I’ve been having a heck of a time finding a mechanic I can trust. I would have preferred to have somebody come in and install the engines, but the three mechanics who have come out have failed to impress. When competence isn’t the concern, the prevailing attitude seems to be “Meh…it’s an old boat,” and that attitude manifests in the quality of work being done. It’s frustrating.
Anyway, the time has come to move the engines back into their final resting place. I’ll need a gantry to move them, since the Cummins 450 Diamonds with gears weigh about one ton each. I’ve been looking online, but all of the ready-made gantries are too big, too small, too tall, or too beefy to be lifted up onto the boat and then into the salon where the engine hatches are. So, I decided to buy a trolley from Harbor Freight and make my own gantry. I messed around with Google Sketch-up and came up with a structure that can be disassembled into manageable pieces, is just the right size for this application, and will have no problem supporting one ton.
It turns out that you can buy the steel (cut-to-size from shapirosupply.com) and trolley, including shipping, for less than half what a Harbor Freight gantry costs. While it will take some time to weld together and drill and tap holes, I’d spend about the same amount of time modifying the HF gantry to work in the boat.