HISTORY OF BOATLIFTS
Before the mid 1970’s boats were typically lifted with a pair of davits. These crane like structures are mounted to a piling or set in the ground above a sea wall, utilize a fore and an aft cable which are connected to lifting eyes on the watercraft. Boaters find davits difficult to use, as the distance between connecting points on the boat make them challenging for one person to operate. While davits are used today for lifting smaller watercraft in some unique situations, their position as the industry standard has been largely replaced by lifts that support the boat on bunk boards connected to a lifting platform or cradle system.
A major breakthrough in boat lift design occurred in the 1980’s. Aluminum was introduced as a structural material to replace galvanized steel. Although slightly more expensive than steel, its long-term appearance and corrosion resistance make it a superior alternative. Today, the best boat lifts are made from aluminum. It has steadily supplanted galvanized steel, as consumers have become knowledgeable enough to recognize its’ superiority.
Over the last 30 years, a number of methods to lift a boat with a cradle system have been developed for marine lift applications. Hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic flotation, and wound cables have been explored in various configurations. Hydraulic boat lifts have been found to be difficult to protect from saltwater corrosion, susceptible to oil leakage, and they also are relatively expensive.
Piling or sea wall mounted cable-drawn boat lifts have become the choice in coastal waters. They lift the boat free of the water in minimal space at an affordable price. Of course, a number of ingenious cable routing and structural techniques have been developed by Imm Quality engineers. Intelligently designed, rigorously tested at our in-house test facility, field tested by over 25,000 lifts over 30 years in business and continuously refined by our IQ engineers based on feedback from our customers, Imm Quality Boat Lifts now offers the following models: vertical boat lifts, elevator boat lifts, boat house lifts, personal water craft lifts, yacht lifts and specialty boat lifts.
Vertical Boat Lifts:
At the present time the most popular design for a cable drawn boat lift is the horizontal beam design. It was developed over 30 years ago, and it has become the industry standard. It can be recognized by its two parallel beams, between which the boat is located prior to lifting. These beams each contain a motor driven shaft through their length on which 4 cables are wound. Cables are connected to the four corners of the boat cradle, which is raised or lowered by clockwise or counter clockwise rotation of the shaft. Shafted beam boat lifts are typically mounted on four pilings, although very large lifts of this design have four motors and four shafted beams, and are supported by eight pilings.
IMM Quality Boat Lifts manufactures four lines of beamed lifts: the Alumavator, the Platinum, the Superlift and the Titan yacht lift.
Some of the product features of the ALUMAVATOR boat lift series are:
- A chain drive with the drive sprocket solidly welded to the shaft. No shear prone bolts are employed in this connection. Furthermore, the mechanical forgiveness of a chain connection to the drive shaft has an inherent flexibility, thus minimizing stress as the total lift system moves and strains under heavy loads.
- Chains insure a positive direct drive from the motor to the shaft. Boat lifts are considered heavy equipment. Chains are the drive of choice for marine heavy equipment along with logging and earth moving equipment. Chains are less apt to break than a gear is to shear teeth and our continuous loop chains have never failed when properly lubricated.
Some of the product features of the PLATINUM boat lift series are:
- The platinum drive was engineered specifically for marine boat lift duty and provides a maintenance free, double worm direct drive transmission to shaft connection.
- Custom extruded top beam channel, white vinyl covered aluminum bunks and maintenance free drive bearings.
- No other residential duty boat lift can match the features and performance of our Platinum lift.
- Its highly efficient, industrial duty cycloidal gearless reducers, the finest reducers made, produce more torque and result in the fastest lift speeds on the market. No inefficient worm gearing is employed in the drive system.
- Cable is wound on large winders to provide a greater drum to cable diameter ratio to insure long cable life.
- We do not use aircraft control cable, which is woven with fewer but larger strands of steel to minimize stretch. Instead, we use limp fine wire cable like that used in public elevators and ski lifts to minimize work hardening and further insure long cable life.