A guest post from Russell Higginson, the General Manager of The Boathouse Marina in Freemantle, Western Australia.
My name is Russell Higginson, and I have been in the marine business lifting and storing boats in Fremantle, Western Australia, for 30 years.
I first used a Wiggins Marina Bull in the early 1990s and, boy, was I impressed! Because of how easy they are to use, and the peace of mind offered by the Stabilift™, system, I have been using Wiggins machines exclusively at the many marina and storage facilities that I’ve been involved with ever since!
About six years ago, I saw a CGI video on the internet of the Wiggins Marina Bull FLX. I said to myself “Wow, I want one!!” After a few meetings with owners of The Boathouse Marina in Fremantle, everyone saw the potential of this revolutionary machine. We decided that we would be the first to use it, here at our dry storage facility.
This piece of engineering brilliance was a bit daunting at first. We asked ourselves “Will it be fast enough? Is it too big? Can we get parts if needed?” But after the first month of training on the FLX, we were off and running.
Three years later and over 10,000 boats launched and retrieved, the machine has exceeded our expectations. So much so that we are purchasing another machine to keep up with our expansion. Whenever we’ve had issues, Wiggins has stood behind their product 100%, and they never fail to assist when neede—day or night.
Another major plus is that the FLX helps prevent damage to boats, whether it be the gunwale rubbing on the side of the rack or the nav lights being snapped off at the lower rack—the fact you can “rise above the top of the boat” is awesome! Once you are lined up at the rack, there is no deviation—it traverses straight. The FLX has allowed me to cut my budget for damages to boats by as much as 95%!
It comes down to the fact that you can lift bigger boats in a smaller area. The increased stability offered by the unique amd award-winning design means that the big boats can be lifted to a top rack, middle rack, or lower rack. It doesn’t matter. We routinely lift 60 boats in an eight-hour day without a single problem.
Would I recommend the FLX? Yes, yes, and yes!