Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Dingy on davits
We use davits, as a necessary evil, but hate them.
First, they are ugly. No boat looks good with a dinghy hanging off its butt. However, we anchor and moor a lot and the ease of dropping the dink to go to shore is necessary. We haul her up with the motor attached and ready to go. If we had to inflate, install the motor, etc, it would only be done when worth that kind of effort. I recall having a roll up inflatable and often not being willing to go to the effort.
If you are going to tow your dinghy, you better never forget to haul her in tight, when docking or anchoring. Running over a slack tow line will ruin your day. Also, we back into our slip, so towing would create a real hassle.
As far as being underway, it's breaking seas from the stern that cause the most concern. If the dinghy were to fill, it just wouldn't drain fast enough and the additional weight would exceed the davits rating. While coastal cruising, I choose to avoid those conditions anyway. Keep in mind, the top of our dink is a good 6 ft above the water on our davits, so your particular setup may change the risk. If going offshore, where you can't easily predict your passage, I would never leave her back there.
By the way, we did swamp our dinghy once. It didn't fill, but we took the top of a wave into her. I will bet it put 30 gallons of water inside, which looks like nothing on the floor of an 11ft RIB. However, just that weighed 240 pounds!! It seemed to take forever to drain. Just goes to show, you can't predict everything.
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