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This is a reliable way of moving heavier boats or multihulls across the hardstand.

Before use, the ways are greased with hot tallow using a brush. Heavy planks are placed lengthwise under the cradle on top of the ways. There is a very remote possibility that a plank could jam against the end of a way which might be sticking up a little due to the uneven ground. Vigilance is required by all the team to ensure that should this start to happen the tractor driver is immediately informed to STOP. The problem can then be easily resolved. The diagram below demonstrates what could happen.


It is not possible to move the loaded trolley round tight corners without, in many cases, jacking up one front wheel at a time to turn them in the desired direction. A hydraulic jack MUST be used as shown in the diagram below. Particular care is required in the softer hardstand areas if a wheel should sink down. For safety team members should always stand well back during boat movements.


Smaller boats are moved across the hardstand on the wheeled trolley. The back wheels are removed before the trolley is backed by the tractor under the boat on the blocked up cradle. Care is needed when removing or replacing the wheels. A timber jack may be used with care (as shown) as they have little lateral stability.



When in final position be sure that blocks are placed diagonally under each corner, this gives better stability hence safer.



A chain is used at each corner to go around the cradle base and trolley. Blocks are positioned as shown and a wedge hammered into place between the blocks. Some haul out leaders prefer to use two wedges with each chain.

  • Chaining cradle safely to the hardstand trolley
  • Be careful to keep chain clear of wheels

Cradles should not be dragged on or off the trolley as it will damage the galvanising. Smaller cradles are lifted on or off using the tractor hydraulics and a chain (stand well clear as it is being moved), larger ones are positioned, jacked up onto blocks; then the trolley is winched underneath the cradle, which is jacked down into place.

The wheels should be greased before every use. If this is not done it means much greater friction and more load on the rope or wire. More load means more potential danger of breakage of wire, rope or sheave and overloading the winches. See diagrams for greasing procedures.



Cradle wedges are frequently used to hold a monohull firmly and upright in a cradle. They should always be tied in place or they may become dislodged, particularly when moving a boat on the hardstand.

Some extra wedges have been made with lanyards attached, ready to use.

Cradles must be in good condition with no undersized rusty bolts. Bolts must be no less than 15mm diameter.

A gasp of horror from the haul out crew “Oh no!!!”

A disaster unfolds!

The crew are busy yarning whilst sitting on the cabin top during launching. The skipper suddenly realizes that instructions to slacken the lashings to the cradle have not been given! The subsequent rushed actions while releasing or slashing lines can lead to accidents happening.







The cradle and trolley are lifted off the rail. Such a problem to sort out later too! (This has happened).

It is particularly important to set the cradle arms correctly before use, especially when a boat is to be hauled for the first time. The boat should be positioned centrally between the cradle arms.

Fore and aft position in the cradle is also needs to be correct.

Mark the waterline beforehand on the cradle arms so that when the cradle is that depth into the water it should allow for approximately 100 to 150 mm below the boat keel, as in the diagram.

White plastic wrapped around the arms with black tape marking the waterline shows up well at a distance.

Some narrow fin keeled boats may require webbing strops under the forward part of the hull to prevent the boat tipping forward in the cradle as the haul out proceeds.

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