Plan A – Winging it

We hauled Sal’s little boat for the winter and now it is time to set it free.

That means bottom painting and engine servicing.  In theory, no big deal.  In practice, it is a smidge more difficult.  The reason: even little boats and little engines aren’t light.  The boat weighs around 750-800 pounds and the engine is around 125 – 130.  The beach is rocky and the deck is ten feet above high tide.  Of course, we already had it hauled but not onto the actual deck and not upside down.  To get it upside down meant that Sal and I had to move it and flip it.

In theory, ‘no big deal’ but we had also received about two tons of decking and stair material for re-doing our mid deck and stairs.  The lower deck was jammed.  

The boat was on the funicular.  The lumber was in the way and the boat needed unloading, dismantling and flipping.  And Sal is just not as strong as she was…….

We needed a crane.

So….I installed my crane.  Unfortunately the little crane is pick-up truck sized and has less than half the capacity or reach as we needed.  Which both Sal and I related to.

The trick was to get the three entities, each lacking capacity and ability, to somehow manage the simple-in-concept task of painting the bottom of the boat on a pile of jumble without getting hurt or broken in the process.

We are halfway there.

The first task after the crane installation was to lift the boat off the funicular.  We achieved that by using the crane to lift one end and us lifting the other.  And that was attempted after dismantling everything in the boat (engine, railings, equipment).  That went well even though I lifted like an Olympian and Sal lifted like two.

“So, there it is.  Right side up.  Let’s flip it.”


“We stand on the pile and lift.  When it is vertical on it’s side, we dance around to the other side and slowly let it go down.”

“How do we dance while holding a boat vertically and standing on a pile of lumber?”

“Good question.  Maybe we should think on that.”

Two days later, I had figured it out.

“So, how do we do it?”

“I have to make an A-frame that will straddle the woodpile.  But first, let’s go down again and feel how heavy it is.”

We lifted.  Groans and shrieked warnings were uttered.  We got the boat on edge.

“I thought we were just getting a feel!” 

“Not the time to get technical on me, Sal.  You dance to the other side and keep it on balance while I do my dance to get there with you.”

“What if I can’t hold it?  What if it falls?”

“Then it will be all your fault, won’t it.?”

“This WAS your plan, wasn’t it?”

“Winging it is always plan A, Sal.  Doing it right is always plan B.  You know that.”


6 thoughts on “Plan A – Winging it

  1. Hmmm.
    I had to lower a 800lb hottub off a 20ft high deck WITHOUT breaking it OR crushing the prized palm tree below.
    Took a few hours but I did it and without a chain hoist.
    By myself.
    Take too long to explain but lets just say, rope, knots and friction is a wonderful thing


  2. Love the new tool addition, keep thinking of putting a 20 foot boom crane on the front mast, could lift 10,000 lbs on to the front deck to work on it. Just don’t have the cajones yet to make it so!


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