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Old 24-04-2008, 19:19   #1

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Losing the Dinghy/Dink/Tender

Well, it's 10:11PM. Do you know where your dinghy is??

I know where mine is. It is safely tied to the stern of the boat... finally.

While I was on the phone with the wife at about 7:30PM, and the tide was coming in, I had a feeling I should look outside. I did, and there goes the Caribe RIB dinghy that came with this boat. It's no joke of a dinghy to lose. I'm broke from looking for boats and then getting one ready and moving it up north. If I lost the dinghy, and had to buy another, I'd probably have had to select from a "rubber duckie" or one of those nice "sea turtles" with the ring that goes around your stomach area.

Anyway, the dinghy was resting along some grass on an island.

So... I waited another hour until 9PM for the tide to come up some more and got the big boat (thank GOD I have a cat!!) in far enough that
I could throw a 5lb weight (leftover from the PO's workout routine) to the dinghy. I tied it to a genoa line with a towl wrapped around it so as not to break the R part of the RIB. I threw and threw for half an hour. Boy are my arms sore. I finally got it in!!

I reeled the dinghy back and backed off the island.

Now is time for the shame. I have to admit, this isn't my first or even SECOND time losing a dinghy and having to retrieve it. Another time, I had to dive off a launch and swim through reeds to one. It's amazing what you'll do for $3000 or whatever these things cost.

Where was DefJef when I needed him?? He saved my dinghy once too.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I have lost them 3 times now. ha ha

This time, I used the carribeaner that the PO had on it to clip it to the toe rail (or so I though). Apparently, the carribeaner wasn't closed all the way and worked its way loose. The dinghy didn't go anywhere until the tide came in enough for it to drift off.

Somehow, through all my stupidity, I have a 3 for 3 record of getting the dinghies back.

DefJef mentioned how I was headed downwind to look for my old dinghy with my old boat that time he found it. Little did he know, I knew *exactly* where to look. You see... I have way too much experience in this department.

So... anyone else ever lose one??

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Old 24-04-2008, 21:40   #2

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I made a comment once that it was poor seamanship to let a dinghy trail astern of an anchored boat, and caught all kinds of hell from people justifying their laziness.

Your story is only one reason why dinghies belong on deck when not in use. Risk of theft is another, and other boats moving through a dark anncorage and tangling a painter is a third.

I have never lost a dinghy from on deck.

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Old 24-04-2008, 21:50   #3
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Actually, they should be hoisted up on the davits!
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Old 24-04-2008, 21:52   #4

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Davits are great and handy at anchor, but for an open ocean passage? I think not!
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Old 24-04-2008, 22:35   #5
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Good story. Here's mine: We lost a dinghy right after launching it in the Queen Charlotte islands. We were anchored off a rocky beach with a strong wind blowing parallel to the shore say 20 knots. The dinghy got away from me as I was tying it to the stern in preparation for rowing ashore. I quickly stripped down to just shorts and dove in after it. But the dinghy was light, the wind was strong, and did I mention the shore was roughly parallel with the wind?

The dinghy floated downwind much faster than I could swim, and eventually I gave up and swam to shore, walking over rocky barnacle encrusted rocks about 1/2 mile down the beach to where the dinghy fetched up. Then I had to row upwind back to the boat in soaking wet shorts, with an air temperature about 15C and a good breeze. I was mildly hypothermic when I got back.

My wife called it the Q.C. Triathalon: swim/beach walk/row

Now we always use a s.s. 'biner to clip the dinghy to a railing. Much more secure than a knot tied a bit too quickly.
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Old 25-04-2008, 00:23   #6
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Being careful...

I lost an inflatable off the back of a boat I had years ago.

I was tied to a mooring and it came adrift. Poor knot?

I swam after it and found that even a moderate wind can really push a light inflatable along.

I was just at the end of my endurance when I caught it.

