Notices

Float on dock vs lift

Old 09-15-2019, 04:09 PM
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Default Float on dock vs lift

I am purchasing a home in South Fl on the water. The dock has old davits on it. I will need to upgrade to a lift, but I see a lot of boats in my neighborhood on floating docks. I would like to hear some of the pro's and cons of lifts versus these float ons. I am looking to keep a 20+ CC and the water is very sheltered. I did note that as Dorian approached, most of the boats on float ons were pulled and the owners dragged the float ons away from their docks and anchored them in open water. Boats on lifts were just raised as high as they could go and left in place. I am guessing that lifts are the better option. Love to hear everyone's opinions.
Old 09-16-2019, 04:58 AM
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I would go with a lift if possible. The lift will be more durable in the long run, although will require some maintenance along the way. It will probably cost more initially to install. I like being able to raise my boat entirely out of the water for boarding, maintenance... etc.

I have really only seen floating docks in places lifts wouldn’t work - water too shallow, no electric, zoning issues. You are going to have to deal with barnacles and other growth. Don’t know about long term durability. Loading/unloading can be a pain. Sometimes a bit of your boat remains in the water. Floating docks are OK for skiffs and such, but are limiting if you ever want to go bigger.
Old 09-16-2019, 06:23 AM
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I'm curious where you are buying that float-on lifts are common? I pass ~500 private docks on my way to the ocean, probably 200 lifts and maybe 8-10 floats. (not counting another dozen jetski floats)

The only reason I can imagine a floating system would be preferred is if the canal is shallow enough that a traditional lift would hit the bottom at lower tides, or if size/building code/structure restricts the ability to put a lift in...
Old 09-16-2019, 08:49 AM
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Those float on docks cost more then a new lift. Op for a small flat bottom boat, like a carolina skiff, the float ons will work. But a lift is always easier and better.
Old 09-16-2019, 08:55 AM
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There are cons to a 4 post. They told me 6-18 months for permits alone. For a ~13K lift, no one wanted to even bother. And it was over 4x the cost.

Keep in mind, if we get hit like Abacos just did, most boats will be sunk or tossed on shore, 4 post or floating lift. You really should have a haul out plan. If not, you are gambling, whether you want to admit it or not.
Old 09-16-2019, 09:52 AM
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My vote is float on. For 10 years and 3 hurricanes my Carolina Waterworks Safe Haven has held a 24’ boat with absolutely no problems. Hurricane Michael caused some damage to mounting parts but a phone call directly to producer had replacement parts on the way. Received them in less than 2 weeks and installed them myself. No wait for cradle to lower, no wait on ride up and full walk around for washing and loading. Couldn’t be happier.
Old 09-16-2019, 10:14 AM
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Depends if you're in a high traffic area. Even though it's a "slow no wake zone" near us, anything not out of the water takes a beating. Foot/foot and half wakes or bigger are not uncommon.
Old 09-16-2019, 10:41 AM
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A foot and a half wake should not give any boat "a beating". Sounds like your neighbors need to learn how to tie up. I'm on the ICW and I have a wave armor floating dock, and my neighbor has an 18' boat in the water. Hell, that boat survived Irma just tied up and floating.
Old 09-16-2019, 02:50 PM
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Lots of variables. I have had a cable lift in the past, but I don't have an option for a lift where I am at now. My jet dock offers many advantages and enables me to load/unload the boat easily as well as cleaning and maintenance of the hull on a boat up to 40'​​​​​​​
Old 09-16-2019, 02:53 PM
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Shin. That's pretty cool. It is easy to load on/ off? I have a32 Sea Vee, looking at same
Old 09-16-2019, 04:05 PM
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The float on lifts have 1 advantage IMHO. You do not need to get a permit to tie one to your dock. I think that is the one reason that some get them.
Old 09-16-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 54bullwinkle View Post
Shin. That's pretty cool. It is easy to load on/ off? I have a32 Sea Vee, looking at same

very easy to get on/off. I bought mine used, but they do cost more than the cable lifts. Some of these full deck cable lifts, which the deck surrounds bunk area and is flush with the outer catwalks, are cool too plus they have all the advantages of the Performance Jet dock.
Old 09-16-2019, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LOMAngler View Post
I am purchasing a home in South Fl on the water. The dock has old davits on it. I will need to upgrade to a lift, but I see a lot of boats in my neighborhood on floating docks. I would like to hear some of the pro's and cons of lifts versus these float ons. I am looking to keep a 20+ CC and the water is very sheltered. I did note that as Dorian approached, most of the boats on float ons were pulled and the owners dragged the float ons away from their docks and anchored them in open water. Boats on lifts were just raised as high as they could go and left in place. I am guessing that lifts are the better option. Love to hear everyone's opinions.
HA, I'm on the same boat as you . The dock needs updating and doesn't even have wood pilings . They are PVC pipe . So for now I was thinking of getting a floating dock as well while I fix the inside of the house up. then use get the dock redone with a lift and then keep the floating dock for friends and family that visit via boat or turn it into a toy dock for canoes, jetski etc after.

Anyone have a place on line that actually gives you prices to get a general idea of the cost?
Old 09-16-2019, 05:52 PM
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Alfnator, that is what I why thinking. I am over here in Stuart and permitting is difficult. May get a float on while I upgrade the house then go with a lift.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:07 PM
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I have same setup as Shin-dig , except just had boathouse & pier rebuilt, so now I’m out of the sun. Made tidetamer for Jet dock to accommodate about 8ft above a high tide, so tropical storm wouldn’t be a problem, hurricane I would anchor off in bayou. Bought mine used after Hurricane Katrina , owner had total loss of home & Jet dock was only thing that survived! Towed it my house , installed & been using it since with easy on & easy off for my 19ft Scout. No electricity needed

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