Boat Lifting & Stands

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 Lifting the Boat

Every year I paint the bottom of the boat and perform various other maintenance tasks. The boat needs to be lifted slightly off the trailer bunks in order to paint under the bunks. The keel work that I have done over the years has also required lifting the boat up a few inches. Lifting the boat up and supporting it can be a bit tricky, and I have found that my boat needs to be lifted in specific areas (called lifting points) to avoid damaging the boat. It is important to lift the boat in an area where the hull is strong and can support the weight of the boat. Normally, when the boat is on the trailer the weight is spread out over a wide area. When the boat is lifted (by a jack) large amounts of weight are concentrated in a small area, which could cause damage to the hull. I put a wood pad that is about 1 square foot on the jack to spread out the load and avoid damaging the fiberglass. Even with a lifting pad, the boat has to be lifted in specific areas where the hull is strong, otherwise the hull could be damaged.

Good lifting points are areas where the interior structure of the boat joins with the hull, giving it added strength. In a trailer sailboat, these are usually at bulkheads and storage compartment separators (see picture). I have found that on the Catalina 22 there are several lifting points along each side, and they are somewhat different between the port and starboard sides. Pictured below are the approximate lifting points of my boat for both port and starboard sides. I usually need to get the boat elevated only a few inches to paint underneath the bunks. Once I lift the boat, I support it in several places with some blocks so it cannot fall.

Interior Structure

This is a view of the storage compartment under the dinette settee on the port side. The interior structure meets the hull in this area and provides a good lifting point. This location corresponds to the aft most lifting point shown in the port side lifting picture below.

Port Side Lifting Points

Lifting points along the port side of my Catalina 22 are show by the red arrows. The port side has lifting points fairly well spaced along the length of the hull.

Starboard Side Lifting Points

Here are the lifting points along the starboard side of my Catalina 22. You can see that the aft-most point is a lot farther forward than on the port side. This is due to a large open storage area along the starboard side.


Boat Stands

I do not currently own a set of boat stands, and generally work on the boat while it sits on the trailer. I made a set of stands, but have not had the need to use them. At some point I will probably buy a set of boat stands, just in case I ever need them.


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