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Boat Lift questions


usaski1
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I have a Hydro hoist lift, and while we have had good water this year in Texas, water is beginning to drop pretty good (as it usually does in the fall) I know I can get risers for my lift, but the bunks at some point will be in contact with the boat while it is going on and off the lift if we dont get rain, and my tracking fins will hit one of the crossbars. At this point, skiing is winding down anyway, but to avoid having to pull out the boat too early (if we don't get rain, and hopefully we will and this will be a non-issue) Im thinking of placing an additional 2x6x12 on each of the bunks, on top of the existing bunk in the rear, giving the bunks a stepped form. (1x width in the front, 2x width in the rear) Would this hurt the boat in any way? What if I shaved the leading edge to a 45 angle to avoid a sharp step down? Am I making any sense here?
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I understand your issue as I have the same sort of problem but I don't understand your temp fix. I thought the hydro hoists lowered as an entire assembly (bunks, floats, etc are all bolts together). I have a similar problem on my hewitt hi-lift. As the water starts dropping, my lift hits the bottom of the lake and I can't get the lift low enough to get the boat off the bunks. If I spread the bunks out to get the boat lower in the water enough to float, the tracking fins hit the crossbar.

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding how the hydo lifts work but it sounds like the exact same problem I have. If it is the same problem as mine, adding risers or added bunk height makes the boat unable to slide off the bunks all together.

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USA, I have a Neman water lift which worked great with my old Glastron o/b, and works pretty good with our 02 s/n, but I made it better by lag bolting additional 2x6x10 nylon bunks right on top of my existing 2x6x10 carpeted wood bunks. (Countersink the heads). This bought me a little extra height for the low water levels, so my skegs would clear stuff better. My water level fluctuates between 4.5 & 2.5 feet. My problem though was not the rear cross bars, but the very front cross bar, and the water cylinder at the lowest water levels. (The front skegs would hit). The above mostly solved this problem, and also during low water levels, I just don't bring my boat in as far forward. A side benefit to the nylon bunks is that they are real slippery, which compensates for the extra 1.5 inches in hight in times of low water conditions. Hope this helps.
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@jfw432. Why would the boat be unable to side off? Maybe I need a crude drawing here... If the bunks were double thick the last 8 feet of the bunk, that would give my skegs the clearance. The back of the boat would never be so far forward that it would fall off the step, so sliding off should be a non issue?

@bigboy nylon bunks sound pretty trick... but kinda expensive I presume. Any easy alternatives to carpeting wood? (spray truck bed liner comes to mind, but may add more friction than carpet, and that would be bad.

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USA, I got the white nylon bunks from the hydro lift guy in puyallup, and then afterwards he called me and got mad at me because I had a nymon lift, which I told him to begin with anyway. Anyway, the nylon bunks are great during the times that you have to power the boat off and on. They were a couple hundred bucks.
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I'll work on getting a picture this evening. My basic problem is when the boat sits on the lift, the fins sit slightly below the top edge of the rear cross beam. So in order for the boat to clear the cross beam, the bunks have to be slightly below the boat when the boat is floating.

 

When the water level drops, the lift can't go low enough in the water to allow the floating boat to clear the cross beam because it's sitting on the bottom of the lake. By raising the bunks, the fins would clear the cross beam but because the lake bottom is in the same place, the boat isn't floating at all anymore. Instead my boat is sitting on the lift which is on the bottom of the lake and it can't move at all.

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@Jfw432

 

When the water level drops, the lift can't go low enough in the water to allow the floating boat to clear the cross beam because it's sitting on the bottom of the lake. By raising the bunks, the fins would clear the cross beam but because the lake bottom is in the same place, the boat isn't floating at all anymore. Instead my boat is sitting on the lift which is on the bottom of the lake and it can't move at all.

 

*****

 

Exactly. the only true remedy here for low water usage is to dig under the pontoons. Im trying for a fine line here, on my lift, Im thinking a 1x4 may give me enough lift so I dont hit the crossbar with the fins, yet buy me an extra x weeks or month where I can still use the lift. The question is, if you didn't add the 1x4 to the entire length of the bunks, but in my case, only the back, would the boat be damaged?

 

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Ok yeah, so your issue is the same as mine only with a different style of lift. If you make the transition fairly smooth, it may work but you could spend a bunch of money for nothing too. I tried adding a 2x6 with carpet at the back of my lift. As you can see from the picture, there is a lot of wear at that point and one of the bunks has the carpet torn. My taper was about a 45 degree angle which isn't enough. I then tried to cut a 1" radius hole for the fins which helps but as you can see from the other picture, I miss quite a bit and it's chewing up my lift.

 

This winter I plan to modify my lift because this tends to be a common problem a few times a year for me. My plan is to attach a trailers rear drop cross member on either side of the problematic cross beam and then cut the original beam off. You can get the drop bars from this site. http://www.easternmarine.com/Trailer-Tongues-Crossbars-Rails/ The last picture is my laughable cross beam modification so you can see what I'm talking about. I only drew U-bolts holding the beam in place but you would certainly want to add at least one through bolt on each side.

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  • Baller
All my lifts have the bunks held on by carriage bolts and nuts.... Easiest way to raise them is to pull the boat off the lift, undo the nuts, insert raiser block, replace the nuts. If the bolts aren't long enough then you get into the situation where you need to cut X's in the carpet, and swap out the nuts.
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