As any Marina or Boatyard Manager/Owner can tell you, theirs is an extremely competitive line of business. Besides needing the typical water and land-based amenities to attract customers and their boats, the main ingredient for a marina’s success is its ability to provide an invaluable service. Being able to haul boats in and out of the water for routine hull and mechanical maintenance or trailer setup is a huge boon to any marine operation, and one that will substantially add to its potential profitability. If located in a seasonal area, then being able to pick and store boats for the winter can also make a particular Marina or Boatyard very desirable over a neighboring facility. One of the most popular ways to provide this critical service is with a travel lift.
What’s a Travel Lift?
For simplicity’s sake, any machine with a heavy steel frame that straddles over a load and is self-propelled a “Travel Lift”. All travel lifts are hydraulically-driven with a pump and valve bank control system that provides the most reliable power and smoothest operation possible.
Boat Hauling Options
In addition to the travel lift, other methods of hauling boats are trailers, forklifts and railway systems. Railways are the oldest. The boat pulled from water, gets onto land on a railway track system and ramp. The main disadvantages to railways is that they require a lot of time and labor to complete a haul and the travel is limited to where the track is. Trailers become quicker and towable with a utility vehicle or self-propelled. Like railway systems, they require a ramp in order to launch or remove boats from the hauling area. The forklift is very adaptable and has the ability to pick up boats below ground level while still in the water (called “negative lift”) and lift them above ground level (“positive lift”) to stack them on blocking or in support frames for storage.
What makes a travel lift unique is that it too provides negative and positive lift, but it carries its load via slings that offer support by cradling across the belly of a boat hull. The slings self-adjust to the various pitches and shapes of powerboats, sailboats and even catamarans, handling them with ease. No lifting system can beat the travel lift as far as adaptability and lift capacity, with numerous models available in the 50 ton and below range up to models that can haul hundreds of tons.
Other alternatives to boat hauling, in addition to the travel lift, include self-propelled motorized trailers and the amphibious CrocLift. Self-propelled motorized trailers designed for fast lifting and handling, and will help streamline the operations of any shipyard, port, marina or yacht club. The CrocLift combines the ease of a trailer with the functionality of a travel lift. An innovative machine, the CrocLift is a great alternative to the travel lift that represents the next generation of boat hauling machinery.
US Hoists travel lifts, dependable and built to last. Therefore, our travel lifts built to strict standards and available in virtually any size and capacity. Need a lift? Give us a call today to discuss your needs and how we can customize a machine to meet your specifications.