Egret Turnover
by Dale Austin

Thirteen months into construction, and the hull is at last upright. The rollover was, um, interesting. I'm pleased to say that not only is the boat upright and intact, but all my limbs remain attatched and whole as well.

There was one other person involved, but that was merely for convenience in matters such as moving piles of 2X4 blocking from one end of the boat to the other. Could have done it completely solo if I'd had to. Not a good idea though, if for no other reason that somebody should be around with 911 on their speed-dial.

I think it was George Buehler who said that whatever number you have will prove to be exactly how many people you need. I also recall a tale of somebody in England who called up the drill instructor at the local army base and suggested boat tipping might be good physical training. Something like 50 guys show up, pick up the boat and move it completely unaided.

(click images to enlarge)

1) Temporary struts attach hull to cradle. Pipe sections under cradle act as rollers click to enlarge
2) Winch the hull from the garage using the truck as a belay point. click to enlarge
3) Move the truck to the street to get another purchase. click to enlarge
4) Winching the boat sideways. Two winches are secured to eye bolts in the cradle. click to enlarge
5) A sheet of MDF under the cradle is lubricated with dishwashing liquid. click to enlarge
6) Rollover frame built around hull. click to enlarge
7) Rollover frame and towing straps. click to enlarge
8) Winch belayed to fence post. click to enlarge
9) Taking up the strain. click to enlarge
10) Blocking the frame as the side rises. click to enlarge
11) Jacking against the sheer clamp. click to enlarge
12) And over . . . click to enlarge

This is where things began to deviate from the original plan. As you can see, part of the rollover frame failed at a joint that I never expected to have to take the weight of the boat. No damage was done to the bottom, and only minor scraping to the sides-which haven't been finished anyway. I had anticipated something like this, though would rather not have had to deal with the crashing sound-and the neighbors poking their heads out to see if the crazy man living next door was still alive. Part of the plan kept people out of the landing zone, just in case things got away from us.

13) In halfway position . . . click to enlarge
14) . . . change purchase to the boat click to enlarge
15) And flop onto its bottom. click to enlarge
16) Nearly flush to the ground. . . click to enlarge
17) . . . we start to jack it up . . . click to enlarge
18) high enough to clear the cradle. click to enlarge
19) Slowly coming up. First the front . . click to enlarge
20) . . . then the back. click to enlarge
21) Back onto the cradle. click to enlarge
22) Secure to the cradle, and slide sideways to line up with the door. click to enlarge
23) Winch back into the garage. click to enlarge
24) Return to its original location, and align to datum click to enlarge