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Boat Lift Weight Capacity

Old 08-14-2017, 08:25 AM
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Default Boat Lift Weight Capacity

We recently purchased a home on the water that came with a High-Tide 6,000 lb boat lift. The lift is in great shape. I have a 2011 Bentley 240 Fish that has a dry weight of 1,950 lbs. and a 2010 Mercury Optimax 75 HP that weighs 375 for a weight 2,325 lbs. Adding a 120 lbs. for fuel and a 25 lb anchor the boat weighs 3,000 +/- lbs.

I called a High-Tide dealer to ask about getting V shaped bunk brackets and he claims that my boat will be stretching the limits of the lift. This just doesn't sound right since the High-Tide web site claims that the lift can support a boat with a fully loaded weight of 6,000. Does his claim carry any water or is he just trying to set me up to buy a new lift?

Thanks,
Dana
Old 08-14-2017, 08:32 AM
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Sounds like you're fine.
Hi-Tide makes a good lift (I have one).
They're one of the more expensive lifts, so the previous owner didn't skimp.
Hopefully, you have the remote control option, which is very convenient.
Old 08-14-2017, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I found the V bunk cradles on at BH-USA.com and they look pretty easy to set up so we should be good to go.

Any recommendations on what to cover the 2 x 6 boards with? I was thinking maybe Linex would be a durable solution. Thoughts?
Old 08-14-2017, 09:47 PM
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A typical design is to have the lift capacity no less than twice the weight of the boat. That's why he said it was stretching it. There are a lot of liability issues with the lifts, especially when they break. Also, the specified lift capacity is for when it is new. Do you already have a cradle with the lift?
Old 08-15-2017, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dseiler View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I found the V bunk cradles on at BH-USA.com and they look pretty easy to set up so we should be good to go.

Any recommendations on what to cover the 2 x 6 boards with? I was thinking maybe Linex would be a durable solution. Thoughts?
If you buy the aluminum bunks from BH-USA, they come with the surface covering. Very nice cradle and bunks. If you go with wood, I wouldn't use 2x6, Go with angled cut 3x10. You can order from any local boat trailer place in the length you want already cut. I replaced my bunks on the boat trailer with precut from load rite dealer
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:41 AM
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Not sure what Gary is talking about but if you did the math right and the total weight is under the lift capacity you should be alright. They build in safety above the rated number. Is it a belt drive? I've had customers overload lifts to the point the motor would not spin.
Old 08-15-2017, 04:52 AM
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I run one 8K lift with about 6500 pound of boat, fuel, and gear. I would not admit to occasionally lifting or lowering with some human cargo (because it is against good safety practice). I keep it maintained, and I keep an eye on the cables for corrosion (cable lube is your friend). It does not sound like it ever "strains" at all.

I run another 8K lift with about 2K of boat, fuel, and gear. I feel a little silly with that much extra capacity, but capacity is cheap with boat lifts.

Sounds like you are fine, if your weight estimates are reasonably accurate.
Old 08-15-2017, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
A typical design is to have the lift capacity no less than twice the weight of the boat. That's why he said it was stretching it. There are a lot of liability issues with the lifts, especially when they break. Also, the specified lift capacity is for when it is new. Do you already have a cradle with the lift?
I have never heard any requirement that the lift capacity has to typically be twice the weight of the boat. The lift capacity limit is as stated and not one pound more even though most lifts are designed and engineered for a certain percentage over the capacity for safety factors.
Old 08-15-2017, 05:02 AM
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You are fine. 6,000 lb lift and 4,000 lb boat. No issues.
Old 08-15-2017, 05:09 AM
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Call the manufacturer. http://www.hi-tide.com/products/acce...t-accessories/
Old 08-15-2017, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
A typical design is to have the lift capacity no less than twice the weight of the boat. That's why he said it was stretching it. There are a lot of liability issues with the lifts, especially when they break. Also, the specified lift capacity is for when it is new. Do you already have a cradle with the lift?
Nonsense

