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Old 05-25-16, 12:01 PM   #1
pinballlooking
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Default Floatair PWC lift

I bought a PWC Floatair lift over the weekend. It is $1,400 for a new lift like this one.

This one was being sold for $200. But some of the steel that stays below the water line needed replaced.

I found a surplus metal place down town Greenville. I was able to buy stainless steel 2” square tubing and 1”1/2 inch flat bar and some 3” flat bar all for $1 a pound. All parts cost $75 I ordered some stainless steel mig welding wire for $25. I will be putting my welder back to work.
The metal that rusted out was not stainless steel so this all should last much longer.

It is similar to this one.








A side note these operate with a pretty cool design. They use a whole house vacuum blower motor (in the white box in the picture) to blow air into the tank this displaces the water out a hole that is in the bottom of the tank. The air lifts the Jet Ski out of the water. Then when it is time to ride you just turn a valve this lets out the air and let’s water in this sinks the dock. Very simple.

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Last edited by pinballlooking; 07-19-16 at 02:39 PM..
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Old 06-26-16, 08:52 PM   #2
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I welded up the Stainless Steel brackets. I made the new Stainless Steel straps.
I made up some Stainless Steel spacers. This Jet Ski dock is ready to attach to my dock.
I just need to order new bolts to put it all back together.








I had to pressure wash it. I have all my hardware from Fastenal the dock is now ready to install.
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Last edited by pinballlooking; 06-30-16 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 07-04-16, 11:20 AM   #3
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The boys and I installed the dock on Friday.
The old setup used 3/8 bolts in holes this caused a lot of wear.
I used bolts in holes no play. This made the install harder but should make the parts last much longer.
I will need to wire the dock with conduit but for now we just used an ext. cord.



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Old 07-06-16, 07:32 AM   #4
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Yet another job well (over)done. The stainless should last for a few decades in fresh water. I imagine the plastic will probably get brittle first. This application is one where just a little paint would do wonders to increase lifespan. Or not, it will probably outlive the jet skis as-is anyway.

Nice party barge. Looks like a cattle water trough with a canopy to me. Then again, me likes jet ski boats and bass fishing boats. Bright colored things that go fast...
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Old 07-06-16, 09:14 AM   #5
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Right after I took the pictures of the Jet Ski dock I had to take my old XP Jet Ski out.
The wear ring was going bad and the bearings in the pump are worn out. I took the pump out and brought it home parts are coming tomorrow. I hope to rebuild the pump and have it back on the water this weekend. I bought a wear ring for my new spark just in case. XP is a nice ski but it is 20 years old.

Our lake is controlled by army corps of engineers. We are in a yellow zone. That means that we can have a dock but can never change the size. So we cannot have a boat lift. We love or view and location on the lake. We are protected from big waves but have a big water view.

We put this boat in on the weekend and take it out before we go home.

We use for water sports and to cruise around. It has a 5.0 EFI mercruiser.
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Last edited by pinballlooking; 07-06-16 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 08-26-16, 11:07 PM   #6
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Nice find. I'm partial to floaty things, floating docks and boats...

I've had a DIY boat lift working on similar principles under my 15' Boston Whalers since 1999. It will lift either my 1985 15' Sport (70hp outboard), or my 1995 15' Rage (115hp OMC Jet Drive). It works similarly to your SportPort for your PWC, and docks the boat entirely out of the water. Between my father and I, we actually have three different DIY floating boat lifts, all use the air displacement lift system.

Contrary to what Jeff thinks, the black HDPE float tanks are incredibly UV tolerant even in South Florida. The sinking part of my lift sits on two black HDPE roto-molded float "tanks" rated for 1800lbs lift per unit. Considering my whaler lift framework is primarily 3"x8" pressure treated lumber, with 2x8 pressure treated decking, I need all that displaceable buoyancy, and a large amount of fixed buoyancy under the lift. Since my whaler lift was DIY, my father and I had to experiment with different blower units, and finally settled on a Dirt Devil Shop Vac motor designed to be removed from the vacuum and used as a backyard leaf blower. They work surprisingly well. The HDPE tanks were commercially available items, but even the seller of the tanks didn't know what to use for a blower back in 1999. We eventually told them what we used to help others...

The largest lift we've built has two 2400lbs tanks, and two 1800lbs tanks. It picks up a 20' Edgewater center console with a 150hp 4-stroke. The framework under that one is all 6061-T6 aluminum with 316 stainless hardware, because we're on salt water. When lifted, 100% of the hardware and framework is above water, on all our lifts. Salt water is harsh on metal, and I have always been amazed how many lift companies design lifts with metal parts underwater.
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Old 08-31-16, 08:56 AM   #7
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You should post a couple pictures of the lifts you made they sound pretty cool.

I would love a boat lift but the army corps of Engineers consider that as adding square frottage to your dock. I am in a yellow zone and only have grand fathered rights to a dock. No new docks are allowed in my area. I can’t change the size of my dock. My Jet Ski lift is behind the cables so this is considered a dead zone so they allowed my Jet Ski lift. They are not letting and ne Jet Ski lifts in this area.


Green Zone = docks permitted with approval.
Yellow Zone = grandfathered docks only no new docks or changes.
red Zone = No new docks.

This Jet ski dock has worked out really well. My boys can easily take out the jet ski without any help.
I bought a solar panel and charge controller so I don’t have to run power on the dock. Batteries only last so long so I will wait until next summer to buy battery to set this up.
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Last edited by pinballlooking; 10-02-16 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 10-02-16, 04:42 PM   #8
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I had two extra stands from my aquaponics build. I cut one of them up and made a Jet Ski dolly.
I only have one Jet Ski trailer so I will use this to put my Sea Doo Spark on for the winter.
I still have to get some indoor-outdoor carpet for the bunks.

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Old 10-19-16, 10:53 AM   #9
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Here it is finished up and ready for my jet ski.
This is made from 2" x 2" square tubing and 2" x 1" square tubing.





My steel came from craigslist stand $18 (I used about the stand)
Harbor Freight casters $4 x 4 = $16
Carpet $9
My stand was about $45 made.
If I ordered one like it the cost would be about $250 + shipping.
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Last edited by pinballlooking; 10-20-16 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 10-19-16, 07:31 PM   #10
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Nice Work! If I hadn't seen the before paint photos, I'd have guessed that stand was commercially manufactured. I'll be interested to hear how the HFT wheels hold up for that weight support over winter. I've got one of their stores 1 mile from my house, and I often wander through there to keep my eye open for project materials and ideas. I need to go watch some welding how-to videos to remind me the skills I was taught back in high school. I knew metal shop class would come in handy some day...

On the floating lifts, my dad is reworking the lift he originally built for his 17' Hurricane to fit the 20' Hurricane he bought yesterday.

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