Do not use it unless you have had training.

Before using do the following checks:-

  • Make sure the mast is fully located in the floor socket and is free to rotate
  • Check the spreader bar is firmly attached to the boom and the safety latch holding the bar is engaged and working properly.
  • Make sure the spreader bar is free to rotate
  • Examine the sling hooks on the speader bar for excessive wear and the sling for fraying or other damage. If in doubt DO NOT USE.
  • Operate the hydraulic fluid leakage. Any leakage should be reported immediately and the unit MUST NOT BE USED.

After use be sure to enter the names of the operator and the person lifted in the logbook.

Assembly and Checking

  1. The hoist is kept in the Gravesend Sailability locker (last but one in South yard). There is a list of key holders at the back of this manual.
  2.  Remove the plug from the floor socket and put it somewhere safe. It is lignum vitae so IT DOES NOT FLOAT!
  3. Insert the spigot at the base of the mast into the floor socket.

SAFETY NOTE: Avoid trapping fingers. Keep fingers away from the end of the mast spigot when inserting into the socket.

  1. Fully unwind the "T" shaped clamp screw at the top of the mast. The travel of the screw is limited by a fixed stop. Keep turning until the stop is encountered. DO NOT force the screw past the stop.
  2. Assemble the boom to the mast. Engage the boom and tie rod pivots in the locating hooks at the top of the mast.
  3. Still holding the boom in place, insert the boom ram spigot into the top of the hydraulic ram. The boom can now be released.
  4. Rewind the "T" shaped clamp screw and tighten fully.
  5. Insert the spreader bar up into the end of the boom until the latch engages.
  6. Close the hydraulic unit release valve by turning the knurled black knob on the unit fully clockwise.

NOTE: The release valve requires only minimal tightening to operate and should only be closed finger tight. DO NOT apply excessive force to the valve knob as this will result in damage to the valve.

  1. Pump the handle of the hydraulic unit and confirm the ram raises the boom.
  2. Open the release valve fully anticlockwise and check the boom descends.
  3. Close the release valve and raise the boom until it is approximately parallel to the floor.

Note: The raising and lowering of the boom is achieved by a powerful hydraulic ram which is operated by two simple controls. The release valve, which is identified by a black knurled knob, and the pump handle which is a long lever on the side of the hydraulic unit. To raise the boom, ensure the release valve is closed. The valve is closed by gently turning the knurled knob fully clockwise. When closed, pump the long handle with smooth even strokes for maximum effect. The handle strokes from an upright position through an arc of 90 degrees. Leave the handle in the upright position when not in use. DO NOT force the handle beyond the upper or lower stops.

The hydraulic unit can be rotated to allow the handle to be used from either side of the lift. To lower the boom, turn the release valve anticlockwise. The release valve is progressive, the more it is opened the faster the descent. The valve is restricted so even when fully open the descent is controlled. This facility allows for a "hands free" descent. If the release valve is opened a fraction (about an eighth of a turn) a very slow speed of descent will allow the carer to work "hands free" while assisting the person.

REMEMBER to close the release valve before commencing lifting operations. The release valve only requires gentle pressure to open or close, DO NOT apply excessive force to the release valve, either to close or to open. It is not necessary and will only damage the valve.

Operating Instructions

  1. First check the Dipper is assembled according to the instructions in the Assembly and Commissioning section.
  2. Ensure that the boat is firmly secured to the pontoon to minimise the movement of the boat. Since the maximum height the person can be raised is 90cm above the deck it may be necessary to drop a guard wire. Swing the boom out to check that the person will be landed in the correct place.
  3. Slide the sling under the person so that there are 2 labelled loops at the back, 2 at the side and 2 between the legs with the padded sections supporting the thighs.
  4. Undo the release valve to lower the boom and move the person’s wheel chair until the spreader bar is in front of them at about chin level. If possible they should hold onto the spreader bar.
  5. Now the sling loops can be hooked on. Typically the back should be hooked on by the red loops and the side and leg by the full grey loops.
  6. Make sure the hydraulic unit release valve is fully closed (fully clockwise – finger tight).
  7. Raise the boom slowly by pumping the hydraulic unit handle. This will lift the person.
  8. Check the sea conditions.
  9.  When the person is high enough or reaches the maximum of about a metre stop pumping and swing the boom and sling over the boat.
  10. Lower the person into the boat by turning the hydraulic unit release valve anticlockwise VERY GENTLY by a small amount so that they don’t come down too quickly.
  11. IMPORTANT. If there is any movement between the boat and the pontoon it is essential that the loops are released promptly and the boom raised clear to avoid the risk of injury. Especially watch out for any incoming wash from a passing vessel. If there is marked movement it is probably better not to use the hoist.

Lifting from the Boat

  1. Secure the boat alongside.
  2. Drop a guard wire if necessary.
  3. Slide the sling under the person and have the loops ready for attaching.
  4. Check the sea conditions.- See point 10 above. Swing the boom over the boat taking care that there is not too much movement.
  5. Attach the loops promptly and lift off immediately.
  6. Swing the boom back from the boat, position the sling over their wheelchair and lower the sling until the person is back in their wheelchair..
  7. Release the sling from the spreader bar.

After Use

  1. Disconnect the spreader bar and boom and lift the mast out of its socket.
  2. Replace the plug in the floor socket
  3. Replace the unit back in the Sailability locker and lock up.
  4. Ensure you have entered the operator and person lifted in the log.
  5. Report any problems or defects to:-

Maintenance Schedule

AAL Ltd recommend a thorough inspection and test of the Oxford Dipper and lifting accessories, slings etc. is carried out every six months. The examination and test should be conducted according to the recommendations and procedures below. AAL Ltd recommend maintenance, inspection and certified testing is carried out by authorised service dealers only.

Note: These recommendations are in compliance with the requirements of 1998 No 2307 Health and Safety: The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

This is a UK regulation. Outside the UK please check your local requirements.

 • Spreader Bar: Check the spreader bar for freedom of rotation. Check for wear on the central pivot. Check the attachment to the boom and the operation of the safety latch. Inspect for excessive wear on the sling hooks and any side suspenders used in conjunction with the spreader bar.

• Boom: Check the attachment of the boom to the mast. Make sure the mast clamp screw can be fully tightened and prevents disconnection of the boom from the mast. Check the boom raising and lowering is smooth and unhindered. Lubricate all pivot points as necessary with a light mineral based grease. Check for full engagement of the boom ram pin with the hydraulic ram top. Make sure the boom ram pin is free to pivot on the mounting brackets. Lubricate if necessary.

• Hydraulic Unit: The hydraulic unit should require no maintenance other than checking for correct operation and for leakage of hydraulic fluid.

• Mast: Check the mast rotates freely in the floor socket. Lubricate with a light mineral based grease as necessary. Check the mounting of the hydraulic unit to the mast, make sure the hydraulic unit pivots freely. Lubricate if necessary.

• General: Check all nuts and bolts for tightness. Tighten if necessary.

• Floor Socket: Clean the hole regularly of any mud or debris. Lubricate lightly.

• Cleaning: Clean with ordinary soap and water and/or any hard surface disinfectant. Harsh chemical cleaners or abrasives should be avoided as these may damage the surface finish of the lift.

• Load Test The load test should be carried out in accordance with the manufacturers test procedures. It is strongly recommended the testing is carried out by an authorised service dealer.

• Certification: An authorised service dealer will issue a test certificate after satisfactory completion of the load test. This certificate will be valid for six months.