Q1. How do I decide Hydraulic vs Cable Hoist?
A1. Seriously? It's like asking how do I decide between Steak and Hamburger, BluRay or VHS, digital or Vinyl, Power Windows or Crank, Driving or Walking.... Alright, sorry. It's a valid question. They both have their place (albeit, one should be in a museum). First, ask yourself:
1. Do I want a fast lift response?
2. Do I want a quieter lift?
3. Do I want a more reliable lift?
4. Do I want a lighter lift that's as strong as its counterpart?
5. Do I want a lift that's easy to operate, especially for my spouse and children?
6. Do I desire safe 12 volt power for the lifting mechanism?
7. Is low maintenance important to you?
8. Do you want a lift that's easy to assemble?
10. Do you want a lift that's easy to install (and remove for winterizing)?
11. Is resale important to you?
12. Are you more interested in lowest total cost of ownership vs. initial price important to you?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, congratulations, a hydraulic lift merits further consideration...
If you answered yes to any of the above questions and gave #12 a BooYah, then the Summit Marine Hydraulics are going to be perfect for you...
Let's dissect these one a at a time: (Disclaimer: Answers below are based on the Summit Marine family of Hydraulic Hoists, vet other manufactures very carefully, not all (not any) have the features and durability of the Summit Marine Hoist.
1. Do I want a fast lift response? Summit Marine hoists are fast and smooth, throughout its entire range of motion.
2. Do I want a quieter lift? Summit Marine hoists are the quietest in the industry.
3. Do I want a more reliable lift? We use only the finest components available. Better components means longer life. Our hoists come with a limited 10 year parts warranty and lifetime frame warranty. Longest in the industry. We believe in our products and stand behind them.
4. Do I want a lighter lift that's as strong as its counterpart? Fully welded box construction, our hinges have full piece 1/4" outer plates and 2.5" inner tube construction. Strongest in the industry. Summit hoists have the best strength to weight ratio of any lift.
5. Do I want a lift that's easy to operate, especially for my spouse and children? Summit Hoists are very simple to operate with the touch of a button. Add the remote key fob and you can raise your boat from the drivers' seat. Add the centering guides and bow stop and centering just became a breeze. Add the step rails and boarding your boat is now a snap, especially for the elderly and kids, or moms with young ones in their arms...
6. Do I desire safe 12 volt power for the lifting mechanism? Provided by you or your dealer, the power supply is a safe voltage to have down by the water. Your boat has this same voltage as well as your landscape lighting.
7. Is low maintenance important to you? And it well should be. Our free time is precious enough. Replacing worn and frayed cables, pulleys and non Stainless Steel hardware is time consuming and tedious. Add to that the time it takes to get your boat on the trailer, down time, getting the right parts time, removing the hoist time, finally repairing the hoist time, more parts, wrong parts, and a few scraped knuckles later your back in the water... Remember to add in the beer cost to get help removing and reinstalling the hoist and that priceless look of disgust on your spouse's face when you tell here 'it's gonna' be a while longer'...
8. Do you want a lift that's easy to assemble? Summit hoists are the easiest in the industry to assemble. The lift carriage is preassembled at the factory and the cylinders are pre charged with fluid and the screw connects are keyed so you can only fasten them in the proper orientation.
10. Do you want a lift that's easy to install (and remove for winterizing)? Summit hoists are the lightest in the industry while maintaining the best strength to weight of all. Add to that, our cylinders extend and retract under power allowing you to raise the hoist and put flotation under the bunk supports to float it to shore.
11. Is resale important to you? Resale tells a lot about a product. With the patented Retract System our cylinder shafts stay clean and scale free - extending the life of the seals and pump components. Remember it's backed by the longest 10 year warranty in the industry.
12. Are you more interested in lowest total cost of ownership vs. initial price important to you? Our customers are. They 'kick the tires', inspect the welds, review the design, and ask us questions about the company, we've been in business since 1989 (our first prototype was built in 1986)... No one has more hydraulic boat hoist experience, so we welcome your questions and comments. Contact us at Summit Marine and we'll send you more information.
Q2. How easy are Summit hydraulics to assemble?
A2. Very easy and straight forward. There are 36 fasteners. 16 major components plus 4 clamp plates. The instructions are clear with pictures to assist. Once all the components are at the beach front it should take 2 people about 30 to 45 minutes. Our record, at the factory, for 2 people? 14 minutes. (OK, so we have done a few, alright?). Take a peek at the instructions here...Hydraulic Instructions.
