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MarkSailor 07-21-2013 05:18 PM

Hoisting an inflatable dinghy
I bought an inflatable dinghy and am trying to figure out the best way to lift it with the davits on the back of my Catalina 320. (The davits were installed by the prior owner, and I have never really used them.)

The davits are about 4' apart on the stern, and the dinghy is a 10' air-floor dinghy from West. I installed 2 stainless eyebolts on the transom to attach a lifting bridle at the stern of the dinghy. But at the bow I have a choice of a single D-ring mounted horizontally on the outside of the tube all the way forward, or two D-rings mounted vertically on the outside of the tubes a little further back, but before they get to the full width of the dinghy. (The two D-rings look like they are meant to attach a towing bridle.)

Do most folks lift the dinghy by a bridle attached to the existing D-rings? Or does anyone sell separate lifting rings that glue on to the tubes? I know that the dinghy itself isn't that much weight, but lifting by the vertical D-rings seems like it puts the stress on the attachment in the wrong direction. Also, I wonder about lifting from 2 points on the dinghy that are so much farther apart than the davits. How does anyone else lift their inflatable dinghy?

capta 07-21-2013 06:31 PM

Re: Hoisting an inflatable dinghy
If you don't have a RIB inflatable, you'll have to go to an inflatable repair facility and get lifting rings attached to the tubes where necessary. You will most likely not be able to do this properly yourself; save yourself the aggravation and let the professionals do it. Ours have lasted about 2 years of daily use (11.6' Zodiac w/ alloy floorboards and a 15 hp, 4 cycle ob) and we will soon need to get new ones, but we leave the motor on the boat so its pretty heavy. If you use lifting straps around the dink it will destroy the boat very quickly. Sorry, there's no cheap way out of this one.

hellosailor 07-21-2013 08:15 PM

Re: Hoisting an inflatable dinghy
Lifting points that are glued on, will naturally try to be pulled off when you lift by them. If you've got any duffel bags around, take a look at the handles. The better ones all use a continuous piece of webbed fabric that goes UNDER the bag and then comes up over it, so that the weight of the whole bag is in compression on the straps--not just pulling them off.

Same thing, you could run some flat webbing (2" or wider) under the dingy, glue it all the way, and then let it come up into four lifting points (two bow two stern) on the dink, so that when you hoist it up, you are lifting straps that run underneath it, taking the weight in compression instead of trying to pull the lifting points off their glue joints.

If your dink is on the davits and fills with water (ever stuffed the bow and taken green water clear over the boat?) glued-on lifting points will be sorely stressed.

TQA 07-21-2013 09:20 PM

Re: Hoisting an inflatable dinghy

Originally Posted by hellosailor (Post 1062651)

If your dink is on the davits and fills with water (ever stuffed the bow and taken green water clear over the boat?) glued-on lifting points will be sorely stressed.

I have seen what happens. It tears the davits off the stern leaving big holes in the deck and transom.

Bye bye dinghy OB and davits.

hellosailor 07-21-2013 10:25 PM

Re: Hoisting an inflatable dinghy
Better to have the lifting eyes break off, I suppose. (G)

A proper engineer would plan ahead for that, and ensure there's some type of breakable link, so that the dink WILL be torn free before the davits are ripped out of the hull. Sacrificial eye-rings on the lift lines?

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