Recommended Accessories - Electric Hoist From Harbor Freight



Having a kayak is a wonderful thing.  Having one sitting on the floor of the garage is not.  For a year or so, I rigged up pulleys and ropes to secure the kayak to the ceiling.  That was a bit of a challenge.  I had seen Harbor Freight ads showing an electric hoist.  I thought it wouldn't work and was probably just a waste of money.

But curiosity got the better of me, and I went and looked at one in person.  It looked a lot better built that I had expected.  It was inexpensive, and the local store has a good return policy, so I bought it.

I put it up between the rafters in my garage attic.  My kayak weighs upwards of 70 lbs.  I've used this to lift as much as 250 lbs (yes, me).  Has no problem doing so.


The hoist control is easy to operate.  The toggle either raises or lowers the load.  The pendant hangs off the motor and the cord was long enough for most any situation.

I placed the hoist in my attic.  The red donut is weighted, which allows the cable to lower smoothly without the cable bunching up.  It also has an upper limit switch (paddle just above the red disk).

Since I didn't want sawdust and my two fat cats sitting in my kayak, I stored it upside down.  I put a 2x4 under the middle of the yak, and connected the bow and stern lines to the hook.

Different view of it being lifted.  Notice the control pendant is hanging below the kayak.  It has a decent length cable.

Once the kayak was quickly raised to the ceiling, I used two rope ratchets that I purchased from The Home Depot.

These rope ratchets are easy to operate.  Grab the tail end of the rope, give it a yank, and the ratchet clicks as it rotates.  A button has to be pushed to release the ratchet.

I put one strap under the bow, one under the stern.  This takes the load off the hoist.  Now if something lets go, either the rope ratchets, or the hoist, would take the load.

I was so impressed with its performance that when we needed a way to lift a heavy duty drum mixer at work, or the 55 gallon drums themselves, this was my first choice.  They had been using a come-along, which is dangerous when lowering the load.  Me and my coworker built a mobile frame, installed an even larger capacity hoist, and this has been working great for the past two years.


This electric hoist is worth every penny.  Harbor Freight has a mixture of decent stuff, and just plain junk.  This one is a bargain, and works as advertised.  When I buy another house, I'll put another one in my garage.  Great for lifting the top off the Jeep, lifting the toolbox out of a truck, or storing a canoe or kayak up against the ceiling.  For little more than the cost of a manual pulley system, you could buy an electric hoist.



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Last updated 05/20/05    All rights reserved.