Boat lift

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Aug 24, 2021
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Not very knowledgeable so please excuse the newbie question but does anyone use a lift for their trawler instead of tying it to the dock and letting it get all crappy on the bottom or does the weight prohibit this from being an option?
 
Anything is possible given space and money. But a lift for a trawler would be extremely large and expensive to build.
 
Seen a few, the biggest was probably 34 feet and an old style heavy hull.

Lots of the Ranger Tugs up on lifts.

The newer trawlers may be lighter as the hulls are engineered, not just layer upon layer of glass so always check the manufacturer's numbers and add liquids and gear.
 
10 years ago we were looking at a house on the St. Claire River. The boat wakes were pretty bad so everyone used boat lifts to get their boats up away from the wakes. We had a 32’ Trojan at the time. The quote was about $20K for the lift. The Trojan was nowhere near as heavy as a trawler.
 
Not very knowledgeable so please excuse the newbie question but does anyone use a lift for their trawler instead of tying it to the dock and letting it get all crappy on the bottom or does the weight prohibit this from being an option?

You mean 'getting crappy' as getting sea growth beneath the hull ? That depends for a large part on sea water temperature, use of the boat, currents and most of all type of anti fouling.
My boat used to have a lot of sea growth and that was the reason for me to change to copper coat. A bit more expensive to buy, but absolutely worth it. My hull has never been more clean than now, so very happy with it. Good part is that it comes with a guarantee of 10 years and after 10 years you just sand it and put 1 new layer, then you are ready to go.
For the prop, rudder and propshaft I use Propspeed. Also there so far no growth and the producer states that if you run your engines once every 2 weeks in gear for about 5 min you will not have any growth at all.

If however you don't plan to use the boat at all then the question becomes: 'why buy one ?':)
 
Once Weebles arrives in Florida, she will reside on a 40k# lift. My slip is on a fairly wide open stretch of the ICW and while a no-wake zone, "no -wake" has a deeply variable meaning, most popularly seemingly "no-planing zone."

While I will certainly avoid expense of a diver which which will save between $700-$1000 per year (plus ability to do a fair amount of routine bottom work without hauling), but mostly my belief is Weebles will more safely ride out storms. There comes a point where nothing will survive, but my hunch is up to around Cat 3 or so, Weebles will safely ride out a storm. Fingers crossed. It allows me flexibility to travel without worrying about Weebles.

The cost is not cheap. A 40k# lift is essentially two 20k# lifts complete with eight piles. You also need to get 220v to the slip because the motors are pretty beefy. I don't know how long it will take to lift the boat, but could take over 5-minutes due to mechanical advantage built into the system to lift such a heavy load.

A lift for a large boat is marginally justifiable in Florida because the water is warm meaning bottom diving is very frequent - some owners report every 3 weeks in warm weather. And because of storm potential. If you are in an area where these issues are not important, the business case for a lift - even in the warped world of boat dollars - is difficult to make.

Construction starts in a couple weeks.

Peter
 
That is the reason we have a Ranger Tug R 25 on order It will fit in our boat house and on our High Tide lift. High Tide makes a variety of lifts including ones that can lift over 100,000 pounds
 
Slickest set up I’ve seen is a simple marine railway if space and zoning allows. Allows all types of bottom work. Least stress on the boat. Can even be done with old wood plank on frame. Solid immovable setting for storms. Low maintenance. Can use a pickup truck or winch to haul. Can run it into a boathouse well above high tide if desired.
 
I don't know about anyone else, but my experience would say the difference in stress on a boat between a marine railway and a lift is negligible. The simplest of all marine railways (or close cousin) is a boat on a trailer at a boat ramp....not a lot of physics difference....just how the boat is loaded and the kind of support underneath.

Both usually use 2 cross beams with or without longitudinals.

Maybe the difference is if removed from a railway or even left on it.... some places may add keel blocks.

I would do either in a moment, but cost overall and land topography/space would dictate.

Marine railway would win every time as it could be done for much less most times, but not because of less stress on the boat.

