Boat (Jack) Stand Safety
The following is a list of Do's and Don'ts from the Brownell Boat Stands Ltd. website www.boatstands.com. This list should not be construed as complete for all boat stand users due to the infinite variables of application, but rather should be in addition to safety precautions already taken.
- Do not use boat stands to suspend a boat in mid-air.
- Use blocking along the boat's centreline to take all the boat's weight.
- Use safety chains on all sailboat stands, chaining pairs together from right to left.
- Never allow anyone other than qualified, experienced, or authorized persons to move or adjust boat stands when in use.
- Use a pair of boat stands, one placed port and one starboard for each 8' of a boat's length, minimum of 4 boat stands per boat.
- Use extra stands for a fin keel and/or heavy sailboats.
- Never allow anything (such as canvas or tarps) to be tied to the boat stands.
- Use boat stands on firm, stable ground or put plywood under them.
- In windy or open areas, remove masts before boats are placed on boat stands.
- Apply boat stands so the adjusting screw is as perpendicular to the hull as possible and as far outboard as possible.
- Replace any boat stand that is damaged or badly rusted.
- Do not weld to or modify boat stands
- Keep screws greased.
- If it is necessary to remove a boat stand from under a boat, place another stand beside it first.
- Do not use boat stands for jobs they were not intended for.
- Do not use boat stands to hold boats up when in transit (e.g. on a truck or trailer).
- If boats are left on boat stands for a long time, e.g. over winter, they should be checked for security regularly.
- Use plywood under the boat stands if the ground is soft.
- Use a V-Stand under the bow of all fin keel sailboats.
- Use an extra stand under the stern of stern-heavy or fin keel sailboats.
- Do not place blocks on top of boat stands to increase their reach.
- Keep the boat's keel blocked as low to the ground as possible.
How to Choose Type
The correct type of stand (sailboat vs. motorboat) is determined by the angle between the hull and the stand's centre pipe. The threaded rod from the top that enters the stand's centre pipe should do so at approximately a 90° angle to the Boat’s hull. For example, a motor boat with a deep vee bow would use a pair of sailboat stands at the bow with motor boat stands along the sides and at the stem.
To determine the proper stands to use, you first must realize boat stands stabilize the boat and the keel blocking supports the boat's weight. A simple method would be to take the draft of the boat (in inches), add the height of the blocking, and subtract about six inches. Base your decision on keeping a minimum number of threads exposed.
A minimum of four stands should be used with power boats and a minimum of five should be used with sail boats. One exception is a full keel sailboat may not require a bow stand. Use a pair of stands, one port and one starboard, for approximately each 8 ft. of a boat’s length. If in extreme windy areas or leaving sailboat masts stepped, extra stands should be used in addition to our minimum requirements.
How to Use Them
Boat Stands should be placed outboard on the hull for stability. The stand tops should have minimum thread exposed with the threaded rod placed as close to perpendicular to the hull as possible. To guarantee the threaded rod being close to perpendicular, the stand rear legs are placed so they are parallel with the waterline with the top on the flat of the hull for stability.
Bow and/or Stem:
Most sailboats require a bow stand with a Vee top to prevent the bow from dropping forward. Any excessive overhang in the stem requires two additional stands port and starboard under the after portion of the hull.
When using safety chains for sailboat stands, the port (or starboard) stand is placed in position with the stand top snug against the hull. A 3/16" chain is placed in the stand's chain notch and then passed under the boat to the opposite stand. The starboard stand is placed in its approximate position but not snugged tight against the hull at first; the chain is pulled tight and placed in the stand chain notch. Once snug in the chain notch, pull the starboard stand outboard until the chain is tight. Then tighten the stand top, making sure the stand's rear legs are parallel to the hull. Repeat this procedure for all side stands to prevent them from sliding out away from the hull.
A minimum of two blocking piles placed on hard, stable ground or strong plywood to carry and distribute the boat's weight is recommended. Each blocking pile consists of at least three blocks, i.e., two base blocks oriented fore and aft running parallel to the keel, and one Block placed across the base blocks for the keel to rest on.Each blocking pile should be two 8"x8" pine blocks for the base and one 6"x6" block across them. Higher or lower piles can be used depending on how the boat drains, however, they must be 'cribbed' in alternating fore and aft and athwartship layers and the lower to the ground, the better. More blocking piles should be added as necessary depending on the condition and length of the keel.
Boat stands and blocks should be checked regularly while the boat is being stored. Make sure the stands are snug against the hull and the keel blocks are supporting the keel and not sinking into the ground. Also check the Blocks for rotting or splitting. Do not tie tarps to the stands. During windy conditions, check more frequently for proper boat shoring and security of the stands while they are stabilizing your boat.