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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default How to get a boat lift in the water?

    I know this has been discussed before and the best answer I've seen involves me and 9 friends.

    I was thinking of a better way, because I don't have that many friends. I just purchased used boat lift (steel) and I'm not quite sure how to get it in the water. Currently I have it on a snowmobile trailer. I was thinking that I could strap some small drums (15-20 gallons each) to each corner. This should easily hold up the lift and allow me to effortlessly float it into position. Does this sound like it will work?

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    The theory behind it sound like it would work.
    Improvise, Adapt, Modify, and Overcome.

  3. #3
    Chief Petty Officer OldePharte's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    In my neck of the woods, the lift is on a flat-bed trailer and launched just like a boat. Just make sure that the air hose line is sealed to keep the air in the tubes. You do have tubes?

    Then tow it to the slip, make all mechanical attachments, and then hook up the air line. You may have to use a piece of rope to keep it from going down while hooking up the air lines. In and out in an hour or two at the max.
    2009 Neptoon 25TT Sport Sun Lounger
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  4. #4

    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Is it a crank up/down type of lift with a steel frame and a steel cradle for the boat that goes up and down?

    We would always launch it at the ramp and use a small boat, like a jon boat, sandwiched inbetween the boat cradle crossmembers and the frame crossmembers of the lift. We could crank the lift down onto the boat and it would lift the legs up off the bottom and float on the boat.

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    i've seen boat lifts put into my marina via the boat hauler (35 ton limit). truck tows it in it's lifted off the truck to the boat lift, then towed to the slip via boat. don't know if you have access to that type of marina. my marina is on the ocean and has 685 boats so its got all the bells and whistles.

  6. #6
    Lieutenant scoutabout's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    I've got the same issue with my marine railway. It has to come out in the winter due to the ice. You'd be amazed at how much floatation power inflated truck inner tubes offer. These shots are of the install where the sections were placed on tubes and pushed out into the water, connected to the next, pushed out, etc. Once in position the real hassle was trying to wrassle them out from under the frames. Next year I may either just puncture them or pull the valve and let them settle.

    Thinking this year to remove I'll dive down with empty tubes, tie them to the rails, then run a long line to my air compressor. Fill, float, disconnect, and haul em out. I realize the boat lift is a different animal and you will have to figure out how high on the structure to tie the tubes while still allowing stable floatation in the water while launching and positioning, but I'm betting some variation on this theme would work for you.



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  7. #7
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by anon1 View Post
    Is it a crank up/down type of lift with a steel frame and a steel cradle for the boat that goes up and down?
    It is a cantilever lift. I contacted the marina to see if they install lifts. I was told that they sell them, but they hire a local guy for the installation. They gave me his name and number, but I got his answering machine and I haven't heard anything back yet. I took the thing off the trailer yesterday and decided right then that if I ever have to do it again, I will get an aluminum lift. The good news is that once this is in the water, I will never have to move it again.

  8. #8
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by medic181075 View Post
    The good news is that once this is in the water, I will never have to move it again.
    Untill a flood comes by!! Were are you located? your situation sounds like ours. We have a guy with a barge on the river who install them for the marinas.

    I have seen people moving lifts with jon boats, but have not figured out how they lift them up without some type of rig. If you figure it out, let me know.
    Chris

    Up a river without a DAM lake!

  9. #9
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Wink Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutabout View Post
    I've got the same issue with my marine railway. It has to come out in the winter due to the ice. You'd be amazed at how much floatation power inflated truck inner tubes offer. These shots are of the install where the sections were placed on tubes and pushed out into the water, connected to the next, pushed out, etc. Once in position the real hassle was trying to wrassle them out from under the frames. Next year I may either just puncture them or pull the valve and let them settle.

    Thinking this year to remove I'll dive down with empty tubes, tie them to the rails, then run a long line to my air compressor. Fill, float, disconnect, and haul em out. I realize the boat lift is a different animal and you will have to figure out how high on the structure to tie the tubes while still allowing stable floatation in the water while launching and positioning, but I'm betting some variation on this theme would work for you.



    Regarding getting the floats from under the frames:
    Have you considered a shot gun? that would make for a great target practice! I can just see it, case of Blue ( not Molson - I worked there one summer - you don't want to know what they do before the caps are on the bottles!) sitting on the shore, feet up....
    that could be a BLAST!
    Chris

    Up a river without a DAM lake!

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisg View Post
    ...
    I have seen people moving lifts with jon boats, but have not figured out how they lift them up without some type of rig. If you figure it out, let me know.
    I posted above with how it is done with a jon boat where I'm from. I've moved several Shoremaster cantilever lifts using a jon boat and the technique above.

  11. #11
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: How to get a boat lift in the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisg View Post
    Untill a flood comes by!! Were are you located? your situation sounds like ours. We have a guy with a barge on the river who install them for the marinas.

    My camp is in Rushford, NY - on Rushford Lake. FWIW, there hasn't been a flood there since before the dam was built in 1928.

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