Automating Your Boat Lift With GEM Remotes

GEM Remotes

Properly maintaining a boat involves significant time that most owners don’t have. Lack of time is one of the main reasons many people simply dry dock the boat versus using a boat lift system. The basic premise of the boat lift is that it is a mechanical device that can carefully lift the boat and then securely cradle it out of the water. By storing your boat in this manner, you prevent the growth of scum, barnacles and other marine growth.  There are two common ways to to hoist your boat.  Electro-mechanical through the use of a motor and hoist system with cradles or slings or manually with a wheel and pulley system.  The latter is more common with lighter weight PWC crafts like jet skis.  For boats a motorized lift system is ideal because of the weights involved.

The Manual Switch Versus an Automated GEM Remote

There are a couple approaches to using your boat lift when lifting the boat up and down.  A spring loaded switch or maintain switch is wired to the hoist motor allowing you to manually toggle a button and move the lift system up or down.  Spring loaded switches allow you to toggle the switch and then spring back to neutral when you want to stop.  A maintain switch will stay in the up or down position and only go back to neutral if you toggle the switch back manually.  Both of these methods can be tricky if you need to further manuever the boat.  This is where an automated GEM remotes system comes in to play.  Imagine mooring into your slip and then pulling out a key fob transmitter (just like a remote garage door opener).  Then be able to stay in the boat and position it while automatically moving the lift right up to where you need it.  No having to jump out the boat, reposition, run to the switch, reposition etc etc.  GEM remotes make using your boat lift so much easier… no different than how an automatic garage door opener makes opening your garage door easier.

Types of GEM Remotes

There are several types of gem remotes wired for different uses.  Most come standard for use with 110V operation but can be wired for 240V operation as well.  You have the GR1 which is wired for a single motor boat lift, GR1A which is wired for a single motor with Autostop capability.  Autostop requires the use of a Limit Switch which is physically installed on the hoist itself.  The limit switch “limits” the number of revolutions the hoist will make.  This is a nice safety feature so you don’t accidentally switch your lift into an infinite down or up position (destroying your lift system or damaging your boat).  This allows you to set the limit switch so your boat lift only goes up or down a certain distance.  The next type of GEM remote is the GR2.  This is for a 2-motor system operating a single lift.  Next is the GR2A which has Autostop capability.  You also have the GR4 and GR4A which operates a single lift, 4-motor system.  Finally you have the GR2F1 which allows you to operate two independent motors for two separate lifts.  In other words you can operate two separate lifts with single motor configurations.  For example a single motor boat lift and then a single motor PWC lift all using the one GEM remote unit.

Cost and Where To Buy

GEM remotes can range from $350 up to $800.  They all ship with mounting brackets and one 3-button key fob transmitter.  You can buy additional transmitters as well.  Always good to have a back up just incase you lose one in the water!  All GEM remotes can be purchased at ( offers free shipping on all it’s GEM remotes and key fob transmitters.

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