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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Are davits a safety issue for coastal cruising?
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Thread: Are davits a safety issue for coastal cruising? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-27-2012 04:42 PM
tdw Have to agree with Minne. I hate towing an infltable dinghy in any weather other than when moving a very short distance. Even in harbour I'll tend to pull the inflatable on deck. Hard dinghy not so bad to tow but don't like doing it under sail.

Mate of ours keeps his dink in davits even for coastal passages but I'm not a fan of the arrangement.
02-27-2012 04:16 PM
TQA I have an arch which doubles as davits. I have 3 large solar panels on top of the arch.

While I can lift my dink so the base is just about level with the deck I only do so on sheltered passages. Any passages where it could be rough I strap the dink upside down on the foredeck.

Why well like another poster I have seen two boats arrive with missing dink plus davits, one of which had large holes in the deck.

On the other hand I have seen quite a few boats arriving after a transatlantic passage with the dink on the davits, sometimes with the OB still in place.

Cats don't count.


I am
02-27-2012 01:55 PM
Minnewaska The strain that's on the painter when we have towed the dink in fairly tame seas is amazing. I have towed them behind a bareboat and only taken comfort that I didn't own it!

I can't imagine being in a blow, surfing down a wave and pulling a dink whose line probably goes through the following wave to the dink behind it. I think you would need anchor chain to keep it attached. If you did, it would also become a drouge that is careening all over and changing it's force on you at the worst moment.
02-27-2012 01:31 PM
Capt Len A real pooping isn't just a bit of foam from astern It can hit like the many tons of fast water it is. If the dink was on davits ,it's gone.Now it's too late to lash upside down on the deck.But if you are a fairwheather, a few miles from harbour, with an eye on the weatherfax, towing the zod is easy. I often find them drifting in the Salish Sea.
02-27-2012 01:10 PM
SVAuspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I was talking about 36ft and smaller. What size has your boat?
Only a little bigger - 40' x 12.5' x 5.7'
02-27-2012 12:37 PM
PCP
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I think that varies from boat to boat. I carry my Caribe L9 upside down between the mast and inner forestay. The storm staysail is hanked on and bagged atop the dinghy. The dinghy provides a great step and seat for working at the mast. There is still plenty of room to move past it on both sides. When I do have to work on the bow the dinghy proves to be great to wedge against.
I was talking about 36ft and smaller. What size has your boat?

Regards

Paulo
02-27-2012 12:20 PM
CaptainForce I must admit that I have no first hand experience with these devices, but those that I have seen have the transom of the dinghy fixed one a couple of hinge-like devices to the back of the "mothership" and the bow free to move up and down. It seems that you would be placing a lever matching the length of your dinghy available for great forces of waves to pry the mechanism apart. I would think of these as only inland or protected water devices; however, as I said, I've never used or closely inspected these.
02-27-2012 11:17 AM
KIVALO
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Yes, if you take out the engine and oars it will be not a problem in not very bad weather but it slow you down and with bad weather the fixation points can break. The cover will not prevent the boat to capsize (with the wind) and that will slow you down even more and put more strain on the fixation points.

The last time I have done that on a small passage, last year between Minorca and Maiorca the wind suddenly gust over 40K (about 25 sustained) and the dinghy just take off like a kite on the back of the boat, finishing upside down.

We had it on the end of a long cable so it was just funny but the strain on the attachment points could have broken and will broke if we do that too many times

Regards

Paulo
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
Several people have mentioned that towing a dinghy in high winds will probably result in towing a dinghy upside down and/or flying around at the end of the tow line. But thereís another reason you probably donít want to do it:

Bad weather offshore creates stress on skipper and crew. You begin to worry about stuff going wrong....things breaking, etc. Because the bad weather stays with you for a while, the stress doesnít go away -- it can be with you for days. Now, imagine what a dinghy flying about and plowing itís inverted bow into every other wave will do to your already stressed brain. Itís just another worry and, unlike some of the imagined stressors, itís very visible and constantly following you -- you canít stop looking back to see whatís happening..... you get the picture. Youíre going to want to do something about it -- but you canít because once youíre in that situation all you can do is live with it or cut it loose. You you realize you canít fix the problem, you begin to think, ďHow could I have been so dumb to have that dinghy back there in conditions like this?Ē The self-doubt also adds to the stress.

In bad weather the towed dinghy is a problem you donít need AND, unlike other problems you may face during the ordeal of a storm at sea, you can do something about it. Stow it! before things get bad -- which, practically speaking, means stowing it before you leave.

Thanks for the response gentlemen. One more question. What about towing it using one of the various systems for rigidly attaching the dingy to the stern of the boat? It wouldn't clutter the deck and wouldn't be blown around.

Brad
s/v KIVALO
02-27-2012 10:48 AM
billyruffn
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
I have a question. Its been said a few times to stow the dingy on the deck when off shore. Why wouldn't you cover it and tow it behind you? I assume there is a reason?

Brad
s/v KIVALO
Several people have mentioned that towing a dinghy in high winds will probably result in towing a dinghy upside down and/or flying around at the end of the tow line. But thereís another reason you probably donít want to do it:

Bad weather offshore creates stress on skipper and crew. You begin to worry about stuff going wrong....things breaking, etc. Because the bad weather stays with you for a while, the stress doesnít go away -- it can be with you for days. Now, imagine what a dinghy flying about and plowing itís inverted bow into every other wave will do to your already stressed brain. Itís just another worry and, unlike some of the imagined stressors, itís very visible and constantly following you -- you canít stop looking back to see whatís happening..... you get the picture. Youíre going to want to do something about it -- but you canít because once youíre in that situation all you can do is live with it or cut it loose. You you realize you canít fix the problem, you begin to think, ďHow could I have been so dumb to have that dinghy back there in conditions like this?Ē The self-doubt also adds to the stress.

In bad weather the towed dinghy is a problem you donít need AND, unlike other problems you may face during the ordeal of a storm at sea, you can do something about it. Stow it! before things get bad -- which, practically speaking, means stowing it before you leave.
02-27-2012 10:21 AM
RobGallagher
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Just had a thought. With an RIB, I suppose you could fashion attachment points underneath the hull and hang it inverted. Probably more trouble than it's worth.
My thoughts exactly. I don't have davits, nor do I sail off shore.

However, IF I did, I would hang the inflatable upside down and rig a simple way to invert it (invert itself?) as it's lowered.

I can think of a couple simple solutions but it would depend on the davits, dink and boat.
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