I think I may want a carbon fibre boathook...

Kukri

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In my experience, boathooks on wooden poles of more than about two metres in length become awkward to use, because of the weight of the pole, and I never have much luck with the aluminium alloy collapsible ones.

Has anyone made one by gluing wood ends into a carbon tube?
 

prv

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Don’t know about carbon, but I bought a 3m GRP boathook off the shelf. It flexes a bit more than the 8’ pine one it replaces, but doesn’t feel like it’s going to break, and it’s nice and light.

Pete
 

sarabande

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Go to your College boat club, and ask if they have any broken oars. They usually break at the throat. Clean up then fix a wooden end with hooky bit.
 

Poignard

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Don’t know about carbon, but I bought a 3m GRP boathook off the shelf. It flexes a bit more than the 8’ pine one it replaces, but doesn’t feel like it’s going to break, and it’s nice and light.

Pete

3 metres! That's not a boathook, it's a lance :D
 

pvb

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I have one of the ridiculously-named "Handy Duck" devices, which is great for picking up moorings single-handed. It has a telescopic GRP pole which is extremely light. I imagine you could buy the pole on its own and fit a different end on it.
 

johnalison

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Just buy an HR. They come with an alloy boathook which is long enough for most purposes. It also floats, at least for a while.
 

LadyInBed

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I've made 'plastic' ones. When I was working I visited a company that used large (4ft wide) Benson XY plotters. The paper came on rolls, a two man lift, and when the roll ran out the centre tubes, about 2"D, got put in a skip.
I collected about a dozen or so as they looked useful and made all sorts of things from them including boat hooks :encouragement:.
 

Daydream believer

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I've made 'plastic' ones. When I was working I visited a company that used large (4ft wide) Benson XY plotters. The paper came on rolls, a two man lift, and when the roll ran out the centre tubes, about 2"D, got put in a skip.
I collected about a dozen or so as they looked useful and made all sorts of things from them including boat hooks :encouragement:.

So the OP has to go & buy a plotter & a fork lift truck to pick up the paper roll, print 2 million fliers then he gets 4 ft of plastic waste pipe for free.

Good tip:ambivalence:
 

Kukri

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You will feel extra silly if you lose a £££ carbon boathook to the oggin!

True.

It ought to float vertically and quite high, though!

I anticipate a certain amount of fending off in locks as well as picking up of buoys. The extra length is handy when stabbing at a concrete wall.

I am well supplied with the hook parts, and was all set to make wooden shafts when I thought “there might be a better way to do this!”
 

bignick

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How long does it need to be?
I have a stainless Shurhold one, which is plenty light and strong enough.
Not particularly cheap, but the interchangeability with brush heads means it is really useful.
 

Kukri

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How long does it need to be?
I have a stainless Shurhold one, which is plenty light and strong enough.
Not particularly cheap, but the interchangeability with brush heads means it is really useful.

I’ve got the Shurhold handle and pads and will be adding brushes. Splendid thing. But I fancy it would sink if dropped overboard.

I think nine or ten feet is about right to fend off from lock walls. Six feet is good for mooring buoys alongside the cockpit.
 

grumpy_o_g

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It's an interesting idea but I've seen boathooks caught between two obstacles and having a sheering force applied to them on a few occassions (and been guilty of using one as a lever myself in the past once or twice). Not sure how well carbon fibre would cope with that which may be something to consider.
 

Sandy

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In my experience, boathooks on wooden poles of more than about two metres in length become awkward to use, because of the weight of the pole, and I never have much luck with the aluminium alloy collapsible ones.
why do you need such a long pole? My most useful boat hook is just over a meter.
 

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I wrote this for the PBO but the ditor did not like it:-
Boat hooks

Now there’s a subject that can keep the bar pundits at Stone Sailing Club going for ages, In fact any subject draws the crowd in, provided the orator is buying the beers. It is a little known fact that in the ever advancing world of electronics, the humble boathook has not been left behind.

My first hook worked perfectly well. A visit to Thomas Foulkes, under the Leytonstone arches, resulted in a massive, galvanised ex army (Boadicea’s Icean army that is) whaling harpoon, “8 ft broom stick handle 3s 7d extra”. Three hours whittling the end of the stick to get the correct taper to fit, resulted in a 4 ft handle; 3 inch nail sticking out of the side & a wobbly 10Lb lump of metal on the end. One of the most dangerous pikes known to the Romans.

Whoe betide anyone on starboard tack who comes between old Pete & his buoy. Full main & topsail set, the crew hanging over the pulpit waving the hook, like Boadicea in full fighting trim, 400 yards from the mooring, shouting “left a bit, right a bit” as they thunders past 50 yards away down wind & down tide , the helm screaming obscenities at his crew for missing the ring.

