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Old 07-17-2003
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Dingy on davits

Can anyone advise me if it is OK to keep your dingy on davits whilst out at sea? I am toying with the idea of buying an inflatable with a fiberglass bottom but not sure if I should be buying a dingy that can be stowed away?
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Old 07-17-2003
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Dingy on davits

Dinghy on davits is NOT a good idea .... too vulnerable to get torn off and washed away. Hanging off the stern trying to reset/recover a dinghy during a storm or rough weather is NOT fun. Store/stow it if you can.
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Old 07-18-2003
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Dingy on davits

Having the same dilemma. Friends who just returned from circumnav kept dinghy (RIB)on davits when on the hook/in harbor but stowed on foredeck when passagemaking. Davit setup reportedly godsend for security and ease of launch or recovery. Again, not in use for passagemaking.
Ike
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Old 07-22-2003
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Dingy on davits

I think the davits idea is overkill even for coastal cruising, I guess I dont see what significant problem it cures as my RIB tows fine. Neither seems a good solution for offshore, go with a soft bottom and stowe on the bow or collapse it.

Another issue with stern davits is that unless you have a big boat (60'' plus?) you may find the dingy weight squats your stern below the waterline and you''ll soon be gragging a foot of grass behind you.

Good luck
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Old 07-23-2003
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Dingy on davits

Another opinion. I have davits and a 10'' RIB with 15 HP motor on them. 43'' boat. In the past, I have towed dingy''s and hoisted them on deck and used davits.
Our purpose is to cruise extensively in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Keys, as well as east coast of US. We have cruised on and off (not continuously) for about 4 years with the davits. We also have a dingy cover.
Towing has a couple of disadvantages. The tow line needs to be very carefully adjusted in a following sea to avoid excess pressure or the dingy slewing around. I have lost a towed dingy due to chafe, as many others have. And there is drag that can greatly show down a boat in light air.
In addition, for security, keeping a dingy in the water overnight is bad in many ports. Hoisting it on deck is a lot of work. Davits make it much easier.

On passages in open water, davits can be a problem and the dingy should be on deck. Large following seas or even beam seas can hit the dingy. However, in many Caribbean passages, of less than a day in settled weather, it is less of a problem. A friend just did 4 years in the Caribbean and took the dingy off davits and onto the deck just once--at the start of the trip in the gulf stream.
I like davits. However, you pays your money and takes your choice.........
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

I've rounded Point Conception (CA) in 20 kts and 6 to 8' quartering sea with a dinghy on davits. We had no problem, but that does not mean that it is a good idea.

I'm going to install davits on the boat that I hope to buy in the next couple of months. My strategy is that for day passages and maybe one-night passages I will use the davits. I don't want to give up their convenience.

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.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

I've never installed them because the only advantage I see they offer, is added security from theft for your dinghy and motor, when at anchor.

You shouldn't use them in any kind of weather or offshore so for me, I would rather tow mine or stow it on the foredeck when that's not practical.

Plus, I really have my doubts about the ones that look like they are designed to put a lot of stress on your stern pulpit.

Maybe if I had ever had them, I would say they were worth it, though. But, I've got by without them for more than 30 years now.
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

We have davits built in a commercial fishing yard...very very strong and high off the water with 1 1/2 inch s/s vertical compression posts down to the sugar scoop ...The ones that bolt on to rails are very marginal.

We never tow in conditions we could not swim in.

Crossing the Pacific the dinghy will be on deck but a lot depends on size of waves to size of boat. Our dinghy is almost 10ft off the water.

The convenience of lifting and locking with davits is well worth the cost...

Lift it and lock it or loose it
applies in every anchorage in the Caribbean. We know 10 boats that have had a dinghy stolen. We were told yesterday that they are even being stolen by the Kuna in the San Blas
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Old 02-16-2014
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Re: Dingy on davits

I wonder what the purpose of "inflatables" is?
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Old 02-16-2014
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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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