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Forums / Technical / Proper support for lifting and on the hard  
The discussions for this thread include the following:

Posted: 24 Aug 2014 at 8:47pm
Hey all,

I'm going to try to take Sinn Fein (#189) off the trailer this winter and do some hull and centerboard work. She'll be in a machine shed and I think the rafters will support her weight (I'll still reinforce them just in case), so I'm planning to use chain hoists and a homemade sling to lift her up off the trailer. Then move the trailer and set her down. Some feedback on how to do this safely for the boat and for the handlers would be much appreciated.

What's the best way to sling her? My plan is to use two, 2 in., 2-ton lifting straps and four 1-ton chain hoists with neoprene pads between the hull and the straps, with two horizontal straps binding the two primary straps together on either side so the lifting straps can't slip off as easily. Does this sound OK? Where should the straps be on the hull? I see two places forward and two aft that look promising. 1) In front of the keel around the hull 2) around the forward part of the keel where the angle has flattened out enough that the straps won't slip 3) around the keel just forward of the rudder and 4) around the hull, behind the keel and above the rudder. I think points 1 and 4 would be ideal, since they are furthest from the center, so less tippy, and won't end up caught between the keel and the keel supports when I set her down. Are two 2-ton straps enough? I've got half a mind to double up and use four straps in case of a failure.

And how best to support the hull when setting her down? There are a number of photos of Dolphins propped up on blocks under the keel just in front of the rudder and against the front of the keel at an angle. Are those the best places? Part of the reason I'm doing this to get access to the centerboard, so that seems to be a good option.

And finally, are there any places in particular to put the stand pads? Are there hull areas to avoid or areas that should be used specifically? I'm planning on making four relatively large, slightly curved, carpeted pads, maybe 12X12, to try to distribute the pressure. Are 4 stands enough? Do I need a bow stand?

I've never done this before, so this is all just based on info from the web and how I've seen other sailboats supported in boatyards. Does it sound reasonable? Dangerous? Stupid? Doable? All of the above?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 at 10:10am
Hi Seth
Sounds like you have done the 'research'. If you have not seen it there is useful sketch at http://dolphin24.org/no_travel_lift.html. I might suggest 3' wide straps instead of 2". The specs for my straps are on the same page. There's a 100% safety factor....plus the load is spread better. Note Polyester, not Nylon.

When I haul I usually mark the relative location on the toe rail of the trailer struts/pads so that the travel lift operator places the belts a bit fore and aft of the pad locations so they are not in 'conflict' when the transfer is made.

Hopefully, you have enough overhead clearance in your shed so the boat is high enough to fully extend the centerboard. Mine is not...

I have an extra set of stands that I can use to relieve the 'regular' stands and paint those areas. I have a bow stand as well - almost never use

Marionette, #12

Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 12:56am
Thanks for the input Ron. I found that page after I posted. Very useful. Thanks in general for all the info you keep on this site. It's all extremely helpful.

These slings look promising. Reasonable price, and they look like good quality.

- OR -


I'm leaning toward the 4" from BHUSA.

OK, so it sounds like the strap placement isn't particularly sensitive? Then I'm going to plan for around the hull just forward of the keel, and just aft of the keel above the rudder. She won't be hanging for very long anyway.

Overhead clearance is something like 14', so there should be plenty of room.

If you rarely use your bow stand, then I'm going to skip it and put the money into a roaming stand. I can either leave a sling around the bow, or maybe use some sturdy webbing on the bow cleats lashed to the rafters as a backup.


Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 11:23am
I'd be cautious putting any upward load on your bow cleats. And also moving your web strapping to far forward. Best location, I think is just forward of the leading edge of the keel

Posted: 31 Aug 2014 at 9:42pm
> I'd be cautious putting any upward load on your bow cleats.

OK. What about using the forestay chainplate instead? That seems like a better option over the cleats. I'm not planning on putting any load on these straps except in an emergency. Just have them as a backup in case I tip the balance too far forward while working on the foredeck or v berth.

> Best location, I think is just forward of the leading edge of the keel

Now that's what I was trying to get at. So that's the best location? I think we're on the same page. The strap flat on the hull, but with it aft as much as possible so it's pretty much still touching the forward-most part of the keel. And the same in the rear, flat on the hull and forward as close to the keel as possible. And the chain hoists amidships so the straps are close to perpendicular to the tangent of the centerline of the hull where the strap crosses it. Does that sound about right?

Posted: 31 Aug 2014 at 11:38pm
Hi Seth
If you are working inside the boat it should be on the stands, not hanging on belts, even if they are backups.

There's enough weight to counter any normal loads on either end of the boat. Still, that 5th stand could also have a bow shaped pad and, when needed for peace of mind, be placed up forward under the bow end.

And, at the stern end I like to have a few stacked wood blocks under the keel deadwood just forward of the heel of the rudder post. I have been working on the the backstay fitting with my then 200lbs (now 170!!) sitting on the transom locker, legs dangling over the edge, wondering about leverage....


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