Lift 29: An Island Lift that's well integrated into the terrain

Model: 4-Person 750 lbs.
Track: 75' at 31°
Year: 2009

The lift you installed at the cottage was a game changer. It was one of the best decisions we made, and we wondered why we didn’t do it sooner. Not only did it allow us to eat dinner on the dock and bring drinks down more easily, it also meant we could do renovations that otherwise would be have been much more difficult to accomplish. For example, we couldn’t find anyone to agree to install a septic system at our cottage until we had the lift. It also made shingling the roof or bringing up a new couch much easier, etc. The lift also allowed a girlfriend in a wheelchair to join us at the cottage and it has proven very useful for injured or elder people, and lugging up our groceries and other necessities every weekend. Our guests love to ride in it, and it works in all four seasons without a hitch.
— Lynn Carrotte, Lift Owner

This was a tricky lift to install: the top end was about 12 feet off the ground and had to be positioned so the car floor would be even with the cottage deck which was about 10 feet away from the track and would only be extended after the installation, and we also had very little left-to-right space to position the track: there were rocks on one side near the bottom and trees halfway down on the other side with a total clearance of less than a foot.

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The lower station was nestled into the side of their lake side deck. Essentially everything needed to make island cottage life possible gets to the cottage on the lift.

Threading the needle between the rock on the right and the tree on the left.

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The top station is an extension of the main cottage deck. Once the lift was complete, the owners rebuilt the lower deck and extended the cottage deck to meet the lift. It all fit together perfectly.

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We used the owners pontoon boat to carry the lift car from the landing to the island. Before trimming the track to it's final length we transferred the car from the boat directly to the dolly where we welded them together. The lift terminates at the lower deck height rather than the dock height because the water level fluctuates by over five feet.

In the winter this couple skis out to the cottage and use the lift for themselves and supplies.

In 2011 the owners had Thomas Contracting build a septic system above the cottage and they used the lift to haul 56 metric tons of sand and gravel up the hill. At the owners request, we came out to inspect and repair the lift after the septic was finished but there was nothing to fix.