I have Atkins & Hoyle Davits and bent the 2" diameter vertical support when I had the Dinghy and engine hanging on the davits during a rough day on the Chesapeake. Of course I had just bought the boat and was new to having a boat big enough to transport a dinghy. I was caught off guard by how much stress it put on the davits.
I am wondering what others use to lift the engine on and off the dinghy transom and how they lift the dinghy onto the foredeck. I don't want to buy a separate motor lift, but I sure as hell don't want to drop the outboard in the water
Yes, the davit failure appalled me as well, given that the seas were just five feet or so. We were on a 15 degree heel, and the twist revealed a casting failure. The davits were rated for 400 lbs, and were carrying 125 lbs., max.
A&H davits, along with Kato, are generally considered top-end. Certainly I can't say enough good things about the quality of their hatches and portlights (except for the ridiculous cost of replacement gaskets!), so I would have been surprised as well. Let's say it's another argument against davit use other than as a "temporary parking place" at anchor or in calm motoring conditions.
I used a deck crane atop a strut-mounted weldment to lift my 9.9 aboard, and the spare foresail halyard to bring the RIB vertically aboard the foredeck. I would let the pontoons take the weight aft and then lower it whatever way it wanted to go down to the deck. Mostly, this means inverted (saving me further work), but if it was windy, I paid off the line quickly as a bucking RIB can do damage.
The new Honda 2 is handled with a light line lashed to its tender until it is off the transom, and then is just handed up. Even my five foot tall wife can one-arm it. At sea, I would rig a sling to the deck crane or to the boom, just for absolute safety should the tender and the main boat slam or otherwise do something unwelcome.
I will bring aboard both tenders in slings or four-point shackles using the main boom, using the mainsheet tackle, a separate end-boom tackle, and the topping lift (1/2 inch on my boat and obviously reeved for this sort of thing), as even their weight is tough to bring manuallly aboard over the rails, although I've done it a few times by hand, and it's tough, but possible to just physically haul either tender aboard with brute strength, but on a sailboat you are surrounded by lever arms and mechanical advantage...might as well use 'em.