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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012
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Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

Hi All,

I'd like to hear some opinions of the value of a Davit system on the rear of your boats used for cruising, living and blue water passages.

I've been looking at a few boats in the 40-46ft range some of which do not have either an arch or a davit system. Some have mechanisms just for lifting the dinghy motor and some just have arches for mounting solar panels and other instrumentation.

From those that do or do not have any these systems would you do with out or regret not putting one in? If it was going to cost you $4000 or $8000 would you pay your local pipe fitter to make one for you? We are going to be living on board for two years and I'm wondering if it is worth the investment.

Cheers!
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

I took a look at installing an arch on my boat, and took the time to look at several boats like ours that had installed arches. We opted for a davit system instead. The arch was a lot of money and we just didn't care for the look. A good davit system took care of what we needed for about a third of the price.

There are several good davit systems out there, which keeps the price down. We went with the Garhauer Marine system, and are really glad we have it. We also kept the weight down with our dinghy and motor choices, so I'll be installing a couple of solar panels on the davits.
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

I have a 44 footer with an arch. The primary arch purpose is to support 400 watts of tiltable solar but I can use it to lift the my AB RIB with 18 hp engine [ night security mostly ].

I dislike making any passage with the dink hanging from the arch as it can move around too much. So on short sheltered passages I tow the dink, on anything that is open water I put the dink on the foredeck.

However lots of people now cross the Atlantic with the dink on davits/arch.
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

An arch will cost three or four times what a set of good davits would. If you can afford it, go with the arch. You will not regret it.

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Old 07-14-2012
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Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

If you are sailing in any situation where you have a large following sea, you do NOT want anything hanging off Davits or arches. The force exerted on the dinghy and the structure will be great and likely cause damage, equipment failure and/or loss. In those situations, the dinghy belongs on deck.

We have Davits and love them. I've fitted a solar panel above them and will eventually fit a second one. The key is my ability to tie the dinghy down to the boat so it does not swing or move at all. Lines that cross behind as spring lines plus line holding the dinghy in close are important components of this system.

Aside from the benefit of supporting solar panels and antennas, how is an arch beneficial, particularly with lifting a dinghy up? Isn't it too far forward?
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

Has anyone had any expereince with Atlantic Towers "Arch in a box"?

Arches for Sail Boats | Boat Towers | Towers for Sailboats

I e-mailed them a few weeks ago with an inquiry and they got right back to me. Now as I get closer to owning the boat I am soon looking for an arch for dinghy and Panels.

Due to hull shape will need the "offset arch" and am thinking attaching to toe-rail and stern after some careful cutting.

Hoping someone may have used this product. Phone inquiries in Annapolis area on SS custom made were 8-10K, this aluminum product is coming in at $2K
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

I've been moved a few times in the last six years to look at davits. We do a lot of offshore passagemaking so the dinghy spends most of its life on the foredeck.

We finally hit on the solution that works for us. We're putting an Anderson electric winch on the mast - it makes hoisting the dinghy, the main, and the spinnaker trivial evolutions.
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Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Dinghy Davit, Arch or not worth it?

My opinoins:

As a live aboard or cruiser, I cannot imagine not having an arch or davits. It is true for long passages, you throw the dink up on the foredeck, but truth be told, I crossed the gulf with her up on the davits. We were in some pretty nasty stuff and it did fine. In fact, with one exception, I have never had a concern about her being swamped. It is a risk though and if I did not know my weather for a few days out, I would put her up on the deck.



THe trick as you can see above is to tightly secure her to the stern of the boat so whe will not swing. THe best thing for this is ratchting straps (as seen above). However, I also use a combination of lines when I don't feel like fishing out the straps. You will be lucky to get more than a season or two out of a set of ratchets as they will rust.

Here is a pic of our system:



As you can see, we have both davits and an arch. THe arch was custom made. I personally prefer aluminum to SS because you can get a lot larger diameter tubing without the weight. THis is important if you are going to be adding panels or other things above the arch where multiple wire runs take up space. I think the arch above weights maybe 80 lbs. I can easily lift it by myself. Some of the equivalent Stainless Steel options were incredibly heavy and incredibly expensive. THat is why we decided against stainless. I have enough weight in the stern already and didn't need to add hundreds of pounds more.

Why do you have to have an arch or davits as a live aboard/cruiser? I can see a lot of reasons.

FIrst, your tender is your car and gets a LOT of use. I find hauling it on/off the foredeck to be a real pain in the butt and it is unsightly to me. ALso, it will likely cover up hatches that block ventillation. As such, you will probably only find her on the deck when making a long crossing.

Leaving your tender in the water for long periods of time (depends on your location) will cause a lot of barnacle and crap buildup on it. FOr some, there is also the security issue, but that has never been our concern. After about three days straight of being in the water, she gets a nasty film and in some places, small barnacles. THat becomes a major issue (esp for us).

ANother reason to get the dink out of the water is that most of your jumps are local. Pulling the tender behind you drops about one knot off your speed. If you can easily get her up, you will find better range and better time to anchorages.


Regarding arches versus davits:

Like Rick (Vasco) said, I would opt for the arch over the davits. I have both because a the time we were gong to just use davits, then changed our mind as we opted to start adding panels which our davits would not accomodate. Your arch can most certainly be designed to lift your tender too. And with an arch, you do have the option of panels, wind, storing fishing gear, adding lights for the stern, etc that are not as easily accomodated (if at all) with davits depending on your boat design.

THe cost of the arch is a lot more but was worth it to us. It may not be to you. I personally would not be without davits or an arch as a LA/Cruiser, though some make do without. It has certainly made our life more enjoyable.

THese are my opinions. Hope they help.

Brian
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