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Old 02-06-2015, 22:22   #136
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
No criticism meant, I'm just asking for clarification and your experience.

You always tow with the motor on the dinghy? And the ditch bag in the dink too while towing? I often see motor yachts tow big RIBs with a big motor on it but it never seemed like a good idea to me. And I never see sailboats tow a dinghy with the motor on. I usually tow my light air floor dinghy but never with the motor on it.

What has your experience been so far in rough weather and strong winds? Any issues with the motor in following seas? Any issues with the dinghy flipping?


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Fair question. We live in San Diego so truly bad weather is quite rare, but heavy seas in the Channel Islands are common. Our dinghy motor is a torqueedo travel 1003 which is both very light and completely waterproof. We use it because we can charge it aboard our diesel from 12VDC and don't have to deal with multiple fuels. Range is limited to about twenty miles, which puts it in the realm of coastal but definitely not useful offshore.

The shaft locks easily in the up position, completely out of the water, and the battery is in the cabin charging while we're underway, which means that only the mount, shaft, and motor are a actually on the dinghy, and it also means we would have to grab the battery to ditch.

We have flipped the dinghy a few times in typical 4 foot seas. I tow pretty close behind the boat, and so I just pull the boat in and flip it back over when that happens. No impact to the motor mount or shaft, it takes it very well. I imagine the close towing probably exacerbates the tendency to flip. Beyond six feet, we look for safe harbor as the boat slams quite a bit in those conditions. We've only had this boat for a year now, and haven't had opportunity to experience seas greater than six feet aboard it.

A gas engine wouldn't be so forgiving. The oars lock onto this dinghy very solidly, and I've never had them come off. I've been considering towing from both sides of the boat to the port and starboard d-rings so the dinghy would strongly resist flipping, but I've never done it.

We've also lost the dinghy towing and didn't notice for a few miles, so we had to go back and hunt for it. I think that's eventually going to happen to anyone who tows in heavy weather, but I now hitch the bitter end of the painter to a stanchion after the cleat which seems to prevent it from untying.

We used to carry the dingy upside down on the bow, but that doesn't work at all in high winds--the dinghy constantly tries to fly away. If the winds and seas are too high to tow the dinghy, we're going to put into safe harbor.

The ditch bag and motor are both tethered to the dinghy, and we've never lost either. I tether before moving the motor onto and off of the dinghy from the boat to avoid dropping it. Big fan of tethers.

I strongly recommend these torqueedos for smaller tender motors on diesels. They're light, maintenance free, no fuel issues whatsoever, and charge from a CLA socket. You won't be running about all day but they're fantastic for tendering to and from the boat.

Works well for us for coastal cruising. As I said, offshore is a different matter entirely.


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Old 03-06-2015, 06:34   #137
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

If you tow your dinghy, and have lost it, as many of my friends have, you might think of using a split (double bridle). I have not lost a dinghy yet, though you should check your lines and fittings every once in while.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:34   #138
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Just in case if there is anyone interested I have a new Offshore revere commander 4 person in canister LIFERAFT for sale for US$1650. Bought on 11/2014. Next survey in 3 years. 12 years warranty from revere.
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:47   #139
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

I definitely carry my inflatable floor dinghy inverted on my fore deck. I just spent 3 days in 20-30 knot winds and seas to match and my dingy didn't blow away because it was lashed down. I can't imagine towing the thing would have been a good idea, especially with an outboard or oars on it. It might work on the icw, but I don't think it would be prudent on open water.

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Old 05-06-2015, 04:16   #140
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Folks also have to remember that a life raft alone is not a magic answer to serious problems.

After all, only a lunatic would voluntarily get into a small rubber ring far away from shore, let alone during a storm.

Has anyone else noticed that no life raft manufacturer or retailer has ever conducted a live test of putting volunteers into a liferaft offshore for a week during bad weather and showing what happens?
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:35   #141
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Interesting guy-
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Bombard
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:39   #142
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

^^ tests by the military show that 95% of people are violently sea sick inside rafts in bad weather (simple gale conditions, not breaking wave storm) , even people who normally don't get sea sick - small crowded enclosed space with no air flow and a violent unpredictable motion with odd smells.

I am not aware of any real live "test" in breaking wave conditions. But both real life Incidents and tank testing show that all rafts will tumble in such conditions. Remember, the rule is a breaking wave will be able to capsize any hull form (including ballasted ones) when the wave height is greater than the length.

They are truly miserable platforms . . . . But they are rather easier for SAR to spot than a man in the water alone.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:54   #143
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I definitely carry my inflatable floor dinghy inverted on my fore deck. I just spent 3 days in 20-30 knot winds and seas to match and my dingy didn't blow away because it was lashed down. I can't imagine towing the thing would have been a good idea, especially with an outboard or oars on it. It might work on the icw, but I don't think it would be prudent on open water.

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I say this in seriousness, but how in the heck do you keep an inflatable on the foredeck in any kind of real weather, including what you described? What with;
- The soft tubes squirming with every wave slam of the mother ship
- Green water coming over the bow & trying to wash away the tender with great frequency.
- Winds trying to remove the dink, & turn it into an expensive kite.
- Chafing on the dinghy's tubes where they meet the deck & cabin of the mother ship.
- Severe chafing on the dinghy's tubes from lines tied down with any force to hold the dinghy onboard.

