Boat Hoist for Sunfish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by rveryzer, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. rveryzer

    rveryzer New Member

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    Perhaps someone can help me out on this, I am looking for suggestions for a good way to keep my Sunfish in/near the water on a lake--a hoist, roll-n-go, whatever??-- some convenient way to be able to quickly get the boat out sailing. A little background, there is limited shore before the large rocks of the wall, and the bottom for this part/side of the lake is "stony," so just dragging it up is not a good solution (when the waves pound it would really beat up the boat too).

    Last year I used an old, large boat hoist which was nice in that there was no wear-and-tear on the boat when it was up (docked), but it was a little troublsome keeping the Sunfish from hitting the thing (and in the future may get used for another boat). So I thought (read that "hoped") that someone on this forum might know of a particularly good make of hoist or something that works very well.

    Any suggestions for what works very well for Sunfish? (and if this has been discussed before I apologize, I am relatively new to visiting the SailingForums).
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Bump; this request was posted in the wrong section of the Forum and, consequently, didn't receive any responses.
     
  3. GRB

    GRB New Member

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    Mooring? I see people that tie up the power boats and moor a sunfish all the time.
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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  5. rveryzer

    rveryzer New Member

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    I am not sure which forum the responder would suggest, I have tried looking at/for ads (did not really find what I was looking for, I already have an old, big hoist, still waiting for some parts for that but it is not a good solution). What I was really asking about in my post was about small boat hoists that really accommodate small sailboats like the Sunfish. Jet-ski boat hoists tend to be too narrow (about 52 inches, not much room for error as the Sunfish beam is just a few inches shy of that, or safely using on windy days with ample waves) and thus are risky in terms of damage (especially in heavy wave conditions). Like I said in my post, I have little experience posting, but thought that other Sunfish sailors might be able to give me good suggestions for a hoist or some very good means (I hear some build their own hoists or shore lifts?) to keep my old Sunfish sailboat on the water and ready to go (and safe). As for mooring, yes, an option, but I just watched a moored boat become "de-masted" while moored during the recent winds over night. Mooring a Sunfish works better if one takes the mast and all equipment off each time, again, not really a great solution (for me anyway).
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    The beach boat faction doesn't command the attention of the dock accessory industry like heavier less transportable motorized craft do. For what you desire, a jetski lift would be close, but you'd need to modify it yourself to better fit your Sunfish.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    There are floating "docks" you could pull your boat onto.

    [​IMG]


    There are on-dock storage racks where you can put a roller at the dock edge and winch your boat onto.

    [​IMG]


    Other variations would be low and padded wood, aluminum, or PVC racks emulating trailer bunks you manually haul your boat up out of the water onto.

    Another thought is, if you have "beach" access, despite the rocks, roll a dolly into the water and load the boat so it gets rolled over the rocky terrain. But, this discussion being primarily textual with regard to your particular situation, you need to be the eyes of reason for feasibility.

    .
     
  7. rveryzer

    rveryzer New Member

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    Thanks Wayne, some good suggestions. We did try to get someone locally to either modify an old jet ski boat hoist he was trying to sell, and since he also made new boat hoists we raised the question of making a new small one for the Sunfish, but that outfit/company does not seem to eager/willing (I guess we can try to hound them a little). Also, we did check on dollies, and now I think we should have gone that direction because there seem to be some that the boat could sit on all summer when not sailing. The rolling in and out over a rocky shoreline may be a problem (and we were going for maximum ease and minimal effort, otherwise it ends up being a barrier to use), but I think you are right that it could work. Unfortunately, decided to get some of the pieces (the parts that guide and protect the boat from hitting the lift) for the old, big, steel boat lift; this seemed like a good solution--except that it has turned into a long wait because the manufacturer does not have the pieces in stock and has to manufacturer them. I think your ideas about constructing a wood or pvc rack may be the way to go in the future. I have heard that some Sunfish sailors do this, but have not been able to find a photo or plans for any, which surprises me. I guess we can figure one out, just thought I would not re-invent something that someone on the Sunfish Forum may already be using.
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    A boat lift for a Sunfish is uncommon so equipment in that vain is usually one-of-a-kind, tailored to specific needs and location. Racks are found a little more often since they are an extension of what's used in transport. For example, any of these rack ideas could be assembled as a single tier for dock, lakeside, or backyard storage...


