Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
  Whaler fell down... I'm very Lucky!

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Whaler fell down... I'm very Lucky!
Jamber posted 03-08-2004 01:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jamber   Send Email to Jamber  
My wife and I had a great afternoon and evening out on our 16 Duantless this past Saturday. The day was beautiful and had a full bright moon to light our way home...

When we got home, my wife helped me unload the Whaler and then went inside as I hoisted the Whaler up with the davits.
Once all the way up, I went to swing the Whaler in over land to set it down on blocks like I always do. I had it a little more than half way over land when all of the sudden the stern dropped to the ground with a huge thud, almost landing on my foot! I thought the cable broke, but then noticed it was fine. In a state of shock, I walked over to the other side and shined my flash light to find that the concrete base for the davit cracked and lifted up, tilting the whole davit over, which caused the boat to fall down. The stern was only about a foot high from the ground, so fortunately it was a short fall.

Here are some photos I took Sunday morning in the light.

My neighbor was on his porch and heard the loud thud, he came running over thinking I was crushed under the hull. Thank goodness I was not! It came very close to coming down on my foot. If it would have fell down after I got the boat fully swung in, it could have happened while my hands were under the stern setting the rear blocks or removing the drain plug, my head would have been under the engine! I feel very lucky. I'm also very lucky my Whaler did not fall while it was over the water or closer to the seawall. That could have caused major damage to the hull and the davit could have toppled over onto the Whaler. So thankful I was not injured.

The davits are rated for 2000lbs EACH. My Whaler is about 2000lbs total with gear and fuel. But it was not the davit that failed, the concrete should have been poured much thicker and reinforced with metal. Or the base of the davit should have not been placed as close as it was to the canal. But then the arm would be to short to keep the boat away from the seawall when over the canal. It just looks like poor engineering to me.
The davits were installed in 1981, long before we bought the house in 2002.

Now I have to figure out how to lift up the Whaler and get it on the trailer... any thoughts?


Marlin posted 03-08-2004 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Wow, that could have been a LOT worse, for you and your boat. Whoever poured that base must have been thinking in terms of compression load, not torque load - concrete's not very good in tension. Glad you're okay!

One technique I've seen used for getting a small boat back on a trailer is to manuever that trailer around to the front of the boat, wet down the grass with a hose, and just winch the boat on. With the trailer unhitched, you can tilt the tongue up to help get the boat on. In your case, you'd have to spin the boat around first.

Another approach might be to block the boat up where it lays now, fix the davit base (both of them, while you're at it) and you're back to your usual method.

Good luck!


Moe posted 03-08-2004 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Can you swing the bow in from where she lays now?

Jamber posted 03-08-2004 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
I did block the boat where it is right now, just to be safe so that it would not fall over and also to take weight of the other davit.

I do not want to have the boat that close to davit when I repair it. Space would be a little tight on that side, considering I would have remove the davit and maybe even jack hammer out the old cement base.

I have enough room to get the trailer in there. I just need to rotate the bow in. I'm thinking if I can jack the boat up a bit, and get a piece of wood under the stern, I will be able to swing the bow in.

Jim Ray posted 03-08-2004 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jim Ray  Send Email to Jim Ray     
I have been lurking and reading for a couple of weeks, but your plight got my attention, as I appear to have the same brand of davits. Mine are bolted each to a pressure treated piling, and I will swing the boat in over a wooden dock.

My 170 is supposed to be delivered next week. I may spend some time this weekend trying to figure out how to load test my davits. They also came with the house when I bought it.

The suggestion about wetting the grass sounds like a good idea to me, as far as not marring the hull.

Thanks for the heads up, let us know how the repair goes.
Jim Ray

Jerry Townsend posted 03-08-2004 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Jamber - You were lucky - but provided a very good lesson for everyone - don't put any part of the body under anything that can fall!

Consider getting a 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 under the bow and the stern and then swing it over. That should avoid damaging the grass. If that isn't possible - wet the grass (don't soak the ground) and swing it over.

Regarding jacking - don't put a jack directly under the boat or you will damage the glass. Consider renting an automotive engine hoist (wheeled, hydraulic operated portable boomed hoist) to lift from the bow or stern eyelets - or a sling around and under each end of the hull.

I doubt if it is an engineering failure - rather the outfit or person building the hoist/davit system probably just poured a little concrete thinking that it should do the job - without the benefit of any knowledgable help. Note the small diameter bolts - from the photographs, they are small - but I'm not sure how small. And those bolts and surrounding metal appear to be corroded - so you might want to correct that problem as well. ---- Jerry/Idaho

kingfish posted 03-08-2004 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

If your heading over the first photo is correct, in that the concrete base had no internal reinforcement, that is the whole story. Also,heed Jerry Townsend's remark about examining the bolts if they are 20+ years old. That situation was a perfect opportunity for a really well reinforced and well anchored base. 2 or 3 each #4 (1/2")re-bars in each direction would have been enough to hold it together, and if 3 or 4 similar-sized re-bars had been drilled and grouted into the top of the seawall then poured into the base(s), it would have *never* come loose. Food for thought when you re-build. No reason in the world to move the davit further from the water.

