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Old 01-24-2011, 04:43 PM   #1
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Just bought a 43' Marine Trader Labelle Sundeck. Trying to think of ways to store my dinghy (I can use either a 10' inflatable, or a 11' Whaler).
Maybe on the roof of the sun deck? On the bow? Tilted sideways on the swim platform?
Or just towed..?

Here is the boat -


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Old 01-24-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Our own philosophy, which our dog has to adhere to but nobody else does, is to NEVER stow a dinghy on the aft cabin or boat deck of a boat built for or used in coastal waters. (Open ocean cruising is a whole*different deal.)

The reason is safety. We want a dinghy that is either already in the water (towed) or can be put in the water almost immediately. This means a swimstep or main-deck davit system.

I've seen people injured and windows bashed out of a boat where they were lowering a dinghy from the boat deck in an anchorage with just little bitty waves rocking the boat. And it still got away from them. Now imagine a true emergency, which will always occur at night in screaming wind, driving rain, and big-a*s waves. Ask yourself, how easy and safe*will it be to get the dinghy in the water off a cabin top or boat deck*under those conditions? (Letting the main boat sink out from under it doesn't count.)

For lighter-weight dinghies a tip-up system, manual or something like a SeaWise is very good. Even better is a proper stern davit system as pictured below on Carey's custom lobsterboat. We have a hardshell dinghy in Weaver davits on the swimstep but when the day comes that we can take longer cruises--- months-long as opposed to weeks-long--- we intend to buy a 10' Bullfrog like Carey's. But we don't have davits and a Bullfrog is much too heavy for a swimstep mount. So we'll tow it.

So for us, a cabin-top or boat-deck cradle is not even an option. We'll tow before we put our primary dinghy/shoreboat up there.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Old Stone wrote:

I would not think of using the dinghy under the conditions he describes.

If your boat was on fire I'm thinking you would....

We don't care how we'd launch a dinghy under normal circumstances.**An inflatable carried deflated in the fore-cabin under a big box of tools*can be dealt with*under normal*circumstances.* We're only*interested in how easy a dinghy can be*launched in an emergency because that's the only time it really counts.

And since a person never has an emergency until he has an emergency, using examples of people who have carried*dinghies successfully for years on cabin tops or boat decks under normal, everyday, non-emergency conditions*have no relevance to us.

If we had an ironclad guarantee that our boat would never catch fire, never be run down in the*fog, never be holed by an errant practice torpedo that escaped from Whiskey Golf, and so on, then carrying a dinghy up high on a cabin top or boat deck where it had to be*slowly*launched*with a boom and mast or a*crane would be fine.

As our boat did not come with such a guarantee we prefer to*carry the dinghy in a manner where it can be in the water*in less than a minute if*need be.
-- Edited by Marin on Monday 24th of January 2011 08:28:58 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*
Old Stone wrote:

I would not think of using the dinghy under the conditions he describes.

If your boat was on fire I'm thinking you would....

We don't care how we'd launch a dinghy under normal circumstances.**An inflatable carried deflated in the fore-cabin under a big box of tools*can be dealt with*under normal*circumstances.* We're only*interested in how easy a dinghy can be*launched in an emergency because that's the only time it really counts.

And since a person never has an emergency until he has an emergency, using examples of people who have carried*dinghies successfully for years on cabin tops or boat decks under normal, everyday, non-emergency conditions*have no relevance to us.

If we had an ironclad guarantee that our boat would never catch fire, never be run down in the*fog, never be holed by an errant practice torpedo that escaped from Whiskey Golf, and so on, then carrying a dinghy up high on a cabin top or boat deck where it had to be*slowly*launched*with a boom and mast or a*crane would be fine.

