Glen Invents motor lift “Jackass Lift”
He had started his Hellgate Boat Tours, taking passenger from Grants Pass through Hellgate and back, but was having trouble making it over rougher places during the low-water season. There was danger of damaging his propeller on the rocks, but even worse danger of capsizing with the passengers aboard.
When he found he wouldn’t be able to run the course with the motor riding the way it did, he started experimenting with building a motor-lift.
It took several years before it was free of problems, but he finally came up with a good, workable lift that raises the entire motor up and back into the hump of water behind the boat.
I figured to get the prop back, away from the boat, and in the bulge of water that comes out from under the boat. That’s what we were shooting for really, with the lift. Then we could raise it and run in that hump of water instead of being down there in the rocks.
You have to remember that whatever your boat draft is, your prop is a foot deeper, without the lift. It is down there sticking out like a sore thumb , just ready to catch on anything that comes along.
With the lift, you let it down to start the motor, then raise it. That saves having to tip your motor. When you tip the motor, you get gasoline spills in the boat. The lift has a long handle to use in raising and lowering it.
You don’t have to take your prop all the way out of the water, just enough to miss the obstructions; rocks or whatever it is that’s in your way. We found it’s really the thing for running whitewater with a prop. It wasn’t long until we were getting orders from all over the country, from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the state fisheries, the Army, guides up on the Yukon, Sheriffs offices, fishermen, and surveyors. They used it over on the Snake Rivers Hells Canyon when they were making the survey. We got orders from Saskatchewan. We shipped them to Alaska, Florida, and even one to Venezuela. We still sell quite a few of them.