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Old 28-03-2015, 11:04   #1
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Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

I haven't even been close to this but have been told it happens. Is this just scaremongering or is it something that should be addressed by a sensible cruiser?

I have a Lagoon 400S2 and it has a RIB with 15hp Honda mounted on davits at the back. On passage I have it hoisted up, tilted it to drain and so far (1200nm in Atlantic Europe and in the Med) I have had no issues. I have had very benign weather so far. For the next 2 years I plan only short passages in the Med and will watch the weather forecasts to minimize bad weather. I plan to leave the dinghy on its davits when passage making.

One day I will want to cross the pond. This is a bit different. I would like to leave the RIB and the outboard on davits. The motor weighs 47 kg. I cannot lift it and, because of my solar panels, I can't easily rig a hoist to take it off. If I take the RIB off where would I put it? Some questions:

  • Is is imprudent to leave the dinghy on davits for an Atlantic crossing (I am talking about east to west crossing to the Carribean in November).
  • Have other cats done this crossing successfully with the dinghy on davits?
  • Are there mods I could complete that might reduce the likelyhood of damage? I am thinking of spectra stays to increase the load the davits could take plus a dinghy cover to shed most of a wave breaking over the dinghy.
I would love to hear your critical thoughts.


Thanks

Brian
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Old 28-03-2015, 16:55   #2
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Hi Brian. Have a look at Katsumi's thread on page 4 of the Lagoon owners group.

My 2 cents worth is that I've never had it look like happening, even when copping foaming broken waves on the stern whilst crossing coastal bar. (Wish engines pushed us at 15 knots!). Other owners who have crossed Atlantic and Pacific have no probs, though one guy removed 20hp Honda, just in case. He has a stronger back that me.

Dinghy cover and rope stays sound like a good idea. Cheers
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Old 28-03-2015, 17:42   #3
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

some have crossed oceans with davit riding dinghies and been fine. some have gone from san diego to catalina island in hardin sea wolf and been pooped and swamped with davits bent way down. was my neighbor. was spectacular.
pays yer money takes yer chances.
no guarantees in anything in life.
use your davits and be at peace.
happy sails.
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Old 28-03-2015, 21:10   #4
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Hi Brian and Lorraine. We kept ours on the davits on sephina. High and dry, no problems. We did have a highfield cover on it as well and I put some fenders in to hold the cover up to shed water, although it never needed it. We had 5m swells at times and rarely did a wave even kiss the bottom of the dink. I did take the motor off and stored it on it's side in the forward locker next to the chain. Not too hard but ours just weighs 36kg. I'd definitely take yours off and either store it there or get a mount for the pushpit rail. Although some like Gordon left there's on. A tight fitting cover that can tie up to the davits would be good too. Gordon and Lou had a nice heavy duty one made that would shed any water quickly.
The only time our dinghy has slapped a few wave tops was heading out the gib straights against tide and 2m waves that were about 5 seconds apart.
If Lorraine feels like sewing a cover, my ideal would be one that acts as dinghy chaps, stays fitted all the time, with some zips that allow the covered area to open up and fall inside the dinghy, while covering the tubes and seat, that can be quickly zipped up again around the lifting lines, also with an access zip for putting rubbish bags while on passage. I might design one over the summer and see how it goes...
Hopefully you're still enjoying sunny cartegena and looking forward to sailing again soon!
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:59   #5
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

I do not know about cats but on mono hulls good seamanship dictates that dinks be secured on deck for offshore passages. Think gale conditions for a couple of days with 12' + seas.
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:31   #6
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

While tied to a buoy off the Cristobal Yacht club, I found the least unlikely things can happen in normally safe areas. A passing freighter apparently thought it was unnecessary to slow down and left a wake that that sent my boat's bow high and the stern low, thus causing a heavy load on my RIB and bending the davits.

Accordingly, I came up with two solutions: I raised the davits about three feet higher, and second, since I have a center cockpit monohull with a fairly narrow beam, I made a dry water slip/cradle for the dink above the aft cabin. I haul up the RIB with engine over a roller. After a time, I liked the aft cabin storage arraignment so much, that I rarely if ever used the davits. However in your case, that not being possible, I was wondering if you could work out a cradle arrangement that would allow you to put your RIB on deck/across the netting just forward of the cabin.
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:32   #7
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

I've crossed the Atlantic in a similar cat, and done c. 4000 miles from US to/from Caribbean with dinghy in davits, with engine attached, and no problems. I too have solar panels above the dinghy - they keep the sun off of the dinghy, and most water out. Were I to do it with greater chance of adverse weather conditions, I would remvoe the enigne first: I tie the dinghy along side and raise enginefrom dinghy with a halyard, then place engine on engine mount built into the "garage" up forward.
Seas have to get really big for them to touch my dinghy when it's slung from the davits. I do add additional straps that cross under the dinghy, otherwise no other precautions.
-Steve
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:36   #8
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

We have a small jib hoist on the aft stbd with an 8-part tackle. This easily lifts the OB to the storage bracket. I can do it myself up or down in less than 5 minutes. If you did get in a nasty situation, it might be nice to be able to lose the dink and keep the engine. Also removes the mass from the davits. We also use the hoist to move heavy things from the dinghy to the deck.
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:51   #9
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

The trip from the Canaries to the west indies, if you leave in say late December or January (I like January because you have a little stronger trade) has NO Gales, no bad weather, No traffic (other than a herd of boats in the ARC), the wind (once you get down to the Cape Verde latitude) is on the stern or the quarter, is steady and around 20 kts, NO big sea. It is an easy and wonderful sail. I have carried a chute the entire trip a couple of times, it is truly a nice trip.

