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Old 11-10-2012, 07:27   #16
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Re: Handling a dinghy

I tried something that I've NOT seen anyone do and it WORKED...

I pulled our hard dink up very close to the lee stern quarter. So close that it lifted the bow up out of the water and held it a few feet aft. Rock steady. This was beating and reaching. Downwind it would move around a bit but it never touched the stern and never took on water. Winds were the usual CC/PA 20-25kts seas 6-8 feet...
Tacking the vessel meant also tacking the dink!
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:22   #17
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
As your boat is relatively narrow, you don't need struts. Make up a 4 point bridle with a snapshackle on each end, and a stainless ring at the central lifting point. Attach the shackles to stainless folding pad eyes on the dinghy gunwhale. These should be two per side and about 4 feet apart. Make sure it is balanced before you initially secure the pad eyes to the ding.

Then all you need do is to take the main halyard, snap it into the ring on the bridle, and stand off the dinghy and bridle as you winch the dinghy aboard with your free hand. When you swing the dinghy inboard, lower it to the deck, undo two snap shackles, lift again to flip it without damaging the deck, lower it again, disconnect the halyard, secure the bridle, then lash down the dinghy. To launch the little blighter, merely reverse the procedure.

Towing a dinghy is unseamanlike, is potentially costly if you swamp it and give the engine a bath, it is dangerous in a following sea, and you will one day reverse over the paynter and end up in possible strife as a result. Even floating rope will not avoid that one.
Well I have been sufficiently shamed and intend to make up the four point bridle as described. I will use my reaching strut to stand off. Thanks for all the comments. I will apologize to my dinghy for unintended abuse and vow to work hard at mitigating my lazy streak.
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Old 12-10-2012, 15:11   #18
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Personally, I have been towing my dinghy because the sailboat is pretty small (just upsized to a 24' from a 22'). I was wondering about the potential of an inflatable and one of those big hand pumps that my raftung buddies use.
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Old 12-10-2012, 16:43   #19
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Re: Handling a dinghy

IME, a foot pump is much more efficient for inflating a dinghy (even a small one) than any hand pump, because one of your legs is much stronger than both of your arms. And I prefer pumping standing upright to being bent over a hand pump.

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Old 13-10-2012, 10:35   #20
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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Originally Posted by Tar34 View Post
Today I sailed towing the dinghy some 18 nm in 15-18kts of breeze down the Chesapeake bay. There were times I wish the dink were stowed on deck, before the mast.
I towed with a bridle to keep the dink centered and fairly close to the stern but on an even keel. In this configuration it still managed to collect water, adding some weight to the the dinghy. I wonder how much drag is induced by the dinghy and if there is an optimum way to position it to reduce drag. I am not a big fan of loading down a stern with a dinghy in davits. But there seems to be no simple fast way to pick up the dinghy and maneuver it to the the forward deck. I have thought about modifying my reaching strut, which I seldom use, attach a foreguy and use a spinnaker or jib halyard to hoist. I have eliminated using the spinnaker pole as it takes two men and boy to handle smartly. Any thoughts on the subject of drag and stowage is appreciated.
First, I would not hesitate to tow a dinghy for 18 miles in relatively protected waters in up to 20 kts as long as there is no nasty chop. I would not do it with the outboard mounted, however. It helps to have the tow line padeyes very close to the dinghy's waterline, so the bow tends to be lifted out.

Having said that, towing a dinghy does add significant drag and some water can splash inside. Also, I would not tow a dinghy in more than 20 kts or overnight or if there are serious waves. So I agree that developing a system for lifting it out and storing it on deck is good.

Some people store the dinghy on the foredeck, others on the cabin top under the boom. With a small 8' dinghy, either place could work. I keep my inflatable dinghy inflated on the foredeck, with the stern up against the mast. To lift it out, I use a 4 part tackle attached to the spinnaker halyard and hoisted all the way up to the spreaders. I attach the other end of the tackle to the lifting harness and haul it up. Using the tackle allows you to hold the tail with one hand and use the other hand to maneuver the dinghy around the shrouds. Securing the top of the tackle very high up allows you to lift the dinghy up over the lifelines.

With my inflatable I use a 2 point lifting harness attached to the towing rings and lift the dinghy suspended vertically. This gets rid of any water inside, makes it easier to clear the shrouds, and allows me to position the stern where I want it (against the mast) and lower the bow with the dinghy bottom up.

I used to have a hard dinghy which I stowed on the cabin top athwartship. In this case I used a tackle with the main halyard and a 4 point harness, but the awkward part was always flipping the dinghy upside down at the end.

Either way, the whole procedure takes about 20 minutes.
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