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Boat Hoist Recommendation

rodeconrodecon Posts: 233 Baller
So I am in the process of finalizing the purchase of my first lake property and need to start from scratch with docks and a hoist seems locally that Shorestation vertical lifts have a big presence and are easily available, but one of my ski buddies is recommending a Hewitt cantilever lift. Would love some input from the Ballets on this before I go shopping.

Pros? Cons?


  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 476 Crazy Baller
    I have a vertical shorestation. Good quality and replacement parts readily available. When I was looking as you are, the advice given to me was avoid the cantilever because once the boat is "up" it can't be put any higher without re-setting the lift. If/when you get high water or a flood you can't put the boat any higher than the lift is set for. Not sure what your shore or water fluctuation potential is but the cantilever might be a bit limiting. Not sure if the advice I got was justified or not, but I'm happy with my vertical.
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,578 Mega Baller
    this is the weapon of choice for our Broho group,

    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • Not_The_PugNot_The_Pug Posts: 649 Crazy Baller
    Summit Marine makes one of the best cantilever lifts. Very will built and uses a reverse ram system so it doesn't have the ram open when in the up position so you don't get pitting that wears out the seals. I think they have a 10 year warranty on parts.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    If it is in your budget - Sunstream is the nicest setup around. You can walk all around the boat to wipe it down. My boss has one and my FIL has one down in Florida.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    If you are going to power it, I'd go vertical rather than cantilever for the reasons described. I like my porta-dock because it has a deep canopy cover. I have it set so that when I'm all the way at the top of the range my windshield frame is an inch from the aluminum frame of the canopy. Since the sides of the canopy come down quite a ways, I have fantastic protection from the elements...about all you can see is the bottom of the hull.

    Having it that high gets rid of the parachute effect all of that canvas has in a big wind storm, too. I've had mine since '02 and been through one cable, have the original bunks, replaced my original canopy canvas prior to this season.

    Others may be better, but I do like mine.

    My neighbor has some super cool spring loaded boat guides. The guides stay vertical and when you pull the boat out slide toward the center (remaining vertical) until about 3 feet apart. When coming back onto the lift put the nose in the middle they catch you and then slowly spread gliding on your rub rail keeping you centered. Very cool.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • marknmarkn Posts: 420 Crazy Baller
    For lakes with large fluctuations in level, I used a Hydro-Hoist. They work extremely well for lakes that fluctuate from 3-10 vertical feet. The lift itself is affixed to a floating dock. When we did not have sufficient water in our boat house, we have used a Shore Station. Yes, one does have to move it in and out as water levels change, but they work well. MWN
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 706 Crazy Baller
    +1 on Hydro Hoist. I have owned 2 of them and they are virtually maintenance free. The lake I am on is used for hydro generation and can vary in depth by 8'.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,099 Mega Baller
    Good ol' aluminum Shorestation is a great choice due to incredible reliability and readily available parts as @fu_man‌ noted. The one at our club has to be 20 years old and the boat gets raised and lowered several times a day every day, every summer. Good resale value and very stout build too.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    Hydraulic sounds cool and works great until it doesn't at which time it becomes a PITA. @razorskier1 has has a powered shore station.
    If my power unit fails, I can still raise/lower the boat with a drill...or I can remove the unit and put the manual wheel back on and crank it by hand. It's nice to have a system with redundancy.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,189 Mega Baller
    edited December 2014
    I have had my boats on a Hewitt #2500 lb cantilever lift since 1998. First a 72 hydrodyne IO, followed by a 93 Hydrodyne Comp. I now have a 2002 Ski Nautique 196 on it. Replaced one cable in that time. No problems. Added a canopy, motor, and full surround mesh side curtains a few years ago. Sun and birds cannot get to it. Boat cover no longer required.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • DmaxJC_skiDmaxJC_ski Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    I personally use a shore master, electric/vertical extremely light and has been a great lift, I do like the electric over hydraulic shore stations, but the best lift on the market hands down right now is the Floe, the have the best leveling system, electric over hydraulic lift, very light.. Check them out!
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 90 Baller
    I have a Hewit Cantilevr lift with a Lift Tech 24volt motor hoist. The system works great. I've had it for several seasons. We had a huge wind storm this past summer that blew out my boat cover but the canopy stayed completely intact.

  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 975 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Why wouldn't you not want to build a regular boat house?
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    @skierjp up here where the lakes freeze everything has to come out in the fall or the ice destroys it. Amazing power as water expands to become ice.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,189 Mega Baller
    edited December 2014
    @6balls Adding to what you stated the worst damage happens when the huge ice sheets shift and move especially in the spring with the thaw and strong winds. Immense power! Former neighbor left his lift in and the lower portion was bent badly with a few legs actually snapped off! I think it was a steel Shore Station.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,244 Mega Baller
    edited November 2014
    How about a Doozie, , owned by fellow Eastern Region skier Lewis Fields?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    I have a shore station vertical which we have had since 1985. Overall it has been a very reliable lift. In 2002 my dad and I did a complete overhaul. We replaced all the cables and pulleys, and we replaced the drum inside the winch increasing it's capacity from 2600 to 3500 pounds. If you order a Shore Station make sure you order all the cables to be stainless steel. It will work perfectly for you if it is in 3 1/2 to 5 feet deep water. The legs can be adjusted longer or shorter like landing gear for leveling. If the bottom where it will be is very muddy or has a lot of silt I recommend bolting 2x10 planks to the feet like skis. It will make it easier to get it out in the fall. The winch cable will need to be replaced on average every 5 years. If the winch or the lifting cables need replaced you can change them by removing the winch tube from the lift without having to take the hoist out of the water. The hoist will have to be removed from the water to change the leveling cables, that is the only con. We don't have a canopy, to I am able to get it in and out of the water by myself with a 4x4 timber used as a crowbar to push it, however now we have a 3500 pound winch to pull it out. I highly recommend the Hewitt roll-a-docks also. They are expensive, but you will never have to get another dock again as long as you take them out before the lake freezes. The Shore Station lift is hard to crank up by hand for most people, so the cantilever is easier and you won't need to spend the money on a motor.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,432 Administrator
    almost everyone in Bakersfield uses Basta

