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Boat Lift: alternative to Hydro Hoist called Boat Shield

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Boat Lift: alternative to Hydro Hoist called Boat Shield

Old 06-02-2016, 01:00 PM
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Default Boat Lift: alternative to Hydro Hoist called Boat Shield

I've been trailering my 27' cruiser for years and now I want to put it in a slip in saltwater. I've looked for used Hydro Hoists but I need >8000# of lift and there aren't any available right now. New Hydro Hoists are very $$$$$$.

I've looked at some alternatives. One that seems very interesting is called the "Armored Hull Boat Shield". It's basically a tarp suspended around your boat by a floating frame, that creates a barrier to marine growth and electrolysis. Supposedly works well enough that you don't have to bottom paint. It's way cheaper than a Hydro Hoist ($4K vs 10-18K) and you don't have the issue of an air tank leaking and the boat tipping over.

I'm a little worried that I will still have problems because the boat is sitting in saltwater. Also I wonder how durable this setup is, and if it will last very long. I'm interested in anyone here that has experience with these, either personal or knows someone who uses it. I'd appreciate any feedback about how effective it is, how easy to install and use, what maintenance is required etc.

FYI, the company is in San Diego and this is the website: http://armoredhull.com/
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:09 PM
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I've been on THT for a bit over a year now, and know absolutely nothing about this particular product, so I am infinitely qualified to make this comment:

Unless the giant boat condom is able to pump out the water around the hull, or contains a biocide, it may slow, but cannot prevent any of the claimed issues.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:35 PM
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Looks like you use chlorine tablets to sanitize the water around the boat. Check out the third scrolling middle picture on the home page. Next to the air pump is what appears to be a bucket of 3" chlorine tablets. Doesn't look like they mention it anywhere, but it makes sense. Just wonder how tough the material is against props and sharp trim tabs.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:07 PM
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I know nothing about that one but I do like the idea a lot. I do wonder how excess water escapes though. Say after a heavy rain. Also how much water is actually left in there when all closed up?

I bet a chlorine pellet and a good washing of the boat with fresh water would leave what water is left in there pretty pure and free from pretty much anything that grows.

I would also rather a small electric air pump to raise the gate instead of a hand pump.

Like I said though, I do like the idea. Just need to see one in person to be totally sold though.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:41 PM
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Long, long time lurker here. This is only my second post so have mercy.

I have used one of these for the past 16 years here in San Diego. My mechanic is the owner of the
company. The liner works as advertised, I bought the pool floaters from Home Depot and put chlorine tablets in them to purify the water. I used a total of three floaters. The amount of chlorine depends on the season and heat.

The liner also isolates stray current and your zincs last for a long time. Here is San Diego they come and install it for you in your slip.

You use a Coleman camping hand pump to fill it, Its very easy. You do not need an electric pump.
I had a diver clean the outside of the liner once a year. Many down here are 10-15 years old.

I was 100% satisfied with the product. As stated the owner is my mechanic, not my buddy.
I would not give a positive review if it did not work.

Hope this helps,
Packman
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:02 AM
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Packman,
What kind of boat do you have? I'm interested in what drives and trim tabs you have.
As other have mentioned what do you do about heavy rain fall?
What about when you wash the boat?
In our marina we back into the slips and I would think that there is more chance of snagging the material on the props. How do you or others deal with that?
What about securing this rig when you have two pilings, a fixed dock and tidal changes? I know you could have fixed lines with floating rings on the poles, but what about the fixed dock side? What solutions have you or your dock mates come up with?
Thanks

Originally Posted by packman23 View Post
Long, long time lurker here. This is only my second post so have mercy.

I have used one of these for the past 16 years here in San Diego. My mechanic is the owner of the
company. The liner works as advertised, I bought the pool floaters from Home Depot and put chlorine tablets in them to purify the water. I used a total of three floaters. The amount of chlorine depends on the season and heat.

The liner also isolates stray current and your zincs last for a long time. Here is San Diego they come and install it for you in your slip.

You use a Coleman camping hand pump to fill it, Its very easy. You do not need an electric pump.
I had a diver clean the outside of the liner once a year. Many down here are 10-15 years old.

I was 100% satisfied with the product. As stated the owner is my mechanic, not my buddy.
I would not give a positive review if it did not work.

Hope this helps,
Packman
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:03 AM
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Holy crap! A review that includes facts and experience.

Thank you. (I was getting pretty tired of the speculative advice I see so much of here, hence my facetious comment above.)
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:13 AM
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Just bottom paint
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:47 AM
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Doesn't the blow-up thing get growth on it?
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:54 AM
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I like the concept, but I think it would depend on the amount/type of growth you have in your area. Here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, growth gets aggressive in the summer (I used to have my boat cleaned by a diver twice a month), so I couldn't see that lasting a single season here. We also have worms that bore through pilings, floating jet ski docks, conduit, etc., so if the lining is a polymer, I think it would be at risk.

Perhaps the cooler water on the west coast would make this a nice option.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:37 AM
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These liners are not designed to back into and I would not advise that, I have a Munson aluminum landing craft, (photos in the aluminum boat thread).

