I needed to pull the centerboard out of my Whitehall and make it a bit thinner so it would operate more smoothly. I wasn’t looking forward to dragging the boat off the trailer, setting it on the lawn, and rolling it on its side to get at the centerboard. That job really needs one person handling the boat and another managing the trailer. If I could just lift the boat up while it was still on the trailer, it would be a whole lot easier and I could do the job alone. It occurred to me that I could use my inflatable beach rollers as air jacks, like those used by rescue workers to lift wrecked cars. If I could slip the deflated rollers under my boat and then pump them up, they might lift the boat.It worked better than I had imagined. The boat will roll—I figured that out when I got some air in the second roller and the Whitehall started to move—so it has to be restrained fore and aft. The pump I used was for rubber rafts and designed for volume, not high pressure, but it was good enough to get the Whitehall raised 7″ or 8″. That wasn’t high enough to drop the board straight down out of the trunk, but the unexpected benefit of using the rollers for the lift was that they cradled the boat while I rolled it to one side to provide enough room to pull the board. All the while the hull was safely supported on the soft, conforming surfaces of the rollers.
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