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Old 25-12-2011, 14:33   #1
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Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Hello all,

I just returned from a week of sailing around our little harbor. On three occasions other sailors approached to look and ask about my dinghy sitting out of the water beside the boat, so I decided to make a video of the system to help folks who are looking for other ways to keep their dink.

Keeping Your Dinghy Safe and Dry Without Davits!


I created this video to show a method for securing an inflatable dinghy while at anchor without davits. The video is narrated and discusses the system we have settled on for easily and securely hoisting our RIB (10' with 15hp 2-stroke) out of the water alongside our Westsail 32 (a double-ender) using a tackle and the main boom. This is to prevent it wandering while at anchor and potentially puncturing itself, or annoyingly thudding the hull due to strange tides or wind. It also helps to prevent theft!

In addition to the above, we can motor with the dinghy in this position and at our home dock we come alongside starboard-side-to so we are able to leave our dinghy hauled to port. Suspended, the dinghy's bottom stays clean and lets it stay drained during rain, and keeps it secure.

Perhaps one day when I have another person handy, I'll make a video of the entire setup, hauling, and securing, and perhaps launching.

Thanks for watching and remember to make sure your hardware is up to the task!


Love, luck and sweet coconuts!
Aaron
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Old 25-12-2011, 14:42   #2
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

We used similar harness with a 10 foot line attached to harness so that the halyard was high above the deck . I have seen a few cruisers lose there dingy and the end of the halyard after being boarded at night and the dinghy cut loose.

Food for thought.
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Old 25-12-2011, 16:40   #3
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Likewise, I used to hang my dinghy from a secondary halyard and hoist it to deck level. Cost me a $2500 outboard engine when thieves liberated the engine from the dinghy. Now the dinghy and motor are hauled at least 9 feet above the water using the same halyard technique.
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Old 27-12-2011, 11:10   #4
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Thanks for the comments. I do realize there are still risks with this particular setup in terms of theft, but we are in a relatively secure area. If we venture to more popular or risky areas, we would convert to cable for the bridal and find ways to make the topping lift more secure. I'm not sure I could get the dink 9' ff the water without quite a bit of work. This was mainly to show the concept

For now we rejoice in being in a place with lovely people!

Happy sailing,
Aaron
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Old 27-12-2011, 11:32   #5
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

What if you lock a cable round the engine and a stanchion or whatever is solid?

And how about using sheathed wire cable, like one for a dog tie out, to harness the dingy. If you have all rope halyards you could also use a cable to run from the harness up high enough to get the halyard out of reach.

What a good video, and I bet it would not be difficult to make it quite a bit more challenging for the thieves!

We fold up and stow our porta bote along the life lines on the bow but sometimes it would be easier, when we were going to be using it often, to use a rig like this one.
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Old 27-12-2011, 11:33   #6
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

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Originally Posted by blahman View Post
TIf we venture to more popular or risky areas, we would convert to cable for the bridal and find ways to make the topping lift more secure.
well there! brilliant minds think alike ; -)
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Old 27-12-2011, 18:41   #7
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Thanks for the comments. I do realize there are still risks with this particular setup in terms of theft, but we are in a relatively secure area. If we venture to more popular or risky areas, we would convert to cable for the bridal and find ways to make the topping lift more secure. I'm not sure I could get the dink 9' ff the water without quite a bit of work. This was mainly to show the concept
For now we rejoice in being in a place with lovely people!
Happy sailing, Aaron
In the USA and Bahamas I have used your technique as an effective roll stopper (actually slower-down) hanging the dinghy from the boom with enough tension to take up the weight helps resist rolling.

Down in the eastern Caribbean, where outboard motor theft is big business, getting the whole dinghy and motor up above the level at which the thieves standing on the bows of their pangas can work on removing the motor is important. Rather than hanging the dinghy from the boom, we hang it directly off the main or #2 halyard and use the winch to raise it above the lifelines.

