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ssaamm

moving a boat lift

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Hello, My dock guy showed up unannounced the other day and took my dock and lift out. Luckily, I was out fishing and the boat was off the lift. I was irked since there is plenty of good fishing left. So, I went out and put most of my dock back in by myself. I seem to be stronger when I am irritated. I realized that this is not rocket science. Putting the dock in with a neighbor for a case of beer should be a piece of cake next year. My problem is moving my boat lift. It holds a 17ft Crestliner, so it's a beast for me to move. I found a device on the web called the Lift Lugger. It basically uses the hoist on the lift and bouyant plastic barrels to move the lift. It's a bit spendy, but would pay for itself in the long run. Does anyone have any pointers for moving a lift other than calling a few buddies and using a little elbow grease? I have heard of big styrofoam blocks--where do you get these. Thanks for the help. Sam

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what does your shoreline look like? My neighbor pulls his in with his boat and a rope (and about 3 guys) but it is a gradual slope.

Another neighbor has made floats using foam insulation from the lumberyard attached to some boards. He attaches them to the lift and cranks them down to float it.

If you are relatively youthful and strong and the shore is gentle, you should be ok.

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"If you are relatively youthful and strong and the shore is gentle, you should be ok."

If not you should feel fortunate that you have someone that will take your dock in at all, even if paid. Remember this guy probably has atleast 50 other docks to do and only a short period of time to do so.

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By this time of year, the dock guy wants to get done so he can get his boat out of the water. And pretty soon it will be pretty unpleasant out there moving docks and boat lifts, not to mention the onset of the hard water season.

So yep, I don't think "irked" is the right reaction. But if you want total control, do it yourself. Just make sure you can. A rehearsal might be in order before you discontinue the service.

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At my folks cabin for moving the big boat lift we use a wheel kit. The kit contains 2 car tires, metal brackets, chain and a arm that is on a pivot. The arms get bolted onto the bottom frame of the boat lift. Chains then run to the lift cradle and c shaped brackets. to move the lift you simply connect the chains to the lift cradle and crank the lift up about half way. this lifts the front legs of the lift out of the water and you then we winch it out. We have also just pushed it in but it is a lot more work. It works out smooth enough that my old man can take the lift out by himself. The lift holds a 21 foot crestliner. it is similir to this kit sold by shorestation called wheel caddy

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I had an 8" X 8" treated post sunk at my cabin many years ago. To this I: attach an electric winch. It's still a beastly task, but it's better than calling a buddy. THAT I really hate.

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I belong to an association that has about 8 lifts and each owner has a different way to solve the problem. My Shorelander lift has two chains on one side of the bottom frame. I got a device that is simply a 4 inch alum. tube that has a winch in the middle, pulleys on both ends, rope and hooks. You put a canoe or plastic barrels under the cradle and then winch them down into the water until the lift pops up. Wheels are essential. My lift has 4. I went to a junk yard and got 4 'baby' spares and had a shop make some spindles with some plate and 1 inch round bar. They're heavy to move but get the job done. One guy can easily move a lift with this system. I push it in as far as I can to shore and then use the truck to pull it up onto shore using some tow straps.

The guys that only have two wheels always get stuck because the lift wants to tilt and then the legs dig in. This year a guy just took a comealong and put the barrels under the cradle and winched it down. If he would have had 4 wheels and some tow straps he'd have had it done alone.

The cheap guys just horse theirs in. They're all approaching 50 and so that's not going to work much longer.

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I have wheels on my lift and expierence the same issues discribed by others. I use an eight by eight swimming raft which I float into the boat lift and use four ratchet straps over the raft and down to the bottom of the lift. The lift is then floated by tightning the ratchet straps. I then tie the lift to the end of the dock and pull everything in until the lift no longer floats. I then remove the straps and float the raft as far back on the lift as possible and lift the raft out of the water with the lift. This puts most of the weight to the rear of the lift which keeps the front from diving into the sand and the wheels are then used to pull the remainder of the way out. Hope this makes sense.

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At my folks cabin the local High School football team pulls docks and lifts as a fundraiser.

We have a lift for a heavy 20 ft speed boat and they have it out in about 5 minutes, amazing what 6 or 7 young strong 200#+ guys can do. :-)

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I use the large tractor inner tubes. I drag the lift to shore and put one end in and float it with one inner tube right in the middle. You can then either hold the other end up and push it out to where you want it, or put another inner tube in the middle on the back and float it out. Works great and you can take the air out of the tubes and store them for next year.

Good luck,

BTW, only fill the tubes about half full of air other wise you will have a hard time getting them out when it comes time to place it in the lake.

Mike

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My parent aluminum dock and lift (for 20' boat) are on wheels. The end piece of the dock is pretty big....roughly 12x12. The dock comes out in two sections.

In the past we have used a 4 wheeler which worked ok...but we had to work a bunch pushing and pulling by hand. This year my dad got a tugger from work (basically a big heavy duty winch) and chained it to a tree. Tied each section up and let the tugger drag it in. My bro and I were in the water and basically just directed the pieces. We did little to no work this year and had everything out in about an hour.

That includes pulling each piece up a 4' tall vertical embankment at the waters edge. A couple 2x10's about 10' long with 2x4's screwed vertically to the sides made great ramps.

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I've used a few truck tire inner tubes. slip them under where I want them, air them up, move the lift to where i want. Then just let the air out and set it down. If removing it I use the fourwheeler and winch. Placing the feet on a piece of plywood helps it slide on the shore.

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I've used a few truck tire inner tubes. slip them under where I want them, air them up, move the lift to where i want. Then just let the air out and set it down. If removing it I use the fourwheeler and winch. Placing the feet on a piece of plywood helps it slide on the shore.

This is what we used to do when we did it for pay. We'd use (4) 14-15" car tubes, slip them under each corner and float it to shore.

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