Glad there was no damage to you or yours-


Chuck Tribolet posted 03-08-2004 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Rather than tieing into the top of the seawall, I'd run an
L shaped piece of steel over the top of the davit base and
down the face of the seawall, attaching it with expansion
bolts of some sort. The davit would be bolted through the L
into the concrete. I'd hot-dip galvanize the L.

I suspect that the failure occured over a small amount of
(a second or so), and the bending of the base of the davit
resisted the drop some.

Be glad you had the motor well and truely tipped.


LHG posted 03-08-2004 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
That mounting pad not was designed (re-inforced) for the 375# leveraged weight of the 4-stroke. Back in 1981, a V-6 200 only weighed that much, and would not have been used on such a short boat as the lift was designed for. The Dauntless is also pretty heavy for it's size. To most small builders/contractors who would have installed it (probably the davit company itself), they never would have thought of using re-bar, tieing it in to the seawall, or using more mass. That's just the way it is unfortunately.
kglinz posted 03-08-2004 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
You're just amazing. You found another reason those damned 4 strokes will be the death of us all.
Jamber posted 03-08-2004 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Thanks guys for all the good suggestions and interesting comments!

The nuts and bolts on the davits are fine, mostly surface rust. But I will take a very close look at them again.
When we purchased the house two years ago and before I ever used the davits to lift my Whaler, about a year and a half a go, we inspected everything and replaced/upgraded the davit cables, motors, wiring, and drive belts. We also greased the fittings and replaced the few heavly rusted nuts and bolts with SS ones and made sure everything was tight. Never thought to concrete would give way or was not designed for my heavy Duantless with the FourStroke ;)

I have lifted and lowered my Whaler on these davits about
30-40 times. I guess each time, slowly weaking the concrete.

My dad came up with a great idea to lift the stern of the boat up, then we will back the trailer under it. Here is his idea. Looking at this photo here:
If we can remove those four nuts that are holding the davit to the concrete base. I will spray them with some penetrating oil over the next few days before we attempt this.
Then carefully lift and then slide the davit to the left, so the right side holes on the metal davit base line up with the two studs on the left in the concrete base and bolt it back down to those two studs.
Then there would still be enough leverage on the concrete base to lift the stern of the Whaler up (keep the stern over land to the left of the davit).
Finally swing the bow in and then roll the trailer under it and let is back down.

What do you think?

My dad plans to come over on Saturday and help me out with this. What ever we end up doing, I will take some photos and post them.

Still not sure about rebuilding / pouring new thicker reinfoirced bases yet. I'm considering some other options, a jet dock or what I think I like best is a new 5k lbs elevator lift like my dad has for his Whaler:
Right now, I just want to get the Whaler on the trailer safely.

Thanks agian for the suggestions and comments.


LHG posted 03-08-2004 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Kemp - Just imagine if he'd had a Honda 115 instead of that lightweight Yamaha!
DaveH posted 03-09-2004 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     

Glad you were not injured. I looked very closely at the photos of the failure. Several things come to mind:

1) The bolts were fine. The were certainly strong enough to prevent the davits from lifting off its concrete base. The base itself was insufficient and was lifted by the moment force (almost like torque on the base) created by the davits.

2) The concrete failed along the transition plane from compression forces to tensile forces. You can see this by the 45 degree angle of the failure (denoting shear) directly under the base. If rebar was used, it may not have failed since the rebar is designed to be placed near the bottom of a poured concrete slab to take of the tensile forces. The additional problem of the concrete dock cap acting as a fulcrum (concentration point load) under the davit slab also contributed to the failure. The slab was too thin and incorrectly poured in relation to the existing dock cap. The slab design should be equal to or exceed the rating of the davits

3) The concrete cap of the exisitng dock appears to have a hole drilled in which the davit bolts were grouted. You can see the cone shaped plug of concrete pulled out under the davit plate.

I would seek out a competent, licensed dock builder who would either fix your existing system with a proper reinforced slab and a suitable load bearing surface area, or have the hoist installed as your father has. I like the exterior hoist if it is possible.

Backlash posted 03-09-2004 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

WOW, glad no one was hurt...including the boat.

All excellent comments - I think your Dad's idea is a good one, but I think I would prefer Jerry's solution of renting a hydraulic engine hoist. These can be rented from U-Haul for around $19.95/day and simply hook up to your tow vehicle for transport home.

Kemp - the real problem was the YAMAHA four-stroke!


