Originally Posted by Doggerland
Can you direct me to a resource which clearly spells out the best practices for correctly hauling, and blocking a fin keel sailboat in its cradle and/or stands? I've noticed some alarming trends at my yard, and would like to avoid becoming a victim.
Regards in advance!
Going by what we have observed over several years:
A one piece cradle (with adjustable arms of course) as the basis for the set-up. Pads located under bulkheads.
A decent block of wood
underneath the keel (sitting on cross-members of the cradle) to take some of the load - ideally, just the weight of the keel - and to avoid damage to the underside of the keel. The boat is lowered onto this block of wood
, and when in good contact, the cradle pads are adjusted up, and chocked, so that much of the weight is taken by the pads.
A pair of props either side towards the stern, with another prop up towards the bow. The timber pads on those props are adjusted to the curvature of the boat with timber wedges between the metal plate of the prop, and the underside of the timber pad. The two stern props should be chained together ideally, but if set up at the correct angle are very solid. Part of that setting up, is timber wedges under the bottom of the props so that they are very firmly in contact with the ground.
The entire arrangement on solid (preferably concrete) ground. Especially be aware of ground that over winter
, can soften. Also be aware of a yard that allows furled sails
, dodgers and biminis to be left up.
Overall, we need to consider the loads on a boat when floating. The keel is totally suspended, and the hull is bearing the entire weight of the hanging keel. The hull transfers that load to the water
- the lower areas of the hull are pressing down into the water
to do this (and the water pressing back up). The submerged sides of the hull are transferring load out into the water, (and the water trying to compress the sides in).