Boat lift cost worth the saved maintenance? - SailNet Community

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Old 10-30-2009
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Boat lift cost worth the saved maintenance?

I recently bought a house on a saltwater bay with a 10k boat lift and I'm looking for a 26-28 foot cruiser with a fair bit of room. The beamier models with higher displacement that I'm looking at might not fit and I'm trying to figure out how long it might take to pay off a new boat lift in saved maintenance (scraping, painting, etc.). I'm hoping that someone with much more experience than myself has either made the transition or thought in depth about the saved costs associated with maintaining a boat in the water vs on a lift. If it takes too long, I may just sacrifice a little bit of boat to fit on the lift. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-30-2009
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my 83 hunter 27 is 27 long 9 foot something wide, it weighs about 8k. as far as i know it is one of the widest 27 foot boats out, so figure 10 foot should cover most 27 to 28 foot boats.

what would it save, well if you dont cruise you wont need bottom paint or barrier coat. figure you will save about 200 every other year in paint, and about 200 once in barrier coat. then you will save any labor every other year, be it yours for free, or yard cost to do the bottom if a yard does it. you can also save any future blister problems, if it does not have any now.

now you the big thing you can save is the whole boat, ie it cant sink when you go out of town.

now is the lift a sling or rails? if its slings will the lift have enough clearance to let the keel go over the front sling, then be able to lift it clear of the water. figure the lift will need around 9 foot min of lift if the boat has a 4 foot draft. and that does not leave any room for tide. now if its rails then the rails need to be shaped to the hull, if it just tries to lift when just touching a few feet of hull. then a sailboat weighs alot more than a power boat, and that pressure of a 8k boat on just a little rail will deform the hull, just how bad depends on how much contact there is.

now the sling part is not so bad if you can undue the one sling when you go in and out. then you wont as much lift or sling in the water, you could get away with draft plus a few feet
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Old 10-30-2009
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I would lift it out if you could...I have a 30' Sea Ray and it gets hammered in the water...stray current mostly from other boats or the marina itself...I have it out now on dry storage and if I keep it I will buy a trailer for it and keep it at home.

I have spent over 2500.00 in the last 3 years alone on electroliss issues and bottom paint..It was not bottom painted before i bought it ( fresh water kept by the PO ) and hind sight being 2020 I would not do it again and would have not had a wet slip for it.
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Last edited by Stillraining; 10-30-2009 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 10-31-2009
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The lift is on rails and I should have enough clearance to clear the lift with a four foot draft at any tide if I lower it to near the bottom (only needed at low tide).
I was talking to someone recently who has a monthly service for bottom maintenance. I don't know how much that costs but it seems like it would be a lot of work to do it myself (I have little time due to work) and it might be worth it to be on the lift. What about hull preservation in and outside of the water? More wax to protect from the sun?

I anticipate that I will mostly daysail it in and around Tampa Bay with 5-10 weekend trips and 1 or 2 week long trips a year.
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Old 11-01-2009
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I keep our Nor'Sea 27' on a lift. I suppose that how soon the lift will pay for itself depends a lot on how much work you do your self as opposed to paying to have it done.

The biggest drawback for me (not counting having to pay for it in the first place) is that I can't launch whenever I want to. The lift adds over a foot to the draft and the tide needs to be almost full to float her. But since I have a wet slip too, I just need to plan ahead.

One of the things that I am the most pleased with is never having to scrape the prop. Here in the Tampa Bay area, I used to get significant growth in less than a month.

All in all, I believe that having the boat on a lift provides me with a piece of mind that is difficult to quantify especially since we've never carried insurance on the boat. I have taken some extra measures to secure the boat on the lift in the event of really severe weather and do believe that she is as safe as I can make her.
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Old 11-01-2009
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Of course you are correct about how much work I will do myself vs. having someone else do it. I have so little time I would much rather sail then scrape!

Thanks for the comment on the growth in the Tampa Bay area as I'm over on Boca Ciega bay. Sounds like fitting it on the lift would really help out, particularly since I don't think I will be limited by the tides.
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