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  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    +1 for the Basta

    Had a steel Basta in WA and best lift I've ever dealt with. In FL now and have an RGC aluminum (similar design to Basta), fine lift but Basta better. I particularly like no cables. Was present once when a cable broke on a lift and never again for me. When up boat is supported by frame in "over center" position, not by hydraulics or cables. Also, with this type of lift if it fails it just flops back, not down, like off a trailer. Mine has 5' lifting range though my lake only varies a couple feet at most.
  • rodeconrodecon Posts: 233 Baller
    Wow, thanks for all the input! I think I am leaning towards a cantilever style after weighing the pros and cons.......really like the idea of no wieght on cables etc in the up position, and our lake stays at a pretty consistent level as well.

    The Basta units look really nice.....hadn't thought I was old enough yet to get a powered unit, I might come under some fire from my ski buddies ;) I know the Hewitt would serve my needs fine, i think i will look into these 2 units. We are in Upstate NY........I wonder if there is a local Basta dealer around? They seem to have a big West Coast presence
  • TDETTDET Posts: 67 Baller
    I use a hyd Hewitt. Its a 2008 and this year I replaced hoses and fittings.
    Outher than that I've had good luck with it. The canopy is still in very good condition.

  • WayneWayne Posts: 564 Crazy Baller
    All the brands mentioned have a good reputation so I can't add anything there. I would however find a manufacturer that has a good local dealer/installer. That was a bigger deciding factor for me than the brand. If you have it installed make sure they know inboards. One place I talked to had no clue why my boat had tracking fins and wasn't a sailboat.
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 975 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Is it on private lake with no current?
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,808 Mega Baller
    +1 on the Doozie. It's not fancy, but it lifts the boat up and down which is all I need. I think I was up and running for about 2k.
  • SethroSethro Posts: 328 Crazy Baller
    edited November 2014
    Whatever you do, if you are budget minded, find a nice used lift. I purchased a used Hewitt cantilever back in 1998, and sold it for more than I paid for it last year. If your water doesn't fluctuate much (a few inches at most) I would get the cantilever. So much easier to maintain (cable replacement) than a vertical.

    My dad bought a used Shorestation vertical lift that he's been using for over 10 years. No doubt he could sell that for what he paid for it. However, I just replaced the cables this past spring and luckily a friend of mine is a former dealer with the knowledge and tools to share with me. So, I was able to replace the lift cables instead of buying the whole new "winch/lift" tube and saved a couple of hundred dollars.

    Point is, a vertical lift is far more complicated and expensive to maintain than a cantilever lift...but the lift cables lasted almost 15 years on the vertical so I shouldn't complain too much.
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,736 Mega Baller
    definitely give Craftlander vertical lifts a look. I have had two, both were the 4500 model. They use a full 5/16 ss cable versus 1/4 inch used on some. Never any mechanical issues. I also upgraded to the direct drive motor by Lift Tech - which is an awesome unit. I as able to purchase from same dealer in MI that I used when I was up north for the one I have down south. They had it drop shipped factory direct. Very easy to assemble with video instructions on their web site.
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,736 Mega Baller
    Craftlander also has a couple great choices for canopies. They install by having the 4 uprights slide down into the 4 legs of the lift like most do. I do not like the ones that clamp to the side of the lift legs.
    Craftlander will also supply you with longer extension legs for the rear 2 feet of the lift if your lake bottom slopes down a fair bit where it will sit. Be sure to get these. And, be sure to order the ski boat kit for the bunks that raise them a little higher.
    Assemble the lift near the water's edge. Adjust the legs so that the bunks will sit level to slightly rearward once placed in the water. Then it's an easy install with 4 people.
  • vtjcvtjc Posts: 281 Solid Baller
    I have had great luck with a few RGC lifts( that I bought used over the years. A neighbor had problematic ShoreStation that he bought new, he was having to replace the cable every other year after failures. He just switched to a hydrolic cantilever lift. I would recommend a vertical lift over cantilever of your lake varies much in level.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    edited December 2014

    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I had a hydraulic lift. Fast and quiet until you get a leak in a hose or a cylinder. If you like to (and know how to) do the maintenance, probably OK. I didn't like having it fail in the middle of a season with slow leaking cylinders. Lift would just slowly go down until the boat was in the water -- no good. Don't like steel in MN because you have to take it in and out every spring and fall. Lighter is better. FLOE -- don't have one, but I love the screw jack leg adjustments. Allows you to raise and lower or level the lift from above water, without having to get a crew of guys to lift it up, pull the pin, move the leg, set it down, etc.
    Jim Ross
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