View Full Version : Boat lift style

12-07-2005, 11:37 AM
I'm planning on getting a lift for my new Outback but not sure what style to go with. I'm assuming that a vertical lift will give a better range of lift hight but I'm wondering if the cantilever lift will work o.k. beacuse it is a few hundred $ less. Can anyone tell me any pros and cons to both?


12-07-2005, 08:59 PM
I am using a cantilever, 3600 lb. lift. There is a cutout in the rear cross member of the cradle for drive shaft clearance. This is not a common design feature but Vibo Marine in North Branch MN carries them, around $1800 (no canopy).

I have had mine for a year and am reasonably pleased with it. However I did have to do some significant adjusting to keep the front cable from contaciting the bow.

The deal with the cantilever is that there are ranges where cranking is easy, and ranges where it is a little more difficult. I have not really had issues with overall range of motion.

One of the cooler designs, if you can afford it, is from Floe Int'l. They have levelilng legs that you adjust with a power drill.

The other bummer is that wakeboard towers and boat lifts do not play well together. You may have to raise your canopy so high that the standard cover is not very effective. There are some options, but beware - some DNR policies have very strict rules regarding how much of a 'wall' you can have on your boat lift canopy.

Good luck on your search.

12-08-2005, 11:44 AM
Thanks for your help Dave. The lift you have is the exact one I'm looking at @ Vibo. I was hoping to get a vertical lift for the better range in motion, but Dayna at Vibo told me it would not work with the mid-engine inboard. He told me the one I needed is the cantilever with the cut out. I wasn't planning on getting the canopy because of the tower ..... I figured it would not be quite as effective if it was up high enough to get under w/tower. I wonder if there would be an issue with more wind getting uner it as well.

I'm glad to here that you are happy with the lift; did you have to do any modifications or just adjusting to keep the cable off the bow?


12-09-2005, 01:32 AM
I bought the full length bunkers instead of the V-bunks. I figured better overall support.
What I found was that I had to put shims (about an inch) under the bolts on the front bunk supports to raise the bunks high enough to keep the bow off the cable. The cable only contacts the bow during part of the retraction, but it was enough to cause me concern about abrasion and eventually a leak.

It is entirely possible that if someone more familiar with setting up lifts was around they could have found the right combination of bunk positions, boat placement on the bunks, and water depth to prevent this without shiming, but I was certain the shims would work and did not know how long it would take to find the right combo, if it existed.

FWIW - Other lift manufactures do not carry the cutout feature, apparently thinking it is not sturdy enough. Vibo seems confident that is fine and so far I have not seen a problem.

Keep in mind the weight limit. This is a 3600 lb lift. Make sure you empty ballast before using the lift. Also make sure you know the weight of your boat with gas and gear.

I highly recommend the foam boat guides. I use a pair at the rear. I am starting to think a pair in the front might be a good idea as well. The one thing I wish they offered is a bow stop, but in all reality you should be doing the final load by hand anyhow.

IMPORTANT: Even with the cutout you can not spin the prop while on the cradle. The cutout only gives an inch or two on either side of the prop.

I think I will be looking at a wheel kit this year. Otherwise it takes a minimum of 3 people with pry bars to get it out of the water, 4 is better, 8 is great.

As far as canopies go - I am definitely going to figure out something. I had to leave the boat on the lift under the mooring cover between weekends. It never has a chance to dry out and mildew is a real threat. Plus it is ruining my mooring cover.

Good luck with your choice.

PS. If you want to see the boat on the lift click on the link below and find the Lake Home Photo Page link.

12-09-2005, 08:07 AM
Oh yea, Boat lift lifting is an every friend you've got activity. I've done it twice for others. What a pain. If you can pull it on the beach - 2 ton comealong is key.

BTW the new/old crash vid is great but the original was best.

I leave for Norris Lake in about two hours. Hitting three communities in two days looking for lake front for a 2nd/ret home for the future. Wish us luck.


12-09-2005, 09:27 PM
Good luck with the lake home hunt. We just went through that last year. Lake shore has skyrocketed around here. $1000 per foot with some kind of structure on it, up to $3000 per foot with a reasonably nice place.

And there is a lot of 40 year old junk on the market.

I could go on for a long time about the unpleasantness of the surprises we found. Simply put, the basement has pretty much been completely gutted, needed to regrade around most of house, and probably need a new roof soon.

Good luck