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Garage Dinghy Storage


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I would love to see how you store your dinghy in your garage during winter.  

I have my first dinghy, RS Zest, and am planning to store it on its side, up against a wall.  I figured I would put a few 2x4's down to rest the rail on, and then rig some canvas belts around it, with a way to pivot it onto its side from the dolly.

The boom and mast can rest on some high wall hooks.

This whole idea is just kind of half-baked, in my mind.  I'm hoping to get some good ideas here.  Would love to see pictures.

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I think there's a chance that a zest could deform/bend if sat on its side for a long time. More likely it it was hot. The boat it heavy and flexible. 

Upside down or the right way up, well supported, is best. Either just sat on the trolley or pulled up under the rafters if you're short on space.

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I store a Sunfish upside down on a pulley system attached to the rafters of my garage. It keeps the boat away from my wife's car and helps dry out the hull (I leave the drain hole open) over the winter. Total cost of the system was under $50. Harken made a similar system a number of years ago but I don't know if it is still available.

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I know a lot of glass dinghies are made for this. And then I see rotomolded boats deforming around dolly straps and I worry. Let us know how it goes! I tie my laser to the wall of my garage, deck to studs, and put a chunk of polystyrene between the floor and rail.

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I hung a Contender from the ceiling about 40 years ago.  Used simple eye-bolts positioned just wider than the boat and one near a wall.  The lines ran through the overhead eyes to the wall eye and down to a cleat.  Too two to raise or lower with one lifting the boat and the other taking up the slack.  The eye bolt friction acted a bit like a ratchet block.  

Buy or make 2" - 3" straps to run under the boat.  

@Roller Skatesgood point on rotomolded boats.  I have no experience with them.  Are some reinforced areas where trailer supports would normally be positioned?  

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I've been lucky enough to store my Laser in a friend's garage.  Initially next to his own but now next to his son's.  They have Harken Hoisters set up for both.  It's pretty trick.

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I store our Dyer Dhow overhead. I built a frame out of boards and hinged one side to a 2x4 nailed to the wall. Place the dinghy on end against the frame and swing it up. Then tie the frame off. If your dinghy is longer than the height of the garage you can slide it upside down onto the lowered frame and let it ride up the angle to the wall, then lift

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On 9/22/2021 at 9:26 PM, Eric Jacobson said:

Would love to see pictures.

I haven't seen any pictures in the thread yet so here is my contribution.  My two boats are rather humble - a Formex and a Snark.

757133474_boathoist.thumb.jpg.0420996fbf25450e4c5be85df69946aa.jpg

I would agree with the other posters that a strap is a good idea, possibly with a spreader bar of some sort.  For each lift point I screwed a couple of eyes into the joist above.  One is to tie the rope to, and one to connect a pulley to.  I have a pulley that clips onto the strap.  You can see the line going aft, it also clips onto the other strap to keep them from sliding apart.

1591727127_hoistdetails1.thumb.jpg.0515308c784f2c990b968b20267eb367.jpg

The lines run to the corner of the wall and ceiling, where I have another couple of pulleys to turn the corner.  I put a couple of cleats on the wall.  To hoist the boats, I pull both lines together, then stand on one line while I cleat the first.

1076938189_hoistdetails2.thumb.jpg.b0afd977b1939cfd351bf36b19615067.jpg

This was all very cheap, and only used hardware store stuff.  If I had heavier boats I'd bolt metal brackets in the attic, both to the stud and to be flush with the sheetrock.  Then I could use all bolts instead of a large wood screw eye.

What I really need to figure out is how to store one of my catamarans above the other. 

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On 9/23/2021 at 1:00 PM, LakeBoy said:

@Roller Skatesgood point on rotomolded boats.  I have no experience with them.  Are some reinforced areas where trailer supports would normally be positioned?  

Not sure, but my gut tells me that it is cause the US seems to love the strap dollies, while EU etc. uses metal/gunnel riding dollies. I think the boats aren't designed for the strap, but to ride on the gunnel. Only experience is a loaned RS Tera and Feva, might not have been well cared for?

