Moving a boat sideways with rollers!

When I erected the shelter over Kyria I had to build it tight against the cradle on her starboard side as there was a working slipway on that side and I couldn't put it any further over.  This provided plenty of space for working on the port side, but no room whatsoever to work on the starboard side.

I therefore needed to move Kyria over to port about 2ft or 0.6m so that I would have enough room to work on the starboard side.  The only problem was that I couldn't use a crane or any other type of lifting machinery as there is no easy access to the site!

​I therefore decided that the best way of moving her would be to jack the cradle up so that I could place rollers underneath and then use a lever hoist to pull the cradle over.  This entailed having to dig around the cradle first in order to be able to get the jacks underneath as the base of the cradle had sunken into the beach over time.  I also had to lay planks on the beach for the rollers to roll along as otheriwse they would just sink into the beach and clearly wouldn't roll.

When building the shelter I had to leave room for boats to be able to go up on the slipway immediately adjacent to Kyria's location

The cradle partially jacked up in preparation for placing the planks and rollers beneath it in order to pull it across

Jacking up the cradle and positioning the rollers

I had two low profile 2 ton trolley jacks that I used to lift one end of the cradle at a time.  I then placed blocks underneath the cradle to support it so that I could then lift the other end and block that up in the same way.

There was nothing suitable to hand to use for the rollers and so I purchased some round timber fence posts.  These were about 2 metres in length and 3 inches (75mm) in diameter.  I would have gone for larger diameter posts to allow the cradle to roll more easily, but at the time I didn't think there would be room without jacking it up a long way.  In the event the 3" posts were a little small and I had to place 3" x 3" timbers on top of these in order to raise the cradle off the ground sufficiently for the centre support below the cradle to clear the ground.​

Once I had positioned the rollers I then lifted the cradle with the jacks again, removed the blocks from underneath and gently lowered it onto the rollers.​

Pulling the boat over

I then attached a rope strop to the base of a tree at the top of the beach and used a lever hoist to haul the boat and cradle over.  Once the cradle was high enough to clear the ground it actually hauled over quite easily.  I had attached a couple of ropes on the other side of the cradle so that I could check the movement if necessary, but these were not needed.  The cradle only moved when I worked the handle on the lever hoist and then stopped due to friction when I ceased pumping the handle.

Jacking the cradle up to position the rollers

Working the lever hoist to pull the cradle over

Timelapse video

Below is a brief timelapse video showing the process.  Actually jacking up and moving the boat took just over an hour, but here it is compressed down to less than 30 seconds!  The preparation work for moving her took about a day in total, but is not shown here.

After moving Kyria over I then had plenty of room to start working on the starboard side. 

The next post will be about removing the epoxy fairing compound from the starboard side.  I managed to work out a quicker method of removing the epoxy, which thankfully speeded up the process quite a bit compared to when I did the work on the port side.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment below and please share with anyone that may be interested!

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