For those clubs that don’t have a crane, is anyone aware of a portable hoist that can be used to suspend a FF off its trolley for work on the underside? I imagine the sort of thing you use to pull an engine out of a car (or at least used to before cars became so complicated!)…

Mervyn Wright, Datchet Fleet Captain

7 thoughts on “Hoists….!!

  1. Hi
    I think you should remember that you should never work underneath a suspended load it should always be supported so it cannot fall before you go underneath it. I know this from working with cranes, lifts and winches in the oil and gas industry and have seen what happens when a lift goes wrong all to often, both personally and from various safety flyers that are circulated with alarming regularity.
    Regards Ritchie

  2. Hi Mervyn,
    That is of massive interest to anyone interested in doing any keel work. Very interested in finding out how to do this, any pictures available of the type of hoist, method of lifting or the process in action?

  3. Echoing completely what Ritchie has posted, one has to take the hoist seriously. Its not just the hoist but its attachment to wherever you hang it from and the strops you use.

    I used a 1 Tonne Chain Hoist (Screwfix part number 46883). Electric hoists have a reputation for all happening too quickly – more like dropping the boat than lowering it. For strops and certified shackles, I got these from Load Straps and Slings http://www.lss1.co.uk/. The hoist is hung within the loft space above the garage on a specially constructed frame to spread the load over two rafters – I needed the extra height so that when lifting, the hoist hook doesn’t crunch up against the bottom of the chain hoist – also, so that the bit of chain you pull on leads outside the boat at a reasonable angle. Width of the strops is a compromise; obviously needs to be strong enough; narrow enough to get into the hooks and shackles; wide enough not to chafe on the boat

    Its all worked well, nothing has collapsed. Keel has been taken off and returned; I’m not going to claim that job is easy but its all controlled with a decent hoist. Also, the hoist got used for turning the keel over onto its painting frame – there was a ‘moment’ doing this turn, but everything held together and no bones where broken – the shock-load of the ‘moment’ would surely have demolished an improvised arrangement.

    Tips: you’d be surprised how much the boat blows around, even in the wind with the garage door open – needs stabiliser ropes. Get the strops the right length and when you’ve found the balance points, mark the hull so you can tie the strops back in position repeatably – strops need to be tied for and aft

    Last point: for sorting dings in the keel, I prefer to jack the boat clear of the trailer and put blocks under the tail of the keel; that way is all stable to leave while fillers and paint dry

    Martin Stainsby (3912)

    • Looking at the link Paul Taylor has suggested for hydraulic engine hoist.

      – Safety. Sorry to start on the boring subject, but dropping the boat on yourself may limit further sailing. All the car manuals I’ve read say to jack the car then lower onto stands – never work under something supported on hydraulics. Certainly my (admittedly old) hydraulic jack slowly leaks

      – Now moving onto the actual hoist………………..

      – I think the deck edge looks like it will foul the inner end of the jib when the crane is fully extended. One would need to do some drawings to check this out

      – The hook in my garage is parked 2.5m above the floor which is not far off the height it rises to when the boat comes off the trailer.

      – As the jib of the crane rises, the hanging point moves closer to the upright of the crane. By how much depends how high you have to lift. You cannot have the boat leaning on the hydraulic ram

      – The work around (perhaps) to the above three points might be to bolt one of those crane-eye-thingies (Pinnell and Bax – Lifting Eye (F15-11) onto the keel bolts. The crane would then need to lift nothing like so high, mostly because the pull is directly upwards rather than the steeply diagonal pull you get with strops under the boat – its amazing how much slack mysteriously appears as you take the load. You’d still need to get appropriate strop and high-load shackle. But be aware, you’re going to disturb two keel bolts; getting then tight again may disturb where the head lies under the filler – just be aware.

      – Going back to the particular engine hoist(s), the weight seems to be in 4 ranges. You’d need to work out how you get from one range to the other; its not obvious to me how you make the switch. Either that or is there some unstated relationship between jib length and load (i.e. like a real crane)

      – I’d say there are a bunch of issues to bottom out before going that way. But I would say that; because I did chose not to go down that direction after a quick look at the issues when I went for the chain hoist

      Engine hoist would be handy for man-(machine) handling the keel when detached, but at the price of the hoist, I’d pay someone to do the job, it might be cheaper.

      I’ll reiterate from my previous post, for working on the keel, personally I’m much happier jacking the tail of the keel up onto blocks so I can get an arm in between keel and trailer. That arrangement is awkward, but its stable and doesn’t swing around.

      Video tour to follow with luck in a few days


  4. Hi again

    Sorry to totally bore you with rules and regs but this one is worth considering, if you lift a boat on slings then you should either attach the slings to a set of brothers (long chains which mean that the angle created by the slings is 90 degs or less as loads increase inwardly onto the hull exponentially the further you go above 90 degs.) or you fit a set of spreader beams just above deck level to take the compression load. If this is greater than 90 degs you risk damaging your boat due to compression loading.

    Again I must say I would not work under a slung load wether it is suspended by hydraulics or by mechanical lifting device such as a chain block or pull lift as the slings can easily slip espescially forward due to the hull shape.

    Believe it or not lifting is the biggest killer in the north sea and should not be fooled around with if you are unsure then you should seek professional advise.

    Hopefully not bored everyone to tears Ritchie

  5. We have a great one we keep at Parkstone. Flat packs, easy to use. We use it to work on boats and transfer between launching and road trolley. We can make you one circa £300 ex winch but no time until about July due to commitments

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