View Full Version : New Inboard Owner Needs a LOT of help

Jeff W
07-06-2009, 09:46 AM
Hey Guys -

Well, I've successfully put 5 hours on our new Outback. Couldn't be happier. Let me give you a little background on my boating life. My folks had a lake cabin my entire childhood and I spent many days on the water. We also had some I/O runabout and a non-covered shoremaster lift.

Fast forward a few years. My wife and I have purchased our first boat together and are experiencing some new owner growing pains. We have an 02 Outback and we have a slip on a lake in the Minneapolis Metro area. Currently - we don't have a lift so I am mooring the boat on our slip (temporary).

Which relates to my first few questions. How in the heck am I supposed to set the anti-pooling sticks under the cover? Is there a secret or something? What I ended up doing was starting the cover on the bow, then putting the first stick in the cloth slot and setting it to the front floor. Rolled the cover back, did the same in the middle and finally in the back (after a few tries). Is that REALLY what I'm supposed to be doing every time is climbing under the bottom of the cover and putting those up as such?

Second question about the cover. I have pop up cleats and what I believe is an OEM mooring cover (grey color, moomba logo on windshield, tie in back, straps on sides)... How can I put the cover on the boat while the boat is slipped? The cleats are UNDER where the cover goes - so when I tie my boats to the cleats - the cover can't go on (properly). Last night we just put the cover on as tight as we could but our dock ropes are underneath the cover which doesn't allow it to sit right on the boat.

All of this mess has lead me to the decision that I need a lift sooner than later. I was planning on waiting a month and just leaving it moored and pull it out on Saturday mornings for cleaning. So I'm going to try to find a lift this week. What should I be looking for in a lift with a direct drive? I will look for a 3000-4000 lbs capacity and hope to find an affordable cantilever lift with a canopy. What about the pads, etc? With the front fins and the rear prop set up - do I need a special lift or do I just need one with 2 v-bunks?

Also, what are people with lifts doing with their towers? My buddy leaves his tower up and just extended the arms to the canopy by 4 feet so he has an extra high canopy. This is a good idea - but you aren't doing as good of a job of protecting the boat from the elements when your canopy is 4-5 feet above the boat when its out of the water. What are you guys doing?

Thank you guys for all of the help. I'm an inboard noobie trying to get this boat and a slip situation figured out. Too many years of having an I/O, a lift and my Dad doing the maintenence. ;)


07-06-2009, 10:06 AM
Congrats on the Moomba! There are lots of folks on here with lifts and the same covers. I'm sure they will answer all your questions.

07-06-2009, 10:22 AM
As for the cover--take it and the boat to a boat cover shop and have then install flaps over the cleats so the rope would go "thru" the cover.

One thing i would do if its not to much more is get a bigger lift for you next boat-there might come a day when you want to upsize to a bigger Moomba.

Jeff W
07-06-2009, 10:41 AM
As for the cover--take it and the boat to a boat cover shop and have then install flaps over the cleats so the rope would go "thru" the cover.

One thing i would do if its not to much more is get a bigger lift for you next boat-there might come a day when you want to upsize to a bigger Moomba.
Yeah I have thought about having the cover modified. Is that the only solution? I thought this was a mooring cover though? Is this ONLY a cover for sitting in the driveway?

Yeah, I will probably get a 4,000 lbs lift. I can't imagine that I'll ever have anything bigger than a 4k boat. The only thing "more" I would want in a boat is a v-drive but that will be years down the road.

What about the style of the lift?

07-06-2009, 10:49 AM
Sorry i wont be any help on what style lift as mine sits on the trailer in the garage.

Another option on the cover is you could add hooks to the ends of the ropes and use the rear eyes and front bow eyes-cut the ropes to the desired lenght and just leave them on the dock cleats.

Jeff W
07-06-2009, 11:52 AM
I JUST read that on iboats forum..

Why didn't I think of that? I'll get some eyes on some ropes and go that route until I can get a lift.. Smart thinking..

07-06-2009, 01:21 PM
Jeff - My routine for covering the boat:

1) anchor the cover to the stern
2) unfold as I walk toward the bow
3) step through the walk thru windshield
4) close the windshield
5) finish unfolding and step out of the bow onto the pier
6) pull cover over bow
7) walk around pier to port side
8) scramble under the cover
9) insert poles (3) into receivers
10) scramble out from under cover and back onto pier
11) close velcro flaps around tower and tighten rope
12) fasten straps to lift bunkers
13) stand back and ask myself what I left on the boat

Been doing it this way going on three years now. Here's a picture of our Outback all buttoned up.

The Shorestation lift with extenders lets us keep the tower in the up position and tuck the whole thing up under the canopy for additioanl protection from sun and rain.

One more thing about a canopy, it provides wonderful shade when you simply want to take a break from the sun and relax on your boat. Idle into the lift, raise the bunks just enough so the boat's not bouncing on the water, turn on the radio, and break out the food and drink. - Deerfield

07-06-2009, 01:41 PM
I had the same issue with the cover and not fitting on the boat with the bumpers and ropes under the cover for mooring. The best solution I found was to tie up the boat on the front hook, the tower and the back hooks. If you still want to use the front cleat run the rope so it comes out where the tower is at and run the rope out the cover where the tower holes are at. You can also use the back popup cleat for a safety line but you want it loose so it will not pop up the cover. The bumper on the back cleat will have to be on a flat rope and it works perfectly. Once the tower is on install the bumpers on the tower outside the cover.
Another option for not putting the cover poles in is put a tube in the bow and a tube in the back. This will help hold up the cover and no messing around with putting in the posts or removing then and losing one in the lake.
I canít find any picís of it tied up right now but I hope this helps/

07-06-2009, 03:48 PM
You know by now, the cover wasn't made for mooring. Putting the poles up is a pain.

