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Considering a lift versus dry stack

Old 03-14-2019, 09:52 AM
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Default Considering a lift versus dry stack

Hey folks,

I have been in a full service dry stack for almost six years now and am considering leasing a lift. Before I make the commitment, I was wanting to ensure I have my bases covered as to what I should expect. First, my primary reason for considering the move is simply for adding 24 hour access and convenience. With that said, my current dry stack pretty much takes care of everything and includes boat scheduled launching with an app (don't even need to talk to anyone), fuel service, free ice, and they flush my motors while providing an exterior and interior wash down service. The facility is pretty amazing, yet it gets very busy and it's common to get lost in the shuffle as well as a challenge to find dock space in the late afternoon and after dark.

As I see it, my added responsibilities for being on a lift:
  • General after use care
    • I actually enjoy washing my boat and my wife really enjoys it as well (don't consider this a negative)
  • Motors flushed
    • At least I'd be accountable as I currently rely on the marina doing this for me
  • No pump out station available
  • The marina I'm considering doesn't have fuel
  • Named storm haul out contract
  • Possible increased theft exposure
  • Winterize
    • I've never had to do this as I am stored in the very back of a large dry stack
  • May need to consider purchasing a trailer
    • assume I need this for the above mentioned storm haul out
  • Not sure how this will impact my insurance (calling today to confirm)
I was hoping that there would be a material cost savings, but that doesn't seem to necessarily be the case. Especially if I'm needing to buy a $6K trailer, etc. I do have a full cover, so there's that as well.

What am I missing?
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:57 AM
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Is there a waiting list for your dry stack? If not then I'd try a year on the lift and see which works better. If you leave the dry stack and can't get back in if you hate the lift, I'd have to think twice.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:00 AM
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I'm assuming you can pump out and get fuel in the same place? How big of an impact would that be on the average outing?

My boat isn't nearly the size of yours, but I would think twice about a single piece cover. They can be a bear to handle and secure. A multi piece snap on cover with a separate bow and cockpit section would be much easier to deal with.

Given your location there shouldn't be much need to winterize other than raw water pumps & fresh water holding tanks. Easy way to do this is to add a 3 way diverter valve on top of your seacock, and put a port above deck. You can then stick a short hose into a jug of RV antifreeze and cycle it through easily.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lookinup76 View Post
Is there a waiting list for your dry stack? If not then I'd try a year on the lift and see which works better. If you leave the dry stack and can't get back in if you hate the lift, I'd have to think twice.
For the size of my boat, there is a serious possibility that if I leave it'll be a PIA to get back in. They have two dry stacks (pretty large marina), but one of the dry stacks is limited to smaller mono-hulls.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I'm assuming you can pump out and get fuel in the same place? How big of an impact would that be on the average outing?

My boat isn't nearly the size of yours, but I would think twice about a single piece cover. They can be a bear to handle and secure. A multi piece snap on cover with a separate bow and cockpit section would be much easier to deal with.

Given your location there shouldn't be much need to winterize other than raw water pumps & fresh water holding tanks. Easy way to do this is to add a 3 way diverter valve on top of your seacock, and put a port above deck. You can then stick a short hose into a jug of RV antifreeze and cycle it through easily.
No, the marina I am looking at doesn't have fuel or a pump out station; so I'd need to go elsewhere. I don't think this is a big deal, especially for non-ethanol fuel which is in pretty easy access at several of the larger local marinas. As for my cover, it is a two piece (cockpit and bow); but it'll still be a challenge I'm sure until I get into a rhythm. Great recommendation on the winterizing.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by time_to_relax View Post
No, the marina I am looking at doesn't have fuel or a pump out station; so I'd need to go elsewhere. I don't think this is a big deal, especially for non-ethanol fuel which is in pretty easy access at several of the larger local marinas. As for my cover, it is a two piece (cockpit and bow); but it'll still be a challenge I'm sure until I get into a rhythm. Great recommendation on the winterizing.
Sorry, worded that poorly. Assuming that pump out and fuel are available together, so you can make one stop coming/going vs having to go to a facility for each?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Sorry, worded that poorly. Assuming that pump out and fuel are available together, so you can make one stop coming/going vs having to go to a facility for each?
Yeah, and to be fair, the head is seldom used. But there are definitely options for a single stop for both fuel and pump out if needed.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by time_to_relax View Post
Hey folks,

I have been in a full service dry stack for almost six years now and am considering leasing a lift. Before I make the commitment, I was wanting to ensure I have my bases covered as to what I should expect. First, my primary reason for considering the move is simply for adding 24 hour access and convenience. With that said, my current dry stack pretty much takes care of everything and includes boat scheduled launching with an app (don't even need to talk to anyone), fuel service, free ice, and they flush my motors while providing an exterior and interior wash down service. The facility is pretty amazing, yet it gets very busy and it's common to get lost in the shuffle as well as a challenge to find dock space in the late afternoon and after dark.

