra cash each season to have someone take care of it each year. Any insight would be great. 91 Maristar currently but also looking to upgrade a few years to an early 2000 pro star
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  • #2
    quite a few questions to answer to steer you on a boat lift....BTW, gorgeous lake!!!!

    Considerations:

    - type of shoreline? Level grade or steep
    - depth of water and how gradual / quick water drops off....do you need to go out 20ft or 100ft??
    - type of bottom it will sit on? Sand, fine stones, coarse stones, muck

    As for storage, most people will bring their lift onto shore (above risk of ice shoves, etc) for the off season. Ideally, if you have a level, hard bottom shoreline, a wheel kit or two and an ATV/UTV/Truck with a top strap makes taking out easy. Any type of slope and hard bottom makes putting in easy as it's gravity

    Opposite extreme, lots of trees and steep shoreline and muck bottom (my world)...some float tubes, an atv with a winch are necessities to get it out. The float tubes and a couple of sets of extra hands to guide for putting in at springtime. Muck bottom has me cutting 2ft x 4ft plywood pads for underneath the feat to minimize sinking...its a PITA.

    As for maintenance, lubricating winch components.

    Several kinds of lift including vertical, cantilever and float lifts.
    Accessories to consider include boat guides and stops, AC or DC lift motors, canopies.
    If you can get power to the shore, you can us a simple lift motor. If you can't, a solar panel, battery and DC motor is the way you go.

    Canopies.....folks on my river have been picking black for the color. Surprisingly it gets too hot underneath for the spiders

    Wear parts on most lifts are cables.....once in a while, they break!

    I am not familiar with the total weight of your Maristar. My PS197 dry weight is 2800#. Add 30 lbs of gas, a crew of 3 to 4 people, equipment...you are hitting upper 3000s....I went with a 4500lb lift. Heavier cables, geared down winch.

    Also, I went with 120" wide for two reasons....1) so I could build an 8" wide gangway on either side for wipedown 2) the extra width keeps the sun off the boat with the wider canopy

    Canopy lenth....IIRC I went 24 if not 26ft long...again gets the boat up/in and out of the sun.

    With the tower on my boat, I also went high top which is extra deep....again, trying to keep the sun off the boat. When I store, the tower if folded down and up tight against the top of the canopy.

    Hope I gave you some things to think about.....

    Fall is a great time to buy used lifts....a large flat bed trailer, some timbers for bracing and lots of winch straps make them easy to move without disassembly. Also, you can float most on top of a mid sized fishing boat....I've moved them across lakes before

    Hope I gave ya a bunch of information....throw out more questions, I'm sure folks will be very willing to jump in and help you with their experiences.

    Also, if I was in the market and not on a budget, I would look at Floe....their adjustable legs are great. Other features are cool too.

    If you are on a budget like me, I ordered mine on-line shipped to my door in a crate. Assembly by me saved me $800 or more.

    Happy shopping
    Everyone Dies, but not everyone lives

    2004 Prostar 197, ACME 843

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    • #3
      Appreciate the help. The lake has a beautiful sand base all the way to shore and I'd be putting the lift at ~5 feet of water. Most likely will be getting a vertical lift. Do you simply rest them on top of the sand and be done with it?

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      • #4
        what lake are you on ?

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        • #5
          Snow lake, hickory island

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wilkiesc View Post
            Appreciate the help. The lake has a beautiful sand base all the way to shore and I'd be putting the lift at ~5 feet of water. Most likely will be getting a vertical lift. Do you simply rest them on top of the sand and be done with it?
            Yup...that should work well.

            Sent from my SM-G920R6 using Tapatalk
            Everyone Dies, but not everyone lives

            2004 Prostar 197, ACME 843

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            • #7
              Make sure you store it inside to keep the water off it. ����
              Last edited by liledgy; 11-04-2017, 05:15 PM. Reason: Adding

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              • #8
                beautiful area -
                sigpic...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....

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                • #9
                  Nice Lake been going there for years. Get a 6000 pound lift for future boat purchases. Bought one for my Prostar 205 then got a X-30 so had to get a different lift. Shorestation is the best I think. The friend who has a cottage on Snow that I go to has had one for over 40 years mine is 3 years old.

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                  • #10
                    I hit up my local boat shows and talked to all the dock dealers asking if they had any used lifts they were looking to offload. Floe dealer took in a hewitt boat lift that needed the hardware replaced. Paid 500 for the lift and another 500 in all new hardware. Got a 6,000lb cantilever boat lift for $1,000 and a weekend of assembly in work. Highly recommend if you are trying to do this to go that route.

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                    • #11
                      Have you considered a cradle lift? I'm assuming you're on a private dock that you own?
                      The sea, once it casts it's spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever - Jacques Cousteau

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by icecold View Post
                        Nice Lake been going there for years. Get a 6000 pound lift for future boat purchases. Bought one for my Prostar 205 then got a X-30 so had to get a different lift. Shorestation is the best I think. The friend who has a cottage on Snow that I go to has had one for over 40 years mine is 3 years old.
                        The price difference between a 4,500 lb lift and a 6,000 lb lift is pretty substantial. The 6k+ lifts are harder to find used.

                        I wouldn't buy a 6k lift in anticipation of future boat purchases. Just buy what you need for now, sell it if you need something different in the future. The used boat lift market will take back your stuff for what you paid for it.

                        Originally posted by Wakerider16 View Post
                        I hit up my local boat shows and talked to all the dock dealers asking if they had any used lifts they were looking to offload. Floe dealer took in a hewitt boat lift that needed the hardware replaced. Paid 500 for the lift and another 500 in all new hardware. Got a 6,000lb cantilever boat lift for $1,000 and a weekend of assembly in work. Highly recommend if you are trying to do this to go that route.
                        You sure its a 6k rated lift? Usually cantilever style does not have that high of a capacity.

                        Anything I have seen that is rated for 6k+ is a vertical lift.

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                        • #13
                          This option never seems to have much support but I am one very happy user : inflatable lift system from http://airdock.com/

                          When I bought my place on the lake the dock came with the airdock already installed in my slip. I have shallow water part of the season and cannot have a traditional lift that sinks into the water.

                          I have been using the airdock for about 5 years now with my current X2, I wouldn't trade it for any other kind of lift. So easy.

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                          • #14
                            Been using a hydrohoist for years with zero issues, but we have tide changes where i'm docked.

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                            • #15
                              I have a bunch of friends on that chain of lakes up there and here is what I know. If you do not do it yourself get the pier place in angola to do it. They are a good group of guys and do good work and if they mess something up fix it. The other thing and this has to do with the lakes not the installers is that the shoreline can be goofy in places and can make it difficult to put in a lift. One lift I know of on snow lake the front of it is no less than 3 feet from shore and the back end of that sucker I swear the legs on it are about 20ft long to get to the bottom. I don't know where your place is at but in places it can be goofy installing lifts. That being said the hydrohoist might be the perfect solution for you I've never used one personally but knowing how they work if you are a diy guy might make it easier because of the bottom of that lake. If you have any questions about that lake system let me know I know quite a few up on there and am there frequently.

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