View Full Version : Boat Lift Rehab

12-03-2010, 11:30 AM
I will be taking possession of my lakefront home at the end of january.
I am starting to plan all out all of the work that I have to do on it, and the boat lift is on the list...

Currently, it is setup with straps, from what Ive read, i need to switch to the type like a boat trailer (not sure whats that is called)

I have some pics from my inspections, just looking for advice from anyone...

questions I have:

- Should I even attempt myself? (im pretty handy)
- If so where are the best (cheapest) places to get the parts needed?
- Any other good resources on the web for this type of project?
- If i paid someone how much do you think they would charge?
- How do i check the weight rating on the current lift setup (the boat on there now is small)




12-03-2010, 12:10 PM
I believe they are called "bunks" just like on a trailer. One thing I am trying to learn is to occasionally pay a professional when I want a professional job. You can take "do it yourself" too far. Just because you "could" do it yourself doesn't always mean you "should" do it yourself. In this economy there are guys that need work so you can get a great deal on the work and they are still glad to get it. Just something to think about. Good luck! Looks like you've got a nice setup to start with.

12-03-2010, 01:01 PM
Everything you need can be had here:


You would need an extra hand to do it. Probably could hire someone to help or find a friend, as far as lifting weight, the min. is ussually 3500lb.. you would need to find out the manufacturer than you figure out the max weight...

12-03-2010, 01:17 PM
adsman - it's an easy job that you can handle. You can check out my albums to see the boathouse build where we have a similiar lift system installed. Originally, I had a Chapparal 187 on the lift and had to replace the cradle beams when we purchased the Moomba. There is a local shop that makes the beams at the lake, but I've also used the Lunmar products and found them to be very nice.


Lunmar has galvanized & aluminum beams available.


At a minimum, my guess is that you will only need to unhook the lift straps from the cable, attach the cradle beams and install bunks (I used 2x10's covered in indoor/outdoor carpet). If it were me, I might also install new cable and place 2 inch PVC over the cable & clamps. I bought 2, 10ft section & cut them in half so I had 4, 5ft sections & 4 caps and drilled a hole in the caps for the cable to run through. You can see the white PVC next to the post by the front tower mount.


The hardest parts of the job were:

1) Getting the beams across the slip by myself. Finally found a 12ft aluminum scaffold walkboard and was able to get that across the slip then slid the cradles up on it to attach the cables.

2) Dropping nuts, bolts & tools into the lake! Buy extra nuts & bolts and tie a small rope to your tools and a caribiner clip then clip it to your belt or belt loop.

If you have any other quesitons, let me know. Feel free to send a PM with your cell # and I can walk you through it.

12-03-2010, 06:47 PM
Check the motor's HP on your lift as well. It should have weight and HP listed on the motor somewhere.

You can always double pulley the cable to double the weight the motor will lift.

IMO, I'd just pay someone to do it - shouldnt cost you more than a grand for the I-beams, new cable, pulleys, labor, etc. (B.O.A.T.!)

12-04-2010, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the advice / feedback guys...

I'm sure I will have more questions once I get closer to the project.

How about maintenance on the wood dock? Annual sealing? If so any products you recommend?

12-04-2010, 02:06 PM
I don't know exactly where you can find something like this but there's a guy on the river that I ride who has a lift that is basically a floor and then bunks, the bunks come up out of the floor so when the boat is lifted all the way there is one big floor under the boat instead of just metal support beams. I thought this was an awesome idea for a lot of reasons if you have enought height to do it.. One you can clean under your boat where before you would have to be in the water to do it and two you dont have to worry as much about droppin tools and stuff into the water when you're working on the boat. I'll see if I can get a pic of it next time out.

12-04-2010, 10:52 PM
if your mechanical and have a buddy or two for an extra weekend, then follow wolfe instructions. Get the cradle lift that will fit your boat house. if not hire a pro dock/ lift builder, probably many of them in your area, get recomendations from neighbors etc. get rid of the straps my .02

12-05-2010, 10:37 AM
Very easily a DIY project. After having some so called lift installers come out who look puzzled I decided to do it myself 11 years ago. the hardest part was drilling the cable holes in the schedule 40 pipe. I also used 2" pillow block bearings for the 2"pipe to roll in rather than and 1.5 ton ball bearing pulleys at each of the 4 corners. all supports are angle aluminum or heavy flatstock aluminum. the galvanized bunk supports and motor I got from ACE boat lifts, the rest was sourced from metal companies and princess auto. I relocated the pipe to the side close to the pulleys when i switched from an outback to a 21v to increase the top clearance.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3511/4088712468_6ce0b5c60f_m.jpg http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2541/4087955615_959cf7dc5e_m.jpg

Ken Labonski
02-06-2011, 09:36 AM
From Houston it took about two hours. they have everything you could possibly need. I just recabled, double lined the system to handle the new weight and replaced a double jet ski platform with a ddrive cradle. Total was about $800. They could ship to this area for about $140.

Let me know if you need the contact info...


03-04-2011, 04:31 PM
lift has been updated... chickened out and had a professional do it...


03-04-2011, 10:37 PM
New lift provides lots of clearance above the water. Nice. How about a few more pics?

03-05-2011, 03:33 PM
he is actually going to be limited by the height of the boat port due to the tower on the boat

03-24-2011, 11:49 AM
pictures pictures... with the boat "installed" in the new lift





03-24-2011, 01:11 PM
I don't know if this is relevant or not for a newer boat like this but you might want to consider throwing two more bunks on there, much like a trailer is set up. My neighbor had a mid 80's Supra and he had the hull of his boat crack from too much pressure placed on one spot for too long. Adding to more bunks would spread out the surface pressure placed on the current two bunks. Like I said though, what do I know? I'm sure the new boats are plenty sturdy for it.

BEAUTIFUL dock on a beautiful lake by the way!

03-25-2011, 11:16 AM
can u use straps for a dock on these or will they just not work

03-25-2011, 12:00 PM
adsman - Looks great. I think you will be happy that you installed the pvc. Did you do the job yourself or hire it out? Where did you end up sourcing the parts from?

03-25-2011, 12:01 PM
can u use straps for a dock on these or will they just not work

Do you mean lift slings?

If so, I wouldn't use them as if you are off a bit (forward or back) in the slip, you may end up with the strap on/over the tracking fin(s), driveshaft or prop.

03-25-2011, 02:40 PM
adsman - Looks great. I think you will be happy that you installed the pvc. Did you do the job yourself or hire it out? Where did you end up sourcing the parts from?

even though i am a rabid DIYer ... i had a professional do all of this job.

03-25-2011, 03:43 PM
that turned out good with nice support for the lenght of the hull.

03-25-2011, 10:34 PM
even though i am a rabid DIYer ... i had a professional do all of this job.

Duh, somehow I missed the previous/first post where you wrote that you had a pro do it.

I often wish that I hired out jobs at the lake versus trying to do them myself so that I had more time on the water.

03-25-2011, 11:05 PM
I know you had the lift rehabbed but I really like the dock and lookout patio as well. Need to put a roof on it, bigscreen TV, and a kegarator and you'll be set for summer :)