Jake Frith works out a safe and cost effective way to temporarily suspend his RIB

We probably all know somebody who has underestimated the power available with the ratchet handle of a set of tie down straps and popped or cracked a kayak or similar on their car roofrack with over-exuberant ratcheting to make it secure.

But what if we could use this power for good?

I recently needed to temporarily lift a small RIB (or more correctly a SIB – soft inflatable boat – as this one is actually rollable).

A person using a rachet

Ratchets can only lift about 50cm in one go. Credit: Jake Frith

I wanted to pull the trailer out from under the boat for maintenance work, have a reasonably robust and over engineered carport and wondered what if?

The boat with engine and console weighs approximately 260kg, and lifting this was a one hand per strap handle job – surprisingly easy work.

Continues below…

Lifting range is pretty small, about 50cm per lift, which was fine for me to get the trailer out from underneath.

If I had wanted to lift it higher it would just be a case of doubling up the strap with separate lines tied off and resetting the ratchet spool to go again for the next 50cm or so.

This could be done indefinitely.

A yellow and black RIB suspended from a roof in a garden

The RIB lifted and trailer removed. Credit: Jake Frith

Ratchet straps are not designed for lifting things of course, so letting the boat down again requires taking the weight off first, fine in this case as I can manually lift the corner of the boat for a few seconds to release the ratchet.

I wouldn’t hang about under the boat or leave it dangling overnight, nor is this a system for lifting people, or ‘man riding’ as the lifting industry amusingly categorise such equipment.

I’d also recommend checking the strap’s load capacity comfortably exceeds the load.

Decent ratchet straps are available from chandlers, DIY stores and online for well under £10.

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Enjoyed reading How to suspend your RIB when not in use?

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