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One of my favourite spots in Banff National Park, that is Mount Rundle from the edge of Vermilion Lakes! I’m not sure what the name of this tulip is but enjoyed them in a meadow at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada. I was so lucky to see beautiful Monarch Butterflies in the gardens of Krause Berry Farms, Langley, British Columbia, Canada. If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. Setting up the spacing between the slings or cradle beams is important for proper support of the boat and proper functioning of the boathouse lift. The most common boathouse lift installation uses a single pipe lengthwise in the center of the boathouse. Some boathouse lifts use a two-pipe configuration with separate pipes on each side of the boathouse. The simplest method for building a boathouse lift that can lift more weight is to use compounding.
Cable winders are a common upgrade that slide over the pipe and have grooves that allow the cable to wrap neatly upon them. Guide posts can be used with cradles to ensure that the boat is centered between the cables. Taken at Roozengaarde Display Garden, part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State, this past Spring.
They are designed with roofs to protect boats from the weather and may or may not have sides that extend down to the deck below.
For added strength these boathouses usually double up the joists that will be carrying the load of the boat.
Slings can be more economical but do require that the boat’s hull has proper reinforcement so that the slings don’t “squeeze” the hull. A cradle is made up of two steel I-beams that have attachment points on the ends for cables. It is important that the center of gravity of the boat is in the middle between the two slings or cradle beams.


The most common type is a flat plate hoist which uses an electric motor to drive a worm reduction.
Cables extend across in either direction to four pulleys and then down to the sling or cradle.
Compounding is when pulleys are used to lessen the load on the hoist allowing it to lift more weight. Since most boathouses already have roofs over them some people prefer not to use a hoist cover. This prevents the cable from rubbing against itself and protects the galvanized surface of the pipe. It is very convenient to be able to lower the lift when bringing the boat in since the water level may have changed. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement.
The boat hoist turns a pipe on which the cable is wound and the cable extends to the sides of the boathouse, travels down via pulleys, and then attaches to either slings or a cradle. However if the joists are steel I-beams they cannot be drilled through for attaching the standard brackets. They also include brackets for holding the bunk boards, which are the carpeted wooden boards that the boat actually rests upon.
The pulleys are attached to the slings or the cradle and then the cable is routed back up to the top of the boathouse where it is dead-ended. Hoist covers are available that only cover the front of the hoist or that cover both the front, the back and the large pulley. It will help prolong cable life and will actually increase the speed of the boathouse lift. You will need to provide PVC pipe to slide over these brackets that are high enough to be seen and used from the boat. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. The other two joists support the pipe and the pulleys that carry the cable down to the boat.


Special I-beam brackets must be used which will clamp to the I-beam so that no drilling is necessary. Hoists range from around 3000 lbs up to 8500 lbs capacities when wrapping on a standard sized pipe. With side pipe lifts, two cables extend across the boathouse to pulleys on the other side while the other two cables go down directly from the pipe. This cuts the amount of weight being lifted by the hoist in half but it also reduces the speed of the boathouse lift by the same amount. The trade off is that the cable winders reduce the lifting capacity of the hoist because they increase the speed of wrapping cable.
First, set the rear sling or cradle beam near the rear of the hull but make sure it clears the motor and is properly supporting the boat. The difference in capacities for the hoists comes from the differences in the materials used and the power rating of the motor.
These lifts typically cannot lift as much weight because of the opposing forces of the cables.
When using compounding to upgrade an existing lift, be sure that the boathouse and the cradle can support the extra load. Pontoon brackets are also available which allow a pair of bunk boards on each side of the cradle for both pontoons. Since the center of gravity is also the center of your slings or cradle, use that measurement to find the position for the front sling or cradle beam. Remotes can be purchased with an automatic stop that has a preset “up position” and a preset “down position” for one-touch operation. If it is too far forward and the hull is starting to slope up then re-adjust the position of your supports. Finally, double check everything to make sure the center of gravity of the boat is centered on the lift and that the support of the boat’s hull is sufficient.



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