Some idiot in the RYA has tried to banish one of life’s greatest skills, by doing away with the hook altogether. Instead you can see “RYA approved sailing school dot com” along the East coast with poor souls hanging over the bow trying to lasso the buoy like Roy Rogers riding Trigger. Those that do manage to actually lasso the buoy, & not the prop, and then manage to burst the buoy- leaving the owner wondering where his £ 400-00 of best quality Chinese chain has gone.

Seeing a hole in the market on the Blackwater I flog the chain, so no complaints there, as the each year owner after owner come with tales of woe & “Do I have any chain?”, “Oh!! & have you got any buoys left?”

It is a little known fact that the RYA has robbed this from an earlier anchoring technique still practised at Stone.
As we know if you are on starboard tack, running down wind, an old gaffer has right of way over everything in its way, including moored boats. The technique is to let the dinghy out on 200 ft of line (you must have seen old gaffers thus rigged) generally with the wind up the chuff the dinghy will overtake to leeward forming a gigantic bight in the painter. The experienced helm just has to select a plastic fantastic 3 moorings up from his & lasso it with the dinghy, plus the next 2 down the line, thus bringing the heaviest of gaffers to a grinding halt. A leisurely stroll to the bow & our whiskery old salt leans over & gently raises the buoy. “Oh! Have I hooked my dinghy? Sorry old son, Never mind it will unhook when the tide changes” Just as 3 owners rush for the gel filler & insurance policies

There were 2 designs of hook. One was for swinging mooring owners, which had 2 hooks on the end. You only used one, but two meant more danger with the cat’s cradle getting it out from the bottom of the deepest locker. New crews, eager to please after a day’s cruise, would offer to grab the buoy. More experienced crews would breathe a sigh of relief. Many a novice crew has fallen in to the locker. Sweeny Todd was said to live in a London Street but his counterpart- the owner of an old gaff cutter in Maldon lives on- luring new crew on board, never to be seen again, with the promise of far off lands & hot meat pies at 8 bells.
If you did manage to unwind the tangle of ropes, heaving lines, buckets & lead lines etc & did actually hook the ring, the weight of the old gaffer thundering past the buoy would drag you over the side in a trice. “Don’t you dare drop that hook” was the cry from the helm. Our budding crew had the choice, be dragged over the side & drown or 40 tongue lashings; most went for drowning.

The other type of hook was for dock side dwellers. Fortunately they rarely went anywhere, preferring to make tarry smells, grow beards & cover the boat in baggy wrinkle, looking to the casual observer like left over tea clipper salts. Anyway, this type of hook has a point & only one hook. This is designed for pushing the boat off just before it crashes into the sea wall. Instead of being pulled over the side the novice crew gets the end of the stick in his stomach & promptly gets pushed over the stern. Pity really, as he does not get the chance to see the bowsprit clear the wall at ankle level & wipe out 3 tourists & a heap of lobster pots the other side of the road.

So, mooring sales apart, there’s a lot to say for the good old hook.

But time moves on & some budding Dyson has decided he can improve on a bit of kit that has lasted generations of old Harry’s. First it was a large detachable gunmetal hook on a stick & attached to a line. Our budding crew just had to lean over, hook the buoy at 6 Knts & disconnect the handle & Bob’s your uncle, just as long as the other end was looped on to the samson post. Old Pete would then do 150 foot pirouettes around the buoy as gaff & topsail did crash gybes decapitating anyone who dared look above the gunwale. Here in St Lawrence Bay it is quite normal for the salts to start the season moored to the east of the club & by October they will be just off Osea pier 3 miles to the west. “Stan – we must do something about the size of these sinkers -I think I’ve dragged a bit”
Nowadays we have super plastic contraptions that threadle the line , bring it back to the boat, tie a bowline , drop the sail & make the tea - all for a mear hundred quid or so.

In the old days if you could not afford a new boat hook you moored just below one of the other cruisers & wait for one to come bobbing down tide like a broad’s fisher’s pike float. They all came from Thomas Foulkes so no one could tell who’s they really were; besides ,to admit you had just thrown it over the side cost more in thank you beers & embarrassment than the actual hook. If you lost yours you just had to move down tide & wait for another.
Nowadays it’s different. You have to buy the dearest hook possible just in case the bloke 100yds downstream catches it & he would see the price tag & nod with envy. The size of boat isn’t an issue any more; it’s the size of your buoy & boat hook. I just wish they would attach the instructions in waterproof paper so I could work out how to use them.
 
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