Of course all this is just backyard mechanic physics in my mind, I would love to see a white paper discussing the differences in stresses on a boat hull. But I do have experience with both types working with them in a job.....as well as travel lifts and forklifts.
 
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Boat hoist

I installed a 30000 lb lift for my 38 Bayliner last year.
The hoist alone cost $17000 . That’s not including the 8 pilings required plus installation. Was worth every penny.
 
We have a 42 Nordic Tug on a lift. First question one of my dock neighbors asked was "why"? Well, I'm 80 years old and wife is 74, so handling two bow lines, two stern lines and two spring lines coming and going has become more and more of a challenge and especially given that the Admiral is, shall we say, a "non-athlete". The lift replaces this challenge with the press of a button.
In addition, of course, is the fact that the bottom and running gear, including thruster blades, is always slap clean.
Granted a lift of this size is not cheap and certainly not economically justifiable so falls into the category of "because we can".
PS Lift capacity is 54K pounds
 
We're currently in Port Charles Harbor just north of St Louis on the Mississippi. There are some pretty big boats on lifts here but they're not like lifts I've seen before. They're like two big tanks with a cradle attached that alternately flood with water or get pumped full of air to lift the boat. Just like the ballast tanks in a submarine. I haven't gotten a look at the pumps but they sound like a regular shop vac. I've seen ones like this for jetskis and the like, but these are BIG. This is of course fresh water, I don't know how well they'd hold up in salt.
 
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You can see a lot of them in the brackish inlets around Naples, FL. There must be a retailer or builder in the area.

Bring money

pete
 
I traded out my wooden-hulled 40,000-pound Grand Banks 42 for this roughly 12,000-pound Mainship 30 Pilot II for four reasons. 1) to go a lot faster than the trawler, 2) to get rid of all the paint and varnish maintenance. 3) to avoid bottom fouling expenses and 40 We no longer had a need to a boat of trawler capabilities.

I would have built a lift for the GB if it was not wooden - you just cannot do that in and out of the water business on a wooden hull without creating problems. I have seen trawlers of that size sitting in floating lifts, basically floating dry docks. The downside of that sort of lift is that you still have biofouling and other underwater care of the pontoons, especially in saltwater.

I had a 20,000-pound lift built under the old boat shed (photo 1) for the Mainship for $13,000 in 2015. I specified that the two side beams would have support from three pilings per side instead of the lift company's (Decco of south Florida) design of two. The installed took the measurements, and Decco welded the aluminum to make the beams match my existing pilings.

Four years later Hurricane Michael blew it all down (photo 2). My boat had been removed and hidden in a better hurricane hole than my backyard provided. I would not leave a boat in a lift facing a hurricane.

The beams and cradle of the lift were reused in the 2019 rebuild, but I replaced the four 60-foot stainless cables out of an abundance of caution. Both motors and the limit switch were also replaced.

I cannot give a breakdown of the lift work versus the shed work because it was all wrapped up in insurance and a package deal, but the total was $46,000 (photo 3). This profile roof is VERY slim when viewed from the side and should withstand a very strong storm.
 

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I have seen trawlers of that size sitting in floating lifts, basically floating dry docks. The downside of that sort of lift is that you still have biofouling and other underwater care of the pontoons, especially in saltwater.

But, no different than a dock right? Which are not hauled periodically, if ever. All the mechanism in that arrangement is the pumps which are above water. I guess if a hose burst, you'd have a problem, those would be cheap to replace on a P.M. schedule.
 
I have kept all my boats on lifts in Punta Gorda Florida, Sundowner Tug, Cape Dory, Nordic tug, Mainship pilot .Have a 30,000 lb and a 5,000lb for the Eastern.
Over 26 years.... no marina slip fees, no divers, no bottom paint, no haul outs so it has paid for its self. my neighbor keeps his 40' sport fish on a newly installed lift.
 
But, no different than a dock right? Which are not hauled periodically, if ever. All the mechanism in that arrangement is the pumps which are above water. I guess if a hose burst, you'd have a problem, those would be cheap to replace on a P.M. schedule.

I can expect my new pilings and refurbished lift to outlive me with the only maintenance being greasing the 16 zerk fittings once in a while.
 
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