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Old 10-10-2012, 20:59   #1
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Handling a dinghy

I've begun to stretch my daysails to overnights and short cruises. I sail a
Tartan 34c. I have a 8ft fiberglass dinghy. It's not terribly heavy but heavy enough that I prefer to drag it than lift it. The question I'm posing here is how best to mange the dinghy from one anchorage to the next. 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.
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Old 10-10-2012, 21:11   #2
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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.
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Old 10-10-2012, 21:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee
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.
+1

Would add that you can use your fenders underneath the dinghy to protect your deck and strap it down with a ratchet trucking strap

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Old 10-10-2012, 22:00   #4
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
Towing a dinghy is unseamanlike
+2

Top five reasons to tow a dink:

5. you don't know any better;
4. you're compulsively lazy;
3. you like going slow;
2. you love a parade;
1. you hate your dink.
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Old 10-10-2012, 23:31   #5
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Re: Handling a dinghy

^ "love a parade".......Break out the Hawaiian shirts and show tunes!
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Old 10-10-2012, 23:41   #6
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Re: Handling a dinghy

I do the main halyard trick. It's not hard once you get the hang out of it. Just watch the wind, and bring it up on the leeward side.
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Old 10-10-2012, 23:49   #7
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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I do the main halyard trick. It's not hard once you get the hang out of it. Just watch the wind, and bring it up on the leeward side.
People who anchor out don"t usually have a windward side. A spinnaker halyard works better if you want to put it on the foredeck.
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:16   #8
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Re: Handling a dinghy

I use either the Whisker Pole or Spinnaker pole with a 4-1 tackle. Set the pole up with the topping lift, only takes a minute, and use the Cunningham tackle to lift the dinghy. Swing it out over the side and drop the dinghy in the water. Single handed, it's a bit of a hassle rolling the dinghy over to lift it. Think i may make up a harness with one end point at the bow and the other in the center of the transom so it's easier to roll. Have thought about going with just a stern bridle to hoist the dinghy straight up using the pole and tackle as it would be much easier to hoist and return to the chocks on the foredeck. Just hoist it up, swing it out and lower into the water. The reverse bringing it back aboard. Drop the boar into the chock and lower the stern into its chocks.

Doi g it by myself, think I'd bang up my freshly painted topsides using a halyard. The angle of pull will put the dinghy up against the hull and hoisting it with a one part tackle would be really hard while trying to fend it off.
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:22   #9
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Re: Handling a dinghy





Transiting Carquinez Strait (central California) and exiting Victoria, BC. Seems better to have a hard or v-hulled dinghy rather than a flat bottomed "balloon" if one wants to tow.
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:42   #10
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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Doi g it by myself, think I'd bang up my freshly painted topsides using a halyard. The angle of pull will put the dinghy up against the hull and hoisting it with a one part tackle would be really hard while trying to fend it off.
Mate, you're complicating things and considering making a very easy job into a serious task. You have a narrow boat. Using the procedure of a rope bridle, it is easy to do by yourself as long as you have a winch on the mast. If there are two people it can be done blindfolded and drunk.

If you can't reach the halyard to stand off the dinghy, merely use a boathook or an attractive woman.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:40   #11
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Re: Handling a dinghy

You could use the whisker/spinnaker pole as a portable davit. A standard pole will be too long as it will reach the forestay. But by adding a lifting point 2/3s of the way along the pole, you will have the reach "out" to the tender as well as having it short enough to allow the tender to arrive on the foredeck.

The topping lift or spinnaker halyard should be suffice to lift it. But I would suggest that you tie off the Topping Lift toward the outer end of the pole to allow greater pulling power.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:16   #12
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Re: Handling a dinghy

Or you could get a nesting dinghy and the you have half the footprint on deck and you can lift each half separately and have half the weight when handling. Of coarse you have to off load or load two things but half the weight.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:44   #13
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Re: Handling a dinghy

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Or you could get a nesting dinghy and the you have half the footprint on deck and you can lift each half separately and have half the weight when handling. Of coarse you have to off load or load two things but half the weight.
Or you could get an inflatable dinghy and deflate it and roll it up.

I have an 8' fiberglass hard dinghy besides my main tender, which is a 3.4 meter RIB with remote steering.

I don't take the 8' hard dinghy with me while cruising; I use it to get back and forth to my mid-river mooring.

It rows well, much better than an inflatable, but it is vastly less stable than an inflatable, and would be a royal PITA to handle and stow on board.

I would certainly never tow it -- imagine if it swamps and sinks! 
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In my opinion, not really suitable as main tender.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:01   #14
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I always heard if you handled your dinghy too much you would go blind .
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:04   #15
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Re: Handling a dinghy

I used to get a rib aboard by turning it so bow pointed outward, and stern tubes were pressed against front quarter, then pulling the painter until it was standing on the stern tubes then lift until it was resting on oarlocks on lifeline, then pull forward until it piveted onto deck. But my next one will be an inflatable.
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