As our boat did not come with such a guarantee we prefer to*carry the dinghy in a manner where it can be in the water*in less than a minute if*need be.
-- Edited by Marin on Monday 24th of January 2011 08:28:58 PM I have to agree with Marin. We must consider our dinghy's as both shore-boat and LIFEBOAT. Most of us will never have a life-raft in a can as part of our gear, so we have to make one do. I towed for quite a few years, until I got a Duroboat (12' Aluminum semi-vee hull). It didn't tow well above ten knots, hunting and pecking for a direction to go, it would nearly broach and roll. Not wanting to give up the dinghy, I had the davits built, and never looked back. Literally, I don't have to look back any more to make sure the dinghy is riding well, and actually there. I did lose my original dinghy under tow once. The San Juan County Sheriff called me on the radio to ask me to clear my debris from Bellingham Channel. How embarrassing?**At the time, I used only quarter inch polypropylene tow line. The boat and motor combined weighed only two hundred pounds, so that worked fine, until it didn't. I then switched to 3/8" poly, and committed to a lot better inspection process, which served me well until I built the davits.Bottom line for me is a davit mounted dinghy that I can cut the lifting lines on in a time of dire emergency, or a deep vee towed dinghy that does not tend to wander. If I were going to tow again, I would add net floats to the tow line every ten or twelve feet, to help insure it not getting sucked into the wheel. One of those cool towline rewind systems would be worth looking at as well.


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Old 01-24-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

I am having a hard time with this one. I consider my dinghy a connection to the landside....I never really consider it a life raft. You have to think of safety in LAYERS.....the layer that is your dinghy as a life raft is pretty far down the priority list. I guess all I am saying is that if you are so concerned as to have to have your dinghy at the ready to avoid certain peril, then you might want to rethink your safety strategy. I mean that with no disrespect. We all have to weigh our risks!!!

-- Edited by Baker on Monday 24th of January 2011 09:43:48 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

We carry a 11 ft rib on top. It is tricky to launch with screaming wind and big waves but in most anchorages it works fine. It bumps the side a bit at times when raised but it is an inflatable so no harm done. Must think ahead and keep track of the roll.

I like the boat on top if the seas are big . On the swim step is somewhat vulnerable in my mind.

When we do tow the rib, I put a clothes pin on the throttle. This means - before I shift to reverse, I say "what is that clothes pin on there for?" Oh, the dinghy is back there. pull it in before reversing.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Baker wrote:

I am having a hard time with this one. I consider my dinghy a connection to the landside....I never really consider it a life raft. You have to think of safety in LAYERS.....the layer that is your dinghy as a life raft is pretty far down the priority list. I guess all I am saying is that if you are so concerned as to have to have your dinghy at the ready to avoid certain peril, then you might want to rethink your safety strategy. I mean that with no disrespect. We all have to weigh our risks!!!

-- Edited by Baker on Monday 24th of January 2011 09:43:48 PM
John
I see your point, but if you are going to have a dinghy, why not think of it as a life raft, should the need ever arise. It doesn't cost any more to have it do double duty. Like you, I also cover all my bases in order to avoid ever needing it as a life raft, but...here in the NW, and I believe pretty much anywhere you go, weather can go to he-- without notice or prediction.

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-- Edited by Carey on Monday 24th of January 2011 09:54:43 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

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I consider my dinghy a connection to the landside....I never really consider it a life raft.
Depends on how big your boat is, the waters you boat in,*and what your requirements for a life raft are.* Most boats in the 30 to 40 foot range don't have room for a shoreboat plus a full-size life raft.* In our waters a requirement-- or at least our requirement---*for a life raft is to*keep everyone out of the water because of*the temperature of the water.*

We have a ditch bag with a strong tether and clip so if we had to get off the GB in a hurry we could go aft with the bag, clip it to the dinghy,*release the standoffs and the dinghy would be in the water immediately.* Lke Carey's dinghy, ours has a motor and fuel and we could actually get somewhere in it although it's not as seaworthy and fast as Carey's.

A snazzy Bering Sea crab*boat-type*life raft with stormproof*canopy, sea anchor,*and built-in survival gear would be way cool but we've got no place to carry it on our boat, let alone afford it.* So our shoreboat has to do double-duty as a lifeboat.

In warmer waters perhaps something less than a hulled craft would work okay as a life raft.* It was a rule in Hawaii when I flew there that all general aviation planes that were going to be flying over water (which was all of them) had to have a raft on board with the same capacity as the plane.* 2-place plane, 2- person raft.* 6-place plane like I flew, 6-man raft.* These were quite compact, very expensive, had to be checked, recharged, and repacked every x-years, and would serve as little more than something to hang onto in the ocean waters over there.*

But the water was fairly warm, and since you had to file a flight plan when flying inter-island and report in at a variety of check points along the way*the chances were that if you went into the water and survived the impact and weren't*eaten by a*shark you'd be pulled out of the water pretty quickly.

