We Are Gonna Settle This Cobra Lift Ring Thing For Good. YEAH!


Staib’s got lift rings out the wazoo!

Okay, okay. This story is for fellow Woody Boater Art Armstrong… Molly-O’s soul mate. The lift rings on Cobra’s have been the bane of his frustration for years. So lets talk about that. Yes, lift rings. I know, I know. But there is some confusion. Do they run horizontal or vertical of the boat? Could there be a reason?

Lift rings are correct in Prototype photo

In the factory photo they are Horizontal. Why? One might say to see them in the photo? And not really that way.

Prototype when it ran up on the rocks. NOTE the ring, its bent

Or are they running vertical like we see a lot of because it looks better? More like other boats?

Not correct. SAME BOAT

Guess what? There is this profession called Engineering, and they study this stuff. And I will of course butcher this.

Not so perfect after all

Since there are two on the aft section of the boat to work around the fin. It makes sense to have the horizontal so the lift lines can move and cause less stress on the rings.


The blue prints say Horizontal

The Bow one also must be horizontal to allow for that movement and balance from the aft rings. It kinda makes sense. I am no engineer, or ring designer.  But, I do have this thing called the internet. And guess what. We have proof of what should be the correct way. No more speculation. It’s math, science, Physics, and thankfully this topic has yet to be politicized by Fox or CNN. Oh, that reminds me, WEAR YOUR DAM MASK!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

And so we went to Canada for the answer. They have no skin in the game and seem to be politically free of crap.

Oh ya! Smack down! Art you rule! Way to go Jeannie


35 replies
  1. Syd
    Syd says:

    Just to add some more fun. Tha factory may have said how they wanted them but then you have the person who put it together and did his own thing for what ever reason. And left the factory that way

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    If I am looking at this right the bow ring should run fore and aft (Vertical)(hole going port – starboard) while the stern rings run side to side (Horizontal) because any change in load on the bow ring would be fore and aft on side to side.

    If using a spreader it shouldn’t matter because you would be able to pull straight up.

    Also: Who actually uses lift rings these days? Most boats are on trailers or a hull supported lift.

    • Tuobanur
      Tuobanur says:

      Troy, I have been in the crane and rigging business for over 40 years and you are absolutely correct on your assumption, by the way, I have use my left rings a few times. 😀

  3. Matt
    Matt says:

    I use my lift rings about 5 times a year. And I dont know why the bow one is that way except it matches or the the way the rear is could cause the boat to tilt, so ? Oh god Troy, post a babe photo! Stop asking smart questions

    • Art Armstrong
      Art Armstrong says:

      Actually Molly-O is on her lifting rings as we speak. She had used them for her entire 82 years of life.
      Lots of boats here on Harsens Island use them regularly with their Algonac hoist…..yes an Algonac hoist.

  4. George Burgess
    George Burgess says:

    I use a spreader bar on the rear of my Cobra because I also use an Algonac boat hoist with two hooks. I would never recommend lifting a boat with two lift rings by using anything that side loads the lift rings, as lift rings were made for straight up pulls.. All my lift rings are vertical or in line with the center of the boat.

    • Art
      Art says:

      George pleases take a closer look at the CC drawings that Matt posted, the ring holes should be facing fore and aft…….what part of that don’t you want to accept?

      • Tuobanur
        Tuobanur says:

        If you are using a spreader bar and pulling straight up it don’t matter which way they are turned.

  5. Art
    Art says:

    COBRA’s are the ONLY that should havr the rings with the holes facing fore and aft……per CC design.

  6. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    As Troy suggested, it would make more sense that the rear eyes be turned east & west and the front eye be turned north & south.

  7. Uncle Mike K
    Uncle Mike K says:

    i posted a note late yesterday about this, probably missed by most. but here is jim streets cobra (btw didnt sell at $110000.00 at mecum) he has them at 45 degree!

  8. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Bottom line, when lifting these boats you should always be using a system that allows the boat to be lifted pulling straight up on the eyes (spreader bar, etc.), that way it doesn’t matter which way the eyes are turned.

  9. Matt
    Matt says:

    This is like our little universe some sort of mask debate! Ha, The science, the engineering, the drawings are all right here. And yet?

  10. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    I think I will change mind, put the front one in a north east direction and put the rear one in a north west direction,,,,,,,should then turn to the starboard better…

  11. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    so im late today…
    What about using a lift ring to pull a skier or another boat.. Ive received mixed answers on that one..

    • mikeS
      mikeS says:

      The water skiing question is always a fun debate. The common sense way to look at it is, when you are pulled up out of the water and onto plane, that is the greatest load on the lift ring. And yet your hands and arms are strong enough to handle the forces involved. Do you think that you can pull the ring out of the deck with just your own strength while standing behind it on solid ground? If your answer is yes, you need a new deck and transom anyway. Six people on a tube is a bit different…

      • Mark in da U P
        Mark in da U P says:

        I have seen many factory and aftermarket snaps break on ski ropes. Could you do that with your hand?

        • MikeS
          MikeS says:

          If the rope is in your hand when the snap fails I’d say yes, your personal strength exceeded the strength of the snap at that time. I’m only suggesting this for a single skier, not for towing another vessel or other heavy load.

  12. Garry
    Garry says:

    Usually the ring is attached to a rod going thru the deck and then attached via plate bolted to longitudinal or frame. As a result there is more than a simple triangle of static forces shown in diagram under blueprint, as you call it. The angular component will cause deformation of the hole in the deck.
    Spreader bar is definitelycalled for.

  13. Briant
    Briant says:

    To hell with lifting rings. In these perilous times, remove your front ring and install a beer keg tap.

    I know I know it breaks many rules of safe boating, but one pint while motoring about cannot be all bad?

  14. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    One pint only gets me out of the marina… 😉 If the structure of the boat is sound and the attachments all correct as engineered by the manufacturer, there should be no issue with using lift rings to get a boat off the trailer or out of the water to store or work on it. Line up the lift mechanism for a vertical pull and you should be good to go!

  15. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    So here is a funny memory.

    My sudo Uncle, Dick Merrill, had several Cobra’s growing up. At one time he also had a Capri. Somewhere along the line I confused the two and would have sworn that he owned a double cockpit Cobra.

    Funny how a young mind can remember things wrong.

  16. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    That’s what happens when you need someplace to store the tail assembly when working on the Cobra… 🙂

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