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-   -   Digging boat out (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=788279)

malibuboats4 06-17-2011 7:28 AM

Digging boat out
Our lake has lost a lot of water recently. We can't get our boat out anymore because the lift is hitting the bottom. We only need about four more inches of water and have plenty of cable in the lift if we were to dig out the sand beneath the boat. Besides using a shovel to do this, can you guys think of any other methods?

crowem87 06-17-2011 8:11 AM

Maybe use a large pump and blast water around the lift footings to dig out a hole? (similar process to setting posts for a slider???) It seems it would be hard to do with such a wide surface

MoombaRiderJ 06-17-2011 8:17 AM

Just be careful, using a water pump with high pressure nozzle will definitely create a deeper channel if done correctly. depending on your boat stall/pier timbers be careful not to wash out too much sand from the main support timbers in the water...that can create major issues.

crowem87 06-17-2011 8:21 AM

Good though - I guess I was thinking of what I would do if that happened to me...I have a floating dock with stationary lift.

Texan 06-17-2011 9:09 AM

Jet ski (if you can raise your boat high enough)

malibuboats4 06-17-2011 9:41 AM

Wouldnt the jet ski be ruined? All that sand running through it can't be good for it.

crowem87 06-17-2011 10:24 AM

how would you use a jet ski and control it?

Jeff 06-17-2011 11:00 AM

What about some crazy idea like filling up a couple of air mattresses, floating them in the water and lowering the boat onto them in an effort to make it float higher?

They'd probably pop under the load. What about getting a ton of those fun noodles, lashing them together into a big mat and lower the boat onto it?

trace 06-17-2011 11:29 AM

Good ideas so far. One other I can think of would be to build a dam out of sandbags that goes out into the area that's deep enough, and rent a water pump to fill it up inside enough to float the boat out. Probably wouldn't have to be too high of a dam considering the situation.

trace 06-17-2011 11:32 AM

...or maybe one of those instant swimming pools with the inflatable top ring would be big enough?

polarbill 06-17-2011 11:50 AM

4 inches doesn't seem like much if you only have to dig out a trench as wide as the prop.

polarbill 06-17-2011 11:52 AM

Are you close to a launch/trailer? If so pulling all the underwater gear on the boat is probably easier and cheaper then buying a bunch of sand bags and making a dam. You would just need to find something to plug the holes but I bet a couple layers of 200 mph duct tape on the outside of the hull would work.

jeff_mn 06-17-2011 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by trace (Post 1687047)
Good ideas so far. One other I can think of would be to build a dam out of sandbags that goes out into the area that's deep enough, and rent a water pump to fill it up inside enough to float the boat out. Probably wouldn't have to be too high of a dam considering the situation.

Get a dozen bros and 2 cases of beer and lift it off..

Jeff 06-17-2011 12:39 PM

Ok, I started thinking more about this. What style of lift is this?

Based on the initial post I'm assuming this can't be the typical winch/strap overhead style and must be one of the various free standing or bulkhead style lifts.

In my last post I was describing ways that would probably be more applicable to the overhead type.

Is there enough water for the boat to float in if the lift wasn't there? And the only problem is that the lift bottoms out before the boat can come off?

malibuboats4 06-17-2011 1:39 PM

Jeff your right. The lift is a metal frame, that the boat sits on, with cables, not your typical two strap lift. The boat sits raised up on the lift, about a foot from the bottom of it. When the lift is lowered, it eventually hits the bottom. At this point the boat is still sitting on the lift. When I say we only need four more inches, I mean that if we could dig four inches of dirt from under the lift, the boat would be able to float off. Im just thinking that digging with a shovel will take hours so I was checking if anyone has any other ideas.

Jeff 06-17-2011 2:06 PM

Sounds like pressurized water would do the trick. How about this: Get two lengths of PVC about the same length as the base of the lift, drill small holes along the whole length of the pipe on one side. Cap one end of each pipe off and get the appropriate fittings to connect the other ends to a pump or a garden hose.

Then lay each pipe on the bottom next to the sides of the lift and turn the water on. Orient the holes so they blow the silt/sand away from the bottom of the lift and I'd bet it will sink down given enough time.

I know that when building a dock all it takes to drive posts deep into a silty bottom is a garden hose nozzle on the end of a suitably long pole. It will bore right into that soft bottom.

trace 06-17-2011 5:17 PM

If you have access to a garden hose, a good powerwasher would probably blast out lake bottom pretty well.

xstarrider 06-21-2011 7:08 PM

If all you need is 4 inches why not soak the bunks with the pressure washer and strap it to a boat in the water and give it some throttle and yank it off. you wont hurt the boat at all. I am ssuming you have a Shore Station style lift. We had to do this to a couple boatsw years back as a bever dam in the channel had caused the level by the docks to drop considerably.

How far are the feet in the muck? You canlways tie ropes right to the lift and give it a pull as well if the skids arent to burried and the the ground insnt to mucky.

Texan 06-22-2011 6:23 AM


Originally Posted by malibuboats4 (Post 1687013)
Wouldnt the jet ski be ruined? All that sand running through it can't be good for it.

You will be running water through the jet ski, it's just a simple way of jetting out a muddy area. We had an area where two docks were facing eachother... we tied a strong toe line to the back of a jet ski and anchored it across from the slip on shore to a tree. pulled up into the silted up slip and gently ran the jet.

As long you're not flooring it and being smart you can manuever the ski back and forth and aim the jet. For the corners we just stood around the ski and aimed it ourselves standing next to it. If there was a tough spot of clay we used shovels real lightly to break it up while running the jet real lightly.

We cleared out 6inches or so of the back of the slip that way, flipped around and anchored the ski to a tree on the side of the docks where the slip was and used the jet to dig out the front half.

If it is in fact just silt you are moving this is an easy way to get at least the top layers moving. If you don't have a tree you could easily use a double anchored boat. Just gotta be smart about it and gently run that jet. Not worth overheating the ski or like you said running too much silt through it. If the water gets too mudied up, take a break grab a beer, let it settle and go at it again.

Texan 06-22-2011 6:25 AM

Same idea as a pressure washer or high pressure hose except it covers a much larger area and moves more water.

kenteck 06-22-2011 4:34 PM

here you go... the best way to get your boat::::::::::::

ryansgt 06-27-2011 11:14 AM

i would inquire about the lift loaders that marinas have to install lifts and docks. i would be willing to bet they could hook up to the lift eyes and drag it out a few feet for you.

crowem87 06-27-2011 12:34 PM

I would NOT pull the boat off the lift. A few years back our boat was stuck on the lift (hardly).... We hooked up tow straps to a friends boat, and floored outs in reverse (prop was still in water). The boat came off.....but it also stripped the gel on both sides for about 2' and was not cheap to fix...just my experience...

ryansgt 06-28-2011 11:16 PM

no, i mean vertically using their floating crane. pick it up and pull it out.

crowem87 06-29-2011 5:08 AM

Ryan - ya I was referring to the person above who suggested yanking it off with another boat.....however, if there is not enough water to get the boat off the lift, I doubt there is enough to use a floating crane.

ryansgt 06-29-2011 4:55 PM

idea, if there is enough to float the boat, why not jack up the entire front of the lift and then slide it off. it would basically be acting like a trailer. spray the bunks down to get em slippery and it should make it.

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