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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

It depends on the size of the boat and where you sail. If you are coastal cruising and now you don't get bad weather on a boat over 55ft that can be OK providing that in any passage where relatively bad weather can be found you deflate it and store it inside the boat or over the boat well tied.

Towing a dingy in bad weather is crazy specially if you do it with the engine on.

I had choose a dinghy narrow enough to be stowed over the boat and have the fixations to fix it like a rock and I almost always put it there (it only weights 16kg) but on some of the occasions that I did not had done so, because I was lazy and it was just a short way or because it was not my boat and the dinghies were big and heavy I had to stop to put the dinghy up or to take the engine in. I have it capsized or flying around on the back of the boat like a kite two occasions.

besides it takes you 0.5K in speed.

Modern tendency with boats over 55ft is to have a dinghy garage. Much safer and nicer.

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Last edited by PCP; 02-16-2014 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

Like all open questions the reply is "it depends". I cruise the Bahamas and have carried a RIB and 15 hp on my arch (Ben 393) without any problem. Before that I carried the same on davits on my CS36M. Many boats cruising the Caribbean leave their dinks and motors on davits. Of course the dink must be secure with no movement in any direction. I use four ratchet straps for this. Now crossing the Atlantic would be another matter.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

A surprising number of ARC boats arrive in St Lucia with their dinks on the davits.

Not my choice but if the davits are substantial and high it seems to be OK.

I have a 44ft and a RIB with a 18hp which I lift at night but the motor comes off and the dink goes on the foredeck for any kind of inter island Caribbean passage.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

Define offshore.
We have been in 35k winds with 10' following seas and never felt the dink on our davits was in danger.
we take the engine off and strap everything down well.
If going out on a week long passage offshore I would take the dink off the davits.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

Originally Posted by mlibkind View Post
For longer passages where it is likely that the weather will be more unpredictable, I will deflate it and lash it on deck. This is why I'm going with an Achilles dinghy with inflatable floor. I've cruised several times with a dink on the forward deck and I don't like the restricted visibility. It also makes it difficult to work up there, e.g. set a whisker pole or the asymmetric spinnaker.

I might add that last November I crewed the Salty Dawg Rally from Hampton, VA to BVI. If you read about it you know that the weather was horrendously bad. Some of the boats had their dinks on davits and to the best of my knowledge no one had a problem ... it blew 40 kts but that was only part of the problem. The big problem was that the 40 kts was a norther and it collided with the Gulf Stream to create exceptionally bad seas.

I guess in the end it is a very personal decision.
Certainly a personal decision.

Here are my personal thoughts.

I'm pleased to have a RIB over a complete inflatable, although I'll never buy a 'light' again with a 4-stroke engine. Poor choice on my part.

Full inflatables, like those with board or high-pressure floors have the benefit of being able to completely collapse and stow in a number of places. Attractive.

RIBs are easier (opinion) to lash down on the foredeck if they are fully inflated with the noted impact on visibility. Not so bad well offshore.

On the other hand, I have found that the fully inflated, inverted RIB lashed on the foredeck has benefits. It gives me a leg up the mast if I need to reach a little higher, a place to sit when I'm working on something, the staysail (my storm sail) sits nicely between the inner forestay and the bow of the dinghy, and is one more thing to grab onto as I crawl forward (never ever be too proud to crawl). While specific boat design has an impact I've never had the tied down dinghy be an issue on my own or delivery boats for tacking or flying asymmetric or symmetric spinnakers, or deploying spinnaker or whisker poles. Perhaps that is the result of some advance thought before leaving the dock. I don't know.

With respect to dinghies in davits there are two factors, only one of which gets much attention. The first and oft discussed issue is the potential to be pooped. Fundamentally bad but a dinghy high in the davits and possibly slung upside down mitigates that. More of an impact day on day is the windage of the dinghy in the davits, especially if combined with "crap on the back" and a full enclosure. Offshore, getting all that windage reduced will improve pointing and boat motion comfort which means higher pointing angles (thus shorter passage times) and improved comfort.

For daysailing I tow the dinghy. For easy coastal hops I load the dinghy right side up on the foredeck on portable foam "davits." Offshore the engine goes on the pushpit and the dinghy upside down on the foredeck with the gas tank underneath.

Heading offshore on delivery with cruisers following along behind like ducklings in a row I make more miles per day than just about anyone with better food and more comfort. I'd like to think some of that is because I am a good sailor (*grin*) but I suspect that most is because I pay attention to windage before we leave the dock.


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sail fast and eat well, dave
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beware "cut and paste" sailors.

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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

I agree with most above. Even on our 53' heavy ketch, the weight of our inflatable and motor (about 250#'s) does pull the stern down. We use the davits at anchor, nightly, but never underway. We'll put it on the foredeck, with the motor attached, well lashed down, but quickly available in an emergency.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

The truth is, you'll probably be okay, whatever you decide. We love to act like disaster awaits whoever deviates from the norm or accepted practice (whatever the hell that is).

It usually doesn't.
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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