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Old 08-30-2020, 09:25 AM   #1
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ST 44 - Swim Platform Dinghy Davit

We have an ST 44 and have been using the boom and winch to hoist the dinghy up on the fly bridge. This is time consuming and in windy situations somewhat challenging. Does anyone have experience with installation of a davit system on the swim platform? Which brand of davits? Did you have to reinforce the swim platform? Did you have to add weight in the bow to compensate? What happened to performance, cruising speed, etc? Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
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Not a swift, but we have been really happy with our trick davits on our Mainship 400. I had to some reinforcing on the davit arms, but otherwise they have been great.


I like the weavers and other "tip up" type davits as well, but our dinghy (11ft Highfield Rib with 20hp Suzuki 4 stroke) is too big for them, unless we took the motor off every time, which is not reasonable. Another nice thing about the slide on cradle type systems is that you don't have to empty out the dink every time you put it on the davits.


I can launch the dink by myself, and drive it away in less than 5 minutes. Takes about ten to load it, which I can also do alone, though it easier with two people. When cruising we use the dink every single day, even in marinas, and pull it up most nights for safety.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
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Look at Seawise davits. They are really great, fast launch and recovery. Still able to use the swim platform. We put one on a previous boat and loved it.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by saraml View Post
We have an ST 44 and have been using the boom and winch to hoist the dinghy up on the fly bridge. This is time consuming and in windy situations somewhat challenging. Does anyone have experience with installation of a davit system on the swim platform? Which brand of davits? Did you have to reinforce the swim platform? Did you have to add weight in the bow to compensate? What happened to performance, cruising speed, etc? Thanks.
I asked Beneteau about putting a dinghy on the swim platform. They specifically said do not do it. The swim platform is not designed to hold the weight. And its not as simple as reinforcing it, they said that the boat design and where weight is carefully designed/thought out and putting weight on the back not only could be a safety issue with altering the center of gravity but it would surely have a bad performance impact. You might also want to read your insurance policy as putting the dinghy somewhere it is not designed to go could yield you having no insurance coverage if there is a loss from you altering the weight distribution on the boat.

We have an ultra light weight dinghy. Dinghy plus motor is 110 or so pounds. I can do the dinghy by myself from the fly bridge but appreciate a second helping and, especially in bad sea conditions.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
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Using the boom and winch to drop the tender is a PITA. There was one on Sandpiper at the time of purchase. The boom wants to swing back to the center and the boom angle required adjustment during use. It took two people to launch and retrieve.

We removed the boom and installed a Nick Jackson pipe davit. Makes dinghy dropping and raising easy and quick. I can launch and retrieve safely by myself. Our dinghy is a fiberglass 12' center console.

Having the tender on the transom limits tender length to the width of the transom and the tender obstructs getting on and off the boat. A tender on the swim platform does allows quick tender deployment and retrieval.

If a pipe davit is not aesthetically pleasing, a low profile crane would be ideal but expensive.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:56 PM   #6
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There are pics floating somewhere of someone that installed a hydraulic crane on their ST44 fly bridge to use in-place of the mast and boom.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:39 AM   #7
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I used on my President 385 Sundeck a set of Hurley Marine H20 davits. They can hold about 160 kg and they do not weigh that much. (14 pounds) They are easy to mount. If your dinghy is not to heavy you can pull it on the davits by hand.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:32 PM   #8
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I asked Beneteau about putting a dinghy on the swim platform. They specifically said do not do it. The swim platform is not designed to hold the weight. And its not as simple as reinforcing it, they said that the boat design and where weight is carefully designed/thought out and putting weight on the back not only could be a safety issue with altering the center of gravity but it would surely have a bad performance impact. You might also want to read your insurance policy as putting the dinghy somewhere it is not designed to go could yield you having no insurance coverage if there is a loss from you altering the weight distribution on the boat.