Q3. Where can I buy a Summit Marine Hydraulic Hoist?
A3. Fill out the Find a Dealer Form found here...
Alright so now you bought your Summit Hoist and have some questions:
Trouble Shooting your Summit Marine Hydraulic:
Q4. Lift won’t elevate.
A4. a)Check battery condition – Even a brand new battery could be low.
b) Check hose connection, page 7 of the online Hydraulic Instructions. Partial connection of one hose will cause the hoses to ‘jump’ when activated. Check the length of the screw connectors on the hoses, if one is longer than the other the longer one is not fully engaged limiting the flow. You may need to use wrenches to tighten if there is back pressure in the system.
Q5. Lift will elevate but won’t lower.
A5. Flow Control Valve may be shut. Open 1.5 turns initially, then open or close to control ‘rate’ of decent. Refer to step 11, page 9. The hoist should not lower any faster than it raises. If it takes 14 seconds to raise then adjust the valve to 14 seconds to lower. Hydraulic Instructions.
Q6. Lift is stuck at the top of its stroke: Unit ran fine until it reached the top.
A6. Check hose connection, page 7 of the online instructions Hydraulic Instructions Partial connection of one hose will cause the hoses to ‘jump’ when activated. Check the length of the screw connectors on the hoses, if one is longer than the other the longer one is not fully engaged limiting the flow. You may need to use wrenches to tighten if there is back pressure in the system.
Q7. Battery life seems to be short.
A7. a)Several factors enter this equation:
i) Boat weight, including fuel, and gear: heavier load = fewer cycles, shallow water requires more amperage, smaller battery = less power.
ii) Flow Control too closed: Refer to page 9 of the Hydraulic Instructions
iii) Cooler ambient temperatures: fluid is thicker, requiring more amperage.
iv) Battery may not be charging fully due to faulty charger or bad cell in the battery itself. Even new batteries have been found with bad cells.
b) After exploring the above avenues without satisfaction, contact your dealer for an
optional Solar Panel to keep battery at its peak condition.
c) Use caution operating your lift during low battery voltage conditions. Although the
safe 12 DC motor can survive lower voltage conditions the starter solenoid for this motor requires the full 12 volts to energize the magnetic switch to ‘clamp’ the contacts without arcing.
d) i. If you use your lift once or twice daily: Single battery - Optima battery is best - they're about $150. and a Battery Tender - these are about $75. An automatic charger works fine accept they turn off when the battery charges fully, so you will want to unplug and replug when the battery gets low. 1 Battery + 1 charger. This system will discharge the fastest (however it will also recharge the fastest).
ii. If you use your lift weekends, say 3 times Saturday, 3 times Sunday. Dual battery - again the Optima batteries are best. Battery Tender - these are about $75. One on each battery... 2 batteries + 2 chargers. This system will discharge the slowest. It will have the amperage to last through the 6th lift and beyond. In both cases check the battery level monthly. Another suggestion is to get the lift in deeper water. In the raised position, if the lift is above the water 12" apx. this will take a lot of strain off the pump and batteries.
Q8. Fluid appears to be low.
A8. a)Units are shipped with more of the fluid in the cylinders than the tank. Your lift should arrive with about ½ of the reservoir filled with fluid. As the lift elevates, more fluid is pumped into the tank than the cylinder. Conversely, as lift lowers, more fluid is pumped into the cylinders than the tank. With the lift in the lowest position the reservoir should be half full.
b) Should you have a spill, don’t worry, HL series lifts are filled with bio-degradable EPA, trout and salmon safe oil. Wipe up as required and contact your dealer for replacement oil. Conaco Ecoterra 32.
Q9. Lift rises a few feet, then stops, motor runs at a higher pitch.
A9. Check fluid level in the reservoir, the pump requires some amount of fluid to pump into the cylinders to raise the boat. No damage to the system will occur due to this event. HL series lifts are filled with bio-degradable oil. Check hoses and fittings for leaks, repair and contact your dealer for replacement oil. Conaco Ecoterra 32.
Q10. Remote Control is not working. Click Here for color instruction PDF.
A10. a) Dead battery in key fob. Check for red or green led. White Key Fob replacement battery 12V–L1028. Eveready A23, Duracell: MN21 Energizer A23BP-2.
Black Key Fob replacement battery, open case with a small phillips screw driver and view the battey number, or,
b) Receiver requires reprogramming to key fob.
White Key reprogram: Locate the program switch under the access panel on the front of the white receiver module as show on page 22 of the instructions. Please read through the steps below before you begin. You will have 10 seconds to complete the program sequence once you begin.