Jamber posted 03-09-2004 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Thanks for the technical description of what happened... and I thought it just got busted! :)

I will look into renting the engine hoist, but I'm think my dad's suggestion will work fine.


Jamber posted 03-09-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Here is a quick illustration of my dad's idea I did with PhotoShop.
Most of the metal base will still be supported by the concrete.
Of course this will only work if I keep the Whaler over land.
This is just so I can lift the Whaler up, swing the bow in over land, and get the trailer under it.


RFK posted 03-09-2004 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Almost all the canals I have seen in Florida has some work boat with a small crane working on someone's davits. Wouldn't it be worh it to hire one to come over and lift the stern and with the bow davit lower the boat to the to the water? Keep everybody from getting hurt and the boat scratched.
Ed Stone posted 03-09-2004 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I think your dads idea about moving the davit would
work fine.All of the stress would be on those bolts
that have held the boat over the water.

Now would be the time to repair both davit pads.
The rebar in the new concrete should be bent in a
L-shape to follow the contour of the seawall.

The cradle lift would also be a great idea.Just be
sure to buy one large enough to accomadate your next

One more thing,is the bow pulpit on your fathers
Outrage a factory item?
Good Luck! Ed Stone

LHG posted 03-09-2004 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Steve - You may be right. If he'd had a nice lightweight Tohatsu 40 on it, this wouldn't have happened!!
daverdla posted 03-09-2004 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I'd get a structural engineer to look at it. I'm in the construction business, on the electrical side, so I guess I'm predisposed to calling an engineer. I'm sure some of the local engineers must have dealt with this problem before. Look up a couple in the phone book and give them a call. You might catch one on a good day and get some free advice. I'm surprised that engineered drawings weren't required for the installation of that davit.

Regarding you dad's idea, I may not understand what you're proposing but I'm concerned that the pad may lift off the ground You'll have a decent moment from the arm of the davit and it looks like what's left of the pad is just sitting on dirt.

I'm glad you, your wife and your whaler escaped unharmed. Good luck and BE CAREFUL!


Jamber posted 03-10-2004 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     

My dad is the second owner, I asked him and he is not sure if the bow pulpit factory or not. Please feel free to post a link to the photos in the Classic section and ask the same question, I bet they would know.


DaveH posted 03-10-2004 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
LOL. Yes, it done just broke ;-)

For your land yacht issue, I would see what is available in the tool rental market. Home Depot has a great selection of rental equipment. I use them all the time. I would look for an engine hoist to move the boat to a trailer.

If positioning is a problem , see if you can borrow a few sheets of plywood to create a smooth floor on the lawn and rent a piano dolly. A piano dolly is a set of four industrial caster wheels which are mounted to a small wood frame with carpet on it. You can lift the stern a foot off the ground, slide the dolly under, and move the stern in any direction easily. Then you can position the bow on the trailer and winch it on.

Good luck.
By the way, is your Dad still selling his Outrage?

LHG posted 03-10-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The bow pulpit on the 18 Outrage IS the factory option. The boat must be 1989-91, since it has the welded one piece bow rail. Alonmg with Mills canvas, that was one of the most under-sold options on the Outrages, 1986-1993. Cost was about $500 extra.
Jamber posted 03-10-2004 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     

Yes it is still for sale, I think he had someone coming today to look at it. I think he is making a mistake by selling it. Awesome riding boat, flys with that Honda 130.

LHG, Thanks for the info, are you sure about the option is only 89-91? My dad's Whaler is an 88, (I guess he could be wrong).

Tom W Clark posted 03-10-2004 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The welded bow rail first appeared on the Outrage 18 in 1987 or 1988. I know this because my friend owned one. His boat was built in MA, not FL.

The bow pulpit option came out in 1986.

Jamber posted 03-13-2004 03:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
Love it when a plan comes together!

My Whaler is now safely on the trailer!

We did it the way my dad suggested and it went very smooth, no problems. Took about an hour.

I tried to take photos at every step, but I missed a few, since I kinda had my hands full... but you get the idea.

I'm still shocked that who ever poured the davit cement bases did not use rebar and only tied it in to the seawall a couple of two in anchors. I looked around at some other neighbor's davit setups. They are all so much thicker than mine.

Still not sure if I'm going to hire someone to put the davits on new thicker, reinforced, and anchored bases or have a boat lift installed like my dad's. I need to get some quotes.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and comments.


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 03-13-2004 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Any hull damage?
Jamber posted 03-13-2004 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
I'm very lucky! No hull damage, every thing looks good. Just one mark were we blocked the stern and it rubbed on the wood as we winched it onto the trailer, which looks like it will wax out.

SuburbanBoy posted 05-26-2004 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
What is the resolution of the davit problem? Did you replace the concrete pad, or purchase a different type of lift? You are very lucky, this could have been a fatality.


Moe posted 05-26-2004 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
This is the follow-up message:

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.