Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kayak Storage Lift

Ok, now I have a new Kayak, needed to figure out where to store the thing when not in use.  Decided to build a kayak lift pulley system in the garage to lift the kayak up to the rafters and out of the way.  Would like to say this went smoothly but took much longer than expected, more to do with me being finicky on how the thing worked,  went through about 5 variations before I settled on the final one, 17' and just enough room in the garage, limited on options due to the garage door mechanisms so had to lift horizontal to garage door but behind the door opener box.

After spending 4k on a new kayak, figured I wanted this lift to have a few failure points, probably went a little overboard but the last thing I want is to all of a sudden have it crashing down and smashed up because I just tied a rope onto it and lifted up the 56lbs.

There are two lift points, 1 on either side of the kayak,  the design for each side is completely the same so will only explain one side,  intially I had one integrated pulley system but figured if anything broke, everything comes down, this way each side works independently and I also put in some redundancy on each side so I feel more confident.

Instructions for each lift:

Used "U" hook fastener which is bolted with 2" lag bolts into the 2x4 rafters, there are two of these bolted down about 12" apart,  on the outside hook I ancored two 5/8 nylon braided ropes using non slip knots, the ropes go through a floating dual sheave pulley (rated 420lbs) this is the part that will attach to the kayak sling, two ropes are then fed back up to the second "U" hook mount point where I have another fixed dual sheave pulley attached to the "U" Hook with a caribiner, the two ropes are then strung across to the far lifting end of the wall and then fed through another fixed dual pulley connected to a "U" hook fastener and then down the wall (this is the part I pull to lift the kayak)  

Repeat above steps for opposite side of kayak.  This means that there are 4 independent reports being used, and two for each side, logic being that if 1 rope breaks the other will hopefully hold, hate having one failure point. 

For the sling, I used a locking tie down called the Tieboss, this is a neat tie down becuase it has hook (for connecting to the pulley) and hook on the other side that connects back to the first hook mechanism, hence a loop, ah perfect sling.   Then then used a pool noodle and threaded the tie down rope through that. 

To use, just unhook the sling on one side,  wrap under kayak and connect the hook back up,  walk over and pull the ropes, voila.   I do lift partially and then adjust the kayak on it's side to reduce pressure from hanging 99% of the time.  

As an added precaution, once everything is connected up, i have a length of rope with a caribiner on each end, i connect one side to the kayak security post and the other to the pulley holding the sling, this way, if the sling breaks there is an added link that hopefully will provide some measure of support.

I did play around with automating this, either by some winch system or hooking to the garage door, in the end, it's just easier to pull the ropes to lift and then wrap around a 2x4 bolted to the wall joices to prevent it from slipping down.  

Works very well and very proud of my hack job. 

Here is an overview of the design.

Here is what it looks like with the kayak hung up.

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