LONGSHOREMANSHIP: How to Load a Truck on a Sailboat

Loading the truck

I get queries about this all the time. There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way. The video below shows the right way. It’s a good idea to practice using someone else’s truck until you get the hang of it.

The guys in this video, allegedly, have never screwed up and lost a truck. Evidently this is the only way to get vehicles on and off Île de la Gonâve, which is 15 miles off the Haitian coast in the middle of the Golfe de la Gonâve. Here’s another video demonstrating the same technique with a significantly larger truck.

I’ve looked but have yet to find a photo or video of one of these boats actually underway with a truck aboard. That’s the part that always worries me most. Talk about raising your center of gravity.

gonave map

History buffs take note: La Gonâve was ruled for eight years, from 1922 to 1929, by a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant named Faustin E. Wirkus, who was hailed by the locals as King Faustin II. (According to some accounts he was instead crowned King Wirkus I, and some insist he ruled for only four years, but all seem to agree that he was a benevolent and beloved monarch.) For the last word on the subject, you can check out Wirkus’ own account of his reign–The White King of La Gonave: The True Story of the Sergeant of Marines Who Was Crowned King on a Voodoo Island.

book cover

Haven’t read it yet myself, but it’s on my list.

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1 Response
  1. Damon

    Once put an 8,000-lb mini excavator on a 40′ lobster boat. Was a bit of a racket but it worked, and saved us the cost chartering a barge. Living on an island inspires ingenuity.

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