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Thread: DIY Kayak Hoist

  1. #1

    Default DIY Kayak Hoist

    I made a kayak ceiling hoist over the weekend and documented the process. Maybe this will help others. This post is somewhat graphic intensive. I'll convert over to thumbnails when the forums photo section is working again.

    My garage has 12 ft tall ceilings so I have a good amount of dead space above the cars to store items so I decided to build a system to use the mechanical advantage of many pulleys reducing the weight of my tarpon 120. Here is a list of supplies I purchased for this project that ended up being about $50. The quality is a couple steps above your big box sports stores for about the same price.

    • 3ft of angle steel, 14ga (same type of steel used for holding up garage doors), $10
    • 3 pulleys that can be attached to angle steel, non swivel type, $3 each
    • 2 pulleys that attach to the kayak clips, swivel is ok but I used static,
    • kayak hanger straps (I used one made by Harmony), $20
    • ~50-75ft of 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch braided nylon polypropylene rope. make sure the load rating is good. my rope will support 110lbs. $3
    • extra tie down strap. 6ft is a good size. used to keep the strap ends from slipping $3
    • misc 1/4 inch hex bolts, 5/16 lag bolts, lock washers, etc


    The angle steel is really optional if your ceiling joists run in the same direction you will be lining up your kayak when raising but there are advantages to using the angle steel. One of course is you can run your hoist perpendicular to your ceiling joists. The other is you can dynamically move your pulleys near the ceiling between 12, 14 and 16 foot long kayaks by using the punched holes in the angled steel. The straps need to be positioned about 1/3 the way end from each side of the kayak to prevent contortion to your kayak. Do NOT hang your kayak by the handles. Over time this will distort your kayak due to the pressure.

    Ok, first thing is to locate your ceiling joists using a stud finder. Then cut about an 18 inch piece of angle steel and span them between the two joists (typically they are 16 inch center on center). I spanned the two pieces of angled steel by about 5 feet which gives me flexibility in supporting 12-16ft length kayaks following the 1/3 support point rule from each kayak end. This is where the angled steel has its advantage since you can dynamically position your pulleys using the angled steel holes.



    On the tie-off end add a static pulley using hex bolts and and bolt to the angle iron. Also add your rope tie off link to the end



    Now work on the cleat side. Add two static pulleys with a gap between them that compensates for one of the load pulleys that will be below attached to the kayak.



    For the kayak load, add your straps at the 1/3 marks along the yak to help prevent contortion of your hull. Again, Do not tie off at the kayak handles.




    Raise the kayak and tie off using a rope cleat. Notice the blue extra strap attached to each kayak strap end. this prevents the end straps from slipping off each kayak end. Important step





    The 5 pulleys working together create a mechanical advantage of 5:1 which reduces the weight of the kayak from 65lbs to about 12lbs (assuming no friction). I plan on adding one more pulley so the cleat rope end will clear the front of the kayak and that will push the effort down to under 10lbs. the more pulleys you have the more rope you need which means less effort to raise the kayak.

    Shannon Hughes
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Apex
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    329

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    Awesome post man!! Thanks for the pics and explanation...etc.
    Nice looking new kayak, it was fun breaking it in last week huh? Did you post the pic of the cast net throw of the year?
    I may have a fishing problem.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Triad Area & SW VA
    Posts
    1,815

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    That's some slick engineering, back the van in, drop it on the roof and go. Looks like you left room for a bounty of other boats on that ceiling too

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by moseyak View Post
    Awesome post man!! Thanks for the pics and explanation...etc.
    Nice looking new kayak, it was fun breaking it in last week huh? Did you post the pic of the cast net throw of the year?
    yep, its in my album and also in this post
    Shannon Hughes
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    234

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    Harbor freight sells a bike hoist for $10 that can do the same thing. A few simple mods to attach to your boat and ur done. Im currently using two of them to hang canoes.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/bicycle-lift-95803.html

