Features June 2019 Issue

The DIY Hanger Hook

It was a given that anything added to the cockpit locker of our F-24 test boat had to be quickly removable. All of the bolts for cockpit gear, fuel lines, and half of the wiring is accessed by worming through this narrow locker into the space under the cockpit, and any obstruction would render it inaccessible. Because the backside is the hull, through-bolting was not an option. The previous owner had epoxied on a few hooks, but gluing plastic to fiberglass is pretty hopeless and only the scars remained.

drill press
A drill press and a couple of dowls (1-4) is all you need to construct the hook. Glue on hooks (5) secure the mounting bracket to the inside of the hull.

To create a modular and removable hook system, we mounted a pair of glue-on studs to each side (see PS July 2017), out of the way of bilge access. These support an 1/8-inch x 2-inch x 32-inch aluminum bar, to which we can attach whatever accessories we need. Because the bar is secured with knobs rather than nuts, the whole business can be removed in seconds without tools. Additionally, the bar, complete with accessories, can be fabricated at home, a boon to any boat project; all you need to know is the stud spacing.

The hooks themselves are a design we’ve used on a number of boats. Fabricated from 1/8-inch x ¾-inch aluminum flat bar, they do not snag things you would rather they did not, and yet they hold line tenaciously, even when the boat rolls and slams. To make these, round the corners of a 5-inch section on a bench grinder, followed by polishing on a wire wheel. Drill and countersink for #8 fasteners. Bend to shape using a simple jig created by clamping two broomstick stubs in a bench vice about 1/8-inch apart. The gap should be just wide enough to admit the 3/8-inch slings that will be used to hang lines and PFDs; any wider and they will snag ropes and sail bags.

Instead of placing objects directly on the hooks, attach them via slings that are luggage tagged around the object. If the locker is deep, loops of variable length allow layered storage, with each hook capable of holding 1 to 3 items suspended from loops of graduated lengths. Up to 20 pounds of rope on each hook and 100 pounds total on the strip is not excessive. In this way, considerable volumes of ropes, fenders, and PFDs can be stored in a deep locker without tangles and without anything becoming lost.

Comments (5)

For those who worry about clogging their expensive grinder stones and (/or) do have a belt sander, a coarse belt works very well at removing material quickly including aluminum and stainless steel.

Posted by: Port Noir's Complaint | July 20, 2019 4:26 PM    Report this comment

Shops I have used often demand that the grinder not be exposed to soft, and/or low-melting-point non-ferrous metals (copper, brass, aluminum, etc). These metals tend to build up on the wheel causing it to become useless (until properly dressed), and possibly break apart catastrophically. Better to use a belt sander.

Posted by: Franklin Wood | June 10, 2019 9:16 AM    Report this comment

Instead of using "luggage loops", the big box home improvement stores such as Home Depot sell Nylon strap loops equipped with velcro to secure coiled extension cords. The loops are cheap - like $1 to $1.50 each and can hold a considerable amount of weight. Some have attached caribiners, etc. They are very useful.

Posted by: Dave9111 | June 7, 2019 9:10 AM    Report this comment

An even easier hanger is to use inexpensive round wooden drawer knobs. Use 'luggage tag' loops of various lengths around the knobs to hang your gear.

Posted by: Jack Pare | June 5, 2019 9:37 AM    Report this comment

Great idea! Quick removal makes good sense.

Posted by: Lakota44 | June 4, 2019 11:24 AM    Report this comment

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