Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our boat will be repaired some time in the next few weeks. With that in mind, I've been considering the various use cases we're contemplating, and the biggest one is to sail across the bay and anchor just off/at Tice's Shoal, then take the dinghy in the rest of the way. We'll then go to the beach, play for a while, then head back to the marina.
So, now I'm left with figuring out:
a) how to get off the boat and into the inflatable dinghy (preferably gracefully);
b) how to hook the dinghy to the davits that are on the boat;
c) whether I need to remove the engine before hoisting the dinghy via the davits; and,
d) if I need to hoist without the engine, how best to get the engine aboard.
I know I can row/paddle the dinghy to shore, but I have a 5 HP engine, and I have a feeling my kids will enjoy tooling around the bay for a few minutes aboard a comparatively faster vessel than our Allmand. If they have fun, then they'll want to do it more often, which means we get to sail more, too. So, I'm inclined to figure out how to use the engine.
As I said, I may be able to keep it attached to the boat. If not, it's a 5HP Nissan, and I think it weighs about 55 LBS. Not bad, but probably too heavy for my wife to handle efficiently, or for me to try to handle single-handed. My boat came with the mount and ring for a removable engine hoist (similar to the Forespar MotorMate
), but I haven't seen the hoist itself (it may have been part of a separate transaction and wasn't included with the boat). So, if you have a dinghy on davits, do you keep your engine attached or do you separate them? If you separate them, how do you get your dinghy aboard? I've seen people use block and tackle attached to the boom where the boom is off to the side, and that looks like it could work, but if there's a simpler/more elegant way to do it that would be easy for me single-handed, I'd love to hear it.
Thanks for any feedback!