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Old 04-04-2021, 06:18 PM   #1
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Trawler Mast to lift Dinghy?

Hello All
I have a 1974 Marine Trader Dual Cabin 34. I'm evaluating ways to ship and stow my 9.5 ft inflatable keel dinghy and 8hp outboard. Bonus points if I can keep the engine on it, in calm water at least. I'm thinking of trying to use the boom of the mast as a lifting device. Is this nuts? There's a tie point on the center of the flybridge cockpit that seems to serve as fore/aft stabilization - its a substantial tie point with a turnbuckle, can only be to run a cable from the mast to hold it against stern loads.. I'm thinking that the dinghy could be sort of shimmied up onto the swim platform, gunnel to stern, and then secured and the boom used to raise the other gunnel out of the water and stowed maybe at a 15 degree angle, then this position held with lines cleated off to the deck. Thoughts? Are these masts strong enough to even lift the whole thing right out of the water onto the deck?.. Although I don't know where I would put it, maybe up on the flybridge. In rougher water I could pick the outboard off with the boom and stow it on deck, then raise the aft-facing gunnel of the dink up parallel to the stern for a better hold. What does everyone think?
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:25 PM   #2
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Without looking at the rig or pictures or inspection or any more info....one would be really out on a limb to advise anything.

Many trawler masts/booms can lift dinghies, but each one depending on maintenance and rigging may have completely different capabilities.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:36 PM   #3
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Without looking at the rig or pictures or inspection or any more info....one would be really out on a limb to advise anything.

Many trawler masts/booms can lift dinghies, but each one depending on maintenance and rigging may have completely different capabilities.
I'll try to get pictures of the pieces tomorrow, I haven't installed it on the boat yet. Based on what I can see, the mounting hardware is pretty sturdy, I just refurbished the mast and boom - filled any cracks with CPES, and coated it with like 15 coats of spar varnish. I may need to upgrade the rigging a bit depending on weight but that's par for the course here I think. Wondering what configurations people have used.

My mast has a bronze foot that uses about a 1" thick pin to mount to the base on the boat, to allow it to pivot down to go under bridges. I'm wondering also when going down rivers with calmer water and a lot of bridges if it could be propped up at about a 30 degree angle or so, so it protruded off the back of the boat a bit, and then secured in a sort of tripod with two tightened cables to either side to hold it in place. Could the dinghy actually be towed by the end of the mast in this configuration to keep the cable up out of the water and give more control? Crazy idea I know but I keep thinking about it..
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:19 PM   #4
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We had a Livingston dinghy on Weaver Snap Davits, then got a much heavier, larger dinghy. I tried to haul the new one by hand, once. It almost pulled me off the boat.

I modified the snap davits to work with the new dinghy, then attached a long boom to the existing mast. In the photo below, you can see a dark square on the boom close to where it meets the mast. That's a manual winch meant for pulling small boats onto small trailers.

The winch wire goes through a pulley at the end of the boom, which makes hauling the dinghy much, much, much easier! The whole affair was cobbled together just before a summer holiday cruise 4 years ago, and is still there without any more tweaking.

Large stainless steel carabiners with spring loaded gates were the key for attaching the dinghy to the modified snap davits, especially if there is any kind of chop. Crucial finger savers.

Just letting you know there might be a frugal option with a little forethought and planning.
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:23 PM   #5
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Just remember that filling cracks with CPES and then varnishing does add back the structure lost with the crack. It will look better but if the crack was deep there may be some strength lost. Maybe have a person that does sailboat rigging look at your rigging and they may be able to give some guidance as to what it might lift.
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:51 PM   #6
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We had a Livingston dinghy on Weaver Snap Davits, then got a much heavier, larger dinghy. I tried to haul the new one by hand, once. It almost pulled me off the boat.

I modified the snap davits to work with the new dinghy, then attached a long boom to the existing mast. In the photo below, you can see a dark square on the boom close to where it meets the mast. That's a manual winch meant for pulling small boats onto small trailers.

The winch wire goes through a pulley at the end of the boom, which makes hauling the dinghy much, much, much easier! The whole affair was cobbled together just before a summer holiday cruise 4 years ago, and is still there without any more tweaking.

Large stainless steel carabiners with spring loaded gates were the key for attaching the dinghy to the modified snap davits, especially if there is any kind of chop. Crucial finger savers.

Just letting you know there might be a frugal option with a little forethought and planning.
Yes! Thanks The snap davits are a great idea I'll probably pick up a pair. Do you stow your dinghy upright on the swim platform or more parallel to the water? Do you leave the motor on?
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:58 PM   #7
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Yes! Thanks The snap davits are a great idea I'll probably pick up a pair. Do you stow your dinghy upright on the swim platform or more parallel to the water? Do you leave the motor on?
Dinghy lays on its side, on the swim step, bottom facing aft.

Our snap davits were made for a Livingston dinghy, so we had to modify things for the new dinghy which is shaped like an inflatable but made of plastic.

