One of the first things I realized after building Shackleton, is the need to maintain Shackleton. Occasionally, this will mean lifting the boat off the trailer for recoating of the bottom or center board maintenance. In my case, I wanted to add a retrieval line to the center board, so the boat needed to be lifted.
Well, I learned quickly that lifting and rotating this boat is not easy. During one attempt the boat fell about 12″ onto the rear Starboard quarter. It didn’t do any damage, but I knew I needed a better way to safely lift this boat. I pulled out my Sailrite Ultrafeed sewing machine. I purchased this machine a few years ago because I wanted a man’s sewing machine. You know…one that would sew leather and canvas, not lace and petticoats. This machine is bomber and easy to operate. It has proven handy for several project, the last of which was making a cover for my backyard fire table.
This shows the entire set up. I have 4 blocks and one cleat at the top block. With this setup, I can safely lift my boat off the trailer or even lift the boat off the ground heigh enough to set onto the trailer. This is exactly what I wanted: Simple, effective, lightweight and easy to operate by myself.
I raised my boat off the garage floor high enough to set onto the trailer. The cross straps keep the lifting straps from spreading off the ends, but you still need to keep an eye on things. The balance point is just aft of the veranda.
- A ‘Come a long’ would be total over kill for this type of lifting. I doubt the weight of Shackleton would even pull the cable out of the real. Plus, these always look like they are waiting to take your finger off at any moment.
- A hoist lift was way too expensive and way too slow for this type of lifting.
- The cargo straps work horribly. First off, they have very limited range of motion (before the bail is full and stops catching) and second, they only lift and do not lower. These straps are really designed to secure a load on a trailer. I needed range of motion and the ability to lower after lifting.
- Though not cheap, the block and tackle system seems to be the right tool for this job.