Getting certified to use the hoist at Gaviota redefines the meaning of red tape!
Yes, it has to be a continuous piece of webbing for the front sling on an inflatable, held in place by D-rings (not just the handles) on the outside of the tubes.
An inflatable boat dealer who'd set up boats for the hoist previously insisted that the D-rings that were already on the boat on the inside of the tubes would suffice as lifting points but I failed my initial inspection because I didn't have a basket sling/outside D-ring set up.
The backstory I was told is that it was originally operated on an honor system with little or no regulation at all. Apparently there was an accident when a sling or a lifting point failed and, as a result, the state conducted a thorough investigation of the operation. The investigators identified multiple safety violations and drew up a long list of recommendations that had to be met before anyone was allowed to use the hoist again.
As a side note, the hoist is currently closed while they make some upgrades and renovate the pier. I'm sure there's an even longer than usual backlog for hoist inspections and classes.
If you have beach wheels, you can use them at Gaviota but your vehicle can't go on the sand and it's probably 50-75 yards between the road and the water. I know people hand launch 16' inflatables there but it's a bit of a struggle.
Baja sounds so much easier (though perhaps there's more chance of getting shot
. Are there many places to trailer launch or do you need beach wheels?
Kelson -- I'm planning a boat camping trip to Lake Powell next month. Would you mind PM'ing me with some tips and pointers when you have a minute?