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Old 05-12-2016, 08:44 PM   #1
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Davit's or crane?

We are getting close to putting a deposit on a new American Tug...probably the 395 model.
One decision facing us is dinghy storage...
AT offers both a stern davit and an upper deck crane set up.
As the entry to the cockpit of this model is from the swim platform, they allow the rear davit's to pivot outward allowing access to the platform. The other option is the upper deck crane stowing the dinghy on the upper deck in removable chocks.

Who likes which system and why?
Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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There are a lot of different types of davits. Some will impede access to the swim platform more than others. Find out exactly what AT is proposing and post some pictures of the installations.

FWIW, I really like the Sea Wise davits on my boat. It leaves the swim step reasonably clear and allow someone to walk from one side of the swim step to the other while the dinghy is in place.

Also, I have a crane on my boat that the PO never used. I plan on setting it up to use so I have the option of keeping the dinghy in either position.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Here is the best I can find...
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:06 PM   #4
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And one with a dinghy...
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:16 PM   #5
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Yup. I don't like that type of system because while the dinghy is in place, you can't use the swim step. iirc, the AT has an off set door from the swim step into the cockpit (starboard side?). That means that a port side tie with the dinghy in place would be awkward. That type of davit is great for storing a dinghy in many ways, but it eliminate the swim step for use.

The advantage of a davit system is that you can easily launch the dinghy while tied to a dock on either side. With most cranes, you have to launch the dinghy from that side of the boat that the crane is on.

Check out the Sea Wise davits and see what you think.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:17 PM   #6
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Davit's or crane?

I have the dinghy stored on the upper deck. I can raise and lower it by myself, but I find myself wishing for a swim step storage option on those times where I travel to multiple locations on a longer trip. It would be easier to deploy and store on the swim step in those cases. It is very secure on the upper deck. It would definitely be in the way always on the swim step. Upper deck wins in my situation. That said, if I was getting a swim step davit, it would be the Sea Wise.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:23 PM   #7
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I have the dinghy stored on the upper deck. I can raise and lower it by myself, but I find myself wishing for a swim step storage option on those times where I travel to multiple locations on a longer trip. It would be easier to deploy and store on the swim step in those cases. It is very secure on the upper deck. It would definitely be in the way always on the swim step. Upper deck wins in my situation. That said, if I was getting a swim step davit, it would be the Sea Wise.
I just took delivery of hoist straps today that I want to use on my crane. I hope to go anchor somewhere this weekend and try it out. If it works well, then I have to come up with some chocks for the boat deck. I am thinking that having both options will be really nice.

Bruce, it is relatively easy to install davits or have them installed. Installing a crane however is not something I would attempt but would be best handled by the manufacturer. So, given a choice of davits or crane on a new boat purchase, I would go with a crane and then add davits later if desired.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:31 PM   #8
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Interesting...
I am leaning toward the crane but I never considered getting the dinghy down when at the dock!
I suppose that if you are at the dock, you aren't likely to need the dinghy...
Thanks for the replies!
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:41 PM   #9
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Interesting...
I am leaning toward the crane but I never considered getting the dinghy down when at the dock!
I suppose that if you are at the dock, you aren't likely to need the dinghy...
Thanks for the replies!
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I get mine down while at the dock a lot during crabbing season.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:46 PM   #10
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I get mine down while at the dock a lot during crabbing season.
Is your crane centered on the upper deck or offset? If offset can you launch your dinghy on the side opposite the crane? I know you can't on my boat. My crane is on the the starboard side and can't extend enough to launch a dinghy on the port side.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:54 PM   #11
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Is your crane centered on the upper deck or offset? If offset can you launch your dinghy on the side opposite the crane? I know you can't on my boat. My crane is on the the starboard side and can't extend enough to launch a dinghy on the port side.

I launch the dinghy on the port side. For the last few years there has not been a boat in the port side slip next to me, so it makes getting the dinghy down easy. I can still launch it when a sailboat is next to me with a narrow stern, but another wide body trawler would make it impossible.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:58 PM   #12
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I launch the dinghy on the port side. For the last few years there has not been a boat in the port side slip next to me, so it makes getting the dinghy down easy. I can still launch it when a sailboat is next to me with a narrow stern, but another wide body trawler would make it impossible.
What size/weight dinghy do you carry up there, if you don't mind my asking?
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:03 PM   #13
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I have a 12' aluminum rib with a 20hpHonda 4 stroke. It probably weighs 400lbs. The crane is a steelhead with. 1,000 lb capacity.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:26 PM   #14
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I have a 12' aluminum rib with a 20hpHonda 4 stroke. It probably weighs 400lbs. The crane is a steelhead with. 1,000 lb capacity.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:36 PM   #15
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Check out the Sea Wise davits...
The other day I watched a guy crank up his RIB on the swim step. Switched arms back and forth obviously bothered by it. No way to power those things? Even a cordless drill with the right socket 'stead of the crank?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:52 AM   #16
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We have the Weaver Davit system with a 11' 10" Whaler dinghy. I can pull it up to the vertically stored position fairly easy. OK, it's a quick little work out... But, I don't know if I would want a davit system where the dinghy is stored horizontally. Our friends have that, and if they forget to remove the plug their RIB fills with water when it rains (has happened). And when they launch the dinghy if they forget to replace the plug... (has happened as well!)
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:12 AM   #17
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The other day I watched a guy crank up his RIB on the swim step. Switched arms back and forth obviously bothered by it. No way to power those things? Even a cordless drill with the right socket 'stead of the crank?
I find it really easy. I happen to have a Winchrite that I used on my sailboat. I have thought that it would be very easy to adapt it to fit on the Sea Wise but it is really so easy to raise that I doubt I will bother. They do make electric versions of the Sea Wise davit however.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:19 AM   #18
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They do make electric versions of the Sea Wise davit however.
Figured they would. I guess the winch or the guy, maybe both, were just old and wore out.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:23 AM   #19
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There are several other factors that would play a role in my choice. As to your platform, how wide is it? Is it fixed or does it lower into the water?
How far off the water is it? What size crane and how much weight do they figure in addition to the crane?

Generally I prefer a crane. However, that does sacrifice a good bit of space on a boat that size. Plus, I'd want the biggest rib possible. It seems that would be 10-11' on that boat, plus I'd want a decent size outboard. If either solution prevented that then I'd be looking the other way. We use our RIB too much to go smaller with it. Our personal preference would be a 12' jet RIB but that would not be for most.

Still if my crane is too small or my space up top too small, then I think less of that choice.

On the platform or davits, I don't want the dinghy wider than the platform. I also wouldn't sacrifice length because of boarding needs. I'd prefer a platform that lowered into the water and then just using chocks instead of a davit. That also requires it's high enough not to be in the water when running.

Either solution can have docking challenges. A crane needs you to dock on the right side if side tie and really struggles in a slip. The davit isn't so good in a side tie situation if many boats are packed tightly but great in a slip and good in most side tie situations.

I know I haven't provided answers, but hopefully some points that will help you figure them out.

Next I would want to know what they've installed, what dinghies have been used and how they're worked. You've got weight on top vs weight hanging off the back. I've seen boats in that range that really struggle with added weight behind the stern.

I wouldn't want to be doing something different than others have successfully done. I have only seen crane used on that specific boat. Now perhaps you'll gather other information. If not, I'd lean strongly to the crane.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:23 AM   #20
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Figured they would. I guess the winch or the guy, maybe both, were just old and wore out.
I resemble that remark.
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