How do I keep travelift slings from topsides - SailNet Community

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Old 01-22-2014
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How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

We have just had our yacht vinyl wrapped and we want to keep the topsides protected when hauling out with a travelift. Our topsides have a degree of tumblehome and as a result the slings press on to the hull above the waterline. As the slings take the weight they stretch and move across the vinyl and we have tears in the wrap which we have repaired but want to avoid this problem happening again. Has anyone tried placing fenders on the waterline bottom paint to pad out the slings so they dont contact the hull above the waterline? If so were inflatable fenders used ( our boat weighs 20 tons and we are concerned that inflatable fenders might burst with the side pressure form the slings)? Any other suggestions to protect the vinyl from the sling movement abrasion?
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

The times I have seen it done we used 4x4s instead of fenders. Strap width lengths of 4x4 were placed under the straps and held in place until the straps took up the slack.
It's been too long to remember but I assume the wood pieces were wrapped in something to protect the hull.
Sorry I can't be more specific.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

Thanks for the idea. I suppose I could wrap the 4x4 in something like EVA foam and have some way of lowering them to the waterline once we enter the travelift dock. At least the 4x4 would not give way as an inflatable fender would if it exploded under the strain. I wonder about point loading on the hull?? Guess it would depend on how much pressure is applied by the slings which I have no idea about.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

I have no experience with vinyl wrapped hull..

To protect the topsides we use pieces of carpet with to lines attached (x4).
We hang these so they protect the topsides from the slings with the flossy side towards the hull.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

Thanks for your comment.
The vinyl seems to be susceptible to shearing force when the slings move against it under pressure as they are tightened up. They only need to move as little of 1/4inch to possibly cause a tear. I guess if the carpet could absorb this movement it would assist. Maybe a long pile carpet would be best.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

I can't believe it ! When we purchased our boat, there were several strips of carpet aboard, approx 12" x 60", with a hole poked through one end and strings attached. I never figured out what they were for until just now! The PO must have tied them to the lifelines to pad the slings. He was extremely OCD, so he would have wanted to protect the painted topsides. The fibers were constantly coming out, so I tossed them some time ago, but a better carpet could have been used.

Anyway, our marina uses what looks like small yoga pads. I'm not sure they would prevent the shearing that the OP is looking to prevent, as much as they keep buckles and hard stuff from scratching the paint.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

???? the yard doesn't have something to put inbetween the hull and the straps? Places on the ches bay use carpet or foam as a buffer.
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

Wouldn't it be easier to have the boat wrapped once it's out of the water?
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Re: How do I keep travelift slings from topsides

Ditto on Chesapeake marinas using pads. I've had my boat hauled out at three different marinas. While wasn't SOP, when I pointed out that the hull is awl gripped, all three used pads between the hull and slings. One marina even used clean cotton towels in addition to pads. If you haven't already talked to your marina, give it a shot. They might have a way of dealing with painted top sides that would also solve your particular problem.
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