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Corralling boat lift

LouDLouD Posts: 168 Deckhand
When I built a new dock the boat lift was moved to the top of the pilings of the boat house, making the cables very long ( about 16 feet) particularly at low tide. ( We have about 6 feet of tide change). If I I return during an outgoing tide, the tidal flow plus the usual flow of the river, carries the lift cradle 5-6 feet from vertical. Once the boat is over the cradle the cable winder does not wind the cables in the spiral slots. 
Other than adding weights to the lift (it would take a lot of weight), and adding bars to catch on the pilings are their any other ways to corral the lift?


  • StankBaitStankBait Posts: 418 Deckhand
    Is it  a lift with two motors. Each on a piling? If so I have seen a flat piece of aluminum made to push against the cable to flatten it out and make it wind to the spiral. It keeps it from springing off.
  • LouDLouD Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Yes, 2 motors. The lift has the cable tamers but the force of the current causes the cable to slide along the grooves. The cable doesn't unfurl
  • StratCasterStratCaster Posts: 111 Deckhand
    Rig a pulley about a foot below the cable winder to keep each cable directly under the winder. As long as the cable enters the winder from vertical, it will wind properly.  Just a thought, I have no personal experience with this.
  • gandrfabgandrfab Posts: 21,646 AG
    Do you know the water is going to rise or is this a surprise?
    If you know once you float the boat put the lift up, if you don't have one already upgrade to a remote control.  
  • StankBaitStankBait Posts: 418 Deckhand
    edited August 2019 #6
    I will take a picture of the piece I have seen to keep the cable near the groves. Not sure that it is a complete solution. Have had the same problem on mine but more due to operator error that current, Have had to realign mine several times. I let it down too far and it hits bottom and the cable goofs up on the shallow side.

    I was going over tomorrow but with the weather still is unsettled. I am waiting a few days. Here is a link I found to a cable keeper on the HiTide lift site. Just a piece of angle bolted to the I beam. Like I said it may or may not work but may help. The folks that have them don't seem to have a problem as much. Pic is about half way down the page. May get some angle and make one myself.

    Forgot the link. Got distracted.
    Others I have seen were not 90 degree angle. Will take a pic of them when I get over to lift.
  • LouDLouD Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Thanks for everyones comments
  • gandrfabgandrfab Posts: 21,646 AG
    This and variations are used on hangar doors as cable guides.
    But those doors don't drift off.

  • StratCasterStratCaster Posts: 111 Deckhand
    Rig a pulley about a foot below the cable winder 
    I just looked at my own lift...this was a dumb suggestion, sorry.
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,390 Officer

    It seems that your only solution is to add bars to the lift, so the lift does not drift past the pilings. If your pilings are fairly plum, just take the measurements from the lift (I-beam) to the pilings. Have a local welder fabricate the bars from heavy wall 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 tubular aluminum and bolt the bars to the lift's I-beam. You'll need to take some pics with your phone and take that with your measurements to the fabricator.

    Got ahead of myself. Before you take measurements, make sure your cables are in the correct position. Put the boat on the lift, then take your measurements. I'd leave about 2 or 3 inches of slack between the bars and the pilings. You don't want the bars to be in contact with the pilings while you are letting the boat up or down.

  • StankBaitStankBait Posts: 418 Deckhand
    Sorry about not posting this sooner. Hurricane sort of goofed up my schedule.
    This looks sort of homemade but seems to keep cable against the shaft. Think I will try the aluminum angle against the cable. Less work.

  • rangerman71rangerman71 Posts: 19 Deckhand
    I got these bars from BoatLift US and they work great at keeping lift from drifting left or right. They attach to top of I-beam.
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