1. Push the program switch (sw1) until the red program LED lights solid, then release.
2. Now push button 1on the new remote until the program LED goes out.
3. Push button 1 again on the new remote, the program LED should flash slowly. Release button 1. Your new remote is now programmed. note: if the new remote does not work, make sure that the indicator LED on the remote. See page 22 of the Hydraulic Instructions.
Black Key reprogram: Remote Control Reprogramming: BLACK KEY FOBS ONLY:
On the side of the hydraulic pump of remote control units is a black plastic case which houses the remote control receiver. Several wires are attached to this unit along with a 15 amp replaceable fuse, located on the thin red wire. Each receiver is capable of accepting up to (4) key fob transmitters. These remotes are preprogrammed at the factory when ordered with the lift. Single or replacement key fobs will need to be programmed to your receiver. CAUTION: When connecting the battery, listen for 3 clicks followed by a 4 second delay then 2 more clicks, (total of 7 seconds). This 4 second window is the programming delay. FOR NORMAL OPERATION - DO NOT PRESS ANY BUTTONS ON THE KEY FOBS DURING THIS 7 SECOND SEQUENCE. AFTER THE (2) FINAL CLICKS – NORMAL OPERATION WILL COMMENCE. If you should happen to loose the program from the remote control follow the following steps:
1. Disconnect one battery cable. Have both key fobs ready for programming.
2. Reconnect the battery cable.
3. Listen for (3) clicks. Start step 4 within 2 seconds.
4. Press ‘UP’ on key fob 1, you’ll hear (2) clicks. (Position 1 filled).
5. Press ‘UP’ on key fob 1, you’ll hear (2) clicks. (Position 2 filled).
6. Press ‘UP’ on key fob 2, you’ll hear (2) clicks. (Position 3 filled).
7. Press ‘UP’ on key fob 2, you’ll hear (2) clicks. (Position 4 filled).
8. Wait for 5 seconds for final (2) clicks.
9. Key fobs will now operate your lift.
NOTE: You must start step 4 (initial key fob programming) before the
4 second delay expires. Otherwise, repeat at step 1. See page 19 of
Q11: Winter Time: What do I need to do to my hoist in the freezing winter?
A11. Should you have the good fortune to be in the position to require your lift to be removed from the lake annually, below are a few guidelines to ensure many years of safe, trouble free operation.
1. When removing lift from the lake, DO NOT DRAG PADS ON LAKE BOTTOM. Hidden debris can obstruct feet and bend legs. Soft sand and morrow bottoms will restrict forward movement causing stress on frame. Float lift using inner tubes, float drums, or paddle boats using the power of the double acting cylinders to lift feet off the lake bottom. USE CAUTION NOT TO CRUSH FLOATION DEVICES WITH THE POWER OF THE CYLINDERS / OR CAUSE FRAME DAMAGE.
2. After the lift is on shore, inspect all hoses for any signs of wear.
3. Inspect all bolts and nuts. Tighten if necessary.
4. Inspect frame components for excessive wear.
5. Grease fittings at hinge pivot points, and cylinder connectors.
6. Clean cylinder shafts with steel wool such as a Brillo Pad. Although the shafts are made from Stainless Steel, there is still a chance the lake water could deposit scale and micro-organisms that will abrade the cylinder shafts.
7. Store the lift in its upper position after cleaning the shafts. Raise lift to its full upper position, then lower a bit to eliminate the high ‘back pressure’ on the hoses. This will assist in removing the hose connectors.
8. If you prefer to store the lift in the lower position, simply clean the shafts once again in the spring to remove and scale or sand that may be deposited from the weather. Conversely, if you lower the lift all the way down, press the rise button a bit to eliminate back pressure.
9. Remove the hose connectors. Wrap them in bags to eliminate contaminates from entering them. Ensure that rain water cannot enter the bags and freeze – Try bagging connectors then zip tie them facing up to leg post.
10.Disconnect battery, check fluid level, and charge before storing.
11.Store pump in doors if possible. See more detail and photos on page 17 of theHydraulic Instructions.
Q12: Hoist won't lift boat fully out of the water.
1. Depth of water - very shallow water puts extra strain on the lift. Water levels may have dropped. Reposition hoist in deeper water.
2. Battery is not fully charged or has a bad cell so maximum voltage is not achieved. Retest with a fully charged battery.
We welcome your questions and comments. If you have further questions or suggestions, please call your dealer or us directly…