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Old 30-12-2009, 11:24   #1
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Davits - Are They Necessary ?

Our cruising goals are to cruise the east coast and the Bahamas. The goal is to be in WPB for Xmas of 2013. As we check off the refit items a question came up, are davits really necessary? My first assumption is yes, they serve the purpose for the dingy and they would be a great mounting point for the solar panels and wind generator among other attachments. I was in a conversation with a couple of sailors that have cruised the islands and south Pacific and they stated they were more of a nuance than practical, meaning they always removed the dingy and lashed it on deck for passages and always cabled locked it at night while island hopping. What are your thoughts, as you all know you can certainly use the $4,000 else where…… Thanks!
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Old 30-12-2009, 11:50   #2
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I've heard alot of mixed reviews too. Alot of people say they are a nuisance, yet everybody seems to have them. I am also contemplating this purchase so I will be following the answers you get. Good Topic!
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Old 30-12-2009, 12:32   #3
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We enjoyed ours in our old boat. It kept the bottom clean and if we did lock it we just used a short cord to a stanchion. Didn't need a long painter to keep the boat from banging or rubbing on the boat. It also made it easy to drain the rainwater out.
We did roll it up on deck to go anywhere we suspected to hit waves or wind of any significance though. $4000 seems a lot unless you are going for the entire arch.

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Old 30-12-2009, 12:36   #4
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I've never used them...when I was a cruiser many years ago we didn’t have davits.
It was such a pain in the butt to put the dink in and out and the motor blah, blah.
My use will be primarily coastal, During my refit I added them but have still not finished so haven’t tried them.
I'm hoping they will allow me to also keep the motor on.
Mine are not suited for any PV panels or anything else...just davits.
But they do rotate inboard so if I want to get them out of the way I can.
Good luck
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Old 30-12-2009, 12:58   #5
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We had our's built in a commercial fishing yard in Rockland Maine for less than a third of the cost of the yuppie ones advertised in the sailing magazine and they are substantilly stronger than the yuppie ones, they are built out of 2 in diameter stainless working in compression and not as long cantilevers.

We have a solar array mounted on them which produces 150 amp hrs/day.

We have used them almost daily for a year and a half as the dingy is far less prone to theft when out of the water and launch and recovery is a 5 min job.

We will bring the dingy aboard when we cross oceans but for Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean they are the best $3,500 we spent and that is for a 55 ft boat and a big dinghy. We were quoted $11,000 for the yuppie ones.
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Old 30-12-2009, 13:09   #6
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Holy cow.....$11,000....damn!
I'm thinking your boat has a canoe stern...is that right...It adds some real chalenges to the design.
Have ya got any pictures of the davits Phil....
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Old 30-12-2009, 13:16   #7
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Our last boat, a 35' wooden yawl, wasn't suitable for davits so we raised the dinghy up on deck every time we left the harbor. The new boat came with davits and we like them a lot. Easy to use and they hold our solar panels. We also have a Forespar lift for raising up the 15hp outboard because we prefer to take it off the dink when underway.
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Old 30-12-2009, 13:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Our last boat, a 35' wooden yawl, wasn't suitable for davits so we raised the dinghy up on deck every time we left the harbor. The new boat came with davits and we like them a lot. Easy to use and they hold our solar panels. We also have a Forespar lift for raising up the 15hp outboard because we prefer to take it off the dink when underway.
.
Hey Mike
I see lots of people take the engines off....is that to keep the strain off the dinghy’s transom or what?
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Old 30-12-2009, 13:26   #9
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Hey Mike
I see lots of people take the engines off....is that to keep the strain off the dinghy’s transom or what?
We took our engine off to go anywhere in the open ocean just to reduce the swinging forces of the dinghy on the davits. We just secured it by the two lifting handles to the boat and the engine would give it momentum when it swung. We never had a problem just felt like it was straining everything.

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Old 30-12-2009, 14:07   #10
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Although we secure our dinghy in such a manner that it can't really swing, we feel that the outboard is still an unecessary weight and strain on both the transom and the davits/lifting lines etc. If we had a 2 horse or something lightweight we might not bother.
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Old 30-12-2009, 14:15   #11
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For eleven years I cruised without them. For the past nine years I've had them. They are not necessary but I would not do without them, especially for the cruising the OP intends to do. I have a set of Ocean Marine davits on my CS36 and an arch on my B393. Hang a 10'06" RIB and a 15 hp Yamaha 2 stroke on them all the time. Good davits can be had for about $2500. Ocean Marine Systems - Davits, Rails, Lifts, and Platforms.

They are not for long ocean passages but for US East Coast, Bahamas and Caribbean they are ideal. Learn to use davits properly, always secure the dink so that there is no travel in any direction. No lateral movement, no up and down movement. I use four ratchet straps. You have to make sure there are no shock loads. Most dinks do not have good lifting rings. I have two low on the transom and two more I installed in the floor of the RIB forward. U bolts bolted through with backing plates.
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Old 30-12-2009, 14:15   #12
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Nice picture Vasco
I mounted my davits through the deck and down to the sole of the lazarette...I really tried to make them heavy duty enough to let me keep the motor on.
The dink will also be secured tight to the davits so shouldn’t swing.
Fingers crossed!
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Old 30-12-2009, 14:47   #13
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How about these as an alternative, we had them on a sport cruiser, seemed to work okay.

weaver-snap-davits

Or if the tender is light enough we just use 4 pieces of string
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Old 30-12-2009, 16:09   #14
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Did the string really hold the dink well? I would think it would move all the time. That combined with the peace of mind that the dink is not going to be ripped off the stern, would help me to decide on davits. The snaps look really interesting though. Thanks for posting the link.
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Old 30-12-2009, 20:37   #15
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I agree with Vasco. They are not strictly necessary, but they sure do make life nice and easy. We did our install so that the setup would be able to handle our 11' RIB and a 15hp 2-stroke Merc. It really is a nice thing to be able to put the dink in the water once the hook is down, easily, safely and by yourself. This is particularly helpful if you have kids who are just itching to get in the water or off the boat once you arrive, or even if you want to be able to get ashore for whatever reason. Likewise, when it's time to go, it really is nice to be able to hoist the whole setup 1-2-3. It sure beats taking the engine off, mounting that, then hoisting the dink with a halyard onto the foredeck, securing it, or maybe deflating the dink, rolling it up, etc.

And to be really lazy, we led our falls to our electric winches. So, we simply hit two buttons and watch the dink hoist.

As Vasco also said, it's CRITICAL that you secure the dink in the davits so that there is no movement. We hoist the dink all the way up and pin it to the davits themselves. Then, we use low-stretch high-strength webbing, ratcheted, in a criss-cross pattern, to keep the dink from moving athwartship.

Here's a pic right after they were installed (I can't seem to find one with the dinghy hoisted):

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