New Bennington Owner in 2022 - Boat Hoist Questions

Skel15

New Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
We have purchased a 2015 SSLDX, with a 200 Yamaha. We will be enjoying it on Crystal Lake in Frankfort, MI. My family and I rented a Bennington a few times last summer, and couldn't say enough great things. While shopping for a new Bennington the past few months, I was fortunate to have a client and friend send me a text out of the blue that they were selling the Bennington they had bought just two years prior. Living in North Carolina they had only used the boat for 10 hours the past two years, due to the heat, and although they loved it, didn't see it fitting into their lives anymore......fortunately for us. So, we will be shipping the boat north in mid April to, hopefully, have it in the water for some spring boating in Northern Michigan.

So, this obviously adds another decision, and that is of a boat hoist. My tentative plan is to upgrade to a Bennington Bow Rider (or something similar at that time) within the next 5 years. That being said, I would not like to have to change out my boat hoist at that time as well. My thought was to buy one beefy enough to satisfy that boat eventually. I have been looking at a Max Lift and ShoreStation. The Max Lift dealer is suggesting a 6,000 pound lift, while the ShoreStation dealer is confident in the 5,000 pound lift. Outside of the vertical lift weight, the lifts seem rather similar. Power, remote, canopy, solar, etc.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

CLDave

Well-Known Member
Messages
224
Reaction score
441
If money's not an object I'd go a bit more than 5k pounds, and get a hydraulic lift if you can swing it. Fast, quiet and can handle the weight. Remember that you'll likely be loading up / boarding while still on the lift - and 10 adults can easily go past 1700 pounds (who are we kidding, 2500 including coolers/etc.). I have a 5k Pier Pleasure lift, and I'll likely be upgrading to a 6 or 8k in the next couple years.
 

Skel15

New Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Thanks for the feedback CLDave. Might be a stupid question, what is the difference between a "hydraulic" lift and a "vertical" lift that Max Lift is encouraging?
 

Vikingstaff

Moderator
Messages
3,372
Reaction score
4,916
Location
Michigan
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new to you Bennginton. Lots of Michiganders in the forums, including one right there where you are at. We are on Houghton Lake ourselves.

I 100% (!!!) echo the go bigger than 5,000lbs and buying a lift for your next Bennington if that is what you are determined to do in the next 5 years. It will be worth the investment now.

Also, as noted above, get one that holds your “anticipated” boat PLUS a FULL crew of people, gear and gas. I think people sometimes overlook that in trying to save a little money. A pontoon on a lift can often become a default “over the water” lakeside deck - particularly on hot sunny days with a canopy over it.

Also, when raising and lowering the boat, it’s going to be loaded up with everyone and everything. I’d recommend a good 2-3,000 pounds of extra weight allowance (above your anticipated future boat weight) if you will have lots of company boating.

Another lift manufacturer to consider because they are VERY robust and made here in Northern Michigan, is NuCraft/Craftlander. We got one of their lifts in 2017 per advice from another member on here. Super strong, and made out of Roscommon, Michigan. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one from them if we were looking. However, NuCraft makes vertical lifts, and as mentioned the hydraulic ones do lift faster and often quieter. The vertical lifts are slower.

Full Disclosure: Due to late summer HL water levels and shallowness, we did sell our lift system and switch to Sea Legs in 2019. Love them, but they wouldn’t make senes for you if you will replace this boat in a few years. Selling our lift had nothing to do with strength or quality of the it. Just had to do with late season water shallowness inside of 220’ of the shoreline on HL. We simply needed greater seasonal flexibility, and Sea Legs fit the bill for us and our lake conditions.
 

CLDave

Well-Known Member
Messages
224
Reaction score
441
Thanks for the feedback CLDave. Might be a stupid question, what is the difference between a "hydraulic" lift and a "vertical" lift that Max Lift is encouraging?
Technically hydraulic lifts ARE vertical lifts - however, hydraulics use a ram vs. a motor to run the cables up and down.

My neighbor has a fancy hydraulic-powered lift and it takes all of 15 seconds to pop his boat in the water. It takes me (and my lift with a geared motor) about 2 minutes to get the boat all the way into storage position (about 2 feet of vertical lift).
 

Vikingstaff

Moderator
Messages
3,372
Reaction score
4,916
Location
Michigan
Technically hydraulic lifts ARE vertical lifts - however, hydraulics use a ram vs. a motor to run the cables up and down.

My neighbor has a fancy hydraulic-powered lift and it takes all of 15 seconds to pop his boat in the water. It takes me (and my lift with a geared motor) about 2 minutes to get the boat all the way into storage position (about 2 feet of vertical lift).
This was my experience with my cable motor vertical lift as well in the past vs. my neighbor with his hydraulic lift.
 

Tomc

Well-Known Member
Messages
209
Reaction score
273
Location
Burt Lake, MI
We bought our first ShoreStation 9 years ago for Fourwinns (still have it), and second one a few years back when we added a pontoon to the family. Both hydraulic and both are still going strong. We love em. With Hydraulic we’re up and down under 10 seconds and out of the water within about 4 seconds (which is more helpful with Fourwinns on the nasty windy days. And may be helpful with pontoon depending on platform setup). I wouldn‘t do it any other way now that I’ve lived with these. Not that you‘re looking at them, but do not get talked into a cantilever style Lift. I’ve known a couple folks who got em and were not happy with it for a variety of reasons.
 
Last edited:

lakeliving

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,581
Reaction score
7,118
Location
Michigander living In Palm City FL
What ever you get make sure it is motorized. My wife was trying to kill me in Michigan with a manual crank up one.
 

Skel15

New Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
All great advice and much appreciated. I am honing in on a ShoreStation and will feel like I need to spend the extra money for the 6,000 pound (more for future watercraft, than the 2015 SSLDX I am using it for initially) and the hydraulic lift. Just can't believe the cost of these nowadays. Phew! Also, I appreciate some advice about used lifts, just don't think it is for me. Warranty, comfort with proper install, initial instructions, confidence in condition; these all might not seem worth the additional couple thousand dollars to some people, and they are for a non-handy individual like myself.
Thanks again for all of the great advice. Can't wait for spring boating and being a Bennington owner.
 

Vikingstaff

Moderator
Messages
3,372
Reaction score
4,916
Location
Michigan
In 2017 I had many recommend grabbing a used lift, but went new for the same reasons you mentioned above. Sounds like you have a good game plan. Just a matter of ordering something and paying. Nothing cheap about anything boat related, that’s for darn sure.
 
Top