Motor comes off, but there are solutions out there.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:01 PM   #8
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Dinghy lays on its side, on the swim step, bottom facing aft.

Our snap davits were made for a Livingston dinghy, so we had to modify things for the new dinghy which is shaped like an inflatable but made of plastic.

Motor comes off, but there are solutions out there.
I'm looking at the weaver site right now.. pretty slick!
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:25 PM   #9
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I think a lot of trawler owners visualize using their mast and boom to lift dinghies, or motorcycles or whatever. I really evaluated mine from all angles. The boom doesn't extend beyond the back of the boat so that really wouldn't work. I does reach over the side but really not by an awful lot, then how do I bring the dinghy closer in to mount on the aft cabin?

I'm sure the structure was able to support almost anything I wanted to hang on it but it just didn't seem practical.

In the end I got rid of the boom, cut ten feet off the mast and went with Weavers.

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Old 04-04-2021, 10:08 PM   #10
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Any who have heard my story before, stop reading now.

My boat came with the usual "trawler mast and boom".
I had a Sabot. It was built to win races, which it did. That meant weighing in close to the rule minimum of 52 lb fully rigged. So without the mast, boom, sail, rudder, centreboard, etc, it weighed a lot less than 52 lb. When I lifted it with my "trawler mast and boom", the base fitting for the mast broke and the whole thing came crashing down. Useless, useless, useless!!!
I had a new base made of SS channel, strong enough to do the job.
Several things changed, mandating a longer boom, a taller mast, and enough lifting capacity to hoist a Laser to a rack I had built so the Laser would sit above the back hatch, high enough that I can walk upright below it.
Another consideration was the stays that the original mast came with, that threatened you with decapitation whenever you had to transit the steps down from the flybridge. Those had to go.
The solution was a piece of aluminum irrigation pipe, tall enough to go up from the lower deck, (the original was mounted on the upper deck), pinned at the edge of the upper deck, no stays. When lifting the Laser I ran a temporary forestay forward to an attachment point at the base of the helm chair, otherwise no stays. It worked well for the years we carried the Laser.
The mast now also carries the radar dome. when lowered to go into my shelter, the whole affair rests on a two legged prop, on the back deck. The mast head is above the dinghy. The boom is high enough that I can stoop and go under it.

Your story will be different, but this might give you some data points to consider.
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:28 AM   #11
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We installed snap davits (Ceredi brand from Italy, the "new" dinghy had Ceredi pads fitted). Convenient, quick and easy, but I rather not have the dinghy on the swimstep. See if you can make the mast and cabintop storage work but if not, snaps are good. Don`t forget the hold off rods to nicely hold it in place.
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Old 04-05-2021, 01:14 AM   #12
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We store our 10 ft RIB with 8 hp outboard up top. The boom has two trailer winches, one to raise and lower the boom and the other to winch the load up and down. The bipod mast is supported with a set of shrouds and a pair of short forestays. We, too, have an anchor point forward on the flybridge that is clearly intended for a forestay. As the dink represents quite a load we left this off and added a longer forestay that runs forward to the foredeck, and two lower outboard shrouds that take the tension load from the outboard edges of the housetop down to the bulwarks.

It will all depend upon the construction of your cabin roof, the mast and boom, and how the mast is stayed, but we find it very handy to stow the tender on top.



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Old 04-05-2021, 06:49 AM   #13
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Factory wood mast and boom here on my 1979 49 MT RPH. Lifts my WM 10-ft RHIB just fine, with a 15hp Johnson on the back. I installed ATV electric winches and run straight lines (no block and tackle for reduction). Easy up and easy down. 4 heavy stays connected to the decks. Detailed pics if needed.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:54 AM   #14
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I am no rigging expert, but have used a lot of similar equipment in salvage and other commercial maritime work.


My mast and boom easily handle my 150lb dingy set up. When in doubt, do your own weight handing test (plenty of internet suggestions) to ensure some semblance of safety.


Even with some rot along the mast glue lines my mast easily handled things ....pretty sure rigging is designed to mostly put mast and boom in compression so I was confident in the amount of wood left. I filled the rot area with reinforced epoxy resin (probably as or stronger than before).



Lifting objects onto the after deck or rear stateroom cabin simply involves raising the boom to bring the lifting point in closer. Yes a bit complicated with just 2 hands and no remote controlled winches, but doable if you want to.


A boom that can't lift straight up out of the water isn't a show stopper... as long as the angle from the lifting point outward isn't excessive, holding the lifted object away from the hull and rail till the dingy clears is possible. On my boat it is easier to lift from the boat sides versus over the transom but I don't bother especially if in a slip where pilings interfere. But I still usually just lift over the transom, fending the dingy off obstructions as it comes aboard. The swim platform may be the biggest obstacle but I have the folding arm dingy davits that bolt to the swim platform so that bump is easily overcome.


Even when I had Weaver davits I used the mast and boom with an electric winch to lift and somewhat hold the aft dingy gunnel to the raised position...easy peezy.


