The Boating Forum - Handicap access from dock to boat - help

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05-12-2008, 03:24 PM
I have a family member with MS and is no longer able to get in/out of the boat under her own power. Does anyone know of a lifting device that is designed to lift handicap people from the dock to the boat and vice versa. We were talking about making something ourselves but thought I would ask around to see if anyone new of a mfg. or website that may help us.

05-12-2008, 03:54 PM
Do you by any chance have a photo of your docking situation? I'm sure it would help.

Good for you, by the way! ../images/emoticons/thumbsup.gifIwould think a davit and sling/bosuns chaircombo would work well.

05-12-2008, 04:05 PM
little more info what kind of boat? Is it a private dock? Ramps are def out of the question, if something slipped it could be a real disaster.

Sea Tow Ethan
05-12-2008, 04:30 PM
I've always thought that a pot hauler could be retrofitted for lifting a person in and out of a boat. The boat would need to be large enough to support a pot hauler though. Wasn't there a guide here on THT a few years ago who specialized in fishing charters with physically challenged people? Did he end up with a Black Lab plate boat or am I mixing up stories?

05-12-2008, 04:35 PM
This site has information that might point you in the right direction. They are involved with many programs that cater to people with spinal cord injurys and use alot of different equipment to help with them.

05-12-2008, 05:19 PM
My neighbor has a hydraulic arm on his dock that lifts his wife from her chair into the boat and back in her chair. He had one installed at our community swimming pool also. The only part I see is a stainless steel arm sticking up like a small post. I would ask him but there on a extended vacation and off the grid. My point in telling you this is I know there is a commercial made lift just for boating. Try google" Marine personal lift"

05-12-2008, 05:29 PM
This is a UK company and may be helpful to you. Scroll down the right side and at the bottom they have a thing called the "crew lift" . It may be a good place to start. looks like its made for handicapped mariners.

And here is a direct link to the manufacturer.

Good luck


05-12-2008, 05:40 PM
If its a private dock thats simple there are 50 million different types of wheelchair lifts, if its a marina that could be tough?

05-12-2008, 07:35 PM
I have a friend in the same boat so to speak. He mounted a davit to a piling and put an aluminum plate on the bottom of a chain. They can roll the wheel chair onto the plate, lock the wheels, lift and swing it over the deck and lower. It is even easier than it sounds. If there isnt enough room for the wheel chair on board, a sling will be good to bring her over and lower her right into a seat.

The first few times were a little unnerving I am sure but the equipment is rated at like 1000 lbs so its can handle it.

check around to the local marinas and dock guys and tell them what you are trying to do. You would be surprised how helpful people can be for a good cause. If you are in NJ, let me know and I will do what I can to help.

Good luck and hats off for what you are doing for her.

RockHead MA
05-12-2008, 09:53 PM
You're looking for what's called a Hoyer lift, something like this ( It requires a sleeve be mounted to the dock, usually bolted on top to a structural member. Can also be flush mounted below the surface of the dock. Simple hydraulic ram lifts the arm, easy to operate.

My wife runs an adaptive sailing program on Boston Harbor, she's got an MS clinic/program going on right now... She's also going to represent the USA in sailing at the Paralympics in China in September -she's a paraplegic, and her teammate has advanced ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). So I have lots of experience with Hoyers on docks -her previous teammate was a 200 pound quadraplegic. Not easy to move!

05-12-2008, 10:34 PM

05-13-2008, 06:20 AM
They make several different things. We are getting a ramp for my brother as it suits our needs. But they do make hoist. The ramps can be short or long as well as fold for easy storage.

05-13-2008, 07:01 AM
What about those thing they use at the pools they are driven by the power of a garden hose?

05-13-2008, 07:08 AM
Thanks for all of your responses. To answer a few of your questions, I dont have a picture of the dock and its private. The boats that will be used vary from a 19' CC to 25' CC and a 20' Party Barge. There isnt an abundance of space on the dock. Again, thanks for all of your advice....keep it comin. o'yea a ramp is not an option.

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