Second best idea used down there is to use 1/4" stainless steel chain and stainless steel padlocks to lock the motor to the dinghy transom. and the same stuff to lock the dinghy itself to the boat or to wherever ashore we are docking the dinghy.
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Old 27-12-2011, 20:21   #8
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail
Rather than hanging the dinghy from the boom, we hang it directly off the main or #2 halyard and use the winch to raise it above the lifelines.
I’m having trouble picturing this.... you just DRAG it up with the halyard? Nothing create a stand-off?
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Old 27-12-2011, 21:16   #9
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Stand-off not needed as dinghy in 8.5 ft RIB inflatable with 5 hp or my big 15hp Enduro and my mast is 65 ft high. Occasionally I will hold it out my hand if my wife runs the winch. Been doing this for 6 years with no problems. Thought about using a spinaker pole as stand-off but was too complicated so I tried it with just the halyard and it worked fine. Sometimes we "over-engineer" things . . .
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Old 27-12-2011, 21:40   #10
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

It then rides up the shrouds?
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Old 28-12-2011, 07:19   #11
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Yes, but for only about a meter and then the boat is tied to the shrouds to keep it from swinging as the boat rolls at anchor. Getting the boat inboard to the centerline of the boat also helps to keep the rolling down. My lower shrouds are almost 2 meters apart at the chain plates so they make a good stable support for the RIB. But I have seen plenty of other long term cruisers use the halyard to haul and then tie to the deck edge.
- - Besides the high probability of outboard motor theft in the eastern Caribbean, anchorages are normally all rolly, varying from minor to significant. A free swinging dinghy, like from a boom, would amplify the boat's rolling to a degree. Tying the dinghy to the shrouds/deck edge/etc. keeps the dinghy from also swinging and adding wear to the dinghy and spilt drinks to the cruisers inside the boat.
- - Like with most things, there are different ways of doing things based on the conditions where you are actually located. In the Bahamas, it used to be, that motor theft was unheard of so the boom technique with the dinghy just a millimeter or two above the water worked to reduce the sailboat's rolling at anchor.
- - Still, almost everywhere from Bahamas to the Caribbean basin the vast majority still simply tie the dinghy off the stern with about half using a security cable/chain and the other half keeping the motor thieves happy as they don't have to work hard to get motors.
- - Long term cruising usually evolves "simple" (in other words, lazy) ways of doing things consistent with security. Hauling up the dinghy on a halyard is seen quite a lot especially among the long term cruisers. Having the dinghy tied to the shrouds makes loading and unloading of "stuff" a lot easier than trying to lower it over the side to the dinghy 1+ meters below deck level.
- - And best of all, all of the various ways of lifting the dinghy keeps bottom growth off the dinghy. Without anti-fouling paint on the dinghy bottom, they become "aquatic gardens" quite quickly. Scraping an inflatable bottom is both a lot of work and hazardous to the "fabric" of the inflatable.
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Old 28-12-2011, 07:42   #12
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

I was planning on just raising the RIB on my davits and chaining both the RIB and outboard to the metal of the davit arm... will this be secure enough? I heard thieves were just pulling their boats under davits and cutting the davit line to drop the dinghy directly into their boats.

