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For the past 21 years my family has lived aboard and cruised, from the Bahamas in winter to New England in summer. We love the ICW and we love the ocean. We like powerboat comforts but also love to sail. We relish gunkholing in remote, pristine anchorages, yet treasure the creature comforts of a civilized house.

Recently we parted company with our boat of 19 years in favor of a larger, older one, a marina barge woefully ill-prepared for cruising. For more than a year we have been equipping her for the cruising we love. The improvements we have made should be considered by anyone seeking an ideal boat for cruising the East Coast and the Bahamas.

(we have skipped Tom's many system upgrades to get to his choice of our lift system)

Tending the Tender
As for tenders and motors, we believe in having the largest of both as is practical for the mother ship. (It makes life more fun, and it is safer.) Tankage for extra gas and oil is critical, of course, and we use deck stowed Jerry Jugs for this, though this is not an ideal solution. In addition the tender itself has a 12-gallon capacity.

Easy tender launching and retrieval are critical not only at anchor but also in marinas when you want to explore local waterways. We chose a system patented and manufactured by Marine Lift Technologies in Fort Lauderdale. It bolts to the center of the stern and thus is suitable for sail and power boats alike. Because of the stern location, launching while rolling is less of a problem, and it also means you can launch at marinas even if you're in a slip.

Powered by a hydraulic 12-volt motor and utilizing a four-bar-linkage swinging arm, it lifts our 250-pound tender, 25hp Yamaha, 12 gallons of fuel and me with ease at the push of a button. Recovery is simply a matter of lowering the platform beneath the water, driving over it and lifting aboard. The unit also makes an ideal swim platform, adjustable to any height and out of harms way at sea. It serves as a loading elevator from the tender for heavy items, and a great way to welcome guests aboard for cocktails. Have them drive up, step off and ride up on the elevator.

About Marine Lift Technology, Inc.

Since 1988 Marine Lift Technology has been manufacturing and installing hundreds of systems for satisfied customers throughout the world. We continue to lead the industry in technology, engineering, design and customer service. Our engineers have worked with a wide variety of yachts and manufacturers to develop lifts and installation appropriate to each vessel. This ensures that the lift compliments your boat's individual lines and does not interfere aesthetically with the shilouette, or inhibit performance.