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Author Topic:   High & Dry (Photo)
Jamber posted 05-22-2004 10:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jamber   Send Email to Jamber  
Back in March I posted about my boat davit breaking, read about it here:

After getting quotes to repair the davit (from $3k to $7k), then getting quotes for a new dock/lift ($6k - $9k) , I'm very happy to say we finally got a new 7,000 lbs boat lift installed this past week. It was a real pain trying to figure out a way get it installed quickly (lots of permiting issues down here in FL). The least expensive marine contractor was able to do it with a dock remodeling permit, which shortend things up by about 5 months! I'm happy, it will be so easy to use, especially since we got a baby (a girl) due in about two weeks (which I VERY happy about)! Wife said we can take her out on the Whaler about two months after she is born. We will go slow and stay in the calm bay of course... Do they make infant life vests?

Photo of new lift/dock here:

This lift so much safer and easier to use then the daivts. Whaler is not at risk for scratches like when hooking the daivts up. Plus it saves at least 20 minutes in the time it takes to get ready to go out on the Whaler. A nice feature is the remote control, so I can raise the lift after I pull away from the dock and lower it when I come back.

Well worth the $6k. Plus I recently read an article in a local newspaper that a dock and lift is a 100% return investment for our house. I got the 7,000 lbs capacity so I can "upgrade" to that new 205 Eastport in a couple of years.

Happy Whalering...


whaler23 posted 05-22-2004 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaler23  Send Email to whaler23     
Looks Great.
Marlin posted 05-23-2004 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
That's a nice looking lift, and should be much easier to use than your davits. And every minute you save on launch and recovery, you get to spend on the water. Still glad that you weren't hurt and your boat wasn't damaged in the davit incident.


jimh posted 05-23-2004 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I look at that nice boat lift set up, with a home on a canal, and I compare it to my boat sitting in front of my house on a trailer, about a hour's drive from the water, and I think to myself, "Where did I go wrong in life..."
ocuyler posted 05-23-2004 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for ocuyler  Send Email to ocuyler     
JohnJ80 posted 05-23-2004 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
You know, I also live on a river. Always wanted to all my life.

So, we invested in the docks etc...

A dock here is a massive thing - minium 40' long, about 10-12' wide floating on 4 8" ID water pipes as stanchions. The dock is built on two telephone poles with 6x6 cross members.

Its great when things work great. But when you have problems, they tend to be on the order of Jamber's problems. Docks break up in storms, boats get thrown off lifts in bad weather, davits break - you name it. Goes with the territory I guess, but it almost always means get out your checkbook and start writing numbers with lots of zeros behind them.

It is better than not living on the water, but if you added up the dollars you invest in the problems and maintenance and the time in fixing stuff, I'm not sure that there is all that much time savings over trailering. I am certain it is not cheaper.

Its kind of funny here. There is a 7+ year waiting list for a dock permit. So, those of us with docks are basically under a microscope by the city and by those who are on the list. The running comment amongst dock owners during or after a storm is that those who are on the list probably wouldn't be if they could see us now. There is a lot of truth in that too.

So, while I do prefer to live on the water, it is not at all without a set of its own problems to which the solutions are often difficult, require heavy equipment, frequent negotiations and permitting issues with stubborn government agencies (like Dept. of Natural Resouces, Army Corps of Engineers, City) and a willingness to frequently use the checkbook!


jimh posted 05-24-2004 12:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

Your story reminded me of a similar tale from a colleague. He lives on a canal and had a nice boat in a hoist. We were accustomed to decades of very high water levels here on the Great Lakes, so when the water levels dropped about 3 feet a few years ago, my friend found his hoist was now unable to lower enough to permit his boat to come onto it. This was after about a $7,000 overhaul to the hoist the year before.

Now if you think that is bad, his neighbor had a similar situation, except his boat was still on the hoist! He could not get it off the hoist for most of the boating season!

Unfortunately in the Great Lakes there are no tides, so when you have low water, as we have for the past five years, it may be a long wait for high water.

Another hazard up here if you have a dock: Ice. A bad spring break up of ice can really get expensive if you have a long dock.

Moe posted 05-24-2004 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Nice setup, James! I sure like that a lot better than the boat hanging from the davits. The 7,000 pound capacity will definitely help if you outgrow the house and sell it.


Legobusier posted 05-24-2004 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
James, finally a question I'm qualified to answer on this forum. YES, they DO make infant life jackets. My 4 month old is not real fond of his, but he's starting to get used to it. The joke on the boat is he's a "fishing bobber" since he's pretty much engulfed by the PFD.

Good luck with the baby - oh yeah, nice boat lift and boat too!.

Jamber posted 05-24-2004 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Thanks for the compliments guys.

Waterfront down here in FL is a lot more common and 'somewhat' affordable. We used to trailer about 30 minutes to the ramp, did not use the Whaler as much back then. So we decided two and a half years ago, to look for a waterfront home Under $200k. (Which was the going price for a 2000sf home off water in a nice area down here). We finanlly did, but our "home" is a tiny one bedroom, one bathroom, 700 total sf log cabin, no garage, no basement, no attic, all the value is in the property.

Our home is on a narrow 50ft wide canal and not "deepwater access", so during low tides in the winter months it can get real shallow. There is much better waterfront down here for more money. To us, it was still worth sacrificing the size of the house. (That is how much we love being on the water). Of course realestate is nuts down here, prices just keep going up (along with the property taxes). We paid $180k two years ago, but could easily sell for $225 if not more (next door 4/4 home with pool, sold for $355 last year!).