Also, what length of chain do you recommend for dinghy docks? I was going to use 25' of 7x19 covered with a nylon double braid cover.
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Old 28-12-2011, 08:06   #13
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Davits are light-years better than leaving the dinghy in the water with it just tied (or even chained) to the stern of the boat. But for those of us who do not have davits because of windvanes, etc. are having to use some other method of raising the dinghy out of the water greatly helps reduce the probability of it getting stolen (and/or the bottom growth problem).
- - Amongst "davits" there are low ones and high one. A lot of the high davits are incorporated into stern "arches" which are used for solar panels, wind generators and other stuff.
- - "High" davits are better as the most common Caribbean thief used a wooden local "panga" fishing boat which has a wooden platform at the bow. The thief stands on this bow deck and can very comfortably work on removing your motor since it is at his chest level.
- - The thieves seem to prefer in-water dinghies as they can remove the motor with little or no noise and even just cut the dinghy loose and take it somewhere to remove the motor at their leisure.
- - Over the years, I have noticed that when there are plenty of unsecured dinghies in the water, raised dinghies are left alone - too much trouble for the thief. But if your dinghy has a particularly desirable motor they may expend the effort to "harvest" yours - if they can get to it.
- - Bottom line, the thieves are not interested in the dinghy (boat) they want the outboard motor, so the more difficult you make it for them to get the motor off your dinghy the better for you.
- - The next common question asked is what do the thieves want with 5hp or even 9.9 or 15 hp motors? The answer is interesting, the network of "fences" that pay the thieves for their "harvest" will exchange 2 or 3 or more "small hp" motors for a large motor. But more recently, the thieves have changed as now the "fences" are directly exchanging the thieves "harvest" for illegal drugs. I think this is why the problem is getting bigger, drug addicts are getting into the "game."
- - In the southeastern Caribbean the "network" is well known and you can probably buy back your stolen motor if you are willing to go to the "fence's" island country and buy it. However, that is also a personally dangerous endeavor, so we just eat the loss and buy another new motor at US$2K or more each.
- - When you are in a foreign country and away from "discount" sources of marine supplies, loss of the motor and possibly the dinghy gets to be a very significant hit to your cruising budget, which on average can be US$4K to US$5K for new replacements. Used dinghies and motors are subsequently really climbed in price as the folks wanting them has increased.
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Old 28-12-2011, 09:32   #14
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Hello all,

I just returned from a week of sailing around our little harbor. On three occasions other sailors approached to look and ask about my dinghy sitting out of the water beside the boat, so I decided to make a video of the system to help folks who are looking for other ways to keep their dink.

Keeping Your Dinghy Safe and Dry Without Davits!


I created this video to show a method for securing an inflatable dinghy while at anchor without davits. The video is narrated and discusses the system we have settled on for easily and securely hoisting our RIB (10' with 15hp 2-stroke) out of the water alongside our Westsail 32 (a double-ender) using a tackle and the main boom. This is to prevent it wandering while at anchor and potentially puncturing itself, or annoyingly thudding the hull due to strange tides or wind. It also helps to prevent theft!

In addition to the above, we can motor with the dinghy in this position and at our home dock we come alongside starboard-side-to so we are able to leave our dinghy hauled to port. Suspended, the dinghy's bottom stays clean and lets it stay drained during rain, and keeps it secure.

Perhaps one day when I have another person handy, I'll make a video of the entire setup, hauling, and securing, and perhaps launching.

Thanks for watching and remember to make sure your hardware is up to the task!


Love, luck and sweet coconuts!
Aaron

That is sooooo coool and you explained it so well. I JUST posted about a way to do this in another thread -- hadn't seen this one!

Thank you, Aaron.
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Old 28-12-2011, 09:35   #15
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Re: Safe & Easy Dinghy Storage at Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Thanks for the comments. I do realize there are still risks with this particular setup in terms of theft, but we are in a relatively secure area. If we venture to more popular or risky areas, we would convert to cable for the bridal and find ways to make the topping lift more secure. I'm not sure I could get the dink 9' ff the water without quite a bit of work. This was mainly to show the concept

For now we rejoice in being in a place with lovely people!

Happy sailing,
Aaron

Nothing will be perfect everywhere, and a determined thief will find a way, but I think my friends lost their dinghy (as explained in another way) because it was so easy to take it. they had davits and didn't use them. They were too trusting.

This system would also raise the boat and motor enough that I could get the outboard off and mount it properly on the stern, where it could at least be locked down.

If a thief has a choice of ten dinghies, he will take the one that's easiest to get without being caught in the act.
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