Boat lift bunk lengths

Jax

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Picking up my 22 SSLX in a couple of weeks. Those of you who use a boat lift with a similar length pontoon, what length bunks (boards) do you use (12 ft, 14 ft or 16 ft)?
I'm using a pontoon chock (cradle x 4) as supports on the I-beams that are 9 feet apart. Also, how far do your support boards extend from the rear (aft) I-beams? I've read anywhere from 6 to 18 inches. Thanks!
 

Mozekian

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I have a 22' tritoon SPS coming.

Have the chock style too. 38.5" center to center, 77" total left to right across for the chock centers. I beams (horizontal support) are 5' spaced, giving me 16' lift. Boards extend 8" off back
 

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Jax

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I have a 22' tritoon SPS coming.

Have the chock style too. 38.5" center to center, 77" total left to right across for the chock centers. I beams (horizontal support) are 5' spaced, giving me 16' lift. Boards extend 8" off back
That is sturdy for sure. Correct on the 38.5 " from center. Thanks Mozekian! Are those 2 X 4?
 

Triton

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Have a 24LXSR with ESP tubes on order and need to covert the carriage on my boat lift from v-hull to tritoon. My dealer says the boat lift only needs to be supported by the outer tubes, no center tube support needed, and that the bunks need to run the entire length of the tubes. Am curious to know what others think about this recommendation?
 

Vikingstaff

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Have a 24LXSR with ESP tubes on order and need to covert the carriage on my boat lift from v-hull to tritoon. My dealer says the boat lift only needs to be supported by the outer tubes, no center tube support needed, and that the bunks need to run the entire length of the tubes. Am curious to know what others think about this recommendation?

I don’t know anyone personally who has bunks running the entire length of the tubes. I used to have a lift and looked into all of this back at that time I was getting my boat and lift. I cannot remember what the minimum length is, but it is something like 12’. I am confident someone else can speak with better authority on that.

As for tube bunk supports, lots of mixed opinions. Between Bennington and members on here I have come to view it as follows: preferred is supporting all three, particularly with the SPS and ESP hulls and heavy motors and large fuel tanks. No hanging weight, and boat supported as truly intended on the water. However, it doesn’t seem to be necessary. I have read different responses from Bennington to other members that says under deck support is okay, or you need tube support. Thus, Bennington has given mixed information on this matter in the past. And the entire cantilever lift, underfloor deck lifts, Sea Legs people are supporting their boats on lifts under the deck with the cross members - hence all three pontoons hang down in those configurations.

I am sure you are fine doing what your dealer mentioned, although a big motor + fuel tank in that center tube would maybe be worth supporting. That said, you could probably figure that out over time too if you wanted.

I switched from a three bunk lift to Sea Legs 2 years ago. I originally went with a 3 cradle bunk lift per the advise of Bennington and my dealer in 2017. However, after seeing conflicting views on it, others getting different advice from Bennington than what Bennington gave me, and the issues I was having moving my lift seasonally, I made the change up to Sea Legs. I’d prefer to still support all three tubes instead of letting them hang down, but I cannot resist the convenience and ease of my Sea Legs given my lake conditions - shallow with changing lake levels seasonally.
 

Mozekian

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Have a 24LXSR with ESP tubes on order and need to covert the carriage on my boat lift from v-hull to tritoon. My dealer says the boat lift only needs to be supported by the outer tubes, no center tube support needed, and that the bunks need to run the entire length of the tubes. Am curious to know what others think about this recommendation?
VikingStaff has it pretty well outlined here...I did a lot fo research on this when building my lift a few months ago.

Yes, Bennington says you dont have to have the center toon on a bunk...but it wasn't much more expensive to add it and I like knowing that heavy center is supported.

As far as the bunks running the entire length, thats a new one I haven't heard. I personally dont want my entire pontoons in contact with the bunks because I dont see it adding any more support and only serves as another way to mess with the pontoons.

Seems to be a dozen ways to skin the cat on this one. Call some lift builders and ask about how they build Bennington boat lifts. My lift builder builds a lot of them and I felt good with his direction and suggestions
 

Carlson80

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I don’t know anyone personally who has bunks running the entire length of the tubes. I used to have a lift and looked into all of this back at that time I was getting my boat and lift. I cannot remember what the minimum length is, but it is something like 12’. I am confident someone else can speak with better authority on that.

As for tube bunk supports, lots of mixed opinions. Between Bennington and members on here I have come to view it as follows: preferred is supporting all three, particularly with the SPS and ESP hulls and heavy motors and large fuel tanks. No hanging weight, and boat supported as truly intended on the water. However, it doesn’t seem to be necessary. I have read different responses from Bennington to other members that says under deck support is okay, or you need tube support. Thus, Bennington has given mixed information on this matter in the past. And the entire cantilever lift, underfloor deck lifts, Sea Legs people are supporting their boats on lifts under the deck with the cross members - hence all three pontoons hang down in those configurations.

I am sure you are fine doing what your dealer mentioned, although a big motor + fuel tank in that center tube would maybe be worth supporting. That said, you could probably figure that out over time too if you wanted.

