Lift in shallow water

roroubie

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Hello,
We have a 23SSBXP (23' pontoon) and out lake is generally pretty shallow. We have a Max lift where the bunks lift at the pontoons, but today we dropped out boat in at our new house and I cannot get the boat on the lift. Our neighbor whos lift is at the same depth lifts their boat from the center rather than the pontoons and I wanted to know if this is a safe way to lift the boat and if anyone has experience converting lift bunks like this? Thanks
 

Vikingstaff

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Hello,
We have a 23SSBXP (23' pontoon) and out lake is generally pretty shallow. We have a Max lift where the bunks lift at the pontoons, but today we dropped out boat in at our new house and I cannot get the boat on the lift. Our neighbor whos lift is at the same depth lifts their boat from the center rather than the pontoons and I wanted to know if this is a safe way to lift the boat and if anyone has experience converting lift bunks like this? Thanks

Hi there. I had the same problem when we got our boat in 2017. We are on a very shallow lake in Michigan.

First, you can switch to a lift like your neighbors. It is not as ideal as what you have now for support, but it is also safe and approved for use. MANY on here have the type of lift that lifts from beneath the floor between the pontoons.

I do not know about converting a bunk lift like you have now over to such a set up. To maximize effectiveness in shallow water, you’d likely be better selling your current lift and just buying a cantilever pontoon lift that is designed to lift this way. They give you maximize flexibility for a lift in shallow water. Design below:

B7AC298D-B847-455E-9B68-F9B2FB2C2DAD.jpeg

For us, I sold our two year old bunk lift in 2019 and simply switched over to Sea Legs (hydraulic legs that fit onto the botoom of the pontoon and provide lift). I figured these would give me absolutely maximum flexibility in shallow water, plus since they are attached to your boat, it is like have your lift with you wherever you boat and dock.

There are three different manufacturers: Sea Legs, Hewitt Legs, and Ultra Legs. I do really like our Sea Legs much more than going with a lift. They make them for Tritoons and traditional dual toons. The downside is the extra weight of them on the boat causes you to lose about 3-5 mph at WOT depending on your boat hull and motor. Our boat on its Sea Legs:

7AE5EB61-7AA0-40BC-B6C1-0A98C4DF625D.jpeg232857D1-DF5E-42D2-A54D-7484A81039E4.jpegBE037F89-35F8-4B1A-B51C-3BE927ABB857.jpegF22C5781-F448-4511-9505-8040814A5E64.jpegC59B05DD-3F7A-43FF-9CCF-42F6B0080B79.jpeg989B3D51-3102-4392-B266-6A2F6261BE7A.jpegD33B77C7-0196-4266-97D4-160799C8CC0C.jpeg584CAD7E-FBE7-4AD7-B946-5BA944C99E13.jpeg9E75E3F1-C83F-4702-8B05-E23E6B489D6E.jpeg
 

White Laker

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I have been lifting My Tritoons from “under the deck” for many years. And my lake here in Michigan I would say 60% of the pontoons are done this way. Most lift companies offer both Bunk and under deck mounts. It shouldn’t be that hard to convert.
 

roroubie

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Hi there. I had the same problem when we got our boat in 2017. We are on a very shallow lake in Michigan.

First, you can switch to a lift like your neighbors. It is not as ideal as what you have now for support, but it is also safe and approved for use. MANY on here have the type of lift that lifts from beneath the floor between the pontoons.

I do not know about converting a bunk lift like you have now over to such a set up. To maximize effectiveness in shallow water, you’d likely be better selling your current lift and just buying a cantilever pontoon lift that is designed to lift this way. They give you maximize flexibility for a lift in shallow water. Design below:

View attachment 29644

For us, I sold our two year old bunk lift in 2019 and simply switched over to Sea Legs (hydraulic legs that fit onto the botoom of the pontoon and provide lift). I figured these would give me absolutely maximum flexibility in shallow water, plus since they are attached to your boat, it is like have your lift with you wherever you boat and dock.