Rain, washing detergent etc has no effect since the liner holds a lot of water and is self leveling.
It is easily secured with simple dock lines. Mine was fastened to small eye bolts the installer screwed into the wooded sides of the slip. I have seen them simply lashed to the docking cleats and side mounted. Setting it up between two pilings would not be an issue. Once in the water they do not move much. Tidal changes should not hurt it, the material is very tough.

My boat has an outboard that trims all the way out of the water. A vessel with outdrives and trim tabs would benefit much more because there would be no marine growth.

With all this being said, I have owned other boats where I went the bottom paint / diver route
which also worked for me. It all depends on what issues you want to deal with. The liner worked
well for my situation with my particular boat, in my specific slip. Also, despite the high initial cost
of the liner they are very, very easy to work with. It's a very simple system and its easy to "overthink" its operation. Once installed, I never had an issue with it.

Packman
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:13 AM
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Thanks for all of the comments. I hadn't noticed that bucket of chlorine tabs but you're right, the website is pretty sparse on some of the details.

I have a Bravo III stern drive, so it stays in the water of course. That's why I haven't slipped it, even with bottom painting and diver cleaning I'm sure my maintenance bills would go up substantially.

I would be using this in Northern California (SF Bay), so marine growth is probably not quite as aggressive as San Diego or Florida.

Packman, I appreciate your positive experience. How often do you have to add chlorine?

Do you know what the liner is made of, how durable it is? Has it ever torn on you?

The system sounds pretty simple, are there any mechanical or electrical parts that can break? Have you had any part of the system break and had to fix it? As you said you have the company owner/mechanic near you. If I had it up here I'd probably be on my own to repair it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:01 AM
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Funny I saw one of these installed in KCB in Marathon and wondered what the hell it was, now I know.. Next visit gonna go knock on their door and ask how they like it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:27 AM
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They are made of a heavy tarp material. The owners never tear them the but a diver / hull cleaner who does not know what he is doing can mess it up trying to pull off a mussel as opposed to scraping it off. There is a guy down here, Marty's Marine, who can repair them. I have never used him to fix it, only clean it once a year.

Mechanically, not much to it, pvc pipe, rubber connectors, hose clamps, braided rubber line and a pvc valve. The rear U portion is on rubber bellows hinges. The last piece of pvc pipe in the back has a hole in the bottom. Like an inverted canoe. When you pump the air in it displaces the water and raises the rear air gate. You then shut the pvc valve to hold the air in. When you launch you open the valve and let the air out. The gate lowers on its own and is then suspended under water by lines attached to floats. You can leave it like that for days.

I can tell if i need to add chlorine by looking at the water in the liner, Just throw a few tablets into the
floaters. If you are fussy you can use a cheap test kit they sell for testing swimming pools.

Again, I want to assure you I have no interest at all in this product. They are very common down here.

Packman
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the additional details Packman.

Regarding the chlorine, I live about 40 min away from the marina, and normally wouldn't be there unless we were taking the boat out. So, in the winter for example, I might not be there for 3 or 4 months. That's why I'm wondering about the frequency of needing to add chlorine. I'm guessing 3 or 4 months is too long, and maybe I'd have to go there every month or so? Maybe more often?
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:37 PM
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I was looking into the armoredhull also. I'm also from the SF Bay and have my boat slipped at Coyote Point. The growth has gotten worse the past month. I have to go every other day to scrape off the crqp growing on my new engine. The boat is bottom painted, but the new outboard isn't. After a week, I found several tiny things stuck to the outboard mounting plate. I currently have the boat back on the trailer until I find a hoist or paint it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:50 PM
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SeaBassHWB: interesting, Coyote Point is the marina I'm looking at for our boat. Ed, the harbormaster, told me the only boat lift they accept is Hydro Hoist, and currently only the "HarborHoist" model which puts no stress on the dock. Problem is that's about $18K with tax.

I'm hoping he'll be OK with the Boat Shield and that it actually works. What made you rule out the Armored Hull Boat Shield?
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:58 PM
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Icewinger: I see different hoists other than the Harbor hoist around the marina. There's also a jet dock there as well as others. I'm sure Ed will be fine with another type. Have you checked Craigslist? There are a few used Hydro Hoists for sale.
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:06 PM
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I've walked the docks and other then the jet docks I just see the old style side tie Hydro Hoists, which they don't sell anymore. Lots of those at Pillar Point as well. Ed told me the Sheriff had an AirDock but it leaked and they got rid of it.

Yes I've been checking Craigslist but I need at least 8000# of lift, and there are some but they are up in the Delta. Not sure how to get them down to Coyote cost-effectively.
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:15 PM
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Icewinger,

My situation is much different as I am at the dock 2-3 times a week. The longest I have left the
boat was two weeks and my live aboard neighbor kept an eye on it.

The problem is that chlorine is a corrosive chemical and I have no idea what it would do to your boat if you loaded it up. Its a balance, you want enough to kill the organisms in the salt water but
not so much as it damages something. I would not leave the boat in the liner for that long unless I had some one watching it for me. Sounds like keeping it on the trailer or shelling out for the hoist would be a better option in your situation.

Packman
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