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Dock and Lift suggestions?

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Starting with a clean slate for dock and lift on Mille Lacs.

Boat is Pro V 18.

South shore, wind-exposed, gradual drop off, sand beach.

Key criteria:

1. Very light weight so I don't need an army to put in and take out.

2. Lift functions in shallow water so don't have to run dock way out.

3. Obviously, has to withstand a beating when the north wind blows.

4. Dealer fairly close to Mille Lacs

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I have a similar situation at my lake home in western Wisconsin.

For both my lift and dock I chose Hewitt products. The dock is 48 ft with and "L". The structure is all aluminum with aluminum decking. They sell composite and cedar decking but the aluminum is not effected by the elements and is maintenance free. You can power wash the bird droppings off of it if you need to. It is also very light weight. It a very quiet dock too. I roll mine in by myself and usually need one other person on my ATV to take it out. I do have a slight grade down to the shore.

I have a Lund Explorer 1800 with a 150 Suzuki. So somewhat similar to your boat. Yours is probably a bit heavier. At the end of my dock I have 29 inches of water so I had to chose my lift carefully. I chose a 2400 lb Hewitt cantilever lift. The cantilever lift allows you to launch in very shallow water. This lift is all aluminum. I also have a canopy.

The dock has been in place for 9 years and the lift 7 years. The only maintenace I have had was on the lift. I had to replace the winch cable last summer. It developed a fray when a nut holding a pully came off without me knowing it. I have removeable wheels on the lift that make the installation and removal a breeze.

I do not know of a dealer in the Mille Lacs area. I have bought all my Hewitt equipment at the St. Paul Boat show in December. They offer show specials that will save you at least 20% off of list.

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Recently I was checking on roll out docks for our association and I was very impressed with the VDock company in Forest Lake. Their products are built extremely well and look as if they could take a pounding. Their prices were competitive and they will let you use a trailer to get the materials to your location.

I have a 25 year old ShoreStation vertical lift that I bought about 5 years ago. I had to replace a cable which was a bit of a hassle but I got the replacement at a local rigging company for a lot less than a marine dealer. My experience tells me to have 4 wheels on it for easy movement. The ones that only have two wheels seem to constantly dig in and create problems for the owners. I also have a winch device that fits onto the unit that allows me to crank the top unit down to hold a boat or canoe in place while launching. Again that is a real back saver compared to what my neighbors have to do.

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I would recommend Shorestation lifts. I had an accident on the hwy whereby it slipped off the trailer at 55 mph. That thing is built so well, you honestly can't tell it ever happened. Wind and waves are not a problem!

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