I cannot say all trawler mast setups work like mine or are safe....a good inspection of pieces and parts is necessary than some head scratching what you can safely can do with it. If not confident in your backyard rigger skills....call in someone who you trust (or a pro if necessary).
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:37 AM   #15
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My mast didn't do it for me. This is how I chose to do it since the davits were on the boat when I bought it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:01 AM   #16
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My mast, boom and stay setup is quite beefy and lifts my fully rigged dinghy onto the aft deck with no problem. (From the side only) I estimate the total weight of the rigged dinghy at about 350lbs. I consider that about as much weight as I’m comfortable lifting. This year I have replaced all the rigging with new as I found two swages that were cracking. That said, I wouldn’t push it and we never put anybody in or under the lifted dinghy.

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Old 04-08-2021, 08:13 AM   #17
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Hi Brian, I can’t offer you any advice on your question. My boat has davitts for her 11’ Boston Whaler dinghy. But I do have another related question which I hope you can help me out with. I also have a 1974 MT...a 35’ triple cabin. A former owner replaced the original pilot house with an aluminum one made of 3/16” aluminum plate. He did an incredible job and even welded a base mount for the mast on the deck of the aft cabin...but he didn’t reinstall the mast and it did not come with the boat. I want purchase one or have one made but do not have any dimensions for it and the boom. Could you give me the dimensions of your mast and boom? It would be great if you could email me a picture of it as well. Another comment to your post suggested that information would need to be known to anyone who could advise you on your request so this may help both of us. Thank you. Roland
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:24 AM   #18
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Brian, we used our mast and boom to raise the dingy on our last trawler. While it was possible to be honest that mast wasn't setup to lift a dingy so it was a giant pain in the backside. Hard work, hard to control and often felt unsafe. We ended up using weaver davits on the swim step which made deploying/retrieving much easier and safer.

On our current trawler the mast and boom was designed and fitted by the factory to lift the dingy (it's stored forward of the PH). It works well and we can deploy/retreive in about 15 minutes.

If you go down this path consider changing the geometry of the mast, adding any required standing rigging, blocks and electric winches, etc to make it simple and safe. Plenty of trawlers do this well but the rig needs to be setup properly.
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:02 PM   #19
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Dinghy location

We went thru a couple of attempts to deal with a dinghy and its use.

I can categorically state, the more difficult it is to launch, the less you will use it. A mast & boom affair might seem easy, but with tie-downs and rigging, knowing people who kept a dinghy on a roof with a crane, they didn't use the dinghy very often.

I can also state, having the engine on the dinghy will be stronger insurance you will use the dinghy.

We started with something called a sling davit. It is a cargo net connection that attaches to the boat's swim platform and has a tie-up to handrails. See here; (davits, davit systems for inflatable boats). The main drawback was that you had to remove and replace the OB to use. I always expected ours would go for a swim test.

We finally found davits that would attach to the swim platform. You could attach davits to the stern (we, being a sundeck, with our berth on the other side, couldn't do that). See here for what we got; (https://www.atkinshoyle.com/products/davits.html). Highly recommend this company due to their support & quality. Better quality than other offerings as well.

There is also the advantage of paying for your davits in Canadian money. That could provide a discount on the currency exchange.

The davits allow for the OB to stay attached and it is easy to launch & retrieve the dinghy. Tying it properly it will ride through some rough water.

Any questions, drop me a reply.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:09 PM   #20
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dinghy lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianaderer View Post
Hello All
I have a 1974 Marine Trader Dual Cabin 34. I'm evaluating ways to ship and stow my 9.5 ft inflatable keel dinghy and 8hp outboard. Bonus points if I can keep the engine on it, in calm water at least. I'm thinking of trying to use the boom of the mast as a lifting device. Is this nuts? There's a tie point on the center of the flybridge cockpit that seems to serve as fore/aft stabilization - its a substantial tie point with a turnbuckle, can only be to run a cable from the mast to hold it against stern loads.. I'm thinking that the dinghy could be sort of shimmied up onto the swim platform, gunnel to stern, and then secured and the boom used to raise the other gunnel out of the water and stowed maybe at a 15 degree angle, then this position held with lines cleated off to the deck. Thoughts? Are these masts strong enough to even lift the whole thing right out of the water onto the deck?.. Although I don't know where I would put it, maybe up on the flybridge. In rougher water I could pick the outboard off with the boom and stow it on deck, then raise the aft-facing gunnel of the dink up parallel to the stern for a better hold. What does everyone think?
My GB 36 classic has a dinghy cradle on top of the aft cabin. I lift my 80 lb dinghy with the boom with no problem. I also have a stainless steel hook and loop system on the swim platform and stern of the dinghy so that I can mount it there. I do not keep the motor on the dinghy in either case, although I could and still use the boom to lift it off the cabin top. Honestly, if you want to keep the motor on your dinghy and lift/lower it with ease, buy davits and mount them to your aft deck or the transom.
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