If I had not caught it when I did I would have been in real trouble.
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Old 25-04-2008, 00:45   #7
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We had picked up a friends mooring in a bay that had wind gusts all night hitting us. I awoke in the morning a looked out our stern ports. I said to Dawn, "hey someone in that bay has an inflatable just like ours. And hey, they even have the same outboard as we have". At that point I got just a tad curious and decided to take a look at the stern, ans sure enough our inflatable had gone. We managed to get it back. Dawn can't have clipped the clip on correctly.
We still drag ours behind the boat when sailing. I don't see a problem with that. We have been in 30kts OK like that. Anything above 30 I think I would be hauling the thing up on the Davits. Which is my next comment. I don't have any issues with the inflatable on that davits when sailing either Nor do I haul aboard in the evening. Its on a short line to the transom, so if anyone could run into it at night, they are to damn close anyway. We have been in 40ktswith the inflatable tied to the Davits, andno issues there either.

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Old 25-04-2008, 01:00   #8
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This seems like a good time to remind everyone of the best internet Knot tutorials:

Animated Knots by Grog: Animated Knots by Grog

Including, Grog's Boating Knots Index: Grog's Boating Knots Index

and much more ...
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Old 25-04-2008, 04:10   #9
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At night and in weather I always have two lines on the dink with two different attachment points. One line is to the ring in the bow and the other is my "locking" line (the line used to lock the dink when in Nassau or the States) which is a long length of lifeline attached to the two lifting rings inside the dink. This line is always left slack, the weight of the dink being taken by the line in the bow. don't feel too bad Sean, one cruiser in GT this winter lost his dink twice in the same week.
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Old 25-04-2008, 04:57   #10
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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
At night and in weather I always have two lines on the dink with two different attachment points.
I learned to do that too.
It was about 15 years ago on a windy morning in Sebastian,FL when I woke up and saw the broken dinghy painter hanging limp off the back of the boat. We had just bought the used fiberglass dinghy and outboard the day before, after a frustrating trip down the intracoastal from the Chesapeake Bay with nothing but a pool toy to paddle back and forth to shore. I had lost the dinghy the very first night we owned it!! After scanning the shoreline with binoculars and not seeing it, I nearly wanted to cry. We were sailing the financial knife edge and had spent almost our last money on the dinghy.
A fellow boater eventually took me down river and we found the dinghy about 2 miles away, nicely beached at a public park and unmolested, with the other half of the sunrotted polypropylene line attached to the bow. I still clearly remember that lump in my gut and feeling of 'what a damn idiot I am for trusting that rotten line!' I went to the two line method and never misplaced another dinghy.
And as some consolation for the mental anguish, I've rescued a lot more dinghys than I've lost.
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Old 25-04-2008, 05:07   #11

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Good stories.

Glad to see I'm in good company.

The thing is, I was using a stainless steel clip, which is something I never would have done on my own. Normally, after losing the other dinghies twice, I have one line to tie it up and another to secure it - as mentioned.

This one came with a locking carrabeaner (sp?) and I just used that... I must have not closed it properly and that's how it got away.

Good stories though! I think some of my favs were Wheels looking at that "other dinghy" in the back bay and Evan running down the "beach" to get his then rowing it in freezing cold temps.
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Old 25-04-2008, 08:32   #12
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I'm going to have to vote for the davits or up deck side as well. The dinghy can't float away if it's up in the air or secured to some solid chocks. I agree that dinghies should never be left trailing when they are not being supervised.
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Old 25-04-2008, 08:42   #13
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I recently spoke to a Sea Tow captain who said they got a call from the captain of a large motor yacht who just returned to Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas. Some where along the way their tow line broke and they lost a 35 foot center console tender. Sea Tow had to charter a helocopter to go up and find the boat and then send a boat out to tow it home. You can imagine what that cost at over $300/HR.
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Old 25-04-2008, 08:47   #14
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Dingy Loss Dingy Found

In 2000 after a day at the Baths in BVI we were headed for the Bitter End, a short sail so I decided to tow the dingy. After a couple hours one of the crew look back and there was no dingy, just a line trailing in the water. The seas were running about 2-3 feet, we did a 180 and back track and after 1 hour we spotted the dingy bobbing up and down. The recovery was not as easy as one would expect, we were able to get a crew member on the dingy and with the engine started he was able to come along side to take a line. Needlless to say hence forward the rubber duck travels on its davit.
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Old 25-04-2008, 08:58   #15
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Does anyone lock their dinghy up with a chain or cable?

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