Another one of the projects I worked on over the winter was a new, simpler way to launch and retrieve Rowan from a crane or hoist. The Cap Sante Marina here in Anacortes has a crane down on Q dock which is not only very convenient from my house, but is also much cheaper than the launching and parking fees at any of the other launch ramps here on Fidalgo Island. Plus, it's kinda nice not to dip your trailer in the salt any more often than you absolutely have to.
I had made a more conventional sling last year with webbing straps that wrap around the hull and big aluminum spreader bars--seen here putting Big Food in--but it is a bulky and awkward thing to stow if I were to need to bring it along with me. And I do have some romantic notions of hoisting Rowan aboard a fishboat headed up the Inside some day. . . .I wanted something quicker and lighter and foolproof, something easy to pack, and something that was very quick and simple to deploy.
I had just made some jacklines out of Amsteel Blue for a client, and so it occurred to me that a lifting sling out of the same stuff was just the ticket. This stuff is much stronger than steel cable of an equivalent size, and much lighter and easier to handle to boot. The only issue with it is that the fibers are so slippery that you really can't trust tying a knot in it, nor should you use conventional, simple splicing methods. But I'd already just practiced the locking Brummel Splice a half dozen times, so a few more were no trouble at all.
I decided to use a three-point attachment as it is much more inherently stable than a single or two-point system. These padeyes are each individually rated to hold six or seven Rowans all by themselves, but I figured it wasn't worth skimping here. It was a little tricky to figure out just where to place them where I could most easily tie into structure that would help distribute the load, yet be out of my way completely when not in use. I settled on mounting them on the bulkheads where they would have fillets and flanges every which way reinforcing and distributing the strains through the monocoque glued-lap hull.
and fwd: As you can see, they are color-coded to make it very easy to know which goes where in a jiff.
The stainless steel carabiners make for an instant and secure on-off. And the whole things stows inside a tiny little stuffsack so I can just bring it along wherever I go in case the need should arise. It took a little bit of fussing to get the lengths just right so it would balance where I wanted it, but don't let me leave you in suspense--here's Rowan. . . .in suspense.