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looking for info on boat lifts

Old 12-09-2003, 08:22 PM
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Old 12-10-2003, 12:47 PM
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Location: Annapolis MD
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I have a 4-post electric and and "free standing" hydraulic (water pressure) one. The 4-post is the only way to go. The one in the water is always needing maintenance (controls die, castings rot away) and has barancle growth interfering with it's operation if you don't cycle it often enough.

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Old 12-10-2003, 01:28 PM
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Once you decide on the type of lift you need to start shopping manufacturers. You want to find someone with at least a 10 year warranty with 2 years on the motors.
There are three basic drive systems also, flate plate, chain and gear. Many lifts use the flat plate drive just make sure you service them every year. I have seen failures with this drive system. Then you'll find a gear box with a chain. The chain is the weakest link in the system but I have yet to see a chain failure. Some manufacturers have gone to a direct gear drive. This is the way to go for the ultimate in reliability and minimal service.
Finally, if you install something on piles make sure you can get the boat high enough in a storm. My lift is mounted 11' over mean high tide. This way when a storm comes in I just crank it up. Also, since this is a 4 post lift it allows me to walk under the beam. With some installations I have seen people are climbing over the beam, a real PIA.
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:11 PM
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Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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These guys are right in many ways...
Obviously I'm biased because I work for Sunstream, but honestly- I wouldn't sell someone the "wrong" lift.

Some people need a piling lift. As far as piling lifts go... I'll put my recommendation on Golden Lifts. Their equipment does cost a bit more, but they're the most reliable piling lift.

Boat lifts are like anything else. You get what you pay for. Buy a cheap lift.. and you have a cheap lift. We all want to get the most for our dollar, but be very concious of what you're really getting for your dollar.
Sunstream can not compete on price. Our lifts cost us quote a bit to produce, because of the materials and technology. I never try to compete based on price...
Be sure that any metal that is in the water is Aluminum, not galvanized steel. We do a lot of replacements on those water powered lifts based on the issues stated here by GregP...
The pic below shows a piling lift in comparison to one of our Sunlifts... My customer wanted those PVC pipes over the legs to keep his neighbor from bumping his lift... Those PVCs are normally not there.
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vice City & Tavernier, FL
My Boats: one ballsy Top Gun, a very fast Skater, one party Yellowfin....oh yeah, and two Boston Whalers
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after much shopping and hours on the internet, I purchased a 14,000lbs Golden 4 pile beamless lift in aluminum and stainless will be installed soon and I can send pics
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:14 PM
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Location: Lake St Clair Metropark, Harrison Township, MI
My Boats: 2000 35 Cigarette Top Gun
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I also have a Golden Alminum Elevator Hoist. Drove to steel pilings and two I beams for the lift to ride along. The I beams had to be driven at a 22 degree angle. My bunks are also Aluminum I beams I'm Very happy with it (15,000 #) . This is the only picture I could find. You really can't see much. I'll try to post more pictures if I can find them.
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