How To Make A Kayak Hoist

If you don’t want to begin and end your kayaking trip on a heavy note, you may want to consider learning how to make a kayak hoist. This homemade system can put an end to the heavy lifting that’s required when loading and unloading a kayak from the roof of your vehicle. This system is meant to be used with a garage or carport that can accommodate both your car and the kayak, as the hardware will be mounted on the roof.

What you’ll need:

  • Nylon rope
  • 6 pulleys
  • 5 5/16”x4” eye bolts
  • 10 5/16” nuts
  • 7 rapid links
  • Looped webbing
  1. Find a location for your kayak hoist. Wooden rafters are the best place to mount the pulleys. Make sure this area is above where you intend to park the car. You’ll need to mount one pulley near the front of the kayak, two more pulleys near its middle, and another one near the rear of the kayak.
  2. Install the mounting hardware. Drill a hole for the 5/16” eye bolt at each mounting point, and then secure the eye bolt with a nut on either side. Attach a pulley to each eye bolt with the rapid link. Near the front and rear of the kayak, wrap a webbing loop around the kayak and secure the loop with a rapid link, then attach a pulley on the same link.
  3. Feed the rope through the pulleys. Tie one end of the nylon rope to the webbing loop, then feed the other end through the first pulley on the ceiling. Then run the rope down and through the first pulley on the kayak and up through the second pulley on the ceiling. Follow the same procedure for the other side in the other direction.
  4. Secure the remaining ropes. Create a Prusik knot around the two remaining ropes. This can be done by wrapping one end of the webbing loop around the ropes and through the webbing three times. Mount an eye bolt in the wall at least three feet from the ground, then connect the end of the Prusik knot to the eye bolt with a rapid link.
  5. Test the kayak hoist. In order to operate the hoist, hold both ropes in one hand beneath the Prusik knot, and then place the other hand on the knot itself. You will pull down on the ropes while sliding the knot upwards over the ropes. The knot will essentially lock the rope in place in order to prevent the kayak from dropping.
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