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post #1 of 11 Old 10-31-2013 Thread Starter
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Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

Why are most power boat davits/lifts the tilt-up kind, and most sailboat davits the lift-straight-up-and-hang kind?

Is it windage, weight, convenience, simplicity, tradition, heeling, or something else?

The reason I ask is that lifting a dinghy straight up adds 4-5 ft to your LOA for a marina slip.
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

Most sailboat transoms are narrower than their dinghies are long. This means that when the sailboat heels over the dinghy bow or stern would dig into the water and act like a massive brake.

I put my dinghy on the foredeck of the boat, then it doesn't change LOA at all. Plus my 28' boat is really too small for davits (though a friend with the identical boat does have them).

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post #3 of 11 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

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Most sailboat transoms are narrower than their dinghies are long. This means that when the sailboat heels over the dinghy bow or stern would dig into the water and act like a massive brake.

I put my dinghy on the foredeck of the boat, then it doesn't change LOA at all. Plus my 28' boat is really too small for davits (though a friend with the identical boat does have them).
That's what I think, too. I have an 11 foot Boston Whaler. I would love to put it on the back transom, but my boat's beam at the widest point is only 14 feet.

It would stick out a couple of feet on both sides at the transom, (which is an ice cream scoop type and only about six feet wide or so where I would have to attach the dinghy.

I even thought about attaching the dinghy to the sailboat, transom to transom, but then measure how far the bow of the dinghy would be standing up at the back of the boat (about 12 feet, counting getting it at lest a foot off of the water). I didn't see that as a viable option.

Now, I just tow it on short coastal trips and carry it inverted on the foredeck when offshore.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

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I even thought about attaching the dinghy to the sailboat, transom to transom, but then measure how far the bow of the dinghy would be standing up at the back of the boat (about 12 feet, counting getting it at lest a foot off of the water). I didn't see that as a viable option.
Definitely, NOT a viable option... :-)

Motoring all day into a headwind, this pair of Ditch Diggers probably would have gotten 5 or 10 miles further down the road that day, if they had simply towed the damn things, instead...


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post #5 of 11 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

But why would you leave the dingy up on the davits in a slip? Many davits swivel in so they are not part of the length when not in use. Just store the dingy on deck when in the slip, or at least when renting the slip, and they measure you!

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Makes sense. I just tow the dinghy, but I can't leave it in the water as it gets yucky really fast. Lifting to the deck is hard (90 lbs) something I do for the winter. I need a quick and easy way to lift the boat and keep it off the water for a week or two, but I wouldn't mind towing still when underway.

Someone at the marina has a narrow scoop step and uses that to rest the side of the dinghy on while at the slip.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

Check this out.

Davron Marine Products (Dinghy-Tow)

It's actually really nice when you see it in person. I have seen two and liked the set up. Yes; it has drag, but works nice. It also folds up against your backstay. I talked with a transient extensively and he and his wife loved it.
For short hops i think it would be great. For long trips i would put my dinghy on deck.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

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Makes sense. I just tow the dinghy, but I can't leave it in the water as it gets yucky really fast. Lifting to the deck is hard (90 lbs) something I do for the winter. I need a quick and easy way to lift the boat and keep it off the water for a week or two, but I wouldn't mind towing still when underway.

Someone at the marina has a narrow scoop step and uses that to rest the side of the dinghy on while at the slip.
What marina are you in? Based on your name I'm guessing you are in Seattle.

Shilshole has dinghy racks that let you store the dinghy on your own dock. They add a little bit to the monthly cost (I think $5/mo?), but it isn't so bad. It is easier to get the 90lb dinghy onto the dock then onto the foredeck of the boat. I believe that Elliot Bay has dinghy racks for rent, but they aren't next to each slip.

If you are at Shilshole I'm happy to show you how I use a spare halyard to lift the dinghy up to the foredeck. I'm often at Shilshole since my boat is there. My dinghy weighs about as much as yours.

If I'm just trying to get my dinghy off of the foredeck and onto the dock I try to find a 3rd who can help. 3 people can easily do that with a 90lb dinghy.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-02-2013
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Re: Tilt-up dinghy lifting systems for sailboats

When putting dinghies on and off the foredeck, simple machines are your friends.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-02-2013 Thread Starter
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I am many hours away from Shilshole, usually we are the only ones around in our marina other than the lonely boats that don't seem to ever get any use...

Thanks for the pointers, the dinghy tow seems interesting. It also seems very small scale/niche solution, and I have no idea on price. When you want to do something differently from everyone else, you might be right or you might be crazy.
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