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Old 10-05-2013, 08:52   #1
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Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

I keep my 23 ft Sea Hunt on a boat lift, with an 11,000 lb rating. I'd like to be able to store a 22-24 ft monohull trailer/cruiser on this same lift, and keep the motor boat in the back yard since it is a lot easier to take to the ramp and launch than a sail boat. The thing is, I haven't seen many sail boats on lifts. If anyone could comment on this, I'd sure appreciate the benefit of your knowledge as I am totally new to sailing. Is this idea okay, or am I totally off track here?
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:06   #2
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

I see small sailboats on lifts all the time. Occasionally see large sailboats on lifts too.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:08   #3
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

my 22' sailboat is on a lift. the lift company used my trailer to mock up the lift supports. works great and always have a clean bottom.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:21   #4
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

Well, you won't see "many" sailboats on lifts, but there are still plenty of them out there. I see them pretty regularly around Tampa Bay. A while back I saw an O'Day 37 up on a lift.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:58   #5
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

Thanks, maties. Just what I needed to know.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:32   #6
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

I've been wondering the same thing. We currently have a pretty heavy Mastercraft wakeboard boat in the lift, read this a FREAKING HEAVY. Our plan is to sell it this summer and put the bulk of the proceeds into the "kitty" but we'll keep a small portion back to fund a crappy old 22-25 footer that we're planning to keep in the lift if practical. I'm not at all concerned about the ability to store it in the boat house but am more concerned about the logistics of raising and lowering the mast every time we want to use it.

Is this something you've considered or will your lift accommodate the boat with mast in place?
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:00   #7
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

Until your post, I was assuming I could keep the mast up while on the lift, but now that you mention it, ErBrown, I need to take that into consideration. I mean, there's nothing above the boat that would interfere. Would there be any concern about the mast catching wind in a storm, even with the sails down/off? Or anything else? I can't think of anything else, but I don't know much at all about sail boats.

I am seeing problems with my plan, though. The bow end of my lift is in fairly shallow water, such that I can only use it when the tide is about at mean sea level or higher. That problem is going to be even worse with a sail boat that has any draft deeper than the draft of my Sea Hunt, which is about 14". So, in addition to modfying the structure that the boat rests on, I will also need to get longer lift cables and excavate under the bow end of the lift. I see that the MacGregor 26 motor/sailer only has a 9" draft when the center board is up, which makes it look even more attractive for my situation. Maybe I shouldn'e even sail a better performing sailboat so I won't know what I'm missing if we end up with the Mac 26.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:30   #8
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

I don't think there's should be any real issue with leaving the mast up while stored. For me this is not an option because the clearance under the boathouse roof is 12 feet, so mast has to be down. but if it was open above I'd have no concern with storing with the mast up, as long as sails are all down and rigging is nice and clean.

I have the same issue with the clearance under the lift and will most likely be looking for a boat with either a swing keel or center boards. My thoughts are the swing keel would make for better practice but of course that comes with increased maintenance, so not sure yet. Main thing is to get something my wife and I can play/practice on over the next few years at a cheap price to maximize the kitty.

I'll be interested to see what you decide on.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:44   #9
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

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I don't think there's should be any real issue with leaving the mast up while stored. For me this is not an option because the clearance under the boathouse roof is 12 feet, so mast has to be down. but if it was open above I'd have no concern with storing with the mast up, as long as sails are all down and rigging is nice and clean.

I have the same issue with the clearance under the lift and will most likely be looking for a boat with either a swing keel or center boards. My thoughts are the swing keel would make for better practice but of course that comes with increased maintenance, so not sure yet. Main thing is to get something my wife and I can play/practice on over the next few years at a cheap price to maximize the kitty.

I'll be interested to see what you decide on.
Well, I think I've decided to just cool off a bit and see if I can make a friend or two and spend some time on their sail boats, and put off purchasing anything for now. My main problem is that I am going to have to excavate 2-3 feet, plus modify the lift supports and replace the cables with longer ones, knowing that the lift will no longer be of any use for my Sea Hunt. I can't get real excited about doing all that yet. I don't want to leave the sail boat in the water all the time, and have the issue of redoing the bottom every two years. I see that a lot of folks leave their boats in the water here, and I also see that a lot of them are way past due for some new bottom paint.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:00   #10
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

I think a lift with broad belts is a good thing. Many racing boats sleep this way.

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Old 11-05-2013, 15:27   #11
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

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I think a lift with broad belts is a good thing. Many racing boats sleep this way.

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Good call. I should be able to use my existing cables, which are only a year and a half old. Also, it will make the lift versatile enough to put almost any type of boat on it without further modification. Now I just need to do some excavating. Thanks a bunch!

PS I don't see many lifts in Hernando Beach with broad belts. I wonder why that is, because it seems like it would make sense for most lifts to be designed with them.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:17   #12
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

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I'll be interested to see what you decide on.
Stay tuned - we may be purchasing a boat soon after all, thanks to barnakiel's broad strap suggestion. We may not even need to excavate or if so, not much. The easiest boat to get across the first strap would be a swing keel boat, and there are a lot of Catalina 22's with swing keels for sale in our area, so we may end up with one of them. Plus, we can get closer to beaches before anchoring, and be able to motor in shallower waters, which are everywhere here on Florida's gulf coast.

Got enough water in the lakes for sailing there in Austin? As I recall, some of the smaller lakes are kept higher than the bigger lakes, like Lake Travis.
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Old 12-05-2013, 20:33   #13
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Most of the lakes are fine here, Travis is dramatically low, but our place is on LBJ which is fairly large and constant level. Only problem on LBJ is that many of the coves are pretty darn shallow. We'll definitely be looking for cheap old swing keel boat to deal with that.
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Old 15-05-2013, 19:23   #14
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

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Most of the lakes are fine here, Travis is dramatically low, but our place is on LBJ which is fairly large and constant level. Only problem on LBJ is that many of the coves are pretty darn shallow. We'll definitely be looking for cheap old swing keel boat to deal with that.
We just purchased a 1983 Catalina 22 with a swing keel. The boat's in good shape and we're real happy about the deal we got. The seller was pretty meticulous with boat maintenance and he has ALL the teak looking like showroom floor. We just drove it home from Miami yesterday. For us, the swing keel is important to be able to get past the first strap on our boat lift. The end of our channel is about 7 ft deep, and we'll be doing most of our sailing in 7-30 ft of water. Now if I can just clear my calendar so I can spend time with my boat.

I don't know about where you're at, but here in FL there are lots of old trailer sailers out there for sale and very low price.
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Old 15-05-2013, 20:59   #15
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Re: Storing a sail boat on a boat lift okay?

Very cool, and congrats on the new boat, can't wait to see some pics...you are going to add a pic or two to the thread aren't you?

I think we'll probably be looking for something very similar, I hear nothing but good things about the Catalina 22 and would jump at the chance if I can find one close, and for a good price.

We'll be listing our Mastercraft wakeboard boat in the next couple weeks to make room in the lift. As soon as it sells I'll start the serious looking. In the mean time we're joining the local power squadron and soaking up everything we can find on sailing. Sounds like you're in for a good summer already!

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