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Old 09-08-2013, 22:27   #1
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Dinghy on ICW

I have a really dumb question. If I'm heading south on the ICW, is it impractical to tow the RHI dinghy? I have two blown rotator cuffs so getting the dinghy and motor on and off the deck is an issue. Can someone please tell me whether they tow their dinghy or carry it on deck, and if they carry it can you tell me the easiest way to get it off deck and into the water? I know this is basic stuff but given the fact my arm strength is crap I really need the advice. Thanks,
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Old 09-08-2013, 22:55   #2
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

Assuming you will be upgrading from the O'Day Mariner, will you be considering something large enough to make davits practical? Given your injuries, that's your best option. Second best would be to get a motor lift such as those made by Forespar, and hoist the dinghy to the bow or cabin top using a halyard. There are several techniques for hoisting with a halyard but the easiest IMHO is to hoist it straight up on-end from the dinghy bow and maneuver the dinghy stern in steps.

I would not tow except in very sheltered waters.
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Old 09-08-2013, 23:27   #3
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

For the most part, unless you're going thru one of the sounds in the Carolinas, I would consider the ICW 'sheltered' water and thus one of the places that according to the previous poster would be a preferred place to tow. When considering towing, I prefer to think about whether the route is thru confined spaces where oncoming or cross traffic might be of concern (think of it in the same light as a semi on the road having a much broader turning radius when making a left or right into a narrower street) -- you're less maneuverable.

As to only towing in sheltered waters, I find almost the opposite. I have dinghy davits on my boat and tore one of them out in the Hawk channel while en route back to Miami in 3-5 foot seas. In hindsight I should've towed my dinghy rather than slung it in the davits -- I will certainly do that in the future. Also, it's pretty common to tow your dinghy while making the crossing to the Bahamas, so I again question the 'sheltered waters' approach.

If you do tow, I would have a second line/painter attached to prevent the dinghy from coming free if the first one separates due to chafe or some other factor, as well as frequent observation to ensure it's still attached. ... just a matter of common sense.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:27   #4
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It was years ago, but I towed an inflatable from the Chesapeake Bay to West Palm Beach on the ICW with no problems. Just watch your panter when you are waiting for the bridges.

Long term an arch made of heavy tubbing that holds it high and snug may be your answer.

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Old 10-08-2013, 04:45   #5
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

on my first trip down the ICW. I lost a brand new 2hp merc and an almost new West Marine dinghy. never told me any distance after that
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:08   #6
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

Towing the dink can cost as much as a knot of boat speed (which adds up, over the 1000 miles of ICW). Davits would be helpful, or a way to use your anchor windlass to put the dink on deck for more open waters. And IMHO, I would *not* tow or put the dinghy in davits for larger crossings such as the Gulf Stream to Bahamas; too many opportunities for rough seas. Take the motor off and put the dinghy upside down on the foredeck.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:53   #7
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WingNwing is correct traditional davits are not the place to have a dinghy off shore, and I would never recommend towing a dinghy with a motor on it even on the ICW. That said you are asking about the ICW and if you pick good weather to cross the few sounds both towing or davit would work. You would have to calculate the additional time reduced speed would take verses the time it would take you to get the dinghy off of your boat. You also have to consider that as you travel down the ICW you will not need your dinghy every day.

Kato makes a slick lift that you could use to get your motor on and off the dinghy. No sure how bad your shoulder is or if it is a long term situation, but with a few snatch blocks and rigged to advantage you could use a winch.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:15   #8
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

I've been towing dinghies down the ICW for years. Here is what I've learned.

1. Always use two lines (it is a pain to have one line part or let go in the wrong place).
2. Use floating lines, or at least have floats in strategic places to keep the line from getting sucked into the prop if you have to reverse quickly.
3. Have fenders deployed or ready to deploy so that you can pull the dinghy up tight to you when necessary (docking, close quarters, etc.)
4. Get something that is self bailing (one of my worst dinghy experiences on the ICW was towing a homeade fiberglass and wood pram I had built myself across Mobile Bay, getting hit by a huge squall, and watching it sink as I was towing it (using the mast halyard to pull it aboard in the middle of a thunderstorm is still in my top five most sucking boat experiences).
5. Have your first mate walk it forward as you maneuver if you would rather back into a transient slip. With practice, it is very easy to do.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:20   #9
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

