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Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-21-2013, 8:49 AM Reply   
After years of launching at our lakehouse with no issues, I decided to upgrade to a larger boat. I sold my Centuruion Elite V and bought a new 2012 MB B52 23V last year. The new boat is too large for my launch (it is a dirt/gravel launch that I share with my neighbor). I spent last summer driving 2 miles to the public launch every day last summer and that got old real quick. I decided to buy a lift and bought a Lakeside 5500 Vertical Lift. This will be my first time using a lift and am looking for advice from some of the more seasoned lift owners out there. What techniques do you use for lanuching and docking? Inboards are such pigs at slow speeds that I am a little nervous about running into the lift when attempting to return to the lift. Any good techniques out there?
Old     (canucked)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-21-2013, 8:55 AM Reply   
I have the same lift, my only advice would be to not lower the bunks too deep into the water. That way they will guide you in similar to a trailer, i keep mine right around waterline, especially if the lake is rough.

You can also buy additional guides for the front and sides if you are nervous about alignment. My neighbour at the lake overshot his lift last summer and destroyed his prop. He bought a front bumper for his nose so he can only for so far forward.

Good luck, it is the best thing i've ever purchased (i used to drive around the lake to launch)
Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-21-2013, 9:08 AM Reply   
Thanks for the info. How do you like the lift? Lakeside seemed to have the best price/quality ratio of all the lifts I looked at. Did you get the motor or are you using the wheel? Where do you stop your boat in relation to the wheel?
Old     (jaws)      Join Date: May 2012       03-21-2013, 10:38 AM Reply   
All depends on your lake. Are you in a no wake area? or is it rough? Best bet is to make a pier/dock next to your lift if you do not have one. (Stationary/floating depending on water depth) Then you can stand on the dock (or let some one off the boat) and help float it in. I had to do this with our first boat.
Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-21-2013, 1:31 PM Reply   
We have 30' of EZ Dock that we used to tie up to, so I plan to set the lift right next to the dock. The lake can get rough at times, but not too bad. We aren't in a no-wake area so that isn't an issue. Hoping not to make any rookie mistakes with the boat and the lift. Thanks.
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-21-2013, 1:39 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Guitarcrazy View Post
We have 30' of EZ Dock that we used to tie up to, so I plan to set the lift right next to the dock. The lake can get rough at times, but not too bad. We aren't in a no-wake area so that isn't an issue. Hoping not to make any rookie mistakes with the boat and the lift. Thanks.
For the first month or two - cover all of your poles with foam noodles (the ones kids swim with) and always leave your lift high as mentioned before. this will eliminate the risk of rookie mistakes. You can also hang something from a point inside the canopy of the lift that is indicator of how far forwrd you should sit. If you use those three tips - it will help you out for the first few months. After a while it will become easy and your only factor will be adjusting to the wind. It's easier than you might think as a general statement. It's more nerve racking to think about than it is to do unless it is real windy.
Old     (canucked)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-21-2013, 2:20 PM Reply   

I don't have much to compare the Lakeside lift to, but it meets our needs perfectly. I raise it so the prop is just out of the water, a bit higher when we are leaving for a while. Our dock is a big "T" shape wtih a few boat on it, we built a few brackets to put some 2x10's along each side (on the outside) to make it easier to put on the tarp, it also allows us to jum out and guide in the boat if its rough.

We are still rockin the wheel, when I get fatter i'll buy the motor.

My neighbour has a super fancy hydraulic lift which cost 4 times what the lakeside did. think hyundai vs. lambo, but I get to the lake twice as much as him so its all good.
Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-21-2013, 2:28 PM Reply   
Thanks Trapper, I would like to see your setup if you have pictures. Our dock is set in a straight line with 3 10' sections of EZ Dock. We used to do the T with the last section of dock but it wasn't large enough to get two boats on in that configuration so I went back to a straight line. I am trying to picture how your guide boards function, but pics would help immensely. I have it ordered with just the wheel also, we'll see how tough it is to raise. They almost talked me out of the motor when I ordered because they said the 5500 with dual pulleys is easier to crank up than the 4500, even though you are lifting more weight. If my wife can't crank it up I'll be ordering a motor. J
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-21-2013, 2:35 PM Reply   
Idk if that lift is remote but after I leave the slip, down enough for gentle power off, coming in a bump it up a touch wi the remote and catch the nose from say the windshield forward, drop it down and float it on if its calm, drop it in incriments and gently bump in and out of drive and ease on to the lift if its rough. We did almost the same before a hydraulic set up as with you just obviously loose remote control function so you have to power off a bit more. But you get on the same way
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-21-2013, 8:33 PM Reply   
Do you have to have to take your lift in and out every season? Didn't check to see where you're from. If so get 4 pallets and put them under the feet so the lift doesn't get stuck in the muck. It's a pain to get it out if your area has a soft bottom.

To float it out for me it's a one man job. I have 2 truck tire innertubes that I put both on the lake side under the cross beam and I can push my 5000lb lift solo to its location. And set it in the pallets. Piece of cake. Getting it out at end of season isn't as smooth because all the algae/slime build up makes it hard to get a grip.

