Pulley system to store Sunfishes over water

Thread starter #1
Hello. Great Forum.

I have three sunfish, 1969, 1976, 2008. I'd like to store them over the water alongside a dock. The winds and water get quite rough on occasion and the tide is variable, since we are along the Gulf Coast and are subject to tropical storms. Anyone have a suggestion on using a pulley system to hoist the sunfish hulls up and then slide them into a berth alongside a dock? Ideally the stystem would be easy enough for a child to raise a hull approx ten feet in the air and get the hull could rest in a berth. I haven't been able to figure out how to raise and lower the hull without the berth resting boards being in the way while the boat is being hoisted or lowered.

Has anybody in the forum tackle this themselves? If so, would you be knid enough to provide a sketch and/or suggestion of approach?
The item that comes to mind is a davit, the small crane you see holding lifeboats to bigger boats. The other item I’ve seen for a similar job is the boat lift. A boat lift that the Sunfish could be floated over – that’s probably going to be more kid friendly. Haven’t seen one that rotates over the dock when the boat’s lifted up. You’d probably have to work that part out with a lift company. I guess you could install a lift for a pontoon boat then it could hold all three Sunfish. Ten feet to the water - doesn’t your dock float with the tide?

If you do a web search the premade davit products might give you some ideas for putting something together yourself. Can't see where it would be too hard using common materals like PVC pipe. How about flooding the pontoons like ballest tanks on a old pontoon boat and using a air compresser on the dock to pump them out. That would be a fun project. Or using a 50 gallon barrel as a ballest tank to sink and raise a floating dock? Just some crasy ideas!
"...The item that comes to mind is a davit, the small crane you see holding lifeboats to bigger boats..."
In the Florida Keys, as elsewhere, davits are used to lift some very large powerboats up out of the water. When the season is over, the davits are swiveled—first one, then the other—to move the craft sideways to supporting blocks or beds on the (usually) concrete dock.

Like the below photo, they're made in manual models or you could fabricate one out of PCV, aluminum, or even 2x4s with plywood gussets. If you make one, keep the winch and pulleys on the top surface of the davit as in the photo for strength.

Harbor Freight has winches for less than $15.

You'll have to find some way to secure the Sunfish, as the wind will pick them up from an exposed area, even without gale flags flying!
This is a little late, but you could use a winch available from Harbor Freight for $149.99 (www.harborfreight.com). Details are as follow:

1/2 Ton Capacity Pickup Truck Crane with Cable Winch

Lift large, heavy items in and out of your truck.
Crane mounts to your truck bed
Base plate is 1/2" thick steel
Boom is 3/16" thick steel box tube
Base swivels 360°

Lifting capacity: 1000 lbs.; Maximum boom length: 53-1/2"; Maximum boom height: 80" from base; Hydraulic jack capacity: 3 tons; Winch cable: 25 ft. long, 7/32" diameter; Ram travel: 5"; Base dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/2"
Weight: 90 lbs.

ITEM 37555-6VGA

You would need to rig up something to easily attach to the Sunfish and the winch, but that shouldn't be too hard. Either something that would go underneath the Sunfish or a cable that would attach to the bow handle and another cable to attach to the aft portion of the Sunfish.