I think that varies from boat to boat. I carry my Caribe L9 upside down between the mast and inner forestay. The storm staysail is hanked on and bagged atop the dinghy. The dinghy provides a great step and seat for working at the mast. There is still plenty of room to move past it on both sides. When I do have to work on the bow the dinghy proves to be great to wedge against.
I was talking about 36ft and smaller. What size has your boat?