Outboard Motor Lift Features and Specifications
We started out researching lifting crane systems made by various manufacturers and concluded they were overkill for what many cruising boats needed. Studying the best of each and adding our own design ideas, we built and tested several prototypes and settled on what we believe is the best design for the average cruising sailboat.
Here are some of the features we wanted to achieve:
1. Relatively medium duty - Most cruising sailboats have an outboard motor weighing under 100 lbs. but we wanted the unit robust enough to pull a 250 lb. body from the water. If a crew member falls in and is impaired, the first mate should be able to hoist the person back on board quickly.
2. Easily removable - The crane pole simply slides out of two sleeves mounted on the stern rails. There are no tools required and no fittings to loosen or remove.
3. Easily stored - We wanted the unit to easily fold up for storage in a locker.
4. Easy installation - Nobody wants to drill holes in the boat for brackets and supports. Our design relies on the strength of the stern pulpit only. It attaches to the two (or one) horizontal stern rails in the cockpit. We offer several options for the pole base. Most of our customers use our ball and socket base which conforms to any deck configuration.
5. Support for other equipment - The pole provides an excellent place to mount a solar light for night anchoring or an antenna. We use the same pole and brackets for our top-of-pole solar panel mounting system so you can add solar easily and economically.
Design specifications for the Lift Crane:
1. Pole diameter - 1.5 inch OD stainless steel.
2. Crane arm - the crane arm is stainless steel formed into a U channel. The standard length is 18 inches. The arm folds down against the pole for ease of storage.
3. Stern rail brackets - Our stern rail brackets include a clam bracket attached to the rail and a stainless sleeve which attaches to the clam bracket and accepts the pole. The brackets provide adjustment for the distance from the pole to the stern rail so the pole can be easily mounted vertically regardless of the stern rail configuration.
4. Block and tackle - We have found a 4:1 ratio for the block and tackle to be ideal for most applications. The blocks included are made by Garhauer.
5. Pole base - we offer several designs for the pole base depending on the configuration of the boat deck. These include a ball and socket, a flat rotating base and a grooved base designed to fit over an extruded outside rail.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas of what to look for at the boat shows and what to consider if you build your own.
If our standard unit doesn't fit your needs, we can design and build a custom unit for you.