A cautionary tale.

I had just returned home from a 3 week 2 state paddle fest with friends and it was time to put away the boats. I have made 18’ racks that are attatched to the end wall of my garage with hinges on one end and the other end lowers via ropes that run through eyelets screwed into the ceiling. I was raising my 165 Tsunami (heavy boat), pulling on the ropes that I had wrapped around my hand for traction. I was standing on a small ladder when it broke out from under me, causing the rope to tighten around my hand as I fell. My little finger was pulled off of my right hand.

This all could have been avoided by one of three things happening, getting a better ladder, using a pulley system instead of just eyelets on the ceiling allowing for easier pulling, or just leaving the boats on the ground cradles in the garage so the car would be out in the sun instead of the boats.

I went out today for the first time in 2 weeks and I will have to relearn my paddle control, that, and my touch typing is out the window also, crap.

Dear trvlrerik,

I’m sorry to hear of your troubles and trust me when I say I’m not commenting to be a wiseass.

There is a reason why many people who work with pulleys, and ropes, and chains and things of that sort wear leather work gloves.

People paddle with PFD’s, why not use the land based versions for other body parts?

Again, I’m not trying to tell you anything, I’m just offering an $ 8.99 alternative to other folks who winch and drag things.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

You mean pulled off literally?
The ring finger is perhaps the most useless, and when it is stripped of flesh when a ring catches on a gunwale (true case), one option is to remove the ring finger back to the wrist, leaving one with a “cartoon” hand.

But the little finger is more capable, more useful, so when it is not too damaged, hand surgeons will reattach it.

In addition to your warning about care with ropes, I suggest NOT wearing rings while paddling. Some occupational therapists and hand surgeons won’t even wear rings at work.

Thanks For Sharing

Eyelets and hooks should be fine
But they need to be screwed into a joist.

Sorry to hear of this. Wishing you ease and well being as you recover from the accident. I have three (of 7) kayaks suspended on pullies–will be more careful next time as a result of your posting. Thanks for this, John

now im curious
Did it rip off clean? Or did it bring tendons with it? That sounds terrible. I’m very sorry, but I suspect you will recover wonderfully.

Ryan L.

That makes me hurt just reading it.
I hope you recover 100%.

When people ask…
…tell 'em you lost the finger in a Bangkok knife fight. :slight_smile:

you put your finger on the problem

My Wife’s Uncle Frank
had a couple of ‘half fingers’. He used to smile and hold them up and say “snappin’ turtle”.

LOL… ‘Uncle Frank’ rules :slight_smile:

Four things.
Not putting a wrap around your hand.

I do this instinctively when hauling lines while sailing, as I am untrained. Both my kids, who’ve had many seasons of formal instruction, have noticed me doing it and have independently informed me that it is a bad habit.

Thanks for lending weight to the warning. Best wishes on your recovery.

You Got DAT Right
Uncle Frank ate like a pig, drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney, and lived to a ripe old age.