As I see it, my added responsibilities for being on a lift:
  • General after use care
    • I actually enjoy washing my boat and my wife really enjoys it as well (don't consider this a negative)
  • Motors flushed
    • At least I'd be accountable as I currently rely on the marina doing this for me
  • No pump out station available
  • The marina I'm considering doesn't have fuel
  • Named storm haul out contract
  • Possible increased theft exposure
  • Winterize
    • I've never had to do this as I am stored in the very back of a large dry stack
  • May need to consider purchasing a trailer
    • assume I need this for the above mentioned storm haul out
  • Not sure how this will impact my insurance (calling today to confirm)
I was hoping that there would be a material cost savings, but that doesn't seem to necessarily be the case. Especially if I'm needing to buy a $6K trailer, etc. I do have a full cover, so there's that as well.

What am I missing?
The marina you are looking at doesn't offer haul out and block services for winter or for maintenance?
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:08 AM
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You may want to check on trailer price again, seems low low.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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I had been dry stacked for 5 years before I went to a lift and never looked back. Makes my boating life so much easier. Makes me wonder why I didn't go with a lift before this.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:40 AM
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If you do go this route I would highly recommend equipping the lift with a GEM remote if at all possible. Granted I am running a MUCH smaller boat, but I also built a walk board for the lift which pretty well closes up the gap between the boat and the dock, making boarding super easy, even with small kids in tow. I can't recommend that enough.

Regarding fuel, while it would require some effort, does the marina allow you to carry your own? Or are there any fuel services in the area that can get a truck close enough to fuel you right there. May be some savings to be had vs fuel on the water.

This is the walk board setup. Today's Project - Lift Walk Board
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:50 AM
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BTW, I have 2 GEM remotes. One came with the lift, bought another as a spare. They have a great line of sight signals. I can get my boat really clean on the lift. During a named storm I am not required to haul out. I have my own shore power, water and dock lights. Lucky for me the fuel dock and pump out station is nearby. The thing that really seals the deal is no one touches my boat, boards my boat, launches my boat, steps on my gunnels or boat cushions except me.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
BTW, I have 2 GEM remotes. One came with the lift, bought another as a spare. They have a great line of sight signals. I can get my boat really clean on the lift. During a named storm I am not required to haul out. I have my own shore power, water and dock lights. Lucky for me the fuel dock and pump out station is nearby. The thing that really seals the deal is no one touches my boat, boards my boat, launches my boat, steps on my gunnels or boat cushions except me.
I am very impressed with the range on the remote. I can consistently trigger it from over 200' away, inside the house.

One thing I highly recommend doing is keeping the lift out of the water anytime the boat is not on it. Reason being is to avoid someone jumping in the water (or worse diving) and not realizing its down and hitting it. Probably not as big of a deal in a marina as it is at a lake house where people constantly swim, just something to think about.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:07 PM
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Keep my lift up when I am out. Salt water will do a number on it if you leave it down. Both guide polls in the rear are taped to show me where I need to be water level wise. Tide swings here arenít bad but when I was in SC they are quite large.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by davepjr71 View Post
The marina you are looking at doesn't offer haul out and block services for winter or for maintenance?
No, it's more of a small boutique marina. There are several though that are very close so I don't think it'll be an issue as long as I have a reliable solution.

Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
You may want to check on trailer price again, seems low low.
You are spot on... I've seen a couple of serviceable older trailers in the $6K range, but more often than not, a used one is going to be $8K + and a new one north of $10K. Used ones are also few and far between.

Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
I had been dry stacked for 5 years before I went to a lift and never looked back. Makes my boating life so much easier. Makes me wonder why I didn't go with a lift before this.
Thanks, I think I'll really like having it on a lift; I just want to make sure I'm not forgetting something major that'll be a big pain in the ass that I'm not prepared for.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
BTW, I have 2 GEM remotes. One came with the lift, bought another as a spare. They have a great line of sight signals. I can get my boat really clean on the lift. During a named storm I am not required to haul out. I have my own shore power, water and dock lights. Lucky for me the fuel dock and pump out station is nearby. The thing that really seals the deal is no one touches my boat, boards my boat, launches my boat, steps on my gunnels or boat cushions except me.
Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I am very impressed with the range on the remote. I can consistently trigger it from over 200' away, inside the house.

One thing I highly recommend doing is keeping the lift out of the water anytime the boat is not on it. Reason being is to avoid someone jumping in the water (or worse diving) and not realizing its down and hitting it. Probably not as big of a deal in a marina as it is at a lake house where people constantly swim, just something to think about.
Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
Keep my lift up when I am out. Salt water will do a number on it if you leave it down. Both guide polls in the rear are taped to show me where I need to be water level wise. Tide swings here arenít bad but when I was in SC they are quite large.
I'll ask about the specifics... I'd made an assumption that each lift comes with a remote; but I don't know the specifics.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:03 PM
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Another thing to consider.

Pretty I know where you are dry stacked.

What is it going to be like when the new motel gets into full swing this summer?
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:05 PM
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Unless you need a haul out for a storm, there really isnít much else. My marina hauls my boat out when I need service. The only thing extra I did was to install a flip down ramp to make on-off access easier.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by aFORDable View Post
Another thing to consider.

Pretty I know where you are dry stacked.

What is it going to be like when the new motel gets into full swing this summer?
And the bistro should be opening at some point as well... I believe this boating season is going to be a work in progress for how they manage dock space.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
Unless you need a haul out for a storm, there really isnít much else. My marina hauls my boat out when I need service. The only thing extra I did was to install a flip down ramp to make on-off access easier.
I took a look at that flip down ramp; pretty ingenious.
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