The situation is a little different for boaters here and on up the BC coast into SE Alaska.* Staying out of or getting out of the water is the number one priority.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 24th of January 2011 10:12:41 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

I certainly have no qualms about a proper davit system. But towing a dinghy has risks that could rear their ugly heads much more readily than catching on fire or whatever reason for abandoning ship. I guess all I am saying is that I would happily carry it on a sundeck versus towing. I would never think to myself, "Hey self, I might need this as a life raft so I better tow it.".....nope...especially in an offshore capacity. IOW, to me and as far as safety is concerned, on the sundeck is a better place. If the friggin boat is sinking, then just climb the boat as it sinks and launch the dinghy as the water level demands.....fire notwithstanding....
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

And Marin........I HAVE TO TOW MY dinghy simply because I don't have the room. If I did....I wouldn't!
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:19 PM   #11
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Baker wrote:
I certainly have no qualms about a proper davit system. But towing a dinghy has risks that could rear their ugly heads much more readily than catching on fire or whatever reason for abandoning ship. I guess all I am saying is that I would happily carry it on a sundeck versus towing. I would never think to myself, "Hey self, I might need this as a life raft so I better tow it.".....nope...especially in an offshore capacity. IOW, to me and as far as safety is concerned, on the sundeck is a better place. If the friggin boat is sinking, then just climb the boat as it sinks and launch the dinghy as the water level demands.....fire notwithstanding....
JohnMy bad! I meant to mention offshore not being a suitable environment for towing. I would hate to see my dinghy drop from above. The other aspect of towing that needs to be mentioned is that the dinghy must be stepped correctly behind the tow vessel, i.e. not on the face of the stern wake or following waves.
Besides the lack of towability (my word) of my previous dinghy, I had decided never to tow again.

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

We use Weaver Davits and have it tilted up on the swim platform.

Sure, it may not be ideal in an emergency, but as coastal cruisers, we are RARELY in water that's deeper than our boat is tall. So if it sinks, there could STILL be 4' of boat out of the water in the center of the ICW... Sure, other stuff can happen like fire, etc. But we also always have our life jackets within reach any time we are underway and we've got no plans to be out of sight of land anytime soon. Moreover, the Intracoastal Waterway is called the ditch for a reason. In this area, if we get more than about 10 yards out of the channel and you are extremely likely to be in waist-deep, if not ankle-deep water. In other words... We feel plenty safe.

Keep your own needs and cost in mind. Don't be scared that around every corner is certain doom (even though I'm fixing to get an ear full of an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-a-pound-of-cure speeches) Weaver Davits are cheap compared to putting a winch and crane in. Then, think how often you will actually use it when it's a huge production to launch? If you must have an emergency boat, you could get an emergency inflatable (yes... expensive), but you will still have easy access to a dinghy that opens up all sorts of spur-of-the-moment exploring when at anchor.

Tom-

-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Monday 24th of January 2011 10:25:05 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #13
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

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If the friggin boat is sinking, then just climb the boat as it sinks and launch the dinghy as the water level demands.....fire notwithstanding....
You're talking theory.* I've met a fellow who has had a boat fire, had to abandon the boat with his wife, and says the ONLY reason they were able to do this in time was because they towed their dinghy.* It was already in the water and all they had to do was haul it up to the transome and get in.* He said had the dinghy been stowed on the boat they would have either burned up with the boat or drowned when they went into the water to escape the flames because their chances of launching the dinghy would have been zero.

To this day they continue to tow their dinghy even though they have had boats more than capable of carrying one on board.

Even the notion of climbing into a dinghy and sitting there as boat sinks is a nice theory but apparently would rarely work.* Boats generally don't sink nice and level like your imagination says they will.* They roll over, pitch up, pitch down, and generally anything on them tends to get destroyed or*pulled*down with them*unless it's one of those purpose-built life rafts in a cannister than are made to*release from the boat and*survive this sort of situation.

I got to talking to this fellow a few years ago because I noticed they had a 10' Bullfrog like Carey's but there was no place on their beautifully maintained vintage Chris Craft to carry it.* My wife and I had just*been talking about someday getting a Bullfrog but where to carry it, so I motored over and talked to this fellow.* He tows it, at speeds up to 16 knots with the Chris Craft, including in rough water on the Strait of Georgia.

