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Almost catastrophe during haul out

Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
So almost had a major catastrophe whith my Hunter 34 during winter haul out today. Upon haul out the yard lift operator caught the back edge of my keel with the aft strap. I have marks on my toe rail where the straps are to be place and also use peices of scrap carpet that I also place between the straps so that the water line and hull can not get scratched. As the straps were place at the markings I noticed that something didn't look right. The aft stap block was in the correct location, however the strap appeared to be at a very slight angle.

The dock hands gave a thumbs up and they began to lift the boat. As the keel came out of the water I spotted the problem and yelled to the operator to stop and drop the boat back into the water. The aft strap was on the edge of the keel. The entire back half of the boat was being supported by three inches of the twenty inch strap. Omg!! If the strap had fallen off my boat would have been totaled. The boat would have crashed into the service bulkhead, the back stay would have crashed into the lift, the rig would have most likely come down, and someone could have been seriously injured.

After this near miss I strongly recommend that everyone take photographs of the under sides of your boat and show them to the lift personal so that they can see where and what's is under your boat. I'm now always going to insist that we have three or more people when lifting my boat, so that this never happens again.

The big leson I have learned today is if something doesn't look quite right then say something. We all know our boats better then they do.

Hopefully this post will prevent this from ever happening to anyone else.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,078
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Wow, that was a close one. Nothing like that has happened to me, yet (knocks on wood). Only thing once was the forward strap crushed my knot meter wheel. Since I tell the lift operator the forward strap has to be just forward of the mast. No problems since.

Glad you caught it in time. Always go with the gut feeling.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,817
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
If that had happened to me, I'd be writing this posthumously :yikes: !

I always place four individual "X" 's made of 2" wide black electrical tape on the wide toe rail to indicate where the lift straps go. Tear off the electrical tape at the end of the haul out and do it again next year.
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,003
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Our boat has decals to mark the proper strap location. As with Brian, never an issue, but I'm always there just to observe and make sure.
 
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Sep 30, 2017
69
Hunter 34 Gunpower Neck - Aberdeen, MD
close call Captain Robbie. Good thing you spoke up. We had a similar issue the first season we hauled at the current marina. the lift operator wasn't familiar with our tapered keel. Luckily, we were looking closely as he lifted and saw the strap wasn't snugly against the hull. so many things can go wrong both hauling and launching, everything has to go right to be successful. Is it spring yet ? :)
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,710
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
Good advice! I had one incident where the strap came up under the prop and the boat was lifted that way. It went between the protective skeg (painted white in the picture) and the prop. It bent the shaft. Another time, before that incident, the strap came up under the skeg and was only partially on the skeg (no harm done because the skeg can support the boat, but it was precarious).
After the bent shaft, I bought an underwater fishing video cam which I duct-tape to a boat hook. It has integrated lights and displays its image on a 5” screen topside. I can check strap position before they lift.
065FC9F6-3472-4883-986E-4442343112D9.jpeg
 
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Jan 1, 2006
5,980
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
On my H356 there were decals for the lift operator marking where to put the straps. When I would look at the boat after haul out the staps marks usually didn't align with the decals. Most the lift operators I've known think they know more about how to haul boats than the people who built them. And they have little respect for the opinion of the boat owner.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
938
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
A club mate's Hunter 38 was hauled via trailer. The wings on the keel were unknown to the hauler. Some how one wing tip got pinched. They tried to float it off after they saw it on the hard. No go. in the end, they took a hammer and broke off the wing tip... Owner was NOT a happy camper...
 
Jun 3, 2004
887
Hunter 34 Toronto, Ontario Canada
A familiar situation! I always instruct the crane crew to bring the aft strap up to the hull about a ft aft of the mark on the toe rail then slide it forward to the mark. That should clear it from catching the prop or being on the prop shaft. I take a close look at the straps when they are up to the hull- they should be about the same length from the water to the top. I also kneel down and watch as the lift starts and look to make sure the strap is not caught on the back of the keel. Have had it happen at least once in the 17 times it has been hauled out.
 
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Dec 14, 2003
1,304
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
Glad catastrophe was avoided. Must have been your lucky day. Perhaps you should have bought a lottery ticket afterwards to see if luck carried. After having lived through almost the same thing, I devised a way to avoid it. I fabricated a weighted line which I drop to the bottom behind the boat, and which I bring against the hull, behind the keel and forward of the shaft, strut, and prop. I then secure both ends tight on each side so I can motor to haul-out area. At my club we use a crane to haul-out. Leaving one end of the crane sling attached to the crane hook, I attach the underwater line to the other end of the sling and then go pull the rope from the other side. The rope acts like a fish and the sling follows it to the other side of the boat where I detach it and secure it to the crane hook. Simple and safe. Been doing it now for several years without a problem. I even put together a pdf with pictures for my club members and several of them are now doing the same. Would need to translate instructions in English, but would be glad to share on this forum if anyone is interested.
 
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Jan 7, 2011
2,814
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
If that had happened to me, I'd be writing this posthumously :yikes: !

I always place four individual "X" 's made of 2" wide black electrical tape on the wide toe rail to indicate where the lift straps go. Tear off the electrical tape at the end of the haul out and do it again next year.
Yep! My boat has “Sling” labels, but they are on the sides and the Travel Lift operator cannot see them (neither can I from the helm)....so I stick some tape on the toe rail and over the deck so we can all see them...

Greg
 
Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
Mike, on the H34 the strap marks should be aligned to the mast compression post beam and in the center of the 1st stanchion in front of the galley and opposite port window of the aft berth.
 
Dec 14, 2003
1,304
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
where should I put lift marks on my H34?
Mike, on the H34 the strap marks should be aligned to the mast compression post beam and in the center of the 1st stanchion in front of the galley and opposite port window of the aft berth.
The 34 has 2 different keel versions. Fin keel at 5'6'' and shoal draft at 4'3''. I have the shoal draft version and the keel is 10 feet long. Once under tension, the lift straps on my boat are located like this: front strap about 1 foot forward of the mast compression post and rear strap about even with the last stanchion (itself not far from the port and starboard portholes).

Capt Robbie, am I correct in assuming the marks you describe are for the fin keel model ?
 
Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
The 34 has 2 different keel versions. Fin keel at 5'6'' and shoal draft at 4'3''. I have the shoal draft version and the keel is 10 feet long. Once under tension, the lift straps on my boat are located like this: front strap about 1 foot forward of the mast compression post and rear strap about even with the last stanchion (itself not far from the port and starboard portholes).

Capt Robbie, am I correct in assuming the marks you describe are for the fin keel model ?
Shoal draft version is what I have , I will post photo the next time I am at the boat yard.