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I have stored dinghys on their sides for years, with very good results.   I can't speak to the Zest in particular, but I suspect as long as the garage does not get too hot, it will be fine.   We store our Laser and UFO on their sides in our basement every winter.   I have found that a few scrap pieces of the 2" thick blue foamboard work really well to support and cushion the boat.  I place two 8-12" wide strips under the widest part of the gunnel, about 2' apart.   That keeps the boat from rocking bow to stern.   I put another piece of foam board between the deck and the wall.   I don't tie it to the wall, it simply leans at an angle.   I've stacked up to three dinghys this way, with a piece of foamboard separating the hull of one laser from the deck of the next.

 

If floor space is at a premium, or you don't want to store it on its side, there are a lot of good ideas for overhead storage.   We bought and RS14 Cat last summer and its too big for the basement.   I built a system to winch it up to the ceiling, using an inexpensive harbor freight winch.   I screwed eye bolts into the ceiling joists and bolted the winch to the wall joists above the garage door.   For redundancy, I screwed two more sets of eyebolts into the ceiling and tie backup lines under the cat after it is up...that way if the winch fails or any eye pulls out, the cat won't drop onto my car (or me).   The piece of mind seemed worth the extra $6 in hardware and 2 minutes in time to tie the lines up each fall.   The Thule device listed above looks really slick...I wish I'd seen that earlier!

 

 

 

Cat Winch.jpg

winch.jpg

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On 9/23/2021 at 10:07 AM, Rum Runner said:

I store a Sunfish upside down on a pulley system attached to the rafters of my garage. It keeps the boat away from my wife's car and helps dry out the hull (I leave the drain hole open) over the winter. Total cost of the system was under $50. Harken made a similar system a number of years ago but I don't know if it is still available.

https://www.hoister.com/

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1 hour ago, Champlain Sailor said:

We bought and RS14 Cat last summer and its too big for the basement.   I built a system to winch it up to the ceiling, using an inexpensive harbor freight winch.   I screwed eye bolts into the ceiling joists and bolted the winch to the wall joists above the garage door.  

Cat Winch.jpg

 

Awesome.  I need to do something like this at the hangar.  I'd like to figure out how to store the Hobie 16 above the Supercat 17.  I still have two trailers to deal with though.

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Some have posted about the Harken Hoister...  In our last home, the previous owner installed a Harken Hoister in the garage and left it there.  We used it for our canoe, which weighed about 80 lbs.   The hoister was great in theory, but we found that it had a lot of internal friction, and the locking/unlocking cam was really tough to actuate from the floor.   Each raising and lowering session ended in frustration.   Its possible that we simply should have taken out one or two of the legs of the purchase, to put more tension on the line, I think we didn't really have enough weight on the system to engage the cam or overcome the pulley friction.  But in this application, the Harken system was disappointing.   

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23 minutes ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Some have posted about the Harken Hoister...  In our last home, the previous owner installed a Harken Hoister in the garage and left it there.  We used it for our canoe, which weighed about 80 lbs.   The hoister was great in theory, but we found that it had a lot of internal friction, and the locking/unlocking cam was really tough to actuate from the floor.   Each raising and lowering session ended in frustration.   Its possible that we simply should have taken out one or two of the legs of the purchase, to put more tension on the line, I think we didn't really have enough weight on the system to engage the cam or overcome the pulley friction.  But in this application, the Harken system was disappointing.   

I have used one with my Laser for many years at two different houses and three different cars.  I have had no problems with it.

On the other hand, I have found a boat on the trailer in the garage makes a very convenient workbench and storage space (no laundry).  Kind of a pain if you actually want to take it sailing.

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45 minutes ago, torrid said:

On the other hand, I have found a boat on the trailer in the garage makes a very convenient workbench and storage space (no laundry).  Kind of a pain if you actually want to take it sailing.

This is especially true with our Hobie 16.  Has a vinyl tramp, won't scratch stuff, and is at a very nice ergonomic height.

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