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Old 20-03-2014, 17:15   #1
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Davits or an arch?

Boat an 87 Island Packet 38, currently has neither. Initially all I need is a way to hang a dinghy (3.1m RIB), but in the future if we go cruising with this boat, solar is very high on my wish list. Currently boat has none.
So go with davits only at this point, or try to source an arch with the eventual plan of mounting solar there and probably a Radar?
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Old 20-03-2014, 17:53   #2
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Re: Davits or an arch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Boat an 87 Island Packet 38, currently has neither. Initially all I need is a way to hang a dinghy (3.1m RIB), but in the future if we go cruising with this boat, solar is very high on my wish list. Currently boat has none.
So go with davits only at this point, or try to source an arch with the eventual plan of mounting solar there and probably a Radar?
An arch is going to be the most flexible way to to it, lots of easy add-on options vs. a set of davits.
Of course, an arch then requires some extra parts to hoist a dinghy, but up top you can bolt on an antenna farm and some solar panels quite easily.

I'm almost sold on the Atlantic Towers "Tower in a Box" Arch (link below), price seems reasonable, lots of options/accessories available for it, and it looks well made.
There may be other such products from different vendors, haven't looked that deep yet.
I've been scouting this out for a while, to the point of even building one from scratch ( a(nother) major project) , and can't beat this.

The Atlantic Towers website is hard to navigate to the sailboat targeted arch product so I'll put the direct link here (bypassing the main link, which is worth a look): Arches for Sail Boats | Boat Towers | Towers for Sailboats .
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:19   #3
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Re: Davits or an arch?

Why buy two things separated by a few years? Buy the arch now. Work out the measurements of 3 solar panels, or whatever, and factor that in but just buy one panel now till your power consumption goes up.
Remember to factor in a the arch to lift the dink with the Outboard on it, and double the horsepower of the current OB.
I just bougt an 18 hp ob and I'll never go back to a 9.9, let alone the 3.3 I started with.
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:30   #4
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Re: Davits or an arch?

if you are going solar... probably go for the arch/davit and be done with it.
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:46   #5
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Re: Davits or an arch?

A64pilot,

Something you may not have considered is that radar, if added, will get returns from farther away if mounted near the spreaders on the front of the mast; also, if mounted under the radar arch, runs the risk of microwaving your brains if it is turned on and your head is in the way. If above, it is in danger of shadowing (and thereby diminishing the output) of the solar panels.

The other major issue is that you will be adding weight aloft (increases tenderness) and aft (which increases "hobbyhorsing").

By all means have the arch with davits built sturdily, but plan on stowing the dinghy on deck for passages.

For background info, we had an arch radar mounted under the arch when we bought this boat. It has been removed to the mast. We have never had davits, and while managing okay without them, I can see great advantage to being able to hoist the dinghy at night.

With the dinghy in the davits, if you are underway, as at a fuel dock, the windage is such that it can alter how the vessel handles. Knew one guy who ripped one off his boat.

All grist for the mill. Have fun with the planning.

Ann
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Old 20-03-2014, 20:12   #6
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I've never been a fan of davits just because none of them, with exception of the industrial strength Kato Voyager davits, seem to be rugged enough to support the weight of the dinghy during bad weather. Like Ann said, when passage making it would be better to have the dinghy secured on deck, but the arch just seems like a more solid way to go.

Some people hate the look of the arch on the back of a boat, but on offshore vessels I think they look right at home, especially on an Island Packet 38. Having solar panels mounted on the arch provides a great shelter for the dinghy as well. I thought about putting radar on the arch but if there is a large solar array in the area, the radar is eventually going to shade the panels. I have decided to mount the radar on the mast and do a solar setup on the arch with davits mounted to the arch as well. There are a ton of people with arches on IP 38/40's and I'm sure you could find a LOT of ideas. Here are a few that I've seen personally:





The first photo is an IP 37 and the second is an IP 420, but you get the point. The 420 is more of a rugged setup with davits and I like the way the solar panels are built into the arch frame.
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Old 20-03-2014, 21:13   #7
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Re: Davits or an arch?

A64pilot,

If you can imagine a way to be able to tip the solars toward the sun, you'll get better output; and that little TV antenna in the lower picture is clearly diminishing that panel's output. Better at the masthead.