Like others have said don't lower your lift all the way leave it a bit high so u need to gas it off the lift. This way when you come back it will guide you and keep it off the rails. You can also get addition guide poles. To attach to prevent it as well . Just lake sure you have enough clearance for the skews. Measure bunks in your trailer n then put your lift at same place. Leave the lift bunks loose and able to angle left or right for the first time so when the boat gets up out of water the bunks will snug up. Then tighten em up and you're all good
Old     (biggator)      Join Date: Jul 2010       03-21-2013, 8:37 PM Reply   
Can't speak to MB or Centurion specifically.. but with the inboards I've owned and/or spent lots of driving - there's no issue with maneuvering them at slow speed. Spend some time practicing, and you should be able to put the thing on a dime in anything less than heavy wind.
Old     (jtiblier123)      Join Date: Jan 2011       03-22-2013, 5:34 AM Reply   

-Colgate Offshore Sailing School
Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-22-2013, 8:27 AM Reply   
It is always windy in Montana, unfortunately! It is so much easier to dock a boat when the outdrive turns, especially in reverse. There are some things that stern drives do better than inboards, but boarding isn't one of them. The pallet idea seems like an interesting solution. How do you get them sunk, do you put the lift on the pallet at the beach, and then put it in position? Thanks for the suggestions, I am sure it will be a bit of a learning curve. J
Old     (canucked)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-22-2013, 3:53 PM Reply   
I can't seem to find any pics of the setup, ill dig around at home...
Old     (brazosfreak05)      Join Date: May 2009       03-22-2013, 4:49 PM Reply   
How much do these lifts cost? I cant find out on their webiste
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       03-22-2013, 4:56 PM Reply   
Lifts start in the $6000 range and go up quickly. You can easily spend 10K plus.
Old     (brazosfreak05)      Join Date: May 2009       03-22-2013, 7:19 PM Reply   
^ I know lifts are pretty expensive but is your reference of $6,000 for the type of lifts that they are talking about in the thread?
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       03-22-2013, 8:03 PM Reply   
5500 lb Vertical lift. Without a canopy will be $6000. Add canopy, taller legs for the tower. Extended sides. Power lift. Wheel Kits and you will be in the $8500-$10000. Trust me there are a few of us shopping them right now. Some guys are spending 13K plus. These are sit on the bottom of the lake style lifts not floaters.
Old     (Guitarcrazy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       03-23-2013, 2:23 PM Reply   
The Lakeside without motor and canopy was $4100 delivered to Montana. I figured I would run it for a while and then decide if I want to go with the motor and canopy later. The Lakeside wasn't the cheapest one out there, but it was pretty affordable and the reviews were all great. In fact, I wasn't able to find one negative review on any of the forums I searched, so I guess that's a good endorsement.
Old     (EcoDocks)      Join Date: Mar 2013       03-26-2013, 7:37 PM Reply   
Hello, There are many kinds of boat lifts on the market today, some good and some...well not so good.
The first thing to do is to Google or search the net for different types of lifts.
There are all kinds of them out there and every year there seems to be a new player in the market.
Do not limit yourself to a vertical lift before checking them all out, you may be surprised as to what is out there today.
The best thing is to make a list of the pro's and cons of each system first.
Then contact a dealer who will help answer all of your questions. A good dealer knows his competition, I know I do.
Check the warranty.
Ease of putting it in and pulling it out.
Do you need to pull it out? You may be surprised with the new lifts today.
What is your bottom lake structure like?
Mud? Forget about a roll in dock. That sucker will stay in there for years after a summer of driving your 4,000 pound boat on it. You'll end up bending or breaking the wheels off of it when it comes time to take it out. Trust me I've seen it happen. At a cost of almost $1,000.00 to fix it.
Need pads? Don't use a pallet on the bottom like a previous reply. Think about the rusty nails, have kids that swim by the pallets? I know that would be a hefty fine here in WI.
Is the lift modular? What I mean by that is, if I buy a new boat next year will I need to purchase a new lift again?
If the entry point of your lift is deeper than 7'-8' then you need to use mooring screws and a weight and chain system or seaflex type system. Don't be fooled by a dealer trying to sell you a dock with extended length poles. They will bend, they are expensive to replace, they will wreck your dock and your warranty will not cover it. that IS guaranteed.
You will spend between $5000.00 and up to $13,000 for a lift, yes that is correct, but remember this is an investment, just like your boat is an investment.
If you choose the lift carefully and wisely it will last you for years to come.
Yes I am a lift dealer, but I'm not trying to sell you a lift here in this post, just trying to inform you.
Sure if you want a quote on a lift I'd be more than happy to shoot one your way, just check out my website and go to the contact page.
Good luck and happy boating.
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-27-2013, 1:42 AM Reply   

wow is all I can say to that.....rusty nails, kids swimming, fines

Funny we have done our boat lifts like this for 15 plus years and haven't had one accident or fine and are well within the guidelines...........and yup that's in Wisconsin. Half the lake does it that way. Boat lifts are way more dangerous themselves than a pallet if safety is your concern.Those lines were priceless. I love it. The pallets don't stick out any further than the pads when installed properly. Kids shouldn't be swimming next to any boat lift to begin with. Between the cradle, bunks, cables, the crank wheel, motor, and not to mention the boat itself, there are way more dangers from just the lift being in the water. Plenty of ways for things to go wrong with a wave, a turn of the wheel, or a slip. Lifts aren't jungle gyms n neither are docks. Stick to selling lifts not giving safety advice on how to use them or avoiding fines.

Btw .......Boats aren't investments they depreciate just like docks n cars. They are however a place to spend quality family time or time with great people. Anyone buying a boat or a lift who thinks they are making an investment is sorely mistaken. They will be throwing $$$ year after year at it.

Last edited by xstarrider; 03-27-2013 at 1:50 AM.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-27-2013, 7:37 AM Reply   
A hydraulic lift is the easiest thing on the planet to move around when the water is up. Raise lift to top, insert large plastic barrel between bunks, lower lift until the ass end gets picked up. Move via the front, raiselift, barrel pops out and voila, lift is in place. No wheels needed.
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       03-27-2013, 5:29 PM Reply   
Sounds like a good idea. But for most of us in the north who need to get them on shore this won't help to much. We need the wheels to get them on shore before freeze up. A lift left in will be destroyed from the ice.


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