Need Hoist Help

I am in the middle of installing this hoist system, based on the Harbor Freight bicycle hoist:

My problem is that when I pull on the rope (from the right in that picture), only one end of the kayak is pulled up toward the ceiling (the side with the yellow strap).

Now, if I hold down one end, or get that end all the way to the top, the other end will get pulled up, but I had expected both ends to rise at the same rate. Am I expecting too much? I’ve played around with adjusting the strap locations, but haven’t found a sweet spot yet.

How does yours work?



Update: It seems to be a matter of getting the weight distributed evenly, but it’s very sensitive. A little off one way or the other and it doesn’t work right.

It is hard to see in this photo, but it looks like you have one line going through all the pulleys. That would work like you have described.

If you want to force both ends to move at the same rate, you will need a system which uses two parallel wires. And just a warning: With the same number of pulleys, you would have to pull twice as hard with such a system, but only half as far.

What Allan wrote is correct. On my own hoists, I use a hand-crank winch to pull on a single line, and that line splits into two separate lifting lines. That solves both of the problems described by Allan.

Further, just for the sake of understanding the details in this case, getting the boat perfectly balanced won’t make much difference. No matter what you do, the part of the hoist having the yellow strap will always tend to rise more easily because there’s less pulley-induced friction between your pulling line and that half of the hoist than there is for the other half. You can get an assistant to help you keep the boat level while raising and lowering, or you could periodically tie-off the line that you pull on, and re-level the boat yourself in a step-wise process. Or if you don’t mind one end getting mashed into the ceiling, you could just let one end rise on its own and let the other end follow afterward. You could even put a skid plate on the ceiling and/or a cloth boot over the end of the boat that rises first to facilitate this process. Otherwise, you need two separate lifting lines.

I don’t think you have it rigged right. I can’t tell from the picture but I see two things that could be factors.

  1. The blocks should be directly over the hoist points on the kayak for ease in hoisting.
  2. There should be two lines coming down from the cleat. One line for each end.

Note in this installation a hoist “beam” was required to get desired points.

Thanks for the help.

I understand the concept of two lines. I’d done something like that for for surfboards.

But I’ve got a working system, now. I repositioned things so that I can hoist with one hand and push one end up or down as needed.

Here it is with the kayak all the way up:

I think I’ve rigged it as intended. Here’s the Harbor Freight bicycle hoist that I bought:

I recommend against the HF hoist. There’s some terrible and stupid design there. For example, there’s enough space on the sides of the pulley rollers that the rope tends to go there instead of on the roller. :s If starting over, I’d roll my own.

I’m going to see if I can tolerate this system. If not, I could change it to this arrangement without too much extra work:

That is the system I have(see pic). I have done three installs. If you do you’ll note how low it hangs. You can shorten the straps. I had to also change the hooks and hoist point. Your ceiling looks like a 10ft aff so it should work better.

I’ve made major changes. Here’s my current system: