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Old 09-14-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Dinghy Davit System for A340

I have a Jefferson 46 SunDeck Trawler, and I am just about to buy a new dinghy.* Although I have a VETUS "crane" on the roof of the sundeck, I don't like the way it is mounted, or supported on the underside of the sundeck roof, plus I don't like the idea of having something as heavy as the dink I'm buying being that high up (from a stability perspective in a seaway).* It also doesn't have a winch of any sort.* No idea what the previous owner did...* Plus, I put my kayak up there to keep it off the deck.** Right now, I store my 9 ft roll-up inflatable on the foredeck when I'm not using it, and I hump it over the rail to get it on and off.

The dinghy I'm buying is an AVON 340 (11'2") with a 25 HP Merc 2 stroke w/ elec. start.* Price is awesome, everything is in good shape, it is a perfect size to carry two couples (or me, the wife and*Minnie, our 80 lb dog), so I'm jumping on it.* It supposedly weighs about 175 lbs without the engine, so I'm guessing a little over 300 lbs with engine, battery, gas tank.

As I really don't want to "roof it", I see two choices - either a regular set of davits,*or something like*weaver davits to mount it to the swim platform.* Regular davits would be easier because I wouldn't have to deal with the motor, battery or fuel, but the davit and dinghy would effectively add*3 - 4 ft to my LOA (and make my current berth very tight).* It would also eliminate the*ability to use the aft sundeck door to get on and off the boat if backed into a slip. *I'm also concerned with punching a bunch of holes in the glass right above where we sleep.* With the weaver-type davits, I would need an engine crane to put the engine on the transom mount (installed), and I would need to hump the fuel tank and battery up on deck each time I recovered the dink, but it seems to me it would be more secure, and it wouldn't add to my LOA.* I'm just afraid I might get sick of all the permutations to launch and recover each time.

Anyone have experience either way and a recommendation?* If anyone thinks the weight on the sundeck roof won't be an issue, I'm open to those recommendations as well.* I think I would need to substantially reinforce the existing crane's mount, plus add a winch of some kind.* Thanks.

CAPT Glenn Zeiders, USN
M/V Syren
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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Dinghy Davit System for A340

Something to consider is how easy and safe is it to launch the dinghy when you really need it, as in an emergency. I have seen people launching a boat-deck mounted dinghy and motor using a crane with very little water movement in the anchorage, but the thing got away from them and bashed out windows in the side of the boat and injured one of the party aboard. Now imagine having to do that in rough water, at night, in a high wind which is when most emergencies occur. Particularly if you have to do it fast, as in a boat fire or something.

Which is why even if we had a boat with a boat deck we would never carry the shoreboat up there. We would tow it before we carried it on a cabin top or boat deck.* (I just realized that our avatar photo shows a sailing dinghy on top of our aft cabin, but that's not the boat we use as a shoreboat.* We carry our daily dinghy on Weaver davits on the swimstep.)

The ideal setup in my opinion is to carry the dingy level off the transom on a davit system that can quickly deploy it into the water. The motor will be oriented correctly and the thing will be ready to go the moment it hits the water.

The second best thing is something like a Seawise davit which is similar to Weaver davits but incorporates a motor leveling system which puts the motor level when you pull the dinghy up on its side and then lowers into place on the transom when you deploy the dingy down into the water. Expensive, but works great.

Weaver Davits are great if the dinghy is not too heavy for them, but then you have to deal with the motor. Weaver makes what looks like a Rube Goldberg device for leveling the motor when the dinghy comes up called the Weaver Lever, but I've never used one. They look more complicated than they need to be but maybe they aren't.

But if your boat can accommodate davits off the transom that will carry your dinghy level and launch it that way, I would certainly think that would be the ideal way to go.

You can tow a dinghy, too. That's a common method here with sailboats, of course, but a lot of powerboats tow their dinghies, too, particularly if they have a larger hardshell dinghy like a Boston Whaler or such. It works well in our relatively protected inside waters. Probably not a good idea in open ocean waters.

I took the attached photo of our best boating friend's boat. It belongs to Carey who participates in this forum from time to time. He designed the davits and had them fabricated locally. It puts his dinghy in what I feel is the best possible position for ease and speed of launching. The dinghy itself is a 10' Bullfrog which when the time comes that we start to take longer trips up north in our GB is what we'll get. We'll have to tow it, however. But I feel it's the best dinghy of this type on the planet.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 01:55:07 PM
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

CAPT Glenn,We have the same size dink as you -I am pretty sure- and can tell you my experience. With no pipe davit and questionable roof strength above our sundeck we opted for the Weaver Snap Davit system. I gotta tell you the first thing we found out after I installed it was how HEAVY that dink is to pop up out of the water. We thought we were going to tip it up by hand (no motor) and failed! I had also glued on a stand off pad but eventually plan on a much beefier pull point on the outer tube. At that time I will tip it up using maybe a block and tackle system with a stainless U bolt I plan on installing at the top of one of our rear roof support pipes.
The SO insisted I purchase an engine she or I could carry down the ladder and install. This turned out to be a 3.5 HP engine. You sure have the right engine for this boat.
We tow the dink. I love it. Engine gets put on, tipped up and we have about a 14' tow rope. I shorten it when backing out of the slip, getting fuel, pulling in the slip etc.. I really like the safety of clipping the dink to the swimdeck and loading everyone up before disconnecting.
One problem has been a small leak in the front tube that would become a problem when tipped up. Cool mornings would also cause the same problem. I installed an Arc at the transom and the glue on pad up front but might suggest you consider the front Arc also.
Good luck and Welcome Aboard!
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Marin-
Thanks for the info.* Did a little web surfing after I got your post, and the Sea Wise system definitely looks like the better system (as compared to the Weaver Lever), but I almost choked when I saw what they want for it - 4 times what I'm paying for the boat.* That puts that out of reach.* The motor is really the rub here, and its size may drive me to a regular davit system, because it is WAY too heavy to hump it, and by the looks of the weaver system, it won't handle anything but a small outboard.* Also need to think about the emergency aspect, although I really*hadn't considered the dinghy*for emergencies.* Short of towing it, which I would only do inside the ICW, I don't see a quick way of launching it short of normal davits.* Lots to think about...*Appreciate the information.

Glenn
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Thanks Steve.* Appreciate the info.* Having a sundeck like me, you have the same challenges I'm thinking about with the snap davit systems.* My swim platform is only about 3 ft deep, and will be almost inaccessible with the dinghy on it on its side, so I would need to be able to pull it up/let it down*from the sundeck, which would make it almost a vertical pull.* It's a good 5.5 ft from the swim platform to the gunwale, and then another 2.5 ft to the top of the rail where I would be pulling from.* Seems to me this system is far better oriented towards a cockpit boat where you could get some decent leverage to pull it up.* With the angles I would be dealing with, I could see anything glued to the*tubes ripping off from the weight.* A block and tackle system would make it easier to lift, but wouldn't solve this problem.*

I don't want to tow this thing while at sea because of the size of the motor.* I'm even squirrelly about towing it inland because of boat wakes.* Seems to me that it would probably ship a bunch of water.* I'll try and tow it once I have my hands on it to check this out, but I think I would be tempting fate.* Of course, I could tow it without the motor, but then I'm humping it off/on every day.

Appreciate the info.* This definitely helps.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
Marin wrote:
I took the attached photo of our best boating friend's boat.
This is the best photo of Carey's boat that I've seen yet. Those "lobster " lines
really get my blood pumping & were a big reason I ended up with SeaHorse II.



*


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 08:25:44 AM
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
COCG47 wrote:

Short of towing it, which I would only do inside the ICW, I don't see a quick way of launching it short of normal davits.
We have never towed anything, so I'm speaking from observation and what I've been told.* But towing can work very well, even with a fairly large dinghy and large motor.* Carey (the lobsterboat owner) used to tow his dinghy all the time as he had no other choice.* When we met him he was towing an inflatable and did this at his cruising speed of 15 knots with no problems that I was aware of.* Then he switched to an aluminum skiff with a 15hp Honda.* The skiff didn't track all that well and was the motivation for designing and installing the davits, which he continues to use with the Bullfrog.

That said, I met a fellw a couple of years ago with a beautiful wood Chris Craft.* I forget the model now but it's one that looks like a sportfisherman.* I noticed he had a 10' Bullfrog like Carey's, which is what we want to get someday, but had no obvious way of carrying it.* So I motored over and talked to him about it.* They tow it, and he told me that they have been boating for decades in all sorts of boats in all sorts of places, and they have always towed their dinghy/shoreboat even if their boat could carry it because of the safety aspect.* He believes that a dinghy in the water is the only useful dinghy there is.

He runs the Chris Craft at a cruising speed of about 12 to 14 knots he said, and the Bullfrog, which is shaped like the typical RIB, tows at that speed like it's on rails.* His had a 20 hp motor on it.* They have crossed the Strait of Georgia many times, some of them when it's rough, and he say they've had no problems towing the dinghy.

So it can certainly be done even in rough-ish water, but we have not yet had the experience of actually doing it.* Something to look forward to, I guess.....
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Marin- Thanks.* Interesting.* I've had inflatables flip on me in high winds and sea state, and I've also had them ship a bunch of water when being towed behind my sailboats, so it makes me nervous.* Of course, I've never owned a RIB, and I've never had one with a large outboard on the back.* Suspect both would make them track better and also stay upright.* I guess maybe I'm also a victim of being a sailboater where the dinghy slows you down drastically if being towed, which won't be a problem on*this boat.* I'll see how it goes.* I can always stow the dink on my swim platform when in home port, and then rig and tow it when I cruise.* Definitely will need to upgrade my towing bridle for the extra weight.* Any idea how long of a bridle your friend uses, and where the dinghy rides in the wake?* My wake is pretty huge at speed, so I'll need to figure that out so the boat rides correctly through a range of speeds.* Not ever towing a dinghy behind a large power boat, I have no idea.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

In the slip we store the dinghy on top of the saloon, where it usually stays during the winter. I can also clip it to the swimstep via weaver arm/davits.

When cruising during the summer or for any cruise in excess of 7 days, we tow our dinghy. It usually rides 20 feet behind at cruising speed of 7.5 knots and we pull it up within 3 feet of the swimstep when docking, anchoring or otherwise having to slow, stop or reverse the boat

The dinghy is a Caribe 9 with a 2-stroke 9.8hp Nissan outboard - final weight is 160lbs. The painter is 3/8 poly so it floats. The dinghy has a fairly substantial U-bolt mounted at the bow.

I initially had the towline tied directly to the U-bolt, but did not like the snapping that would sometimes occur if the chop was big enough to cause the dinghy to travel at different speeds from the big boat. So, I added some shock cord 3/8 tripled into a loop and placed at the U-bolt the painter is then tied to this looped shock cord.

We have towed the dinghy in this manner for around 9000 miles in and around the PNW over the last 9 seasons.

The thinking is if it is too rough out, then clip it on the weavers and pull it up.


I have towed it in fairly nasty winds in Georgia straight - up to 7 waves on the nose.

For the most part, the big boat will break trail for the dinghy I have never flipped it, and have only had 5 gallons of water to bail out at worst.

I only have one towing horror story , which was easily preventable.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #10
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
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*Any idea how long of a bridle your friend uses, and where the dinghy rides in the wake?* My wake is pretty huge at speed, so I'll need to figure that out so the boat rides correctly through a range of speeds.* Not ever towing a dinghy behind a large power boat, I have no idea.

Any suggestions I give you for those questions would be pretty much worthless as we've never done it.* Perhaps Carey will see this and chime in with his towing experience.

Obviously if the weather is bad enough to generate dinghy-flipping winds and waves that is a consideration.* I don't know what boaters who tow do when those conditions kick up, unless their answer is that if it's going to be that bad they don't go out.*

Keep in mind I'm talking about our inside PNW waters up here.* We do have some large bodies of water that can get very nasty, the Strait of San Juan, the Strait of Georgia, and Queen Charlotte Strait being the three largest.* But for the most part we're boating in relatively protected waters, not that they can't get very. very*mean.* But we have lots of places to run or stay when it gets nasty.

So we're in*a different world than the folks who boat out in the Carribean or in the open Gulf or*off the Atlantic coast.* What works well here may not be such a smart idea there.

*
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:40 AM   #11
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:

*
Marin wrote:
I took the attached photo of our best boating friend's boat.
This is the best photo of Carey's boat that I've seen yet. Those "lobster " lines
really get my blood pumping & were a big reason I ended up with SeaHorse II.



*


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 08:25:44 AM
*



I agree Walt. *It is the sheer that does it for me... *I think that is ultimately what draws us all to the trawler style of boat. *They all(most) have swooping sheer line....whereas motoryachts tend to have flat sheers and sometimes even a negative nose down sheer(like the newest Sea Ray Sundancers)...
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:21 AM   #12
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

John,And lots and lots of other Sea Rays. The negative sheer on fast boats is probably there for better visibility at high angles of attack.
I towed a dinghy for a summer * ... * never again.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

We tow ours on plane. *It was not exactly smooth on this day. *I took it this past Labor Day as well and it was really NOT smooth. *But still, it is not the ideal solution. *I think our ideal solution would be the removable davits. *They are just like classic davits that snap on and off. *I don't want the things on there permanently because 95% of the time we do not need a dinghy along.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #14
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

John:

Is there a photo of your dinghy in your post?
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
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John:

Is there a photo of your dinghy in your post?
*No kidding.* is that John's daughter?* I hope he has a shotgun.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:39 PM   #16
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Quote:
Pineapple Girl wrote:No kidding.* is that John's daughter?* I hope he has a shotgun.
OH boy!* There's trouble in River City!

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #17
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

This is starting to get good. John Baker- you old dog!
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #18
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

Hey I'm just jealous!**
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:37 AM   #19
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

"5 yrs and 9,000 miles on the Great Circle Cruise, "

Most folks have a LIFE , and spend 6 months and run only 6000 land miles on the mud run.

Your dink needs are very different from what NORMAL cruisers would require.

Our dink was carried on the rear deck, ready for instant use with OARS.

No gas dieing in the can, no 100lbs of "safety gear" , and the sail rig to drop in should somewhere be worth a longer , closer look.


AS always different strokes for different lifestyles.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:05 AM   #20
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RE: Dinghy Davit System for A340

and criticize you for cruising the same few miles around your home over and over and over, but I will not go there, for I really dont know so any comment from me would not be fair.

Our ocean mileage , 3 \Carribeab trips and Bahamas winters is on par with most cruisers , but that's in a 90/90.

As a Marine Motorist we bought and converted LUCY to run the loop, and did.

In SW Florida there is little of interest , after a couple of decades , but in New England the abundance of historic places , with grand protected harbors keeps us within 500 miles of our CT home.


So we do go round and round , but instead of simply swollowing the anchor , were looking for a trailerable PNW to cruise the Inside Passage , and hit the land locked lakes , rivers and resivoirs inside the NA continent.

The fun continues,
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