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 anybody ever build a DIY engine hoist?

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alk Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 10:49:47
about ten years ago I put a SBC into my bowrider, to replace a blown 454. It's served me well, but boat is pretty slow, and this motor I bought as a temporary mid season fix is getting pretty tired. Thinking of dropping a big block in before the season. Only way I can afford it is if I do it myself again.

At my old house I had a very high garage ceiling. Backed the boat in and used a hoist attached to a sistered ceiling joist. no problems.

No such luck in my current home, going to have to do this in the driveway. Wondering what I should use to pull the motor out, and drop the new one in. I have a cherry picker type engine hoist, but even if a drop the wheels from the trailer and have the boat practically on the ground, don't have the needed clearance to get over the transom. Has anyone built or bought anything to do this? You tube has plenty of videos of homemade hoists, and looks like 4x4 or 2x6 is enough to hold the little mouse that's coming out. But not sure what I need to support the weight I want to drop in?
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alk Posted - Feb 08 2018 : 16:51:08
I have the harbor freight cherry picker - it does not get high enough to clear the transom, need another two feet probably. It can get in an lift the motor up off the mounts, but no chance it clears the transom.

We have ton of trees, but they are huge, like 75+ feet tall, and no branches within 30+ feet of the ground. I did build a treehouse in one of them - it's pretty sturdy and I could probably get the boat under it. But that's a lot of weight - would hate to take out the tree house and the back of my boat all at once. Hope to stop by the rental place soon to see that they have to offer, but have been tied up with some other things this week.
j-d Posted - Feb 08 2018 : 16:17:46
I don't think the ordinary automotive "cherry picker" will work. Looking at the 2000 and 4000 pound HF ones, there doesn't seem to be the total height or range of lift to get over an engine in a boat (especially if it's on a trailer) then lift it clear of the gunwales. It might be possible for a welder/fabricator to stretch one and even if it reduced capacity to 1000 pounds that'd be enough for an engine. Modified hoist might be able to be set up collapsible some way.
Forklift/Excavator or trip to NJ sounds better.
JVM225 Posted - Feb 08 2018 : 14:14:41
The forklift seems like your best bet if the boat is on a trailer and you can transport it back and forth to NJ. Iíve seen several yards around here use them to swing motors in and out of boats.
If you donít have a trailer then stopping by a rental center to see what they have is probably the way to go.
Itís nice to build or buy something but you indicated that itís been 10 years since you swapped a motor in the boat. Itís likely that you might go that long before doing it again after this swap. Do you really want to store whatever you might buy or build for 10 years?
gcolton Posted - Feb 08 2018 : 06:16:48
Look at Harbor freight. A one ton there costs $179.99. The question would be if it was long enough to fit your boat. And you can use your 20% coupon.

gcolton Posted - Feb 08 2018 : 06:16:04
Look at Harbor freight. A one ton there costs $179.99. The question would be if it was long enough to fit your boat.

32carv Posted - Feb 07 2018 : 20:57:37
Did it once by renting a tractor with backhoe attachment. Atached a chain to the bucket. Very easy and inexpensive.
ALKA2710 Posted - Feb 07 2018 : 20:51:12
I did it on an oak tree about 25 years ago. Weird seeing the engine hanging there after you pull the boat away. Its up there pretty high. Not sure i would recommend that now that i am older and not young and dumb
Sandy Posted - Feb 07 2018 : 00:15:01
Have any large healthy oak trees nearby with a thick horizontal branch you could trailer the boat under and use a chainfall or block and tackle or winch to lower in the big block ? Or know anyone with a hay barn/ storage building with loft & with block and tackle setup ?

Or maybe park it at one end of an Amtrak underpass?? No , forget that one!!

All in all, that Jersey deal for $75 out or in sounds like a good deal as long as you have everything thoroughly prepared.
alien1952 Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 18:42:02
We used steel scaffolding on each side and a 3 x 6 x 14 steel beam across the scaffold ends
alk Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 16:56:41
I do not know anybody with a forklift. Although I just remembered there is a marina over in jersey that charges only $75 each way to drop in or remove an engine - just for the lifting /dropping - rest is DIY. I had forgotten about them. probably worth hauling everything over there and letting him do the heavy work. Unless the rental centers have something I can use. Does a typical forklift get high up? I could probably find one of them at a rental center easier than hauling boat and motor over to Jersey. I need some real clearance - have to figure the top of the transom is four+ feet off the ground, plus the height of the motor, another maybe 3 feet? I'm already so excited about a big block it might be too late to turn back now, so need to figure something out.
Brian N Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 14:53:41
Do you know anybody with a forklift?
jtybt15 Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 14:40:47
haven't used photobucket in a few years so not sure if the pix will show.

The crane arm reaches out to 7' and 10' high

WALSHIE Posted - Feb 06 2018 : 13:41:31
I assume you can't raise your current lift without too much modification?

Keep it simple, hold my beer: back boat under the kids swing set, pull motor, remove boat, swap motor, replace boat?

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