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by damarshall7 View Post
    Harbor freight sells a bike hoist for $10 that can do the same thing. A few simple mods to attach to your boat and ur done. Im currently using two of them to hang canoes.
    i originally looked at a similar model at Dicks Sporting Goods that had a 100lb capacity but the pulley wheels were plastic and the rivets did not look to strong...not strong enough for me to sleep good at night. I also had the issue I wanted to mount perpendicular to my ceiling joists which the angle steel allows. The hoist model at Dicks only allowed mounting inline with a ceiling joist. mounting perpendicular in my situation allows me to get two yaks on each side of the garage for future expansion The pulleys I bought can old 420lbs (definitely overkill, insert Tim Allen arrrghh) which makes the rope the weakest link.
    Shannon Hughes
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  7. #7

    Default

    Very slick. I think this will help alot of people in the future.
    "Them Hardcore boys"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    234

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    Yea, overkill would be a good word for it. I did mount mine across the joists, not inline, i just mounted a piece of scrap wood to the metal base that holds the pulleys and then scrap wood across the joists. More than one way to skin a cat. Im not sure what you will be hoisting that will be more than 100 lbs.

    heck, buy two harbor freight ones, mount to 2x4 side by side and mount 2x4 across joists. Double hoist and the only attachment to the joists will be via the 2x4.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    234

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    another cool trick is to use 2x4 under the kayak to hold it up. Just put eye bolts in each end and attach the rope from the pulley. Then on the bottom of the 2x4 you can mount horizontal rod holders. This allows you to hoist the kayak and your rods out of the way in one quick system
    likes this.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Cary
    Posts
    2,180

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    I have one of those bike hoists and it has a rope "brake" that is a pain. If you can't stand almost directly under it and feed the rope nearly straight up into it, the brake engages. That's fine for a bike since it is almost entirely vertical; the bike frame doesn't push the rope far enough off center to make the brake engage. But hang a boat or hand truck (yeah, I keep a big metal hand truck right over the windshield ) and you end up climbing a ladder to get the brake to allow the rope to feed.

    But it does have a good purpose. Just releasing the rope doesn't put the payload in free fall. Lowering is very deliberate. Something to think about when you say it is overkill - is there any safeguard against that? If a plastic cleat on the wall is the only thing keeping it from releasing, then how well it is attached, how well the rope is secured to it and how easily a horn might be broken off become factors.

    For applications like this, I like cable pulling rope. It is pretty much the same thing as sailing line for a lot less $$, especially in lengths under 100' (find those on eBay all the time; at that length, they are mostly ends from large spools and not useful for pulling cables). It has high strength in low diameters and almost no stretch.
    -Andy ​X

  11. #11

    Default Hoist Parts?

    Great System, could you tell us where you can get the parts?

    Thanks,
    Hummmoss

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Statesville
    Posts
    851

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    Nicely engineered. You might consider turning the boat upside down in the straps. Boats stowed rightside up have an annoying tendency to develop "wows" (deformations) in the hull, even in air conditioned spaces. It doesn't look like you have room to turn the boat on it's side, which is often recommended. but I think you can flip it over in those straps. Stowed upside down will likely pay benefits over the long term. You might consider wider straps...or some material to distribute the pressure over a wider area...
    Richard
    CarolinaMountainSports.com
    Statesville, NC 704 871-1444

  13. #13

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    bought all the parts at Lowes. Actually made a second one a couple weeks ago for my kids tarpon 120. since i made the original i upgraded to a tarpon 140. what is nice about the steel bars is you can adjust the width of pulley spacing to compensate for shorter/longer yaks.

    One change I have made was I ditched the Harmony straps. Some of the stiches were looking weak so I just bought regular friction straps from tractor supply what are rated a couple hundred pounds. No problems since that change and you can get them 5 to the package for about $15

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lift.jpg‎  
    Shannon Hughes
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

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