Sunstream’s V-Lift entered the market with impressive fanfare, taking home an NMMA Innovation Award at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show. Its four independent, polyethylene air tanks, linked together in the shape of a V, cradle the boat within. Drive on in its lowered position and trigger the quad blower via a key-fob remote, and the V-Lift raises in just two minutes. Click again to launch and you’re splashed in about 75 seconds. The beefy air tanks provide natural fendering.
Sunstream claims the V-Lift can be assembled in as little as 30 minutes. It’s not quite that simple, but most consumers should be able to accomplish the task in about an hour with just a screwdriver. Professional assembly is also available. All the necessary components — blower motors, valves, etc. — are built into the tanks themselves, eliminating the need for hoses or dockside power packs. Two 24-volt, maintenance-free DC batteries furnish blower power. An AC transformer can be plugged into a GFI-protected outlet for occasional charging; optional solar-power charging kits are also available.
Once assembled, the entire unit can be towed into place and tied into position. Its size allows it to fit in slips as narrow as 10 feet. Sunstream also offers slide mounts. There’s no load transferred to the dock, there are no leveling brackets, and the lift can operate in as little as three feet of water. A tank-monitoring system automatically fills the air tanks if water is detected. The standard lift can handle up to 7,000 pounds. Capacity can be increased to 11,000 pounds by adding more tanks.
Max LOA: N/A
Max Weight: 11,000 lb.
Electric: Yes (DC)
Min. Depth: 3'
DIY Install: Yes
Key Features: Four polyethylene air tanks, hoseless rechargeable DC air-pump system, built-in chine guides
Dr. Dockwise says: The maximum beam the V-Lift can handle is 8 feet 6 inches — or 10 feet with an optional 18-inch spacer plate at the centerline. The V-Lift also can’t be left in the water in areas where ice forms.