Inspired by ideas from some other forum members I recently installed a hoist
in my garage to stow two Hobie Sports and a few accessories. I am posting the photos and some design details here in case others might find such an arrangement usefull.
- Working load estimated at 200lbs
- Max combined boat width 62" as installed but the design could easily be adjusted for any width and length that will fit in the space.
- Accomodates unbalanced loads (eg: one boat off center) and lifts straight up floor to ceiling without swinging or tilt.
- Electric driven for effortless lifting.
- Can lower the boats directly onto a cartop carrier.
- The ropes attach to the cradles with clips so they can be easilly detached after the boats are lowered.
This photo shows the boats on the floor. As you can see, there isn't much spare room in the garage, hence the need for the lift.
This shows the boats in the stowed position, about 6' 3" off the floor and easilly clearing our Suburu Outback and my 6' head.
One boat loaded off center, works fine. You can also see the pulleys and winch.
A better look at the pulleys. More on the layout geometry later.
The winch has a control box that hangs down so it is accessable. Later a bungee was added to hold this out of the way until needed.
The eight pulleys and hardware were about $50-60 at Lowes. The winch is from Harbor Freight, was $99 on sale, list is $140 (ITEM 96127-2VGA). The winch is 120v AC rated at 1500lbs with about 36' of steel cable. It should be noted this winch is not
rated for overhead lifting, perhaps because it lacks a safety limit switch. I found it suitable for my purposes, you will have to make your own determination. The pulley layout may look a bit odd but it is designed to meet three critical requirements:
- The four primary (lifting) pulleys must be directly above the attachment points on the 2x2 cradles.
- The four secondary pulleys bring all ropes in direct alignment with the winch cable so the winch moves each by the same distance. These two requirements insure that the cradles always lift straight up without swinging or tilting, even if the load is unbalanced.
- The distance between the secondary pulleys and the winch must be greater than the intended lifting distance floor to ceiling, in this case about 7'.
Of course the winch doesn't have to be electric, a boat trailer winch or even a come-along could be used if you take care not to drop the load! Harbor Freight has a manual winch (5798-0VGA), like a boat winch but the crank moves horizontally instead of vertically to eliminate interference with the ceiling. If you have the space you could add a pulley and mount a manual winch on the wall for accessability. You would have to find a different pulley, however, as that application would exceed the working load of the other pulleys used here.
I hope these ideas will prove helpfull, or at least interesting, to someone.