Lifting the boat

This is more an exercise in terror than anything else, or so it seems.

When I first got this boat, it was sitting too far back on the trailer, causing it all to be tail heavy. I had to come up with something to lift the boat up so the trailer could be pushed back.

What I came up was to use a beam made from 4x4's, with support pads that fit the curve of the hull. This beam went under the stern, just behind the trailer bunks. A short wooden block would go under the boat, just ahead of the swing-keel.

Drop the nose of the trailer to the ground and support the rear 4x4 beam on blocks so that it just touches the hull and jack up the nose of the trailer. That raises the stern of the boat off the trailer. Then, using a hydraulic jack and the short beam, lift the boat off the trailer completely and reposition the trailer.

Well, that all worked fine, but at some point I would need to get the trailer out from under the boat. Having a jack under the boat would not work.

What I came up with was an "A" frame over the boat. I used a wide cargo strap to sling the boat. The cargo strap came from a truck stop. It has a 5000 lb capacity so I figured it would probably be OK.

I used the same beam under the stern of the boat and lifted the boat off the trailer as before. Then, I took up the tension on the strap, removed the jack and pulled out the trailer. Just to be safe, I put the support back under the keel and blocked that up.

I started re-painting the hull and it's time to get the boat off the trailer.

Click on the thumbnail to view the complete image

The rear support beam. This will be raised up in place and supported on wood blocks on top of the cement blocks. Note the construction of the beam and support pads. The two 4x4's for the beam are bolted together. The vertical supports of the pad are bolted to the beams with lag bolts. The pad is nailed to the supports and then covered in carpet.
The short beam for under the keel. The parts of the short beam are nailed together.
This just shows the position of the short block from the side. Also note the plywood board under the jack.
A-Frame construction details. The 4x4's are all ten feet long. The two horizontal beams are bolted together. The plywood acts as a stiffener and keeps the horizontal beams from twisting. 2x4's are used to carry the weight of the crossbeams. These is also a 2x4 across the bottom about one foot from the ground.
Strap attachment details. The ratchet end is mounted on a bracket that moved the ratchet wheel as close to the top-center of the cross-beam. The vertical bolts go through both beams. The horzontal bolts are just lag bolts. The other end of the strap has a hook that just is hooked over a piece of angle iron.
Supports under the stern in place.
The boat is off the trailer and the strap has been tensioned.
Pull the trailer out.
Support blocks back under the boat.


Revised 02/07/2005
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