With the baby on the way, we may change our tune, as we long for more space, and put the house up for sale. If so, we would have enjoyed the waterfront while we had it, plus it would work out to be a good investment. Of course we want to stay where we are, add on, or rebuild.
Thank goodnees we do not have those severe winters storms with freezing over, just an occasional tropical storm or hurricane, which could do some major damage...

Thanks Chris, I will pick up an infant pfd for sure. How does your son do on the boat. I think my only real concerns about having our soon-to-be daughter on the Whaler, is keeping her comfortable and the sun off her (sun gets intense down here).


Legobusier posted 05-24-2004 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Thanks Chris, I will pick up an infant pfd for sure. How does your son do on the boat. I think my only real concerns about having our soon-to-be daughter on the Whaler, is keeping her comfortable and the sun off her (sun gets intense down here).

He's sort of so so with it. Truth be told, I think the biggest problem is the heat. It's hotter than hell with a full body PFD on (which is pretty much what they are at this age), plus being in full constant contact with Momma makes for a nice sweaty combination. If it's calm and we're just putting, we'll usually take it off him and just hold him - he's much happier.

If you don't have a bimini, get one. You will need it. Especially since the little suckers aren't supposed to have suncreen until they're 6 months old. Obviously you can make due with hats and blankets, etc to keep the sun off, but there's the heat thing again.

Good luck.

JohnJ80 posted 05-24-2004 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Looks like a great lift. I think I would have a hard time selling that property. Our experience up here has been that in short order the dirt is worth more than the structure. We needed to upgrade our cabin like house a few years ago when the kids got bigger, so we wound up tearing down the old house and rebuilding on top of it again. Made me physically ill to do that to a structure, but the economic argument was just too, too strong.

On life jackets for kids - my kids have been wearing them since they were infants. They are not allowed even on the beach without them, although we are moderating that as they become better swimmers and bigger kids (now 10 and 12). There have been numerous instances of kids drowning on the public beach by our house simply because they got surprised and knocked down by a wave. Apparently kids drown faster than adults since their metabolisms run faster and they can't do without O2 as long as an adult. Out of my league, I don't know, not an MD, I just know alot of kids have drown as described.

What has worked really, really well for us are the Mustang life jackets for kids. they are more expensive but they are very comfortable and they work great. Our kids where theirs every day and beat them up and they have worn like iron. They also seem to be comfortable and my kids have worn them extensively on 1-2 week caribbean yacht charters. They have never complained about them. You can check them out here:

These look to be about the best you can get and they will definitely turn the kid face up even if unconscious.

Hope that helps. Good luck with the little one. Be a shame not to have your kid grow up with a whaler and not be on the water.


Jamber posted 05-24-2004 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Thanks Chris, yes, I got a bimini, can't imagine boating without one down here. Wife already mentioned the no sunblock thing for 6 months. Might get an umbrella also.

Thanks John, that really helps. Funny - I got a mailer from West Marine today with the Mustangs PFDs On Sale, $10 off - $54.99 (Reg $64.99) I will go pick one up.

The wife thinks it will be very hot for the baby to wear one but agrees we should get one and keep it by her side at first.
Once the she can crawl or pull themselves up, we will have her wear it all the time. We will stay in the bay like we have been the past 9 months and go slow. Also boat during the week after work when boat traffic and wakes are at a minimum. The Gulf gets kinda rough for a Pregnant woman and a baby anyways.

My wife and I both grew up on the water and remember being in PFDs and not complaing about them. My parents said I was 6 weeks old the first time on the water. I grew up around Whalers, a learned how to drive and dock a boat on a 17ft Newport w/ a 115 merc. In a few years, I will start my search for a 13ft Whaler for my daughter.

Less than two weeks to go for our first baby! We are enjoying our freedom - Tomorrow night I'm picking up a pizza on the way home from work, push the down button on the lift, head out on the Whaler with the wife and we will enjoy our dinner as the sun starts to set... After she is two months old, we hope take her out on the dinner Whaler cruises!


prxmid posted 05-24-2004 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for prxmid  Send Email to prxmid     
My goal was to live on the water by age 50, it took an extra year. Growing up in Boston and living in Annapolis, it's the only thing I've ever really wanted my whole life.

I must say It's been better than I anticipated. I never want to leave my yard. Pool pier lift kayaks.

Jamber, if quality of life is important, once you give it up, it may be hard getting it back

Jamber posted 05-24-2004 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
I know prxmid, we will do everything we can to keep the waterfront property. We also have two Ocean Kayaks and a 10 year old Waverunner (also had, but sold a small 8ft sailboat). We love being by the water, you are so right, quality of life is VERY important!
JohnJ80 posted 05-25-2004 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Jamber - don't make any exceptions for the little ones. If they are near the water, they have the pfd on. And that goes whether they like it or not or if they can walk or not. No exceptions.

I can't remember where I heard or read this, but someone once told me that you don't know what being afraid is until you have kids. Didn't understand that at first, but we have it loud and clear now.

Our kids don't mind them at all. They have worn them through some pretty hot times with no problems.


Jamber posted 05-31-2004 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Thanks John,

Got the Mustang PFD onsale... now we are waiting for her to be born. We will try to have her wear it. I have a feeling once she is here, we will have that "afraid" feeling. May be more like 5 or 6 months before we feel comfortable having her out on the Whaler. Then I will start looking for her 13ft or 11ft tender!


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