Sorry, Rich, I was responding to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UWOA View Post

Also, it's pretty common to tow your dinghy while making the crossing to the Bahamas, so I again question the 'sheltered waters' approach.
For the O.P. - My husband also has two blown rotator cuffs and I'm not strong. We use a Garhauer hoist with 6-part purchase to get the outboard onto the rail, then a spinnaker halyard on the anchor windlass to get the dinghy onto the foredeck. We've seen a few people towing their dinks down the ICW, generally they tow hard rowables like a Walker Bay (probably rowing isn't the best for your shoulders, no?) The majority have inflatables they keep in davits or on deck.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:47   #10
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

In lieu of hoisting just one end, usually the bow, and then trying to flip the stern aboard, I saw a neat photo where the skipper had made a bridle: the bow was connected to the bow D ring and there were two loops of line that the stern tubes fit into. That would get the dink up horizontally. Alternatively, you could install eye bolts in the transom and use a bridle, too.

Depends on the size and weight of your outboard motor, since the bridle idea could be used to hoist without removing the engine. If you have a heavier engine, then the Garhauer hoist is probably the best one I've seen: study, strong and less expensive than almost all others of its capacity.

No reason you can't leave the dinghy right side up on the foredeck and save some effort, since you'd most likely be using it almost daily. No need to do the extra work to flip it every day. Just remove the bailing plug if it rains.

Have a great trip.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:50   #11
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

I towed a 14' inflatable around the Great Loop. Make sure there is anti fouling paint on the dink as it will really get funky in the warm polluted waters!
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:24   #12
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

When I had my Catalina 30 I had dinghy davits. I only used them when at anchor or in a slip.
I mad a bridle that came to a single point and used my halyard to bring the dink on the forward deck. I had a 4HP Johnson that weight about 38 lbs. I always removed the Johnson and gas tank before I reasied the dink.
my dink was about Mercury inflatable about 10' and weighed around 100 lbs, maybe less.
When travelling, I sometimes towed the dink. I removed the drain plug and used the davits to tow by raising the bow around1 foot or two. This allowed any rainwater to drain and I could pull the dink close behind me. With only the rear portions on the pontoons in the water there was less drag which was little to nothing anyway with a dink. Also by partially raising the dink, there was less weight on my stern than if I raised the whole thing.
Whether raised onto the bow or the stern depended on my intended usage. Sometimes, in advance, I knew I would use it and sometimes I knew I wouldn't.

Hope tjat helped.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:44   #13
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

I did the ICW from Norfolk to Florida last year and I can't think of one reason not to tow the dinghy if thats what you would like. (Group9 had good advice re docking with a dink - tie it to the bow mooring cleat etc)



I had mine on the deck and its a royal pain in the butt launching it on and off. Its stayed on the deck the whole ICW as I was just transiting and when I anchored out I wasnt exploring. I did stay at a lot of mainas... maybe more marina nights than anchored nights - that was a first!

So depending on the way you want to do things you may not require the dinghy at all.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:03   #14
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Re: Dinghy on ICW

Many cruisers tow their dinghy the entire length of the ICW with no problem. Some loose their dinghy towing it. Some tangle the dinghy painter in the prop. Some have their dinghy stolen. You'll get as many opinions as there are boaters. We towed the dinghy on several trips. We finally went to davits and liked that solution best. If you tow it, bring it up to the stern and keep the bow out of the water. Don't use a long line, even using two. Take the outboard off and remove everything. Watch your weather and plan to deal with inconsiderate and inexperienced boaters. It certainly can be done. Chuck
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaspell View Post
I have a really dumb question. If I'm heading south on the ICW, is it impractical to tow the RHI dinghy? I have two blown rotator cuffs so getting the dinghy and motor on and off the deck is an issue. Can someone please tell me whether they tow their dinghy or carry it on deck, and if they carry it can you tell me the easiest way to get it off deck and into the water? I know this is basic stuff but given the fact my arm strength is crap I really need the advice. Thanks,
Don't want to sound flip.... But get'em fixed! Tour my right cuff surfing kayaks, hurt like hell and was 50% till I got it fixed. Now it is 95%... Only downside is that it hurts when it gets cold, so I wear sweaters and have a collection of thermal undershirts.... In FLA!
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