Plus a few other things conspiring against such a setup. Also, I'd be curious to see pictures of your setup, if you don't mind.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:39   #144
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I say this in seriousness, but how in the heck do you keep an inflatable on the foredeck in any kind of real weather, including what you described? What with;
- The soft tubes squirming with every wave slam of the mother ship
- Green water coming over the bow & trying to wash away the tender with great frequency.
- Winds trying to remove the dink, & turn it into an expensive kite.
- Chafing on the dinghy's tubes where they meet the deck & cabin of the mother ship.
- Severe chafing on the dinghy's tubes from lines tied down with any force to hold the dinghy onboard.

Plus a few other things conspiring against such a setup. Also, I'd be curious to see pictures of your setup, if you don't mind.
when we lived in the UK and had then a 41 footer we always carried an inflatable floored dinghy ( Zodiac Fastroller) inverted on the foredeck with it's tail tubes either side of the mast and inside the standard fit 'granny bars' I had webbing straps with aluminium or S/S buckles fitted between the forward coachroof grab handles and the alluminium toreail and pulled these down tightly over the inverted dinghy. The dinghy tubes should not be soft anyway but if they are, topping up with some air air with the straps in place will help tighten the whole thing. In harbour we could even open the forward hatch for ventilation under this dinghy and still stay dry even in heavy rains We never had a problem carrying a dinghy like this and back then I could launch or lift it on board myself and tie it down or could of course use a spare headsail halyard and its mast winch to help. however we now live/cruise in the USA and I had a stroke 3 years ago, when living on our them motor yacht, so we downsized from that to a 36 foot sailboat, my preference anyway, but had davits fitted on the stern of that to make launching/recovery of our now 10ft 310 West Marine RIB easy and also to provide a stable platform for boarding and deboarding it (whilst hanging on to the rope falls and davit support struts for support and balance) easy peasy but of course not in 'perfect storm' seas.,
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:03   #145
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I say this in seriousness, but how in the heck do you keep an inflatable on the foredeck in any kind of real weather, including what you described? What with;
- The soft tubes squirming with every wave slam of the mother ship
- Green water coming over the bow & trying to wash away the tender with great frequency.
- Winds trying to remove the dink, & turn it into an expensive kite.
- Chafing on the dinghy's tubes where they meet the deck & cabin of the mother ship.
- Severe chafing on the dinghy's tubes from lines tied down with any force to hold the dinghy onboard.

Plus a few other things conspiring against such a setup. Also, I'd be curious to see pictures of your setup, if you don't mind.
Upside down, aft tubes straddle the mast, lashing/strapping run accross in multiple runs holding it to the deck. Same for a rigid dingy. Definitely in the way at times. and yes, there may come a day when you just have to cut it loose and let it go.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:44   #146
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I say this in seriousness, but how in the heck do you keep an inflatable on the foredeck in any kind of real weather, including what you described? What with;
- The soft tubes squirming with every wave slam of the mother ship
- Green water coming over the bow & trying to wash away the tender with great frequency.
- Winds trying to remove the dink, & turn it into an expensive kite.
- Chafing on the dinghy's tubes where they meet the deck & cabin of the mother ship.
- Severe chafing on the dinghy's tubes from lines tied down with any force to hold the dinghy onboard.

Plus a few other things conspiring against such a setup. Also, I'd be curious to see pictures of your setup, if you don't mind.
Here's the set up. The item tied to the starboard granny bar is the babies play pen, the pic was taken on monday evening about an hour after tieing up from the previously noted trip. Some times I put the dink the other way around.

The dink didn't fly away and my boat doesn't do much bow stuffing. It was actually a fairly comfortable ride. The baby didn't get sea sick, but my mother in her 60's did. Are 20-30 knot winds extreme where you sail?

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Old 05-06-2015, 12:15   #147
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Here are my dinghy davits, I wouldn't even considering theming rough or windy conditions.



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Old 05-06-2015, 12:28   #148
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Upside down, aft tubes straddle the mast, lashing/strapping run accross in multiple runs holding it to the deck. Same for a rigid dingy. Definitely in the way at times. and yes, there may come a day when you just have to cut it loose and let it go.
That's a RIB in my Avatar. Sometimes it's the only option you have. Boats=compromises. If I had good davits, I would use them for all but ocean crossings. Possibly even that on a good wx prediction, and a light dingy. A lot easier to cut a davit dingy free in a storm than one on the foredeck. :>)
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Old 05-06-2015, 13:00   #149
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Maybe I'm just superstitious, but I never, ever stow my inflatable on deck when out in the ocean. But I don't have a RIB or davits, and so while deflating and stowing below decks is a bit of a pain, it's worth it for the peace of mind I suppose, especially when single or short-handed. Occasionally I'll deflate and lash it to the after deck on a good forecast, but never on the foredeck where it could be in the way or worse. No jerry cans on deck either. Guess I have a thing for clean decks, esp. offshore. But I realize this may not always be an option for many, and then it becomes a trade-off. I can certainly see the pros & cons of davits, esp. for those with RIB-type dinghies.
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Old 05-06-2015, 13:20   #150
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Design is going to play a role in where/how to store your inflatable. Down below on my little 35'? With 6 people on board? Not a chance.

On my davits would be a bad idea. My foredeck works pretty well. I have a self furling Genoa, so no need to hank on sails. There is no doubt it's seriously in the way if I have work to do on my foredeck though.

I have bulwarks to help keep the season the outside. My bow is actually higher than on the Beneteau first 46 sitting at dock beside me, it is a very dry and seakindly foredeck. My canoe stern means my stern isn't being lifted by seas, which means my bow isn't driven into the seas ahead of me, the boat sails fairly flat (longitudinally).
If I need to launch it, I just throw it over. To recover, I use a spare halyard and one of the self tailing winches my mast.

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