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Old 09-14-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
Scraping Paint
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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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