Christine DeMerchant's boat Cricket

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Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club
Keelboat Launch.

Have you ever wondered how keelboats are taken out of the water in the Fall and put back in in the Spring?

Launching keelboats at my boat club

The answer is simple, with a big crane. The crane is built in a big truck and has side supports to brace itself. The crane then telescopes itself skyward. The boat is supported by a square steel frame that holds 4 webbing straps. These are hooked around the bottom of the boat and the crane just lifts the boat to the water

keelboat launch at the toronto sailing and canoe club tscc

The reason a square frame is used is to keep the lines from squeezing in the sides of the boats.

The steel support is connected to a pulley and steel cable. Its a surprisingly small cable, maybe a half inch. The boats are loaded on the support slings in a couple of minutes and the operator deposits the boat by the dock in even less time. The whole process takes about 5 minutes per boat.

A keelboat soars effortlessly through the air at boat launching day for toronto sailing and canoe club, tscc

Some keelboats are not very big or heavy but some are quite large, 30 or more feet, and weigh well over a tonne with their lead or cast iron keels. My Tanzer has a cast iron keel that weights well over a thousand pounds.

boat launching day for toronto sailing and canoe club, tscc

The skill of the operator is quite impressive. He seems to be able to control his load without getting much swaying motion or any jerking. The boat just glide through the air and land gently in the water inches from the dock.

Empty cradles will be folded up and piled up using a forklift. TSCC

We also launched a new dock being built. It still needs some deck boards but it was feared that these would make the dock too heavy to launch easily. I'm not sure how they intend to lift it out in the Fall though?

The empty cradles can be folded up and get piled up neatly. We rent a forklift to do this. Once the yard is cleared we can use it to store the sailing dinghies. The club houses all kinds of boats. Wayfairers race all summer. We also have Lasers, Optimists, and at least one Skerry!!! There is an active canoeing group with kayaks, canoes and large Dragon Boats as well as a few large outrigger canoes with amas.

crane in front of the toronto sailing and canoe club, tscc

Soon the crane is tidied up and ready to leave. A good thing because the hourly rate is quite high.

We had a short thunder storm and the crane had to telescope it's extensions inward and stop till the storm passed us.


bathing bird

Calm returns to the yard and a little bird get the chance to take his bath. Meanwhile we go home and get ready for a new sailing season.




emails: Christine

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[ HOME ] [ My Boat related web pages ] [ I Built a Tender for my Tanzer ] [ Boatbuilding resources ] [ ROPE MATERIALS USED IN BOATS, COMPARISON ] [ TEN ESSENTIAL KNOTS ALL SAILORS SHOULD KNOW ] [ BUILDING A SKERRY SAILBOAT ] [ FREE STITCH AND GLUE BOAT PLANS ] [ TANZER 22 MAIN PAGE ]