In some parts of the country, it is fast becoming that time of year – haul outs are approaching. And in the rest of the country maintenance and repairs demands are always a factor. This time of year can be particularly stressful for marinas and yacht clubs alike as they take the necessary steps to ensure their travel lift is prepared for the annual haul out.
Maintenance on your Slings
As the demand on your travel lift increases, it is important to address any lingering maintenance issues. A critical, but often overlooked aspect of your travel lift is the condition of the synthetic slings (called “boat slings” or “marine slings”) that are part of your travel lift equipment. Before the increased demands of haul out season begin to take a toll on your equipment, consider when was the last time you replaced your travel lift slings?
When it comes to the condition of your travel lift slings, it is better to be safe than sorry. Unsure if your slings will make it through the haul out and repair season? Here are a few things to look for if the condition of your marine slings is worsening:
Travel Lift Slings Inspection
Overall condition – Slings can be damaged by cutting, pinching, overloading, etc. Slings should be inspected by a qualified operator prior to each use. Old and worn out slings could result in sling failure, making it all the more important for a travel lift operator to be able to identify when a sling needs to be replaced.
Cuts – Overloading your slings beyond their lift capacity can often lead to cuts or fraying. If you are taking the necessary precautions and inspecting your sling before each use, then any cuts or fraying of the sling should be easily identifiable. However, if overlooked, any cuts or fraying can severely reduce lifting capacity and eventually lead to the breaking of a sling.
Padding – Unless your slings have been properly padded, the sharp edges of a boat can cause a sling to cut and eventually break. Proper use and placement of keel pads and chine pads can extend the life of your boat slings and provide better protection to your vessel
Nylon or Polyester? – Are your marine slings constructed of Nylon or Polyester? Keep in mind that polyester is the better choice for boat slings as polyester exhibits a reduced stretch factor as compared to Nylon – plus Polyester retains its full capacity when saturated whereas Nylon can lose roughly 10% of capacity when saturated.
Regardless of their current condition, your travel lift slings need to be replaced regularly. As you prepare your travel lift for haul out season, keep in mind US Hoists can provide a full inspection and safety service, as well as supply or source any travel lift parts, including Liftex® Marine slings.
If you need help during the busy season, give us a call at 631-472-3030 or contact us directly.