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the case of the wood rack, just the bunks could be adapted to simple cross-bracing.


    .
     
  9. rveryzer

    rveryzer New Member

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    Thanks Wayne, good ideas--and the photos help. I will keep checking this thread to see if anyone adds to what you have suggested. Thanks again!
     
  10. scap114

    scap114 Member

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    I guess a lot depends on the height of the wall. Somewhere buried on page 2 of "General Sailing Talk" in post 11 and 31 of "Slow going" I have pictures of my boat on a 'skid' I built to solve a problem I had with keeping my boat on a rocky shore. There are a lot of factors to consider when using a skid, such as wave direction, tides, etc. We have had pretty strong winds and I never had the Sunfish come off the skid. The head of the skid is up on shore and the foot is on cinderblocks in about a foot of water. The stern of the Sunfish is about 2 feet out of the water. I have a single roller centered on the back of skid that the Sunfish rolls on when I winch it up on the skid. The Sunfish rolls of the skid easiily by picking up on the bow handle.
     
  11. sharnett

    sharnett New Member

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    I have a house on Lake Ontario with a similar problem -- rip-rap consisting of large boulders and a steep high bank. Mooring is out of the question on the unprotected shores of Lake Ontario, so a boat hoist is about the only solution that I can see for my situation. However, I've never seen a Sunfish on a hoist so I came to the forum to see if there is a reason why not. The one concern I have is weight. A motorboat on a hoist is going to provide enough weight to hold it down in the windy stormy conditions that are common on this lake. I think I can take care of that by weighing down the hoist somehow. Any other comments or suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Sean
     
  12. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Sean,

    Even though I haven't seen one for real myself either, there are several pictures in this thread and the one referred to in my Sep 6, 2010 post of systems to get your fish out of the water.

    Regarding storms etc, I guess that most people wouldn't leave their boats hanging on davits all year long. One solution (also in this thread) is to lower the boat onto a support on the dock once out of the water.
     
  13. sharnett

    sharnett New Member

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    I can't use a davit hoist because I have no place to put the davit. The hoist (lift?) that I'm considering is a stand-alone 4 post frame that sits on the bottom in ~4' of water. Typically they have 2 cables and straps that the boat hangs in. They are commonly used for motorboats and are the only option on Lake Ontario, aside from a marina.
     
  14. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    No Dock?

    I have a similar situation, but the Sunfish is light enough to just pull up on the dock. :)
     
  15. sharnett

    sharnett New Member

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    No dock at this point. At another location we had a 4' breakwall where I was using rails I made out of 16' 2x4, with black plastic sprinkler pipe screwed to the top as slides. The rails had Harbor Freight 8" wheels mounted to the end and designed for dual use. They allowed me to pick up one end and wheel the thing around, then when the rails were in the water the wheel end was about 18" inside the wall edge putting the wheels up in the air a few inches. I'd swing the stern of the boat over onto the wheels, then pick up the bow and roll it over the wheels onto the rails, then slide it down the rails with a rope tied to the bow handle. The sprinkler pipe is ideal as a slide and very slick -- almost too slick as you had to hang onto it to keep it from taking off. With this arrangement I could get the boat in and out by myself if it wasn't too rough. If anyone is interested I could post photos. If I had a dock, I'd use something like this again, though I'd really like something that will work better in rough conditions. I'm hoping the hoist is that solution.
     
  16. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It would certainly be nice if you could post pictures of your previous 'invention'.

    Also, if you posted a picture of your current geography, forum members might be able to advise you better.
     
  17. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I think I've got that black sprinkler pipe on the edge of my New England dock. It is very slick, but when I tried to find the same material in Florida, what they offered wasn't the same stuff. They called it "irrigation pipe", but it was squishy and flimsy—not suitable at all.
     
  18. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Harbor Freight makes a small hoist for lifting automobile engines of much greater weight than a Sunfish.

    If you could drive a big pipe into the shoreline, there should be enough lift-capacity remaining in the hoist to extend the hoist's boom to lift your Sunfish. Just leave off the hoist's base with its tiny steel wheels, and use the pipe to rotate the Sunfish to rest on shore.
     
  19. sharnett

    sharnett New Member

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  20. sharnett

    sharnett New Member

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    That's not a bad idea, but I cannot drive a pipe into the shoreline. The bottom of the lake is solid shale and the DEC does not take kindly to that sort of thing.
     

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