It was then that he related the above story and their reason for never carrying a dinghy on board a boat again, at least not in relatively protected coastal waters.* They had done ocean voyaging too, across the Atlantic*and between the West Coast and Hawaii, but he said for those trips they had large boats and carried purpose-built, launchable survival rafts.

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-- Edited by Marin on Monday 24th of January 2011 10:34:37 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #14
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

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Sure, it may not be ideal in an emergency, but as coastal cruisers, we are RARELY in water that's deeper than our boat is tall.
Speak for yourself * There are plenty of places up here where*one boat length from shore the water is over 100' deep and heading down fast.* I've posted this shot before--- at this particular place the water is almost 1,000' deep and these places are not rare.

*
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:29 PM   #15
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*
GonzoF1 wrote:

Sure, it may not be ideal in an emergency, but as coastal cruisers, we are RARELY in water that's deeper than our boat is tall.
Speak for yourself There are plenty of places up here where*one boat length from shore the water is over 100' deep and heading down fast.* I've posted this shot before--- at this particular place the water is almost 1,000' deep and these places are not rare.Forget the depth issue. I don't swim in 48 degree water. Brrrr...

*
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #16
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Marin, why don't we just hire a helicopter to follow us around? *And I am not a theoretical boater..... *I guess all I am saying is I will take my chances. I am FORCED to tow my dinghy simply because of the size of my boat(or my lack of interest in installing a proper davit). Given the opportunity, I would gladly haul it aboard. And regardless of the way a boat sinks, I am pretty sure a dinghy is gonna remain floating whether it is right side up or down. We can all think of doomsday scenarios. You just have to weigh the risks and how they apply to you. And those risks are different from me to you.....although the risk of fire likely is not. I will still take a fire on a boat before an airplane....

Carey, your rig is the way to go. I tow my dinghy at 15kts. Amazingly it does quite well. I have had it in some pretty rough stuff. I would love to have a proper davit....although there is still money to be spent before that.

-- Edited by Baker on Monday 24th of January 2011 11:17:35 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:27 PM   #17
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Quote:
Baker wrote:

Marin, why don't we just hire a helicopter to follow us around? *And I am not a theoretical boater..... *I guess all I am saying is I will take my chances. I am FORCED to tow my dinghy simply because of the size of my boat(or my lack of interest in installing a proper davit). Given the opportunity, I would gladly haul it aboard. And regardless of the way a boat sinks, I am pretty sure a dinghy is gonna remain floating whether it is right side up or down. We can all think of doomsday scenarios. You just have to weigh the risks and how they apply to you. And those risks are different from me to you.....although the risk of fire likely is not. I will still take a fire on a boat before an airplane....

Carey, your rig is the way to go. I tow my dinghy at 15kts. Amazingly it does quite well. I have had it in some pretty rough stuff. I would love to have a proper davit....although there is still money to be spent before that.

-- Edited by Baker on Monday 24th of January 2011 11:17:35 PM
JohnI'm with you on the fire scenario. Please let it happen in a boat. But, I don't like it in the boat either, so we have at least twice the firefighting ability that is required. One five pounder in the companionway, one ten pounder by the berth, a
five pounder at the helm, and two more on the bulkhead. Now I don't worry about fire.


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Old 01-24-2011, 10:29 PM   #18
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

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I will still take a fire on a boat before an airplane....
I certainly agree with that.* And I'm all for carrying a dinghy aboard, but only if it's carried in a manner that allows it to be almost instantly deployed.* Carey's setup does that, and so does a swimstep mounted dinghy.* I'd much prefer either of those options as opposed to towing.* But if the choice is tow or carry on a cabin top or boat deck where a lifting device has to be used to launch it, we'll tow it.

PS---*When all the dust has settled remind me to tell you the true cause of the fire on board the 787.**It wasn't what you'd expect.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 24th of January 2011 11:32:59 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:32 PM   #19
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RE: Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

Marin - where is that picture taken? It's a beautiful area...
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:34 PM   #20
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Dinghy Stowage on a Sundeck Trawler? Ideas?

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Marin - where is that picture taken? It's a beautiful area...
The only reason that photo is so pretty is the use of Marin's photoshop skills. I'm sure it was cloudy and raining.*

*


-- Edited by Carey on Monday 24th of January 2011 11:35:37 PM
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