Ann
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:52   #8
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I had assumed arch from the beginning would be better. Radar on the mast I thought would chafe the headsails?
I'm saving Radar for the future anyway, I need better ground tackle and a few other things before I need Radar anyway. Truthfully I'm going to do without a chart plotter for awhile too, I mean they are nice, I particularly liked my Garmin 740S, but EPIRB's and a few other things gotta be bought and paid for first.

Mark, I have a 20Hp outboard now, plenty in my mind, but I do want an arch that I can hang off of without much flexing
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Old 25-03-2014, 08:58   #9
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Re: Davits or an arch?

Arch in a box is a whole lot cheaper than a Kato arch, about $2,000 compared to about $8,000. That's a huge difference
Is the Kato arch worth that kind of money, I mean is it really that much better? Is the arch in a box flimsy junk?

Or should I try to have one custom made?
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Old 25-03-2014, 09:08   #10
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I'm playing around with the idea of running two stainless strength members from the front of our cockpit right back through an arch, extending out over the transom. This forms the basis of a new hard top, arch, and dinghy davits all attached structurally. I have looked around and haven't seen this done exactly like this, yet. I've seen davits off of an Atlantic Towers arch, though. The owner told me that the first ones they sent him bent, but they fixed it with beefier tubing for free.

Maybe something like this would be of interest to you.
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Old 25-03-2014, 09:21   #11
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I've seen something like your describing on a Hunter I almost bought, of course the Hunter has a rather strong arch to begin with and is a good basis for extending solar mounts / dinghy davits from.

I'm trying to find out if the Kato arch is worth four times the price. If it is I guess I could go that route, although that is way more money that I thought I would have to spend, but I don't want to spend $2K for something that isn't going to work very well.
Said another way is the Kato arch worth it, is there value in that money spent, or is it just some really over priced product sold to people that buy names?

What does a custom arch cost, ballpark ROM of course?
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Old 25-03-2014, 10:29   #12
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Re: Davits or an arch?

Hi, A64
I was an early adopter of the Atlantic "Tower in a box" as davits for my Gemini cat, 3 years ago. I can vouch for the fact that they are good looking and well built. In addition, the company offers many parts to add and modify, I added smaller diameter cross bars to support a web seat full width.
I shortened the legs and bolted them as arms for davits and added cleats for the block/tackle. I also made it narrower than the published standard by cutting and re-drilling the pipe.
I carry a 9' dinghy, motor, fuel (about 200 lbs) plus 2 people in the web seat with no squeaks, groans, or threatening noises. I also use it for a 135w solar panel, wind generator, tv antenna, etc. It comes with a flat plate to mount radar, but I elected to mount that on the mast, plus it would interfere with the fore/aft tilt of the solar panel. I mounted my Magma Newport grill on the stbd side as well.
If you live near NJ, you could visit the plant, and take the tower with you.
It does everything I wanted it to, and I have no interest in the company.
Good Luck!
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Old 25-03-2014, 11:15   #13
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I'm awaiting the arrival of an arch-in-a-box I recently ordered from Atlantic Towers. None of their standard designs fit our boat the way we wanted to mount it, so they're modifying one to fit at minimal extra expense. I was looking at between 5k and 6k for a custom build, but after seeing the quality of the arches from Atlantic Towers on several other boats, I didn't hesitate to call. I'll post some pics of the install.
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Old 25-03-2014, 12:08   #14
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Re: Davits or an arch?

I examined the Atlantic Towers arch that passed through here pretty closely. I thought it was extremely well built. The cross pieces were bolted in, to match the width required, but it looked like they could also be left loose to fit and then welded in place. This was interesting to me because I need ten feet between the vertical components on a cat.

I don't know why the diff in custom vs. arch in a box, but would imagine that setting up from scratch with drawings to build one unique arch would entail a lot more time and effort than just building identical components over and over as part of a kit. You could probably get away with less experienced welders using jigs for that.
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Old 25-03-2014, 12:42   #15
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Re: Davits or an arch?

Personally I think hanging these ugly boats on the back of your beautiful sailing vessel is a shame, but be that as it may, I'm curious why not have 'ramps' on the stern, that hold the boat from the bottom. Heck of a lot stronger than cantilevered beams. On a passage, leaving them hanging seems trouble.
A quick google shows a company makes this setup:


DinghyRamp
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