If it is truly a hydro hoist, they were the first and really charged a premium for their product for many years. I purchased my first one in the 80's and paid $6k for a 4000 lb lift. I currently have a Float Air lift and paid $6k for a 10,000 lb lift installed. If it is a 95 model, make sure it is a "level lift", in earlier years, hydro hoist's economy model lifted bow first and they experienced some problems with them. As far as the pontoon conversion, hydro hoist has always charged a major premium for upgrades/changes. Make sure the price includes moving/installation of a used hoist. This is usually a $300 to $400 charge. The most important thing to look at on a used hoist is the metal hardward that holds the tanks. adn pivot points The bands that hold the tanks corrode through, even though they are stainless steel and the pivot points really wear more than you think. The movers in my area (lake lanier) usually charge around $500 which includes replacement of some the bolts/hardware they know is either bad or will probably break during relocation/installation. If you pay $2k for one, you will probably get most of this back if you ever sell it. Check craigs list in your area for comparison, there are always one or two for sale in the Atlanta area.
joebks ... lkbum knows his stuff and has offered good info.
Allow me to elaborate a little, offer you some advice and provide a few options.
For your $2100 option I have two pair of pontoon bunks that we pulled off a lift at my shop. They are used but the wood, carpet and steel are in like new condition. I'm sure I can save you some money even after figuring freight. They are an easy bolt-on design and if I were you I would simply leave the v-hull pads on there so you can lift both v-hull and pontoon style hulls. We have performed this upgrade for a number of customers who have a pontoon boat they use in the summer and a bass boat for fall and winter. Regardless, your lift will be more marketable to a larger audience if you ever decide to sell it and nobody will likely pay you anything for the old v-hull pads. You might as well keep them. The majority of the used lifts you find will likely be setup for a v-hull.
If it truly is a 1995 model then you don't have to worry about it not being a level lift. Those boat suicide models were referred to as the H-model and not produced beyond 1990. I would not trust this answer unless it were from a H-hoist representative, even then roll the dice and cross your finger - around here they have a revolving door of management and employees so there aren't many true "experienced" boat lift veterans in their roster.
The air tanks will be made of fiberglass and held to the frame with steel tank bands. The older models (prior to roughly 2002) have 'steel in the water'. Contrary to their current marketing this is fine for 10-15 yrs here in our freshwater lakes. You will want to ask when they were replaced last, if at all. Again, look and feel for yourself unless they clearly look new. A good tank band will have 3/16" to 1/8" of thickness. The bottoms traditionally need replacing before the tops and you'll have to reach in the water and go by feel (assuming it's in the water now). I can drop-ship new replacement aftermarket tanks bands if you need them. My price would be considerably less money than buying them directy from the manufacturer. Rather than support their customer base with affordable replacement parts they have inflated them so high that it pushes any maintenance investment closer and closer to the price of a brand new lift.
For the 2006 tri-toon setup ... 5k seems a bit high even if it is their 6600# model. Especially after you figure the costs of relocating. If your local H-hoist dealer charges like they do here it will cost you double an install fee which will be somewhere in the $800-900 range plus freight if they have to move it more than a few miles.
You can hire an experienced independent installer like us for considerably less. Heck, you're only 4 hrs away (I'm just outside Charlotte, NC) I can send a guy to you with these used parts and judging by what you are being quoted we might could have the $2100 lift option setup with new bands and these used pontoon bunks and still put a seasons worth of gas money back in your pocket.
If you are considering a newer lift we offer that too. For not a whole lot more than you would pay for the $5000 version after factoring relocation and freight you will not likely have a warranty of any kind. If your budget can support a new lift we offer Poly Lift, Roto Lift or Galvalift brand lifts that all include a 5 year structural warranty and lifetime air tank warranty.
Call if we can help ... 803-242-5701. My name is Casey, we are WaterJack, www.waterjack.net. At your service.
Hi Casey, good info in your post. I am looking at what I am told is an H Model (have no idea what year). It raises bow first and is set-up for v-hull. If I get it, I will be reconfiguring for pontoons, possibly the dual configuration you mentioned.
What can you tell me about this bow first model? It seems to operate fine and aside from some corrosion on the bolts and a lot of algae it looks ok. Have not looked at the underside since it is in the water. Any info on the Bow First thing would be appreciated.
If I can, the bow first models, as Casey pointed out are terrible. The tanks/bunks slide up and down side mounted posts. As the tanks are inflated (the water is displaced), they start to lift. Since the bow is lighter, it comes up first (more or less). Then as the remaining water in the tanks is displaced, the rear finally comes up. I knew a couple of boaters with these and they had constant problems with them. The "level" lifts, have the tank mounted in essentially a 4 bar mechanism that is attached to the dock. It stays level constantly. Your best bet on one of these models is to get it very cheap, just to get the tanks, and have someone like casey convert it to a level lift.
So what exactly is the problem? When I looked at it, I saw how it came out of the water first. I guess I assumed that it wouldn't be quite that bad with a boat on it. It is quite cheap and tempting. What do I need to consider if I go with something like this?
The problems on the ones I have seen had to do with the fact that the tanks were not rigidly attached to the dock (as in the level lift models). I have seen the result of them binding and jamming as they lifted (probably had some minor wave action when they lifted). This results in a bad situation and the boat can be dumped, either to the side or on it's nose. I have also seen the result of the lift losing air partially (either to waves or a leaky valve) and the boat getting badly hung up. You position the boat on lift with ropes, usually tied to the aft cleats. Then lift. If the lift becomes partially submerged, the back goes down first. If it does not finish going down, it is hung on the ropes and makes for a precarious situation. I don't know if they make these types lift anymore. I don't think so and it was for these reasons.
Casey, Do you have the pontoon bunks for polylift? Not sure of model or age. Was there when bought house. Ship to Missouri. They want 600.00 for pair here. Would it be possible to get just the attachment brackets and make my own bunks with the angle support to attach to them?
Casey, Do you have the pontoon bunks for polylift? Not sure of model or age. Was there when bought house. Ship to Missouri. They want 600.00 for pair here. Would it be possible to get just the attachment brackets and make my own bunks with the angle support to attach to them? 22 ft pontoon. Thank You
Caddog ... I get them from Missouri. One of the biggest advantages to the plastic lumber is that you'll never have to replace it. I understand it's a lot of money for bunks (and I don't really understand why it's so much) but ... you could buy the pontoon pad angles and carpet your own wood to save some money. They may even sell you the carpet. Be ready to replace the carpet in 3-5 years like all the other lift companies though. Make sure you tell them this conversion is for an existing Poly Lift. Good luck.