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craSSh

Boat lift newbie

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I closed on a place today on a canal. It has a boat lift that the previous owner used with a pontoon boat. What do I need to do so I can start using it with my 2200v?  Do I need to add bunks like the ones on the trailer?  Pics would help a whole bunch.  I have no experience with them and any help is appreciated 

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Crassh,

Congrats on your new place! Your family will love it!

You have a good lift. I looks like direct drives (an upgrade), piling protectors, and the installer took time to run the electrics underwater instead of over, which is easier.

Yes, you need trailer type bunks for a standard boat. US Lift sells for $800-1700, depending on length. They are aluminum. I have a Deco, which are wood 2x12s covered with carpet, just like a trailer. The bunk brackets look the same, but I don’t know price, or if you can mix manufacturer’s parts. I think you could if a big price difference.  PFs need to be supported on the boat’s stringers, which on my PF is slightly outboard of the console. Call Ray at MBG, and he can tell you the exact location for support and spacing on your model.

The issue you have to put some thought into is boarding. You have floating piers, and the lift position relative to the piers looks like you’ll have to have a boarding ramp or planks to load the boat. They make all sorts of ramp configurations. You even might be money ahead to contact a local fabricator to make something. You may be able to incorporate the present pontoon bunks to save $$.

If you don’t want this to be a DYI(or even if you do want to do it yourself), call a couple of local lift/dock contractors and get a price and their ideas.

My only advice is to never “drive” the boat on or off the bunks. Make sure the lift cradle is clear of the hull at in and out. The cables don’t like that!

Hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy!

This is a pic of my bunks,

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Thanks Frozen!  The info and pic helps out tremendously. I am mostly a DIY'er and this doesn't look too hard of a job...of course they all don't until the cuss words start flying. I think I'll be able to use the bunks already there, I just need to get the proper brackets and hardware.  Great advice as to not drive the boat on or off too.  This is definitely an October/November project...it's too dang hot and humid now.  

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 I doubt you could use those existing bunks unless you could turn them on their sides and get some brackets which will raise them up some.   As you can see in Frozen’s pic, they need to lift the boat high enough so that the V of your hull does not hit the crossbars.  

 

Also be sure the cross bar at the back of the lift (aft part of the boat) is a few inches lower than the front cross bar so that your boat will slope down to the back and drain water properly while on the lift. 

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3 minutes ago, Bruce J said:

Also be sure the cross bar at the back of the lift (aft part of the boat) is a few inches lower than the front cross bar so that your boat will slope down to the back and drain water properly while on the lift

He’s right. On most lifts, the two bow cables are a different length from the stern cables to create the stern down slope. I think my stern cables are 4” longer than the bow cables. I may have that reversed, but the point is that drain slope is created with the cables, not with the bunks. Put all 4 bunk brackets the same height.

i also think you would be better off with carpet covered wood. Wood I’d softer and more forgiving with fiberglass. Pontoon boats are aluminum on aluminum. Use those aluminum planks with your boarding setup. Or sell them. I think they would be easy to sell.

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Bruce J,

 I looked at it good while I was down there today. I'll be able to use those bunks with brackets.  Shouldn't be that hard of a job.  Good tip of allowing the boat to drain.  

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Crassh,

I meant to ask you about the 4 poles with wires stretched across the top. Are those for a cover? Lightning protection? Deep space alien communicator?

M

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7 hours ago, FROZEN said:

Crassh,

I meant to ask you about the 4 poles with wires stretched across the top. Are those for a cover? Lightning protection? Deep space alien communicator?

M

That's a good question. I have no idea what those poles/wires are for. I'll have to call the previous owner and ask him, he actually saved the manual for the lift so it might say what it's for in there.  That being said I hope it is for deep space alien communication...LOL

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I’d also highly recommend a remote control for your lift motors if you don’t already have one. Or be sure the manual switch is in a place you can reach when you pull your boat back in.  When I first got my lift, I had to get out of the boat to operate the switches. Then of course the boat would not want to stay in place. So I either had to tie it off carefully first or have a helper. With a remote it is super easy to handle the boat launch and recovery by myself. It’s not a cheap option, but it’s also priceless. Mine is a GEM remote. 

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All good advice, CraSSh.  The bunks need to support your hull beyond the transom edge and past the console.  It will be best to call the Factory and ask what the bunk length needs to be to support the hull correctly..  The trailer is a good minimum length if original. I like 3" wide angled bunks or better. Better support for extra weight in the boat, rain, etc. 

The wire array over the lift is for deterring birds from camping out or roosting on your boat.  It gets messy with the huge canopy of the pontoon boat..  You need to measure the height to be sure your TTop will fit under when lifting the boat.  They appear to be low-tech engineered.   It would not be fun to toss a spool of mono back and forth to a buddy to re-string it.  Depends how big your seagull/pelican population is.

Enjoy livin the dream !!

M-1

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My question is how are you gonna get on the boat???  The dock will just go to the bow area.  My mind is telling it'll be hard to climb up there.  Just a thought.

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23 hours ago, Bruce J said:

I’d also highly recommend a remote control for your lift motors if you don’t already have one. 

It has a remote. 

22 hours ago, Moderator said:

The wire array over the lift is for deterring birds from camping out or roosting on your boat.  It gets messy with the huge canopy of the pontoon boat..  You need to measure the height to be sure your TTop will fit under when lifting the boat. 

Ah ok, I know they do that kind of bird deterrent on buildings too.  No TTop so I'm good in that department..

 

22 hours ago, FishEyez said:

My question is how are you gonna get on the boat???  The dock will just go to the bow area.  My mind is telling it'll be hard to climb up there.  Just a thought.

I haven't even thought of how I was gonna board the boat.  The piece you see that would go to the bow area is a separate section (maybe 5'x7') that is attached to the main dock so they could board the pontoon.  Looks like I'm gonna need to move it in between the pilings so I can board over the gunnel close to the console.  

Thank you everybody for the advice and suggestions

Ross

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I would think you could board at the bow once the boat is lowered so the front deck is level with the dock. But it’s hard to tell without the boat in the pic. 

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