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Old     (_vitty_)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-08-2010, 1:38 PM Reply   
I am currently in the market for a boat lift and have ran across a couple good deals on some used hydraulic lifts from Shoremaster. Does anyone have any experience with these lifts or hydraulic lifts in general? I only have experience with the hand crank ones.

Since it is hydraulic this brings me to my second question for you all. I have no electricity running to my dock and would thus need to get a solar panel and 12V marine battery to operate the hydraulic pump. Is anyone operating an electric lift motor either hydraulic or not via solar and battery? How well does it work and what is the backup situation in case the battery or motor fail and your boat is sitting in the water? I know some normal crank style motors either work directly with the hand crank or have a built in override that a crank connects onto. Not sure about the hydraulic though.

Thanks for any input and opinions.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-08-2010, 2:06 PM Reply   
ShoreMaster & Basta (formerly Nyman) both make lifts exactly like your describing, ie; hydraulic using vegetable oil, and then using a solar charged battery for power.

Nyman used to also have one that used water pressure from a garden hose. We used to rig a pump to it & run it off the boat's battery to get it to lift & drop the boat.
Old     (liveoz)      Join Date: May 2002       03-08-2010, 3:37 PM Reply   
Just sold mine as I moved, but I had a Basta (Basically the same as the shore station. 4 years, never had any issues with the battery. The only issue I had was user error. If you don't clean the filter(easy process) the motor will have to work harder and will create heat. This will cause damage to the solanoid and battery. That and a simple flush every year or so and it basically is trouble free and soooo much better than the hand crank.
Old     (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       03-08-2010, 5:56 PM Reply   
My dads lift uses 110 power supplied by an inverter mounted in the boat that runs off the boat batteries. It leaves no need for solar power or a battery on the dock. Works great 3 years with no issues.
Old     (_vitty_)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-09-2010, 5:40 AM Reply   
My only concern is what happens if the hydraulics malfunction? I'm assuming they have no override mechanism....
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-09-2010, 7:43 AM Reply   
Malfunction, how? It can only lift so far. If it leaks, it's just vegetable oil or water & doesn't hurt anything. Hydraulics are used in a buttload of different environments without failing, ie; garbage trucks. Even if the battery dies, you can use the winch on your ATV or a come-along to pull the winch up, release the dogs, and then lower the boat into the water. The only time we ever had to do that was when the water had been shut off due to winter, and we wanted to ride. Eventually we figured out a way to use a 12v Jabsco pump to pump the cylinder up & get the boat off the lift. Even worked to put the boat back on too.
Old     (whoanellie)      Join Date: Jan 2009       03-10-2010, 6:56 PM Reply   
I have a lift that would work for you. It can easily be adapted to run off the boat's battery with a kit from AirDock.

http://houston.craigslist.org/boa/1634346815.html

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