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Old 14-09-2015, 10:32   #1
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Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Hi All,

I am new here, and have recently re-entered sailing after a long hiatus caused by job, children...the usual. I have never carried a dinghy on a boat I owned, but now am getting ready for a passage to the Bahamas in about 18 months, and my plan would be to carry the dink on the foredeck on my 36 foot Pearson during passages, and on davits in protected waters. I have been sketching a teak "cradle" (really two separate fore and aft cradles) for the inverted dink (hard dinghy, 11 feet) with the front cradle attached to the staysail boom base (boom removed and stowed), and the rear cradle tied off to the grabrails. The dinghy bow would be eight inches back from the inner staysail and about six inches off the deck. I would put a cover over the dinghy hull, and straps over the hull of the dinghy attached to the cradle. That is my concept.

Then on Saturday, sailing in 30+ knot winds in the Atlantic off Cape Fear, I came quite close to getting a boarding wave over the foredeck, and it made me wonder would happen to the dink on the cradle if a wave did come aboard. Anyone have experience with this situation and / or recommendations? Obviously, how secure the attachment of the fore cradle is to the bow of the mother ship is a key factor. Carrying the dinghy on davits in big seas seems even worse. Naturally, I would do my utmost not to be in 30+ knot winds while crossing the Gulfstream, but the 30 knot winds I encountered Saturday were not predicted by the marine forecast, so you never know, right?
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Old 14-09-2015, 10:42   #2
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

I don't have a blue water experience with that setup, but I think you have the tail wagging the dog. Buy a dingy that works on your boat instead of modifying your boat would be my suggestion. Many years ago my friends had a cradle on their Gulfstar 43 when they bought it. Before going offshore they removed it all and bought a rollup dingy. I think having that dink up there in that manner could be not very safe in a rough weather. JMHO


The other thing is, offshore is exactly where you want your staysail available, rather than stowed away.
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Old 14-09-2015, 10:44   #3
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Well, my situation is not quite the same but perhaps of some use? I have an 8' walker bay dinghy that i keep inverted on the foredeck when on passage (no cradle). I have taken many boarding seas over the foredeck, including a couple of breaking waves during a storm once while on passage to the Caribbean and i still have the dinghy. It's much smaller and lighter than yours though and made of plastic, so read into that as you will! If i were in your position i may well consider sticking in a few pad-eyes bolted through the deck, provided of course that you can get access to the deckhead.
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Old 14-09-2015, 10:55   #4
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

DefinitelyMe,

Thanks! The dinghy is wood, and it only weighs 85 pounds approx, so maybe your experience is comparable to my situation. Adding the padeyes sounds like a good plan, thanks.
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Old 14-09-2015, 11:14   #5
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

The other thing is, offshore is exactly where you want your staysail available, rather than stowed away. However you say the Bahamas so maybe that is fine.


Rereading your post it sounds like you plan on having the dink upside down... that is better, but not sure why you need a cradle if you are doing that.... especially for a Bahamas trip.
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Old 14-09-2015, 11:29   #6
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Cheechako,

I have a high-cut yankee I would fly instead of the staysail on the boom, so I would still have three sails flying. The idea behind the cradle is to protect the deck from the dink and vice versa. I also don't want the dink sliding forward into the base of the staysail boom. I already have the dink, and it's very nice (with sailing and rowing options), so I don't want to give that up and switch to an inflatable.
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Old 14-09-2015, 12:18   #7
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Cut the dinghy if half and make it nesting???
Then it may fit behind the mast with a smaller profile exposed to wind and waves.
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:18   #8
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

I think photos always help a discussion like this and may help others in the future. So my suggestion is to post photos showing the cradle alone secured on deck, the dinghy on the cradle secured on deck, and the use of the Yankee with the dinghy on the cradle on deck.
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:37   #9
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Maybe now you buy an inflatable and deflate it for the trip.
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:40   #10
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Steady,

I will post once I have the cradle built, and dinghy completed (it's a kit). Should have all this ready for photos by next May or so.
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:49   #11
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

WindLove,

Possibly, but I do love a sailing and rowing dinghy. I even thought about buying an inflatable and keeping it as a spare, and/or for diving/snorkeling, but then I need another locker. Unless I put it under the hard dink on the foredeck, which I also considered, and might still do if it will fit and is not too expensive. I will be experimenting with the hard-dink-on-foredeck rig next sailing season, and then will make a decision, and if the hard dink set-up just won't work (which I do not yet believe), if necessary I will get an inflatable, but I'd rather not.

So many possibilities, so little space....
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:59   #12
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

I lay my inflatable upside down on the fore deck. Stern pushed up to the mast bow forward. I lash it down using the stays and some stanchion bases for my lines. 25-30 knot winds, small breaking seas, so far no problem. Jib sheets do not foul on it.

To use it I hook a halyard to its bow and crank it up with the mast mount winch, swing it over the side, and slowly let it down. So far so good.
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Old 14-09-2015, 15:32   #13
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

!st, get rid of the staysail boom. A dangerous piece of hardware on the fordeck that is always in the way and makes for a poor setting sail. Set the sail loose footed to blocks on the cabin top.

Have an 8' Montgomery on the fordeck. Made chocks, a 'V' shaped one for the bow and 2 'C' shaped ones for the transom with two tie downs. It's very secure though haven't taken any breaking waves over the bow. Did fine on the sail to Hawaii.
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Old 14-09-2015, 15:35   #14
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

I stowed an 8 foot dinghy like that for years with no issues, including some very nasty stuff.

It's much better if you can get the bow down closer to the deck, but that depends on you cabin height.

My folks have carried a 12 foot plywood dink on deck on their 45 foot herreshoff for many years. Their mobjack is a traditional low freeboard design that ships a lot of green water in storm conditions. They have survived at least two very nasty survival storms without damage to the dink.

I am planning on carrying a 12 foot dory on my 40 footer.

A good length solid dink is so much nicer than an inflatable.

I will be interested to see some pics.

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Old 14-09-2015, 16:19   #15
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Re: Dinghy on the Foredeck - Boarding Seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by BHI_Guy View Post
Steady,

I will post once I have the cradle built, and dinghy completed (it's a kit). Should have all this ready for photos by next May or so.


Curious, which dinghy kit did you get?

Suggestion: post a photo of the dinghy design or drawing.

Someone earlier mentioned adding some pad eyes to the deck to help as anchor points for straps or lines to tie down the dinghy. I would do that too, if the boat design allows etc.

I am just curious at this point, but have a sincere interest, no judgement or criticism.

FYI: My plan is to get a PT11 (hard, nesting dinghy) in the future after getting a boat that is about your boat's size. The reason I like the nesting dinghy concept is because it can stow in a shorter space and the two pieces halve the weight/size of any piece that must be lifted or carried.
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