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Old 13-05-2009, 19:21   #1
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Total Newb Dinghy Question

I have a question which I am almost embarrassed to ask, but here goes anyway. What do people do with their dinghies at night when they are anchored? I understand that if you have davits you can just raise it out of the water, but I anticipate having a windvane and I am not sure if I could have a davit system. Can you just leave the dink tied to the stern or will it bang against the hull?

Also, if I am in a marina and moored, does this make a difference. I can't envision being allowed to have the dink float behind the boat in a confined area like a marina.

For what it is worth, I think I will end up going the portabote route. I don't like the idea of inflatables since I would prefer to row vs motor, and I will need something collapsible since my boat will be of the pocket cruiser variety. It seems like an inflatable bouncing against the hull wouldn't be a big deal, but obviously I don't want rigid dinghy bouncing against my boat.

Thanks for the help guys.


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Old 13-05-2009, 19:30   #2
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I just leave my dinghy tied to the back of the boat - if there is a bit of wind it tends to hang away - if there is no wind there seems to be no issue with it banging against the boat. I have a fairly long painter and a soft bumper strip around the gunwales of the dinghy - that might help.

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Old 13-05-2009, 19:37   #3
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Hi Jake- regarding the dinghy at anchor, for us... it depends. In the US at marine parks and such, in calm weather, we would leave the dinghy in the water, often with a cable/lock to our boat. Cruising, we would hoist the dinghy either to the rails (in calm weather only) via the spinaker halyard and lock it to the boat. Usually, it came aboard and was stowed on the foredeck. For convenience at anchor, we now have davits, and in short-range cruising grounds, we remove our windvane and use the davits.

In a marina, we found that we could often moor the dinghy alongside the bow of the boat, or in many cases, tie it/lock it to the slip next to the bow.

We also use a RIB, so noise banging against a hull was not a problem. I know a lot of cruisers like the port-a-boat option, and you may want to also consider a roll-up or air-floor as options... depending on the type of cruising and activities you plan. Our choice was made on the need to carry supplies and travel a bit of distance for either recreational activities, or to get fuel or groceries. But in an anchorage... we also try to row as much as possible. We also enjoy the quiet and exercise.

Best of luck.
Steve Abel
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Old 13-05-2009, 19:43   #4
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Even with a portabote...'s a fairly simple operation, once you've designed a lifting harness for the dink, to lift it out of the water on a halyard. Plop it down on the foredeck and go to bed. It will be even easier to launch come morning.

You can do much better than a portabote, by the way, especially if you're looking for something to row.
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Old 13-05-2009, 20:23   #5
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Light dinghies...

By now you've probably com to the conclusion that light dinghies rule.

A few comments:-
Some marina and mooring areas provide dinghy storage.
Be sure to lock your dinghy and oars (25mm hole in blade, thread cable through). A drunken sailor will "borrow" anything to get back to their boat, and are unlikely to return what they "borrowed".
A second cheap dinghy is a good idea.
Taking the dinghy from the water and leaving it on your foredeck or similar is a good idea. Even better if you can lock it there.
Some like to suspend their dinghy on a halyard so that it sits on the side of the boat, but out of the water.
Painting your dinghy so that it's distinctively yours is a good idea.
Removing the main parts of your windvane when not in use will help keep the light fingered sort of honest.
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