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Old 12-05-2021, 09:50 PM   #1
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Oversized dinghy for the transom

I have heard enough stories to convince me that I do not want to tow a dinghy. Heavy seas, open seas, high winds, broken lines fouling the prop, broken line losing a dinghy - the list goes on...


I have heard stories about why you should not have an oversized dinghy on the transom too. Hitting a pylon on the way out or docking, heavy seas hitting the boat or motor and breaking the davits, leaving the dinghy plug in the transom and the dinghy getting too heavy for the davits...


My question is this - I have a 35 foot and my transom is 13 foot mid-ship but 10 foot on the transom. The longer / larger the dinghy the more stable the ride. So why would I want a 9 foot dinghy when I could hold an 11 foot and remove the dinghy when docking or leaving the dock?


How important is having a smaller dinghy based on transom if that is where I plan on storing it? I am running from NJ to FL ICW in parts - Keys and Bahamas in my sights. Maine, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland is on the bucket list. In Florida I would have a home base marina and I could store my dinghy on a trailer at my in-laws until needed for a Keys or Bahamas trip.



I have run in 4 to 6 footers short intervals in April for hours but that is very rare and unpleasant - without a dinghy it was a delivery run. I prefer not to run in those conditions. So if I am picking my days and I am not on a schedule do I need to heed those words of shorter dinghy than your transom?


Yes I could do it without posting - I am looking for the low down on what I am missing? I am not foolish enough to want to destroy my boat or dinghy in the process. I am looking at a CL340 and I expect to use it anywhere from 2 a month locally to weeks end while cruising.
I am in the process of asking the dealer what type of davits he would suggest and the same question I am posting here.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:23 PM   #2
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My transom is 12'6" at deck level. Swim platform is 11' across. Our dinghy is 12'1" and we carried it like this for a few months this season (pending davit installation) without issue. I kept it slightly offset to starboard (sticking out about an inch) as we typically dock port side to. No issues coming out of our home slip with a piling on the stbd side.

Equal to transom width is likely manageable. But any significant overhang is likely to become a pain. I worry about if keeping an engine on ours in davits would be an issue.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:31 PM   #3
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In the PNW many boats put the dinghy across the transom or on davits. A davit system has the advantage of lifting the dinghy away from the water. With a davit you probably could have a dinghy a bit wider than the transom on your boat perhaps 11'. The negative is that it adds several feet to your LOA when docking. Davits also block access to the swim platform. The other option, which is more common in our area, is having the dinghy across the transom. These systems tend to be much simpler and with inflatable dinghies work very well. However in this case the dinghy should not be wider than the transom since that could be a problem in heavy weather.

Our boat came with a davit system now removed because it blocked the ability to cross the transom on the swim platform, which is helpful while docking.
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:15 AM   #4
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There has been times while backing into a slip with our single engine boat that I was able to maintain control of the maneuver by just catching the stern of the boat on a piling. Those are the occasions I definitely wouldn't want to be hindered by a dinghy being beyond the rubrail. The same thing when leaving a slip. Sometimes I have to let the boat slide along a piling when leaving, be it due to wind, tide or whatever.
I guarantee if our dink stuck out past the boat by even a few inches that I would've crunched it off by now!
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Old 12-06-2021, 07:00 AM   #5
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"I am in the process of asking the dealer what type of davits he would suggest and the same question I am posting here. "


Davits that wont be torn loose should a wave , or even just rain fill the dink.
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:19 AM   #6
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Mine stuck out a few inches on each side. Only real problem was in the Erie and Canadian locks I had to cheat it to the port side and fender up the dinghy's bow. But most of the time I was starboard side to the lock wall. Not a big deal.
It was never a problem underway. The Dinghy was high enough so it didn't get pooped.
I also removed the plug when I raised it and it was bow high so no concern there.
I DID catch it on a piling once in my home marina as I took the turn into my slip wrong and caught a channel marker pole. No problem getting off once I realized what happened.

I had good line on the davit pulleys, and I used a cross line for anti-sway.

All in all, it was a great set-up.
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Old 12-08-2021, 04:12 PM   #7
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Interesting enough the builder of the davit mentioned to protect the motor. Offset the davit so the dingy motor is tucked inside the transom beam. Even though the bow of the tender may protrude even more. He suggested the motor could cause docking issues and you want to avoid hitting the motor / prop area.

I think I agree with that assessment - I have a lot to consider before I get this mounted.
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Old 12-08-2021, 04:36 PM   #8
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Plus if the skeg and prop of the dink is outside it can get hit by your own wake. Not that you’d notice a speed reduction but it drives the autopilot crazy sometimes.
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