Mailport December 2012 Issue

Mailport: December 2012

DIY Jack Stands

We got a half-taste of your Florida hurricanes here in New Jersey. I had my boat hauled out a few days before super-storm Sandy arrived. The yard blocked her with just four jack stands and a bow jack stand. I asked for four more for the hurricane, and they said “no,” so I built my own midship stands for $16! I wanted to share the how-to since they worked so well.

We were not only expecting 80-mph winds, but we were told it could last many days, so I needed a system that would not work loose under constant strain for 36 or more hours.

From Home Depot, I bought a landscaping log, a discounted 2x10x8, and a dozen lag screws. Cutting the 2x10 into 10x9 squares, I made bases and hull pads. The hull pads have a second 2x10 square pad lagged together with a square hole cut in it to locate and trap the bevel-cut top of the landscaping log.

The 2x10x9 bases were lag-screwed to two 12-foot 2x4s, running parallel under the keel to support the bottom 2x10x9 bases. Both ends were screwed into the logs with long lag screws, then the top was captured by the square cut and the bottom backed-up with a sawed 2x4. The parallel 2x4s under the keel insured the bases didn’t disappear into the sand with the flooding. They also kept the bases from separating athwartships, away from the boat. I used a handybilly (4:1 block-and-tackle) under the keel to “chain” the stands together.

I needed fore and aft support of the stands, so I nailed braces. And the system worked!

Some boats in the yard fell over; some floated off their blocking; and just 1,500 yards away, the Viking powerboat yard got hammered. But Alma stood proud, and even fended off an attacking fishing garvy!

Gene Smith

Alma, Pearson 323

Cherry Hill, N.J.

Thanks for sharing, Gene. Anyone else with lessons learned or tips gleaned while preparing for or weathering super-storm Sandy? If so, email us your stories and photos at

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Comments (1)

We will be testing PosiGrip for wood and fiberglass in an upcoming issue. In the meantime, you can reach PosiGrip's distributor at 800/590-3942. ~ Practical Sailor

Posted by: Ann Key | July 1, 2015 10:47 AM    Report this comment

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