There are three different manufacturers: Sea Legs, Hewitt Legs, and Ultra Legs. I do really like our Sea Legs much more than going with a lift. They make them for Tritoons and traditional dual toons. The downside is the extra weight of them on the boat causes you to lose about 3-5 mph at WOT depending on your boat hull and motor. Our boat on its Sea Legs:

View attachment 29645View attachment 29646View attachment 29647View attachment 29648View attachment 29649View attachment 29650View attachment 29651View attachment 29652View attachment 29653
Great information, thank you!
 

roroubie

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I have been lifting My Tritoons from “under the deck” for many years. And my lake here in Michigan I would say 60% of the pontoons are done this way. Most lift companies offer both Bunk and under deck mounts. It shouldn’t be that hard to convert.
Thank you White Laker - I am a Walled Laker!
 

Vikingstaff

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Welcome to the Club Bennington forums. We are on Houghton Lake. Lots of Michigan Bennington owners in this forum. Browse around in posts - so much information in here. We have a 24’ SSBXP ourselves. Love the layout and boat. :)
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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Welcome! I have a Shorestation Toon Rail System. Recommended by my Dealer. Check it out!
 

PorscheJeff

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Another Michigan boater and soon to be Bennington owner (Irish Hills area). I will be selling my 108” wide boat lift from my deck boat and looking for a 120” width. The reason I want a lift is the canopy top. I don’t want to be putting that mooring cover on after each use. Kind of seems like a hassle. An alternative I guess would be with just leaving the boat tied up to my dock in the water? Any issues with this?
 

Vikingstaff

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Another Michigan boater and soon to be Bennington owner (Irish Hills area). I will be selling my 108” wide boat lift from my deck boat and looking for a 120” width. The reason I want a lift is the canopy top. I don’t want to be putting that mooring cover on after each use. Kind of seems like a hassle. An alternative I guess would be with just leaving the boat tied up to my dock in the water? Any issues with this?
There is a lot to be said for being able to lift your boat out of the water when not in use. Minimally, in any body of water, you avoid the scum, slim or algae build up on your pontoons. That makes keeping them clean easier. When combined with something like Sharkhide, you have very little pontoon cleaning or upkeep to do. That’s a pretty big deal right there. Additionally, if you are on a body of water that can get rough due to weather, you avoid the boat constantly being knocked against the dock due to waves and wind.

As for having a canopy, you’ll still want to cover the boat fairly often. I had a lift and canopy my first two years before switching to the Sea Legs. I thought the canopy would help with not having to bother with putting the cover on. I was wrong. Between spider dropping, and bird droppings, you still want the cover on. Admittedly, with a canopy you can do a half-a$$ed job of putting the cover on, and tuck the boat up under the canopy more. However, you’ll still need to get it over everything fairly regularly or your likely to constantly have bug and bird droppings on your interior to clean up.

As a matter of fact, there is a canopy option with Sea Legs. However, since I have to bother with the cover either way, I didn’t get the Sea Legs canopy. And by not doing so, it is one less item I have to put in and out of the water seasonally, or store in my yard in the winter (Michigan boater here as well). Just something to think about...
 

lakeliving

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My first Bennington I used an under deck lift and it worked great. My current one I used a bunk style to lift all three toons but we had adequate water for this. I wouldn’t be worried about using a deck lift. It’s the same as using sea legs when you think about it. I also like having a canopy over the boat too. Keeps it dry.
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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Another Michigan boater and soon to be Bennington owner (Irish Hills area). I will be selling my 108” wide boat lift from my deck boat and looking for a 120” width. The reason I want a lift is the canopy top. I don’t want to be putting that mooring cover on after each use. Kind of seems like a hassle. An alternative I guess would be with just leaving the boat tied up to my dock in the water? Any issues with this?
Porschejeff, It's a little tight but you can get your new Bennington on a 108" lift.
 
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