Homemade Boat Lift

Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,403 Captain
Bought a nice 16 ft aluminum boat with a 40 2 stroke from a member here in NE. Since the boat is used 4 or 5 times a week, wanted to keep it on the water...just not in the water. So I came up with this idea. It's basically a giant see-saw that with the help of 8 teenagers, we walked it into the water, and adjusted the angle so the stern can be 1 foot out of water at high tide. Then remove the plug so rain water can drain. The tide in this creek is only 1 foot, so it didn't need to be too steep. The boat was hard to pull over bare wood, so added some 1.5" PVC strips and a little teflon spray for good measure. I know my limits, so I wouldn't try this on a heaver boat, but it works well for one this size. Maybe someone else can use this application.

Replies

  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,342 Moderator
    are the bunks spaced far enough apart to motor it up or purely with the winch?

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,403 Captain
    I just use the wench. That area is shallow until you get about 40 feet from shore. after we launch, I walk it down to the end of that low dock (that's a rowing dock) I just needed to be able to float it. the end of the ramp is only 1 to 2 feet deep depending on tide.
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,342 Moderator
    Very inventive, thanks for sharing. I can see others useing the idea.

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,567 Moderator
    Very interesting concept, very simple and it works.
    Great Job.
    larrywitt
  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,403 Captain
    thanks, guys. I'm happy with it. Anyone considering this, I recommend making it plenty long so the angle can be adjusted. This one is 32 ft. I'll post a few more close-up pics tomorrow, in case anyone wants to build one. A couple of key stress points require strong connections.
    Added PICS:
    16 ft bunks joined by sandwiching 2x4's on either side using lag screws and lots on 16 P gal ring shank nails. 4x4 vertical post attached with heavy gal bolt. attach diagonal bracing (shown under water) before stressing first joint.

    Include horizontal diagonal bracing to control sheer stress.
  • pilingjunkypilingjunky Posts: 2,044 Officer
    Looks great, Mark. Glad the old girl is getting some good use.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    For heavier boats, I see no reason why some trailer rollers couldn't be rigged between the stringers. On all my skiff trailers, I always had considerable weight on the center rollers. These were Keys type trailers with winches and not float-on, so depending on the slope of the ramp, I needed the ability to push the boat off the trailer if necessary.

    I think the OP has a helluva an idea there. Mucho $$$$ cheaper than a commercial lift, if you have the space in your back yard.
    .......Rick
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,218 Officer
    Very innovative to say the least!
    Giimoozaabi
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,297 Admiral
    Did you use pressure treated lumber?
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,403 Captain
    yes, pressure treated, but not to the specs code would require. I think direct salt water contact is around 2.75. this is cheap .40 and .25. lumber and in slightly brackish water. it wont last forever.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Mark O. wrote: »
    I just use the wench. That area is shallow until you get about 40 feet from shore. after we launch, I walk it down to the end of that low dock (that's a rowing dock) I just needed to be able to float it. the end of the ramp is only 1 to 2 feet deep depending on tide.

    Oh, so your wife does the cranking? Sorry...just couldn't resist.

    On a more serious note, do you have pics of the pivot point, and how you solved that issue?
    .......Rick
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    Nice job, well planned and executed.
  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,403 Captain
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    Oh, so your wife does the cranking?

    haha...walked into that one... pivot point? The ends are supported which keeps it from being a see-saw...otherwise, once the boat was pulled past the fulcrum, it would tip downward, becoming horizontal...then it wouldnt drain or slide back down the ramp
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