We have an ultra light weight dinghy. Dinghy plus motor is 110 or so pounds. I can do the dinghy by myself from the fly bridge but appreciate a second helping and, especially in bad sea conditions.
Interesting. A 10' RIB is about 100 lbs, up to 6 hp engine is about 50 lbs. Together, about the weight of an adult. I would find it hard to believe that 150 lbs would alter the trim on a 20k lb boat. It is not that different than you standing at the very back of the cockpit.

As to it holding the weight on a swim platform, a person can stand there.

I think Bene is just CYA in case someone wants to put a 13' center console with 20hp weighing in at 300+ lbs.

Just thinking it through, but maybe there is something Bene knows that it is not telling us about?
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:37 PM   #9
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Interesting. A 10' RIB is about 100 lbs, up to 6 hp engine is about 50 lbs. Together, about the weight of an adult. I would find it hard to believe that 150 lbs would alter the trim on a 20k lb boat. It is not that different than you standing at the very back of the cockpit.

As to it holding the weight on a swim platform, a person can stand there.

I think Bene is just CYA in case someone wants to put a 13' center console with 20hp weighing in at 300+ lbs.

Just thinking it through, but maybe there is something Bene knows that it is not telling us about?
A person stands there when underway? Underway in bad seas?

Several ST44 owners have had engineers check their swim platforms and opted to reinforce, even without having a dinghy there!

A 13' center console with 20 hps weights WAY more than 300 pounds!
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:31 AM   #10
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I am surprised about the swimplatform for the ST 44. Does the manual warn for this?
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:38 AM   #11
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I am surprised about the swimplatform for the ST 44. Does the manual warn for this?
Dont know off hand but looking at the platform and how its supported even for a second its obvious.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:30 PM   #12
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Dont know off hand but looking at the platform and how its supported even for a second its obvious.
As is the ability of the roof over the aft cabin to support the extra weight of a dinghy with an outboard that is "too heavy" for the swim grid.

Weaver davits are for a very light weight dinghy without an outboard.
Seawise davits will take more weight, and are well designed to also support a small outboard. Once your total weight passes 300# you shouldn't be tilting it up, as the dinghy itself isn't designed for that much weight on the attachment points for the Seawise. (I have mentioned this before, as my dinghy has the repairs to prove my point).

Davits properly designed for the weight of the dinghy, properly attached to your transom, rather than to the swim grid, are the sensible answer. You may still be in for some strengthening, as your Bene may not be built with transom mounted davits in mind either.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:52 PM   #13
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As is the ability of the roof over the aft cabin to support the extra weight of a dinghy with an outboard that is "too heavy" for the swim grid.

Weaver davits are for a very light weight dinghy without an outboard.
Seawise davits will take more weight, and are well designed to also support a small outboard. Once your total weight passes 300# you shouldn't be tilting it up, as the dinghy itself isn't designed for that much weight on the attachment points for the Seawise. (I have mentioned this before, as my dinghy has the repairs to prove my point).

Davits properly designed for the weight of the dinghy, properly attached to your transom, rather than to the swim grid, are the sensible answer. You may still be in for some strengthening, as your Bene may not be built with transom mounted davits in mind either.
Everything you are saying is a moot point. Beneteau has said no dinghy on the ST44 swim platform. Even if you reinforce the platform they claim the weight will also shift the center of gravity on the boat making it unsafe AND have major performance implications / strain on the engines/related systems. Finally if those three points werent enough, why would you want to block your swim platform from being able to walk onto the boat?

The roof can hold the weight but the heavier you go the more unstable you make the boat and increase the swaying motions. Hence I stuck with a 50 pound dinghy and 50 pound motor for 100 lbs total.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:32 PM   #14
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I find it almost unbelievable that a dinghy on the swim platform could change the balance of a 44’ boat so much as to make it unsafe??? As to blocking the swim platform we had a SeaWise davit and you could still use the platform. Something is off here, IMO.
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