Marine News from the Great Lakes

Different People, Different Needs, Same Amazing Lift Experience

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
By: Jordan Balbresky

I’ve been thinking a lot about products that improve your boating experience. Sure, an argument can be made that upgrading your sonar to add more features can improve your time on the water. Sometimes a coat of paint is all that is needed to make a boat look and feel brand new. However, there is one product I checked out at the Miami International Boat Show that I believe can really make the boat ownership experience a lot easier, will simplify future DIY projects, and definitely helps protect your investment. This product is a boat lift and HarborHoist by HydroHoist is touted as the most versatile, free-floating boat lift on the market.

Built to protect the value of a vessel in adverse weather conditions and the harsh marine environment, HarborHoist is constructed with rugged, marine-grade, impact-resistant polyethylene tanks and an aluminum frame that extends the life of the product. With a capacity to handle vessels from 4,400 to 25,000 pounds, HarborHoist includes a self-leveling lift system for added safety when launching and stowing. It is compatible with fixed or floating docks and works with all types of dock applications including: U-shaped, double-wide slips, L-shaped, or square dock spaces. The hull support system can be configured for nearly all types of boats, including stern drive, outboard, tow/wake, pontoon, and tritoons.

Designed for easy installation, HarborHoist can simply be tied to a dock or moored with a conventional mooring system. With its standard rope mooring system, there is no permanent attachment to the dock, which allows the unit to be easily moved in places that are prone to flooding, fluctuating water levels, and storms. HarborHoist is equipped with a push-button controller and non-skid walkways mounted to the top of the tanks that run the full length for easy access in both the up or down position. This allows for easy and safe loading and unloading of passengers. Its low-profile design does not obstruct shoreline views like other products. Assembly and installation are simple and intuitive. HarborHoist operates using standard 110 VAC power or using an 1800-watt generator, inverter, or solar power system. Custom canopies are available for additional vessel protection.

“We have seen incredible reception to smaller versions of the HarborHoist we introduced recently and received immediate requests to increase lifting capacity,” said Mick Webber, CEO, HydroHoist Marine Group. “To meet customer demand, we increased the size of the product, maximized lift capacity, and increased the flexibility of the types of boats supported. With decades of experience and superior product knowledge of the industry, we have been able to apply our technology to manufacturing the most advanced floating salt and freshwater boat lift on the market.”

Boat lifts reduce vessel maintenance and ensure the highest resale value of the boat by stopping marine growth from accumulating and facilitating easy cleaning. They also protect the hull by preventing it from hitting the dock during inclement weather, control water osmosis, and prevent electrolysis. In addition, boat lifts are much better than trailering or dry stack storage by giving boat owners immediate access to the water.

I talked to a few HydroHoist customers and they were very open and positive about their experiences.

Dave Daugherty

“I installed my HarborHoist last April. My boat is a 2765 Regal Commodore with a total length of 32 feet and I keep it in New Buffalo on Lake Michigan. My sales representative from HydroHoist was very helpful and knowledgeable about the product he was selling; all I had to do was tell him my boat model, length, and some small details and he did the rest. I specified to him that I wanted the boat completely out of the water when the lift was all the way up so I could thoroughly clean everything. Sure enough, he delivered me a lift that, when raised, lifted my props three inches out of the water, which was exactly what I wanted!

“The field install crew did a great job installing the lift, and attention to detail was excellent. They were done and on their way home in about six hours. Very nice guys, they explained all the details to me as they built the lift.

“My HarborHoist works great. All I do is push one button for up or down and the electronics do the rest. It rises evenly so the boat never tilts as it is being raised or lowered. Driving onto the lift is easy; the rails guide me in perfectly and keeps everything aligned every time. The walkaround platforms on each side really help keep the boat clean. The simple construction and the way the lift is anchored to the dock is also very nice. My lift was designed so that it just ties up to the dock with line just like a boat does. I don’t have any previous experience with boat lifts, but this one is so simple that a friend and I removed it from the lake and hauled it home ourselves. We plan to reassemble it next season and launch it ourselves.”

Denny Tubbs

“I live in Toledo, Ohio, and go boating on Lake Erie. I keep my 33-foot Donzi at the Lost Peninsula Marina in Michigan. I’m one of those people that really use my boat as much as possible during the season. It’s heavy with a full fuel tank and weekend supplies and leaving it in the water was a hassle and dry storage wasn’t an option for me. Last year was my first year with my HarborHoist and it has been wonderful! I had an older style lift at one point, and it wasn’t great, so I sold it. I really wanted something that lifts level. After the initial installation, and ‘teaching’ the accelerometer what level was, it worked great. It goes up and down in about 10 minutes with the weight of the boat on it. I recommended it to everyone. It is so user-friendly and makes boating so much easier and more enjoyable for me. Keeping my boat out of the water, I don’t have to paint the bottom or haul it out every few weeks to clean it. I’m sure that I’ll save money in the long run.”

The best way to really understand all that a boat lift and canopy can do to protect your boat is to see it in action. Do a little research online as there are a number of video testimonials and demonstrations on the web. HydroHoist dealers can help you with a demo or introduce you to one of their existing customers in your area. The company will also be travelling the boat show circuit with lifts tied to docks for visitors to see firsthand.

For more information, visit

About The Author

A former public relations practitioner serving the high-tech and consumer electronics industries, Jordan Balbresky returned to the agency world following a decade of hands-on marine experience. Living in the Caribbean and working in all aspects of the marine industry — from boat building, restoration and maintenance, to charter captain and delivery crew of sailing and motor yachts — Balbresky has a first-hand understanding of the outdoor and maritime markets. Fully immersing himself in the industry, he is a licensed scuba instructor, as well as master mariner and has lived on-board a custom-built schooner while skippering charters on boats of all sizes in the US Virgin Islands.

This article first appeared in the Spring Issue (Mar/Apr) 2019 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Lifts & Hoists

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