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Old 02-05-2008, 16:26   #1
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Dinghy on Deck, Davits or Tow?

I have just bought a used dinghy that I thought would fit on deck, but alas, doing so just does not seem to work.

I was wondering what you would recomend:

Davits or towing?

I just keep it tied to the dock next to me in my slip while in port, but I am thinking of heading to Catalina in the next month and was wondering if I should invest in davits or just tow.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Old 02-05-2008, 17:17   #2
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Towing will slow you down by increasing drag. If you go too fast you risk swamping your dingy. Davits I like, but they fo add weight and clutter to your aft deck. Some will say that they can also increase the amoubt of damage cause by following seas. I guess it would depend on where you are sailing and the conditions there, and what kind of boat you have.

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Old 02-05-2008, 17:37   #3
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The biggest downside to towing other than drag, is that if the weather gets up while making a crossing, it is a whole second boat to worry about with high risk manoeuvres, if there is a problem.

Perhaps if you give us a photo or description of your yacht and tender, we could give you advice.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:09   #4
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Lots depend on your boat and what type dink you have. Most dinks where I sail are RIB's and unless you have something in the 40+ area, deck storage is a real problem making it difficult if not almost impossible to do any forward deck work... a problem when picking up a mooring or anchoring.

Towing is most typical for short runs and what I do most of the time because I don't yet have davits.

I will be having davits installed on my 36' early next year which will be a part of an arch I'll have installed for primary use as Solar Panel attachment points and a wind generator... Davits were not the primary reason I'm doing the work but a great side benefit when I'll be running down and up the Caribbean chain next couple of years.

If you have space on the forward deck or over a hard top would be the best locations but again that depends on the size of the boat and its configuration. Just remember, any dink will weigh a lot more than you would think an air filled balloon would weigh... it is a hell of a job to get one on and off a deck for a single person and I always try to calculate my needs based on the possibility that a single person may have to handle the task.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:27   #5
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We towed a small whaler ~13 foot at about 13 knots in 8 footers a couple years ago. Not a very good thing but it was too heavy to set on deck, it tended to skate around a bit and we sheared the lights off the bow. Only went 30 miles or so but if you can get it on deck you are better off for sure.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:12   #6
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There is an excellent article in Good Old Boat on carrying a dinghy and building your own davits.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:33   #7
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I almost always use the davits to transport my 10.5 foot aluminum-hulled inflatable. I just leave the 15 HP Yamaha mounted on the dink and haul it up out of harm's way. I olny tow it when going VERY short distances. The davits are also handy to pull it up at night for security reasons. I have a center cockpit so the transom is quite high. I also use the davits as a great place to mount my solar panels. My originals were of galvanized steel, but I replaced them three years ago with custom units in heavy polished aluminum. When making more extended passages I take the motor off to reduce weight. I use trailer tie-down straps with stainless ratchets to prevent any motion of the dink while under way.
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Old 06-05-2008, 13:29   #8
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I personally feel that towing a dinghy is a bad idea. Granted, I may be a little biased towards the davits/foredeck solution but I have seen many hairy situations caused by a towed tender. For me, just the added drag is enough to avoid towing. Davits [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']do not[/FONT] add a tremendous amount of weight to your stern, if installed/designed correctly. A good pair of sailing davits for a tender of let's say, 180 lbs., should not weigh more than 50 lbs. or so. The added weight of the dinghy plus the davits on the stern will create much less resistance than towing it will. People will argue, but if you want; 1) ease of access to your dinghy, 2) security underway and at port, 3) a much longer dinghy life with fewer repairs, 4) the peace of mind that your dinghy is up and isn't going anywhere, and 5) an interesting talking piece to brag to your friends about , then I would choose a quality pair of davits.
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Old 06-05-2008, 22:09   #9
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Yea for davits

Go for the Davits. They will serve you well over time
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:31   #10
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Check out Davron Marine Products (Dinghy-Tow) for an innovative solution that works very well for many yachters. At first glance it may appear unconventional but don't that fool you. Most new and innovative ideas appear that way at first. Ron Foster, a seasoned cruiser, designed and developed this product after being dissatisfied with other solutions.
This is not intended to be a commercial just a tip from someone who has seen this great idea in action.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:46   #11
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Roll up soft bottom inflatable dinks don't tow!

But they are great to deflate and shove in the lazarette
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:56   #12
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I think a small inflatable would be better off on deck. But the larger tenders like a Contender or simular. Need to be towed. I have been setting up tenders for towing for the past 10 years. I also manufacture a toweye system to most of the Major manufactures ( Jupiter, Wellcraft, Contender, Hydra-sport, Deep Impact, Venture Marine and Regulator ). They depend on us to please their customers.
Also alot for your trips depend on the weather and speed. If your going out to sea, you really need to pay close attention to what you are doing. all big boats and tenders react different from one another. Another thing that most boaters do wrong is to buy cheep shackles and lines. You really need a good forged shackle over rated for the load. Stop with the made is china crap. If that rig givesway under load, It can hurt someone or worse. If a good Spectra rope is used. It will not give the rubberband effect. I will just drop.
If I can help out with any of your questions, feel free to contact us any time, Goggle toweye or respond to this thread. I hope I was a small help on this issue. Thank you for your time.

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