Sunstream: Helix Hydraulic Boat Lift

Sunstream® Boat Lifts, the leading manufacturer of high-quality free-standing and free-floating boat lifts and the SwiftShield™ Automatic Boat Cover System, recently reimagined what a cable boat lift should be.

The first in a new range of cable boat lifts, the Sunstream Helix line, the new Helix-P piling lift combines unprecedented hydraulic speed with an attractive hidden cable lift structure and a sleek, modular power supply. Helix delivers a refined aesthetic with easier boarding, increased reliability and safety, reduced noise and launching and lifting speeds as fast as 15 seconds.

Sunstream Helix Hydraulic Boat Lift - self-contained hydraulic power system

The heart of the system - self-contained hydraulic power system.

The Helix-P is the first rotary hydraulic cable lift, constructed of a thick marine-grade aluminum structure to provide superior stiffness and stainless-steel hardware to prevent corrosion and is available in four sizes able to accommodate vessels from 8,000 to 24,000 pounds, with larger models in the works.

There are no visible motors, electrical work, or gearboxes; pilings are low with no side beams, opening views for a more pleasing aesthetic. Because of its unique configuration, Helix-P can be installed with as little as a five-inch gap between a dock and boat, which means easier and safer loading and unloading.

Lubricated stainless steel ball bearings increase speed while decreasing noise and reducing friction on the torque tube. Sunstream’s unique rubber-capped aluminum Superbunks™ provide durable yet soft cushioning to protect and support the boat’s hull. The frame has non-slip striping on top for safety and a pleasing appearance, and optional Storm Surge Inserts can be added quickly to raise a boat an additional 24-inches.

The Helix-P cradle locks in the “up” position to prevent swinging in the wind, reducing cable fatigue and extending cable life. Since it does not use independent port and starboard motors, re-leveling is greatly reduced.

Sunstream Helix Hydraulic Boat Lift

Launching and lifting speeds as fast as 15 seconds.

The Helix-P advanced control system adds to the excitement and fun of boating. The Sunstream mobile app enables the lift to be controlled from a smartphone, giving users the convenience of always having their remote control with them. This high-speed lift accelerates and decelerates for smooth operation and a double click feature brings to the boat to predetermined stops so it can be customized to the dock. A reliable encoder revolution counter inside the motor eliminates the need for vulnerable and unreliable limit switches and enables multiple intermediate stopping points for the ultimate in user control.

Sunstream Helix Hydraulic Boat Lift mobile app

Mobile app gives you the convenience of always having your remote control with you.

Sunstream Power System™ (SPS)

Furthering their innovation, Sunstream rethought the power for the Helix-P creating the unique Sunstream Power System™ (SPS). A single high-powered hydraulic powerpack that drives multiple Sunstream lifts and automatic boat covers, the SPS eliminates the need for independent powerpacks or multiple 220velectric motors for each electric lift. A single 110V 6A extension cord or solar panel can power up all your Sunstream lifts and covers at your dock.

By sharing a single powerpack with multiple Sunstream lifts or SwiftShield Automatic Boat Cover Systems, the SPS has many advantages, including lower cost, smaller dock footprint, faster installation, lower maintenance, higher performance, improved safety and greatly reduced dock power requirements. Each SPS is capable of powering 10 Sunstream SPS compatible devices and, with a 15-inch by 15-inch footprint, it minimizes required dock space.

The unique system enables users to combine up to two different hydraulic DC powerpacks of 6hp or 12hp to increase power up to 24hp which gives unprecedented power and speed, compared to the typical 2hp per boat lift. This allows consumers to select their power or add more power as needed, ultimately spending less because they don’t need to buy separate powerpacks with each lift or SwiftShield. When additional hydraulic devices are added, no further wiring is needed which saves money and hassle.

Sunstream Helix Hydraulic Boat Lift

All hoses and wires can be built into the dock structure (underneath).

In addition, the SPS uses only 6A/110v power for 10 lifts versus traditional 40A/220v for each lift, which is, from a marina’s viewpoint, a fraction of the cost to install and wire. The SPS boasts enhanced reliability as it uses sealed batteries to store energy, so if there’s a power outage, customers can still use their lifts and SwiftShields. The batteries are also compatible with solar charging solutions, eliminating the need for dock power altogether.

This system further simplifies installation as all hoses and wires can be built into the dock structure (underneath), which makes it easier to add or remove boat lifts and provides a clean aesthetic for the dock. A small SPS Connection Station plate can be installed on the facia at each slip like a wall outlet and has both hydraulic and powerpack control plug-ins. Current permanent boat lifts attach 220v AC directly to the aluminum structure and run 220v cables under water to the far side of the boat lift. SPS-compatible boat lifts do not attach AC power on the lift, nor run power underwater, for added safety. 

The SPS is controlled by control boxes, RC transmitters on each device, plus the Sunstream app which enables the user to have an unlimited number of devices on their phones to control. This is particularly attractive for marina operators and maintenance personnel as all lifts and covers can be controlled by their phones rather than having to manage multiple key fobs or transmitters. 

In the end, the combination of Helix and the SPS system are game changers, redefining how you use and store your boat. As we mentioned, they offer many advantages, but the top five to keep in mind are the breathtaking speed, the out of sight structure, the easy access, the lack of sway and the low power requirements. Sunstream Helix and SPS, changing the face of your waterfront landscape.