Swinging Derrick


  • 3 x spars 3.6m long
  • 5 x spars 2.5m long
  • 2 x short spars 1m long
  • Lashing lengths
  • Additional ropes for guylines
  • 1 x Handy Billy


The jib is made from 2 z 2.5m spars and 1 x1m spar. Lay the long spars side by side and lash the thinner ends together with a sheer lashing. Pull the butt ends about 15cm apart and lash the short spar across them using square lashings.

Use the remaining 3 x 2.5m spars to make an A frame.

Make a tripod by laying the 3 x 3.6m spars together and sliding the middle one along for about half its length. Join the spars together with a figure of eight lashing.

Attach the double block of the Handy Billy to the middle spar just above the lashing.

Raise the tripod and adjust the legs so that the middle spar is vertical.

Lash the prepared A frame to the legs of the tripod using square lashings.

Attach the jib to the vertical spar with rolling hitches.

Make a simple seat with the remaining short spar and fix it to the top of the jib.

Attach the single block to the jib and fit a pair of guy lines.

Depending on what or who is being lifted, the derrick will require additional counter weights on the back of the A frame. We tend to use three or four Scouts who are given instructions not to get up while it is in use.

To download the complete plan and design document please Click Here

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls