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Need Advice on Boat Lift Bunks...


PGIPath
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I'm buying a 2017 Pathfinder 2500 Hybrid and need advice on setting up an existing boat lift (came with a house I'm moving into).  The lift has straight bunks.  Do I need to modify those bunks to accommodate the stepped hull?  On the lift, is it true that the weight of the boat should be in the keel and not on the bunks?  I'm new to boat lifts, so any advice appreciated!

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Are the OP's bunks adjustable? My lift bunks are moderately angled outward towards the stern where my PF (and most boats) flattens out. My advice is to use your trailer as a guide for the stern, and narrow the bow in about 6-12" on each side. Try it and see how it works.  You can always adjust the bunks from your boat - easy if you have a remote.

P.S.  I also took a turn out of my stern cables so the boat is at a solid 10+ degree bow rise. At first it looked like too great of an angle but my dock guy told me I'd get used to it - and appreciate that water never pools in the boat. He was right!

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PGIPath,,

i am assuming you have a cable lift. I you have a direct drive, some of the below won't apply.

I installed a new lift last spring and was also new to the power lift world. Although not a 25 hybrid, I first called Ray at MBG to get some advice. He said no matter what, support the hull at the stringers, and he told me where they were. On a 22TE, slightly outside of the Center console. I asked about of the CG, b/c the lift manufacturer said to place equidistant from the four cables as possible., and Ray said approx. at the steering wheel.

I worried about drainage, but the installer told me the bow cables were slightly shorter than the stern cables, so as to have a "natural" slope to the stern.

So he adjusted the bunk spacing, and the placement of the pair to get the boat close to the dock for boarding, which ended up with the CG off center on the cradle.  No problem he said. I verified with the lift manufacturer....OK. Then he adjusted the PVC poles to "wedge" the sides to stop the boat at the same place every time. 

He cautioned me ......NEVER to power the boat on or off the cradle. If at low tide the cradle is on the bottom and the boat is not completely floating .......wait for more water. I had that situation arise and later had to turn the boat around at the dock and do some blowing of bottom sediment out from the lift. Problem solved.

Lateral level is controlled by turning off one side motor and running the other up or down with a level on the stern. DONE!!! Works perfectly.

My advice on an old lift is to run the cradle all the way down, and rewind cables tight on the axels, and check your cradle/cables to make sure no one messed up the placement of the short ones at the bow. Use a level to check for the natural bow to stern "drop" for drainage. Call Ray and the lift manufacturer for placement advice.

I got the remote control and well worth the money. If you don't have, you can buy on the internet for about $400 plus an electrician to install. I did not get the limit switches for auto up and down, but wish I had purchased. Maybe next year.

Hope this helps! Congrats on your new waterfront home and beautiful rig!

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