Attached is a pic of my Hewitt cantilever lift. You will need the "inboard boat" accessory to get you fins to clear the cross bar of the lift. My lift is 3600 lb, I would not buy anything less. My boat fits on the lift with the tower up and all of the boat out of the water. When I drop the tower down, the boat goes up a lot higher and is really protected by the canopy.
Legs on the lift are adjustable, depending on the depth of your water. It is made of aluminum and is fairly light.

Jeff W
07-06-2009, 05:22 PM
This is all excellent information..

Here is my plan of attack for the TIME BEING..

1. Use the front anchor eye and the rear tow strap eye as my main connection point with an "emergency" rope hanging loosely from each of the pop up cleats (enough to hold the boat if one other line breaks/unties but not enough to stress the cover) and I will also use my tube sitting on top of the engine cover (genius!).. This will eliminate my anti-pooling process issue and my cleat/lines issue. Has anyone use mooring whips? If so, do you connect those to the eye hooks or do you hook them to cleats? This might be an option to keep it away from the dock and fully covered.

2. Maxpower - is the "inboard kit" something that I can find aftermarket or must I buy an inboard specific lift? I will definately be buying a used lift ($$) so is this something I can modify or will I have to find an inboard specific lift? From the pic it appears that the inboard portion of the lift is simply a piece that lifts the bunks higher, creating a deeper V for the fins to sit in..

My boat doesn't have a tower (yet) but we are getting an Aerial Assault tower which I can easily fold down when we leave the lake. Pain in the butt and extra 5 minutes in/out but worth it when I can snug up the boat up close to the canopy.

Thank you guys for the info. Just some basic info I was missing. Aside from Mooring whips - has anyone seen/used anything to keep the boat away from the dock? Unfortunately, my slip set up is currently only one side of one dock so I'm limited to two tie up areas. The owner talked of putting another dock in so I'd have 4 dock tie ups - but I'm not holding my breathe. Is there another option (perhaps cheaper) than Mooring whips that would keep my boat a few feet from the dock? Close enough to jump to the swim platform but not close enough that I'm banging my rub rail all day?

Much, much appreciated.

07-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Other options.


My lift came with everything needed for my boat, but I added the 3" X 3" aluminum braces under the wood bunks. This gave me the room to clear my crossbeam. I bought the aluminum from a local supply store, they run the entire length of the wood bunks for extra strength.

07-06-2009, 10:54 PM
I have the great lakes lift 4000 lb direct drive with extensions. take a look at my pics

07-06-2009, 10:59 PM
Hey, Jeff - I have seen people with poles that auger into the lake bed. Approximately four feet goes into the lake bed and three feet extend above the water line. With four of these installed and using spring lines, your boat is secure yet able to move as necessary to absorb some of the movement of the water. Boat never touches the pier, so no danger of banging the gel coat or rub rail. I have no idea how much these auger poles cost, but I'll bet they are cheaper than whips and a fraction of the cost of a lift. Maybe Overtons or a marine supply store? - Deerfield

Jeff W
07-07-2009, 08:56 AM
Last night was a mooring success in my mind. We tied up to the front anchor eye and the rear trailer eye, which allowed the cover to go completely around the boat, I used the front anti-pooling stick which is relatively easy to get to and I set our tube on top of the motor cover which aids in storage and I also didn't need to use the rear anti-pooling sticks with it. I think that is the ticket.

At the end of the day - I still don't feel comfortable leaving the boat in the water. I thought I would but I spent $17k on a boat and I don't want it just sitting. I'm going to try to find an affordable, used lift. I guess it doesn't matter to me if it has a canopy or not. If I need to put my cover on at the end of each use - so be it.

07-07-2009, 09:14 AM
Well if your lift ends up with no canopy, take and have the cover modified with skirts to protect the sides from sun fadeing.

07-07-2009, 09:45 AM
Vibo Marine in North Branch, MN,, has a 3600 lb cantilever lift with a cutout in the rear cradle for drive shaft/prop. The cutout is not really for the fins, since the cradle is way down when the fins go over it. The cutout also allows you to have the bunkers lower wrt the cradle. This also allows you to place in shallower water. But beware of the cable over the front cradle arm - I had to adjust my bunks up to avoid contact with the bow.

Vibo will even give yout the lift disassembled and secured on a trailer, for free to use to bring the lift home.

I do not have a canopy yet for this lift but they do have some options.

Ironically the 'mooring' cover that we get is not supposed to be used for trailering due to potential gel coat burns from straps and cover. And there is really nothing to secure the straps to when setting on the water, so it is really not much of a mooring cover either.

I actually have a cheap Wal-Mart purchased cover now, since the factory canvas one has completely deteriorated after 10 years. With some modifications I am actually able to keep it dryer than the old cover.

Good luck.

Jeff W
07-07-2009, 09:59 AM
What did you have to pay for that lift Dave?

(if you don't mind me asking)

07-09-2009, 09:10 PM
Jeff, you need a lift bad. Some manufactuers will not warrent gel coats for boats left in water. I believe SC is one of those companies. That being said we have a standard cantilever lift that we set up and have never had any issues.

I also don't have a tower and so my canopy is low. When the boat is all the way up it is really tucked in there nice. In fact so nice I stopped with the annoying tent poles completely. Only problem is we need to add some dock across the bow and other side of boat as our lift wheel really gets in our way for boarding and such.

If you can swing the extra cash get the motor for lifting the cradle. I think you will find some discussin on this, cranking that wheel after skiing all moring or after a hard weekend is a real pain in the ass!