I suppose when you refer to a cradle
, you mean a long term dry storage cradle
like folks sometimes use way up in the great white frozen North for when the water
turns into that stuff we use to make frozen Margaritas (but with no alcohol or anything good in it)?
No need for a cradle to be expensive, is it is just a stationary cross-bunk you can build yourself easily, but it would be a pretty big pain to do a bottom job around it. It is the crane and the yard space that is expensive, but a cradle will not stop a hull
from hooking if the mass is not resting on the keel
...and all else depends on the boat
. An old J-24 will warp like a wet paper bag, and pop back straight once it is in the water
. An old Chrysler 22 can lay out on its side abandoned on an oyster
bank, and you can drag it off, polish it up and bust a good symmetrical mold
off of it...but that would be illegal to copy and use the design to build electric
picnic boats, so I totally don't know anyone that has done that...