View Full Version : Boat lift opinions

04-07-2011, 05:49 PM
We are considering a boat lift to care for our bundle of joy while we are away from the cottage. Boathouses are no longer allowed on our lake so that's not an option.

The sexiest one is the Viking boat lift which you can leave in the water over winter. Love to have the forum's opinion too.

Give me your thought and experience please.

04-07-2011, 06:01 PM
have a shore station lift for my 05 outback it is the 4000 lb size . I pull in and out in spring and fall but I notice other people leaving theirs in thru out the winter with out any harm. Living in Saskatchewan so lake freezes over but like I said other leave theirs in all year round .I totally enjoy not having to worry about the boat when not at the cabin as well as having it on the lift during day and not having all waves from days boating pounding it to crap.

KG's Supra24
04-07-2011, 06:12 PM
I would imagine your choices are going to be limited based on the lake you are on.

My parents have always had one that has hard tanks that fill and empty air in order to lift the boat out of the water. Has bunks like a trailer would. Father-in-law has a pulley system style one that lifts the boat from above by use of pulleys.

I like the hard tanks more. But that lake doesn't drain to empty in the winters. Would not be ideal for a lake that drains.

04-07-2011, 06:30 PM


04-07-2011, 08:54 PM
With all due respect - how do these guys list themselves as Americas #1 lift? I have been boating in Minnesota for 40 years and never seen them? Interesting concept.

04-07-2011, 09:02 PM
I have a lift with hard tanks and bunks like a trailer. Mine is a Boat Floater. They are all pretty good. The Hydro Hoist is expensive and has Poly tanks. They are top of the line for a poly tank lift.

04-07-2011, 10:03 PM
With all due respect - how do these guys list themselves as Americas #1 lift? I have been boating in Minnesota for 40 years and never seen them? Interesting concept.

Hydro hoist is very popular in this part of the country. I believe the company was started here on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.

We have 2 small ones for PWC's, 1 for bass boat and 1 for the "runabout". All of these are round fiberglass tanks. We also use the hydroport for PWC quick access on busy holiday weekends.

As for them being the #1 boat, IDK its the only lift I've owned so I don't know any different.

04-07-2011, 10:20 PM
We have the shoremaster version of the tanks with bunks. The lift is attached to our floating dock. Our lake levels lowers about 14ft in the winter.

04-27-2011, 08:31 PM
I have had a Viking Marine boat lift for 5 seasons. This year, the ice toppled my lift (the lift is free standing and I have a rocky bottom. I never trusted it to hold my boat over the winter) They claimed they would come fix it, but never did. They offer absolutely NO customer service. for the past 3 years they have been telling me and the other 2 lift owners on my lake they would come and install larger sprockets and maintain the lift, but they NEVER show up. There is nobody out there that works on their lifts, just Bo.

If you dont want to just throw money down the drain, I would suggest a more substantial and reputable boat lift manufacturer

04-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Shorestaion is very solid in the north, my friend has one. as well as RGC which my dad has is out of buffalo NY. i have a great lakes hoist out of michigan area.

all three are stationary vertical lifts. i would never leave my hoist in the water on the winter if ice could get to ice. either move it or crumple it like a paper clip... my .02


04-27-2011, 11:53 PM
Nice setup JM. I agree any one who leaves an aluminum lift in the ice is asking ,pleading for trouble.

04-28-2011, 07:18 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

04-28-2011, 07:57 AM
Thanks doc. I wish I could do permanent. But at our end of the lake it frees 18 to 24 inches. A guy down the shoreline public in a permanent pier a few years ago. Fine until this year. The ice shifted and now he is out about 15k in repairs. Ice leveled it pretty bad.

06-24-2011, 12:32 AM
I'm also looking for a boat lift, jamie_abb what did you end up getting?

Anyone in the west purchased one lately?

06-24-2011, 01:04 AM
love my hydro-hoist here in TN. Leave it in lift year-round now. No doubt that they are the best lifts used in any marina around this part of the country and have about half or more of the lift market. Two hard tanks that hold 6000 pounds. Pump inflates them and lifts boat out of water on trailer style bunks. Work like a charm. They are the most expensive but the best. I don't have to deal with ice.

06-24-2011, 11:22 AM
Thanks Volfo, very nice lift but I don't think my budget can do that. I'm trying to find something local to get the cost down.
Thanks for the input.

06-24-2011, 12:40 PM
growing up on a lake in MI in the '80s & '90s everyone used aluminum freestanding hoists. they were great and held up well, except to ice. Saw a few people that decided to try leaving them in over winter and they were totalled... Amazing the power of ice!

One other downfall, they weren't usually anchored, and I did see a few float by the house mid-summer on their canopies! The wind had a habit of flipping them over the dock and they'd float away on their canopy. Crazy. We'd just tow it back and flip it back over. lol.

06-29-2011, 08:53 AM
We never bought one. Put some more dough into building a bunkie.

06-29-2011, 01:13 PM
Speaking of MI and lift flipping, a couple of weeks ago neighbor's lift with the boat (22 foot Centurion) on it flipped over. Lift was totaled, boat has one major gouge in hull but overall not bad, luckily boat righted itself. Cannot believe this happened with all that weight, only thing I can think of is boat maybe being too high on lift raising center of gravity. Was brand new lift and brand new boat (2008 used, but new to him).

07-05-2011, 12:26 PM
Hi, unfortunately I and others have had a very poor experience with Viking Marine - see my story here - http://myvikingboatliftexperience.blogspot.com/

Thanks! Keith.

01-02-2013, 09:38 PM
Happy New Year folks!

To recap - in April 2010 we paid Viking Marine $4000 US as a deposit for a boat lift. Here we are nearly 3 years later sans the lift or money....

Just wanted to let you know that the Canadian Government just laid 30 charges against Viking Marine International - full details on my blog at http://myvikingboatliftexperience.blogspot.com

Safe boating all!

01-03-2013, 04:06 PM
I agree with all of those who warned against aluminum lifts and lakes that freeze. I pull mine out every year. If you can afford to get one with a canopy cover, it is completely worth it imho. It is really nice not to have to hassle with the mooring cover all the time. If you have a hard bottom, you may want to consider weighting the bottom posts in some way, as the canopy can be a problem in a strong wind if the boat is not on the lift.