Not a good day

Collapsed jack stands and jacks with the snapped jack cradle behind.

Collapsed jack stands and jacks with the snapped jack cradle behind.

I will start by saying that I am fine. The boat is also good, although I won’t know for sure until I dig around some more and flip her over.

On August 6th while jacking the boat up to match the center of the giant donuts that will be used to spin her, there was an accident. The plywood jack cradles that I made each cracked in half one at a time and the boat fell from a height of nearly 3 feet.

I had been elevating the boat 6-9 inches a day. I was in no hurry and I left lots of time for observing and making sure everything was safe as I was moving a lot under the boat to get to the jacks. On this morning I was moving back and forth from the front to the back jacks and moving each side up just a couple more inches to get it on center with the big wheels I had just set in place around her.

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The scaffolding took a hit when she fell. This damage was not as bad as the structure behind the boat.

The scaffolding took a hit when she fell. This damage was not as bad as the structure behind the boat.

This is kind of interesting as I try not to take fuzzy photos, but everything was still creaking a bit so I took a quick pic and then ducked out just to be safe. Notice the scaffolding is destroyed.

This is kind of interesting as I try not to take fuzzy photos, but everything was still creaking a bit so I took a quick pic and then ducked out just to be safe. Notice the scaffolding is destroyed.

My design and process for making the jack cradles was full of issues. These cradles were much weaker than the 4x4s I had used earlier to lift the boat. I also magnified any weaknesses in the plywood with the way I cut and stacked the pieces.

My design and process for making the jack cradles was full of issues. These cradles were much weaker than the 4x4s I had used earlier to lift the boat. I also magnified any weaknesses in the plywood with the way I cut and stacked the pieces.

I was fortunate in many ways that morning. The failure happened when I was on my knees under the front of the boat, manning the left jack. The back jack cradle failed first, so the boat fell backwards and not forwards. That was lucky. I had my head up, looking and listening for any signs of stress from the cradles. This position helped. As the boat fell, it hit me on the forehead and pushed me backwards onto my ass. Another piece of luck.

There was no warning when it happened, just a loud crack and then everything was on the ground.

The giant wheels and the scaffolding absorbed the impact of the boat and held her in place, so she didn’t shift again and tilt forward or back. Also lucky.

The plan was to get her in place and then build a support structure under the boat to take the stress off of the jack cradles while I worked on the last stage of the spinning donut build. If I was under on the sides, that would have been very bad.

Anyway… there it is… it has taken me several weeks to process all of this enough to start posting again.

I am super lucky and plan on putting my enthusiasm towards making the build as safe as possible. She has fallen on me twice without being seriously hurt. I can’t expect more luck than that.

More updates shortly.

4 responses to “Not a good day

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