Jetski lifting sling safety?

We’re going to use a Seadoo RXP-X simply as an example for the research we’ve been doing, though this is relevant to all types of PWCs.

The dry weight of a Seadoo RXP-X (2008 model) is 774lbs and assuming you keep the fuel tank full, and along with other bits and bobs we are looking at around a total weight of 1000lbs.

If you reduce the angle of load to 20 deg like the image you can do your own maths regarding the amount of stress being applied to each leg of your sling system… Now consider how a jetski (PWC) is manufactured and feel the thickness of the topside (just a few mm), is it really such a good idea to fit pad-eyes to the top side, regardless of the lifting angle?

Putting load onto the manufacturer fitted D-rings on the transom/hull of the PW is one thing as they are designed for load, but on many PWs, pad eyes have been retro-fitted to the bow, an area of the PW with fairly little structural integrity as its not built to take any weight, load or impact; unlike the hull.

So, if you do intend to utilise systems such as retro-fitted pad-eyes, please at least ensure that the entire set up has been proof loaded to 125% and has a sufficient lift angle to reduce stress/load on each sling leg .

Just read the investigation report from the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry to see the slings that caused a crew fatality in 2010 were not tested and had no certification. Up until this crew fatality it was standard practice to use these hook style lifting systems, but Yachts started moving away from this due to numerous issues and reports of them ‘slipping’ during launch/recovery and the standard ‘fix’ since then is fitting pad-eyes with spreader plates hidden behind simply because there were no barely any other options available.

Regulations as simple as LOLER (1998) state that all equipment used for lifting is required to be fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and in some cases subject to statutory periodic thorough examination. Much of the time ISM far exceeds this but can be overlooked.

Now tell us, if you’re stood under or near that jetski when it is hanging off the crane/davit on your yacht and it drops to the deck, that you’re going to be ok about it?

Currently we’re rather keen on this 4 point lifting sling, on the basis that they’ve been fully tested/certificated and they are fitted to the strongest part of the PWC (bonded rail) plus they are actually attached to the jetski rather than hooked under.We’ve had fantastic feedback from our clients who are using this system, it has given them confidence in the safety around lifting jetskis. “Its a very smart system and has definitely made launch and recovery a lot safer and smoother” (Captain J.L – M/Y Heartbeat of Life).

For further information, jetski sling purchases or any Yacht PWC/jetski information including crew training and jetski licence/training centre set up please contact us at:


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