Author Options:

60m floating sea conveyor as customer transportation to/from a deck 30m offshore. Can anyone give me some advice pls? Answered

The aim of this creation is to assist weak/tired swimmers.  The platform (used for watersports) is quite far from shore (30m) and even with lifejackets I don't want anyone getting in trouble or drifting off.  I do have a boat for emergencies but it's too small for regular use   Anyway, I was watching a ski lift and thought that the principle should be applicable (in theory!) to my problem.

So far (not very!) I thought I could use waxed nylon rope with floats placed approx every 1.5/2m for people to hang onto - the bit I have no idea about is how to get it all around the mechanisms which power it ( "mechanisms" because I can't remember the names, I really am a beginner so pls go slow!).  Also a bit vague re marine engineering considerations (type of materials etc) and power.  I know I haven't got very far but someone could pls lend me a bit of their brain it would be much appreciated.  Simple and not massively expensive would be a big relief!

Thanks again for reading this,


I can think of at least half a dozen regulars here who could probably design and build this thing for you but you will probably have trouble getting it done because of the liability.  The liability is a huge issue on something like this. 

I have no doubt that it could be done easily though.  I'm thinking that one of the companies that design and make the rides and transportation systems for the amusement parks or maybe better yet one of the ski lift companies would be a good place to start.  They are experienced in the testing and permitting process involved.

I don't see why a system similar to a ski lift system would not work.  Basically just two big pulleys on supports with a cable system between them and drop lines off the cable.  Some sort of motor to move the system and some controls.

I'd rather see some kind of small float that the person grabs and pulls up under their chest and ride rather than a rope or handle they hold on to.]

Good luck.

Yep, the float under chest was what I was imagining, with the rope flat on the water.  People can pull themselves along a rope instead but I kind of like the idea of something that pulls you along - maybe I'm a bit lazy!

The liability issue may indeed be ... ahem ... interesting. What if someone does something stupid and manages to get their suit tangled in the line? Pinch hazard at least, possibly worse...

I'd also wonder if this makes you responsible for having lifeguards across the whole distance.

Personally, I'd suggest just running a set of lines with good-sized floats out there and letting folks rest on the lines as needed. Or a couple of  intermediate floating platforms before you get to the outer one. Or issue kickboards to folks who think they might need additional buoyancy.

Or just get another boat.

Tangled suits?!?!  There's comedy potential there, maybe this should be a design feature? :o) 

The majority of the distance customers will be able to stand up (well about 40%) and we have staff on shore and on the platform to supervise customers so they shouldn't have too much opportunity to drown themselves in theory.  We will be keeping an eye though! 

I was researching something else and I saw something that looks similar to your project.

Use this link and go to July 1969 page 164.


Like the link! Possibly a bit complicate for me but it looks like fun! Thank-you :o)

String a line between the shore and the destination like the one the divides the lanes in a swimming pool.  The people going out on one side and the people coming in on the other.  Rather than swim out they can pull themselves along using the floats to rest.

It's going to be almost no expense compared to a motorized system.
There will be very little liability since it's a proven safety system.
You could have this installed now without going thru a whole construction project.
If there is an accident or a swimmer gets too tired coming back in it's a safety feature and you would likely be held less responsible since you had installed more safety features than you had before.

Perhaps rather than floats, which would create a lot of drag, the revolving rope could be suspended above the water with T shaped sticks dangling down. Then swimmers could simply reach up and grab one. If only 30cm above the water they'd be well within reach but not clobber anyone on the head if swimming by.