The dock-side cradle is designed for getting into and out of kayaks and canoes more easily and more safely. If you fear capsizing when getting into or out of your kayak or canoe, and you own or have access to a floating dock, the dock-side cradle is for you.
The ribs (support arms) of the cradle are made from square aluminum pipe and the kayak is cradled by two cedar 2x4's bolted (stainless steel nuts and bolts) to the ribs. The entire cradle is hinged on the dock using aluminum flat bar, round aluminum pipe, iron pins and stainless steel lag bolts. The cradle slopes down into deeper water, allowing you to get into or out of a firmly held kayak or canoe at the shallow end, and to float freely from, or into, the cradle at the deeper end. The railing on the cradle assists with entry and exit and handles can be attached to the dock for additional assistance, if needed.
The cradle rotates on hinges so that when not in use it can be stored on the dock, out of rough water. The hinge pins are held with cotter keys except for one which is secured by a padlock. The pins and padlock are easily removed so that the cradle can be readily moved off the dock for winter storage. The aluminum and cedar construction is very light and can be rotated or moved by one person. It is also very strong, capable of safely holding several hundred pounds of weight, provided it is attached to a sound dock. The cradle has been inspected and approved by a qualified engineer.
A standard width of 31" has been tested and works well with kayaks ranging in width from 22" to 30" because the cedar 2"x4"s which cradle the kayak are bolted to the ribs at 7.25" from center and provide stability to kayaks of different width when getting in or getting out. The design must be tailor-made to suit the distance from the top of the dock to the water, so that the shallow end of the cradle is just below water level and the deep end is just below the draft of the kayak. With fixed rather than floating docks, where the distance from the top of the dock to the water varies year-to-year (on lakes) and with the tide (on the ocean), a small floating dock can be added to the fixed dock and used to anchor the cradle.
For more information see FIXED DOCKS
Two models of the cradle are available--one has 3 ribs and the other 5 ribs. The 3 rib model is strong enough and stable enough for most people. The 5-rib model is more rigid but also more expensive. We do not recommend the extra expense of the 5-rib model unless the user needs a very rigid platform from which to launch the kayak. For most people, the 3-rib model will be rigid enough. Our first design was the 5-rib model and our experience with it led us to the conclusion that it was overbuilt for most people, and that we could provide a simpler and less expensive model that would generally be suitable. The 3-rib cradle design was the result. For more detail on the two models see
THE RIGHT CRADLE FOR YOU.