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Lifting Straps for a Dinghy

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by FIQ, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. FIQ

    FIQ Member

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    Hey Guys..

    Today I bought a Boston Whaler 11 to use as a dinghy for my Navigator Classic.
    The cradle for the dinghy is over the cockpit topside.
    It didn't come with lifting straps, but it is set up for a 3 point system.
    My question is this...How would I go about buying the proper length cables with eyes?
    All the ones I've seen on other boats had eyes with hooks finished off with a compression sleeve.
    Is it trial and error to find the right combination? I don't want to use standard cable clamps to make the proper lengths because I don't think it would work over time, not to mention the risk of injury while handling.
    I know that the lifting hook has to be near the transom because of the weight of the OB, fuel tank, and battery.
    Do you think that if I lower the davit hook over the cradle I would be able to approximate the the lengths for the 2 transom cables and the 1 bow cable?
    How would I tweak it if the balance point is a bit off?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    There isn't a lot of weight so you can use lines to rig a temporary lifting harness and set it so the dink comes up level. A small whaler with engine and stuff is probably 600-800lbs so each line only carries 200 to 300lbs. No big deal. Once you have the lines set up to lift it level, measure them and go to your nearest Marine store and make your harness.

    Btw, I will never use a welded ring again.... I had one split and drop the tender, luckily only 4' off th water. Now I only use oversized schackles.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Boston Whaler does sell a lifting strap for that dinghy. But the straps are too long, so you usually cannot get it over the hardtop or whatever. Call UMT as they make them day in and day out and might have the specs. I use braided s/s cable (nylon coated.)
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Yep, that's the right stuff to use. We also used to whip the crimp ends with elk hide so that the leather protected the gelcoat when lowered into the boat. I'm sure heatshrink would do the same.
  5. praetorian47

    praetorian47 Member

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    I've got a new dinghy for the new boat coming in spring and will be lifting it on the bow. My last dinghy, from the same dealer, came with wide nylons strap like a seat belt doubled up. Would the braided stainless be better?
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes. Stronger and safer. UMT did a lifting harness for me for a 11 Boston Whaler about 3 years ago, they should have the lengths and be able to make you one.
  7. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    There are much better alternatives to nylon covered wire cable, one being Spectra rope. Spectra 1000 rope as ten times the tensile strength of a similar sized wire cable but it is soft and pliable with zero stretch and high cut resistance. A very large number of yachts have removed "wire rope" from their lifting harnesses, davits and gantry cranes and switched to spectra .
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  8. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I like the weight of the stainless ones as they tend not to get wrapped around steering wheels/throttle controls that are breakable if the tender is rocking around in a swell.
  9. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Lately I'm seeing more Spectra being used when it's time to replace the braided cable. Both harness and davit cable too.
  10. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    That's a good point. Nylon covered wire rope certainly is rigid, heavy or stiff enough that it wont wrap itself around a throttle binnacle or such bouncing around when launching or retrieving a tender but Spectra or either Amsteel is really easy to coil & is very light weight and will stow easily where as wire rope, not so much. Spectra wont corrode from the core or inside out like wire rope nor will it ever develop " fish hooks" Just personal knowledge from use and watching manufacturer's like Akerboom , Cramm, Nautical Structures & Steel Head switch from the old wire rope to Spectra on their winch drums. Spectra is used on sailing yachts as running back stays in lieu of stainless wire rope or stainless wire rigging. That in itself testifies to its strength and durability .
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  11. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    That's the third time that "Braided Cable" has been mentioned in this thread. What is that? I've never heard of Braided cable, Is this something new? Is it like braided cordage but made from stainless wire & "braided" ? I didn't know that this exists in the market place but it sounds interesting to say the least...
  12. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Braided is not technically correct ...it's just what a lot of people call it. It's cable. Technically, I think it's wire rope?
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    They both have pluses and minuses. Personally I prefer the wire rope. When lowering the spectra harness it doesn't have much weight except the shackles and tends to wind around itself(harness)if it's windy and such. OTOH you can store the spectra harness in the tender and just lower the davit cable and eye, I'd always prefer wire rope on the davit cable for it's stiffness and weight. I'm not familiar with other companies, but honestly not very impressed with a nautical structures davit that is installed on one yacht I manage and the yacht is a 2013.

    The later wire rope harnesses have had a clear plastic cover (instead of white plastic) so you can see what's going on with the wire (corrossion etc.) inside of it.
  14. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    If you use the hollow single braid, it's easy to eye-splice and you can also stiffen it with nylon tube or leader by inserting it into the hollow center, or, you can put bungee in the center and have it self-shorten. I've used this:
  15. wannapost50

    wannapost50 New Member

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    I have a 14' Caribe with 60hp Yamaha O/B and a Brower Davit. The SS wire rope on the Davit was starting to show it's age (Non Coated) so I switched to Spectra, the immediate benefit is no Meat Hooks with Spectra. I had a 3 point lifting bridle made at the same time for the Caribe, I'm very happy with the outcome, as somebody mentioned now the Bridle stays with the Caribe under a seat. For what it's worth Spectra is not cheap stuff expect to pay significantly more than the SS Wire Rope, I had a Sailmaker / Rigger do all of the splices and I agree 100% don't ever trust a welded SS Ring. The Spectra is infinitely Stronger, lighter, in my opinion it's safer. My only concern is the last 18" that the snap shackle is attached to is exposed to UV and it also has about a 4 lb. weight to help pay out line. I guess I could have the rigger do a nylon braided cover for that area. I guess I could end for end it every few months as well. I'm only lifting onto the bow of a 54 Bertram nothing overhead, but I'm guessing the Caribe and motor are a lot heavier than an 11 foot whaler.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I don't like coated SS cable because you don't see the condition of the cable.. it could be rusting to failure and you won't know.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The newer stuff is coated with clear plastic/rubber and you can clearly see the braided cable inside of it.
  18. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Wire rope will fail from the core out so it doesn't matter if its clear or not. Amsteel and Spectra are just far superior to the old school wire rope. Why do you call Stainless cable "Braided" ? Still scratching my head over this.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Because even though it's officially called Wire Rope or Stainless Cable, it's still individual stainless wires/strands that are braided together to make up the stainless cable
  20. FIQ

    FIQ Member

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    Thanks for all of the info!
    Capt J, I e mailed UMT and have yet gotten a reply.
    I'll try calling them tomorrow.

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