I have started raising my outboard using the mainsheet hung off the mast. It takes some setup, but it saves my back when I'm solo. Also works, of course, for lowering the outboard.
1. The mast must be raised a foot or so first, so the mainsheet blocks are high enough over the outboard mount.
2. I made a special wooden lifter out of 2x4 and plywood (see insert.)
3. I just made a "sling" out of webbing for the outboard.
For details, contact: