How to Build Your Own Small Boat Davit

DIY Small Boat Davit

If you're in the market for a small boat davit, you've probably noticed the limited options available to you and the highs costs associated with them. Instead of going with one of those less-than-ideal solutions, Michel decided to go the custom route and build his own DIY boat davit to hoist his small raft.

The entire structure is built using Kee Lite fittings and pipe and in this post, we're going to show you what you need to build one just like it.

We'll cover the details of Michel's davit, the fittings you'll need to build your own, and show you exactly where to use each (with helpful diagrams). So follow along:

Michel's Boat Davit Project Details

DIY Small Boat Davit

Like I mentioned above, Michel's boat davit was constructed using Kee Lite fittings. These fittings are just like Kee Klamp fittings, but rather than being built from galvanized steel, these fittings are built from aluminum. They still have exceptional ability to fight off the deadly signs off rust (which works great in a wet, moist environment like a boat dock) but are a bit lighter than Kee Klamp fittings.

Both product lines help to create a super sturdy and strong structure. As you can see on Michel's davit, multiple triangles are created within the structure to provide extra strength and stability. These are created using using the Swivel Flange and Single Swivel Socket fittings.

Here's what Michel had to say of the project:

"I'm sure this pattern will be very popular here in Florida, specially in South where I am with a lot of canals with private dock, thanks to your product! All my neighbors came to see it."

Now, let's take a closer look at the fittings used in the davit...

DIY Small Boat Davit

Fittings Needed to Build the Boat Davit

Below, are all the fittings you'll need to build a boat davit just like the one Michel built (Michel used Size 8 pipe and fittings for the entire structure):


Where to Use Each Fitting

DIY Boat Davit Plans

At the corner of the boat davit frame, three Single Swivel Socket fittings are used to create a triangle to provide extra stability for the structure:

DIY Boat Davit Plans

These fittings swing freely when not secured to two lengths of pipe and have a range of motion of 170 degrees. This allows you to create different shapes at different angles within a structure.

The fitting itself is secured to the pipe by tightening down the set screw on each fitting using an Allen wrench.

At the top of the frame, where a Single Swivel Socket fitting is used to joined the top horizontal bar to the vertical support, a Malleable Plug is used to cap off the exposed end of pipe. This keeps water from getting into the pipe and pooling up.

DIY Boat Davit Plans

At the top of the davit frame, Michel used a straight bar going across to provide extra stability. This bar is joined to each side using the Single Socket Tee fitting.

At the end of the frame, a Female Single Swivel Socket Member is used (this is basically one half of the Single Swivel Socket fitting). Using this fitting allowed Michel to cap off the exposed end of pipe and gave him a hole on each side to attach a pulley to hoist his boat.

DIY Boat Davit Plans

Finally, at the bottom of the boat davit frame, four Swivel Flange fittings (two on each side) are used to attach the frame to the dock. These fittings also swing freely and provide a range of motion of a 170 degrees when not secured. The flange portion of the fitting has two countersunk holes in it for mounting to a surface.

You may have noticed the fittings in the diagram above look a bit different from those in the pictures of Michel's boat davit. This is because Michel is using the Kee Lite version of the Swivel Flange and the diagram has the Kee Klamp version of the Swivel Flange shown. Both function in the same manner.

DIY Boat Davit Plans

If you need any help designing a similar structure like the boat davit Michel built, don't hesitate to reach out to our team for help. We offer free design assistance (we'll even create a Sketchup drawing of your project) which you can find on this page or you can simply email our projects team at projects@simplifiedbuilding.

We hope this post was helpful to you and if you want to see more content like this, be sure to sign up to our email newsletter to receive updates on future projects.

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