However, getting there from Gib, 9 times out of 10 I have run into a gale and been hove to for a day or more, usually around the latitude of Madeira. It would have to blow for a while to get a big enough sea to poop you, and cats are pretty quick so your chances of that happing are slim, but I am not saying it could not happen.

Have fun!
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Old 29-03-2015, 15:02   #10
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

We carried the dinghy on davits frm the Med (Italy) to Sydney, via the Panama Canal, with no problems. We met big (~6m...20') seas several times (actually more than several while crossing the Tasman Sea in winter!) and we were pooped twice, but there were no issues with the dinghy or the davits. For each of the ocean crossings we put the outboard (a 6hp Yamaha 4-stroke) onto the bracket on the pushpit rail to both lessen the weight on the davits and (especially) to ensure the dinghy could be snugged right up as tight and as high as possible. All good!

We wish you fair winds and following seas...
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Old 29-03-2015, 17:00   #11
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Had a experience on a 65' Cat (FP), we didn't have following seas but we punched into one. Problem was, severe cracking at the base of the davits. I believe it would not have been a issue if we had taken the precaution to take off the Outboard.
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Old 29-03-2015, 18:27   #12
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Dinghy on davits, big following wave, no problem:




We've never even looked remotely close to getting water in our dinghy, 23,000+ miles, some crappy weather and surfing bar crossings.
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Old 29-03-2015, 19:33   #13
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVJennie View Post
However in your case, that not being possible, I was wondering if you could work out a cradle arrangement that would allow you to put your RIB on deck/across the netting just forward of the cabin.
Thanks for the input, but no thanks, don't ever put a dinghy or anything at all for that matter over the trampolines of a cat in big seas. Any cat. The tramps are there for a good design reason and lots of air and water can move up through them very quickly. Anything blocking that movement will be launched skywards and the trampoline anchor points will probably be destroyed. Nothing on tramps in big seas, make it a rule! Mono owners can discuss the merits of dinghies on deck in another thread.

Likewise, lifting a heavy outboard using a halyard if much easier in a mono than a cat. As cats are beamier the lift angle on a halyard is greater making it quite difficult to get the load over the lifelines. On a mono, it is often possible to swing the boom out over the beam to use as a gantry. If not, they obligingly list over under load to help keep the load on the halyard away from the hull sides. Cats just don't want to list or heal, they like staying level which, in this case is annoying!

So it's easier just to leave the motor on the dinghy and be glad that those Rubenesque aft sections of your Lagoon 400, whilst not built for speed will provide heaps of lift in a steep following sea.
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Old 29-03-2015, 20:07   #14
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Hi catamaransailors
I have crossed the Atlantic both ways several times and also the Pacific and the Indian Ocean with my 40 foot cat. I had my RIB, a Valiant Dynamique 300 RIB weighing only 40 kgs (88lbs) always hanging in the Davits and secured against lateral motion. Never had a problem. The outboard motor, I had only a 6HP two stroke was for the first crossing stowed under deck in the cockpit later on the pushpit under a cover. The reason for that was that if the motor was left on the Dinghy it was with heavy seas sprayed with saltwater what obviously will shorten its lifespan.
I was always controlling hat my cat was not overloaded and the ends (forward and aft beeing light). I have also to say that my davits have been very strong, the yard
gave me safe working load of 400 kg (881 lbs). So its safe to check the payload of the davits, just in case if my dinghy would be full of water its weight was about 800 kg (1762 lbs) for a moment, due to moving it would be at a part be emptied by the moving of the cat and the dinghy was not hanging in a correct horizontal level but inclined.
Tuskie is right, that I learned the hard way, because once I had two dinghies aboard, the old one stowed on the trampoline during two Atlantic crossings (est-west-east). Making landfall in southern Portugal some of the trampoline lines who connected the netting to the cat were broken and had to be replaced.
Fair winds
James
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Old 01-04-2015, 21:51   #15
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Re: Dinghy swamped by following sea and davits bent

Did the Bay of Biscay, Med back and forth, down to the Canaries and then to the Caribbean with the dinghy and 25HP outboard on the davits of a Lagoon 450. Also did Chasapeake to Grenada. No problem. Had 7m aft quarter waves crossing the Atlantic.

The odd times a wave reflects of one hull and meets another wave haed on. The resulting splash hits the underside of the wetdeck hard and sometimes the dinghy bottom.
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