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Old 14-05-2021, 09:13   #1
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Designing a "father hoist"

Good morning everyone.
Quick intro: I'm looking to take my elderly father sailing with us on Lake Champlain (NY): We own a 1989 Hunter 34 sloop with a 3-4 step stairs into the cabin, below deck. My 200-lbs father cannot walk down the stairs, and I'm hoping to lower him into a bosun's chair, through the companionway, to the cabin floor below. Given his muscular dystrophy, he can walk a little and sit, but not climb down/up those steps.

Provided a new boomlift line, do you think it would be a good idea to tie a block to the middle of the boom, and lower Dad down to the cabin floor? I don't want to bend the boom, or drop Dad through the hull and down to the bottom of the lake...

All ideas welcome, thanks!
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Old 14-05-2021, 09:24   #2
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

I commend you for trying hard to be a great son. If going this route, make sure to tie a halyard above the block you are going to use for lowering your dad, so the halyard picks up most of the vertical load.
And test your setup on a healthy person first.
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Old 14-05-2021, 09:24   #3
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

Just like if you were hoisting an engine - attach your main halyard to the boom right above where you place your block. To avoid boom damage secure a line around it and attach the halyard and the block to the line.
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Old 14-05-2021, 09:27   #4
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

A bosun's chair tends to be a fiddly thing to wrangle yourself into (ie, stepping into the straps). I would look for something more like a hammock/sling chair. Go to a local swimming pool and look at their handicap hoist.

Make sure you have thought out the head situation, as well. There isn't much room to help if someone gets wedged in...

A midboom block should not be an issue, though. You would have had a bigger boom if it were designed with midboom sheeting, but those are also designed for 1000+ pounds of force.

Good luck!
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:00   #5
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsalvail View Post
Good morning everyone.
Quick intro: I'm looking to take my elderly father sailing with us on Lake Champlain (NY): We own a 1989 Hunter 34 sloop with a 3-4 step stairs into the cabin, below deck. My 200-lbs father cannot walk down the stairs, and I'm hoping to lower him into a bosun's chair, through the companionway, to the cabin floor below. Given his muscular dystrophy, he can walk a little and sit, but not climb down/up those steps.

Provided a new boomlift line, do you think it would be a good idea to tie a block to the middle of the boom, and lower Dad down to the cabin floor? I don't want to bend the boom, or drop Dad through the hull and down to the bottom of the lake...

All ideas welcome, thanks!
Using a dinghy lift 4 part advantage with a jam cleat would work quite well. The jam cleat adds an extra level of safety when hoisting back up.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:04   #6
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

I have the same issue getting my wife in and out of the dinghy. She can do it but is unsteady and I had visions of her going over the side while clambering up or down.

I find that Bosun's chairs are not ideal. They really don't feel all that secure and are quite wobbly (at least in my experience). I went to MEC (REI in the states) and got a rock climbing harness (in the largest size they had. I too am over 200 lbs) and use it to get her in and out of the dinghy, to get me up and down the mast, etc. it works great and feels VERY secure.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:12   #7
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

FWIW, we made a wide strap (spread the load) that fits over the boom and attached a 4x block and tackle below it to it to raise and lower fully juiced 8D batteries into and out of the boat. It worked fine....as long as the cradle I tied around the battery did not let go!!! We pulled the battery up, locked the jamb cleat, then swung the boom over the side and let the battery down. No issues! It may not have been 200lbs, but it was heavy!
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:14   #8
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

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Originally Posted by sailcrazy View Post
FWIW, we made a wide strap (spread the load) that fits over the boom and attached a 4x block and tackle below it to it to raise and lower fully juiced 8D batteries into and out of the boat. It worked fine....as long as the cradle I tied around the battery did not let go!!! We pulled the battery up, locked the jamb cleat, then swung the boom over the side and let the battery down. No issues! It may not have been 200lbs, but it was heavy!
Yup. Been there. Done that. As others have said, it's a common method for getting engines in and out.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:16   #9
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

FYI, someone suggested that we just use the halyard for our stove, as the boom may not have enough height to hoist someone into the opening.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:21   #10
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

If ingress is difficult, rapid emergency egress will be even more-so. Keep that in mind...maybe some short trips with him in the cockpit are better.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:22   #11
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

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FYI, someone suggested that we just use the halyard for our stove, as the boom may not have enough height to hoist someone into the opening.
Yes. And you might consider rigging a handy billy or something from the load (person, battery, engine, stove) to something at the stern of the boat (taffrail, radar post, davit, etc.) to control and move the load aft once it is up out of the companionway. Handsomely (slowly) pay out the halyard as you pull in on the handy billy to move the load aft horizontally. I have the mainsheet from probably something like a Cal 20 aboard that I use as a handy billy. EXTREMELY useful in many situations.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:48   #12
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

You might try something like a deer hunting tree stand safety harness. Might need to tie-off, or shorten the hanging strap, to clear the cockpit sides.

https://www.amazon.com/Muddy-MUD-MSH...1014375&sr=8-2

You can comfortably wear them all day, and it should be at least as good as a unsteady bosun's chair.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:58   #13
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

Bosun chair seems not best solution.
I would try a climbing harness or beachcat trapeze harness.
The trapeze harness has the attachment for the line in front so your father can put his hand on the line during operation for some steadiness and the harness is easy to got in and out while seated.
It may seem unconventional solution but you may try it before making up your mind.
As to the boom - nothing to worry about. It will easily take more weight than 200 lbs.
Just arrange some safety solution to stop the line if it slips from your hands, like clutch.
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Old 14-05-2021, 12:19   #14
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

Biron Toss rigging harness has a waist belt and two leg cuffs which would easily attach to whatever hoist you attach to the mast. Much more secure than a bosuns chair
http://briontoss.com/wordpress/wp-co...015/07/308.jpg
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Old 14-05-2021, 12:30   #15
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Re: Designing a "father hoist"

Your problem is a good argument to by a catamaran !

Capt. Claus
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