Yes that does help! Me likey..... Me likey very much.....
So the rope goes from the masthead block becket (spliced I presume) down the the block in the photo, then back up to the pulley part of the block at the masthead and then back down to the deck yes?
Is the ratcheting block you speak of the one on the masthead crane or the one at deck level?
Since it's all external, how to you keep it from banging against the mast?
I've never used a ratcheting block myself. Do they make it possible to hoist a wet person aboard with only 2:1 purchase without taking it to a winch?
The ratchet is at deck level...
The halyard goes back inside the mast a few feet below the masthead crane, and exits again a few feet above above the deck... keeping the rest stowed - as pictured - outboard, away from the mast, there's no halyard slapping to contend with...
A ratchet won't increase your purchase, it only helps control any tendency towards "slippage"... Really handy when you're doing something such as lowering a tender overboard, singlehanded... Whether a 2:1 will hoist a "wet person" would depend on the size of said person, I suppose - it will enable me to hoist the only other person I routinely sail with that I care about bringing back aboard, however... (grin)
Just in case, I'd recommend having a 5:1 or 6:1 purchase, extendable to 6 feet or so, pre-rigged with snap shackles or asymetric hooks always at the ready for such eventualities, every boat should have one, IMHO...
Plusses and minusses of several options discussed, and it didn't degenerate into a pi$$ing contest!
Just to add to the mix, here is what I did;
WM had a "special" sale on their SB-275 (<$750).
I like it in that it has a hard floor, yet I can roll it up into about a 2'x3'x4' 75lb package. I can also get it, up onto a plane with my Merc 3.5HP 2 stroke. I have had 3 people aboard no problem, and two are no problem in moderate chop.
Assembly and inflating it is a pain, however. I have been keeping it assembled, but deflated, in the bed of my pickup, under the tonneau cover. When cruising, I tow it inflated with the OB on the stern rail (I love that the motor weighs 30lb WITH a full tank of fuel ).
In total I have <$1500 invested in the dink & motor.
In the end we did get the Achilles HB270 LX folding transom RIB. We may end up regretting the size but at the moment it feels fine. It 'happily' carries my wife, myself, our 270lb nephew and some gear and it planes easily with just me onboard at half throttle (still running in the OB).
The folding transom is great. It packs down really flat (even after inflation...) and goes comfortably on the front deck without blocking the front hatch. We sailed back from Westport Pt. with it mounted there and it was no trouble at all. I know... The life raft is not going to work too well from under it but I'm not at all convinced a life raft makes sense for coastal cruising anyway so it might be coming off until we do some 'serious' voyaging and I see davits in my future for coastal stuff.
Not sure about the boat bag. It keeps the RIB somewhat protected but it is a royal PITA, particularly if there is some wind.
Thanks for all your great input and advice and apologies to those we ignored......
In your case I would start with an achilles or the like in the 10-foot range with 15 hp outboard...and then when finally underway cruisng I would find an 8-foot hardshell dinghy and a 3.5 merc or the like for it....and put it on the foredeck...and have the achilles folded away or towed when you get cruising and for use when you arrive where you plan to be awhile...a good small hard dinghy is very useful...durable...and rows well and easily....great for setting anchors/general utility...the achilles is faster...tows well....and a great boat for getting in from far-out anchorages quickly...but they row like dogs...having the extra little hard dinghy on foredeck with it's own small motor would be a great addition to the achilles-type if I were you...just my take..