Your lift is fine call the manufacture if you have questions. The dealer is just trying make a sale.
Old 08-15-2017, 06:40 AM
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It not nonsense, it it standard engineering practice to overdesign systems that can be dangerous in use. Many engineers even use a factor of 3X. Just look at the cables for instance. Cables always have a standard working limit and a breaking limit. The breaking limit is generally 3X. All these specs are rated for new equipment. The equipment will have less capacity as it ages. As an engineer, I studied all of this in great detail before designing my own system. If you choose to advice people to do differently, will you be the one responsible for the risks instead of the manufacturer?
Old 08-15-2017, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for all the great feedback. The lift is a galvanized steel cable model and appears to be in great shape. Below is an image of one of the cables.

Name:  Boat Lift Cable.jpg
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MilesExpress View Post
If you buy the aluminum bunks from BH-USA, they come with the surface covering. Very nice cradle and bunks. If you go with wood, I wouldn't use 2x6, Go with angled cut 3x10. You can order from any local boat trailer place in the length you want already cut. I replaced my bunks on the boat trailer with precut from load rite dealer
The current bunks are for a v-hull and I have a pontoon so I need to swap out the bunks to a cradle type. I have heard that since we are on the Chesapeake Bay I should not use carpet because the salt water will eat it up after a year or two so i am looking for a longer lasting covering.
Old 08-15-2017, 07:06 AM
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Take a look at the thimble in your photo. It appears to have failed unless that is an optical illusion.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
It not nonsense, it it standard engineering practice to overdesign systems that can be dangerous in use. Many engineers even use a factor of 3X. Just look at the cables for instance. Cables always have a standard working limit and a breaking limit. The breaking limit is generally 3X. All these specs are rated for new equipment. The equipment will have less capacity as it ages. As an engineer, I studied all of this in great detail before designing my own system. If you choose to advice people to do differently, will you be the one responsible for the risks instead of the manufacturer?

I think you are confusing two things... the rating and the actual capacity. Yes, the actual capacity is typically substantially higher than the consumer rating to add a significant margin for error, but he is working from the rating, not engineering capacities.


If capacity was double the rating, and then he needed to be at half the rating to be safe, you would need a 20k capacity lift to have a 10k rating and then could only put a 5k boat on it.
Old 08-15-2017, 07:18 AM
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I recommend a 3X rating. If that is observed, then something like a corroded and broken thimble wouldn't be a huge problem in the short term. Are you sure that "rating" is actual and not the manufacturers version of breaking strength? If you are willing to take a needless risk with your life and property, then go ahead.
Old 08-15-2017, 08:37 AM
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Lifts are generally advertised as "Lift Capacity". This is typically the load that the lift can support without taking into account safety factors. As far as I know, lifts are not regulated so the safety factors range based on the designer. For example, Golden Boat lifts have a safety factor of 4.25. It is best to contact the lift manufacturer for the safety factor. However, safety factors should not be altered to account for a higher lift capacity.

I have never seen a lift manufacturer advertise their breaking strength for the lift capacity rating. That would be a huge liability for the manufacturer as the user would be responsible for setting the safety factor.
Old 08-15-2017, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dseiler View Post
The current bunks are for a v-hull and I have a pontoon so I need to swap out the bunks to a cradle type. I have heard that since we are on the Chesapeake Bay I should not use carpet because the salt water will eat it up after a year or two so i am looking for a longer lasting covering.
Copy that
Old 08-15-2017, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ChannelTwo View Post
I have never seen a lift manufacturer advertise their breaking strength for the lift capacity rating.
How would you know that without extensive testing of their system? Or are you one of the folks who believe all advertising claims? The breaking strengths of each component must be evaluated. By far, the most vulnerable are the cables and any fasteners for them. When you see the rusted and broken thimble in the OP's photo, do you really believe his capacity is still 6000 lbs? You are also ignoring degradation due to age and use. A lift system that is several years old probably does not have the same capacity as the new one. That is why every honest lift supplier provides a component replacement schedule.

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