I switched from a three bunk lift to Sea Legs 2 years ago. I originally went with a 3 cradle bunk lift per the advise of Bennington and my dealer in 2017. However, after seeing conflicting views on it, others getting different advice from Bennington than what Bennington gave me, and the issues I was having moving my lift seasonally, I made the change up to Sea Legs. I’d prefer to still support all three tubes instead of letting them hang down, but I cannot resist the convenience and ease of my Sea Legs given my lake conditions - shallow with changing lake levels seasonally.

Great point with the sea legs.
 

Triton

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Thanks all for the great feedback. Interesting that there are so many different views on this. With the population of tritoons and various boat lifts, you would think that there would be published specifications for the proper bunk configurations. Seems that whatever is being used to configure bunks for tritoon boat trailers would also apply to boat lifts. At any rate I will contact my boat lift manufacturer and service contractors to see what they have to over in converting my lift. Thanks
 

FightinIrish

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Hi all. I'm looking at a ShoreMaster 5000lb lift for my upcoming 23ssrcx tritoon and the kit seems to have 10ft aluminum/vinyl outer bunks and an 11ft middle bunk. Does that seem long enough? Seems that the boats sit on 4 cinder blocks all winter at the marina so I'm sure the 10ft bunks are fine? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Triton

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Seems that no one really knows what's the proper length for boat lift bunks. I wanted to convert my v-hull Boat Floater lift to tritoon, only to find out not possible and must buy a new lift. Dealer says that bunks need to run entire length of outside toons and don't need bunks for center tube. Bennington says all tubes need to be supported, but can't recommend proper length. Not sure where to go to get an answer.
 

CLDave

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Seems that no one really knows what's the proper length for boat lift bunks. I wanted to convert my v-hull Boat Floater lift to tritoon, only to find out not possible and must buy a new lift. Dealer says that bunks need to run entire length of outside toons and don't need bunks for center tube. Bennington says all tubes need to be supported, but can't recommend proper length. Not sure where to go to get an answer.
Your dealer has bad info - no need to run the entire length of the pontoons. I'd just search for "pontoon lift" and see how long those are - but I'll confirm that my lift only has 13' bunks and it supports my R25 fine.
 

Mozekian

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Your dealer has bad info - no need to run the entire length of the pontoons. I'd just search for "pontoon lift" and see how long those are - but I'll confirm that my lift only has 13' bunks and it supports my R25 fine.

I agree with this. Spoke to a few Bennington dealers when building my lift and none said it needed to go the entire length of the pontoons. Also, as has been discussed on here before, dealers have been told from Bennington that the center tube doesnt need to be supported. However many on here, myself included, have a center support because we figure "why not," cheap feel good insurance.
 

Triton

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Seems that no one really knows what's the proper length for boat lift bunks. I wanted to convert my v-hull Boat Floater lift to tritoon, only to find out not possible and must buy a new lift. Dealer says that bunks need to run entire length of outside toons and don't need bunks for center tube. Bennington says all tubes need to be supported, but can't recommend proper length. Not sure where to go to get an answer.
Finally able to speak directly with a Bennington Service Representative and he recommends that the bunks should be 3/4 of the tube lengths. They should be v-cradles and the center tube should be supported with a v-cradle.
 

FightinIrish

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Interesting, thanks. I spoke with an employee at ShoreMaster and he told me the 10/11/10 ft bunks are totally fine for a 24ft boat. The max they even sell are 14ft bunks, which isn't even close to 75% of most average sized pontoons. I wonder/hope the Bennington service rep is being overly cautious. I already ordered to 10/11/10 kit with side guiderails, so I hope it's ok. I'll try to remember to give an update this spring when boat and hoist arrive.
 

Carlson80

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Bennington service rep meaning a dealership or a rep that works for Bennington?
 

Mozekian

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Interesting, thanks. I spoke with an employee at ShoreMaster and he told me the 10/11/10 ft bunks are totally fine for a 24ft boat. The max they even sell are 14ft bunks, which isn't even close to 75% of most average sized pontoons. I wonder/hope the Bennington service rep is being overly cautious. I already ordered to 10/11/10 kit with side guiderails, so I hope it's ok. I'll try to remember to give an update this spring when boat and hoist arrive.
you cant do the 14'? a 24' boat is what, 25' LOA with a few more feet for the engine, 27' maybe? At 27' total head to tail, I would like the 14 ft if you can get it.

I have 16' bunks and my boat will be 25' or so total (22' boat), so about 2/3 on the bunk...and 16' still looks tiny compared to the entire slip. Just a suggestion but I would get the 14 if you could
 
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Triton

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Interesting, thanks. I spoke with an employee at ShoreMaster and he told me the 10/11/10 ft bunks are totally fine for a 24ft boat. The max they even sell are 14ft bunks, which isn't even close to 75% of most average sized pontoons. I wonder/hope the Bennington service rep is being overly cautious. I already ordered to 10/11/10 kit with side guiderails, so I hope it's ok. I'll try to remember to give an update this spring when boat and hoist arrive.
I will update when my lift is delivered and installed. Am replacing a v-hull Classic Boat Floater lift with a Hydrohoist tritoon lift, probably around end of April after boat is delivered.
 
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