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Old 04-05-2017, 10:22   #1
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HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Guys, the following applies to all kinds of dinghies; Hard, Nesting, RIB's, & Inflatibles.
The issue/my question is this. When storing a dink on the foredeck, including both inflated & deflated, what do you do when the dink is longer than your cabin trunk in front of the mast? Assuming you don't have a huge flush foredeck that is.

I ask, since it strikes me that even with proper chocks & lashings, a dinghy that's half on & half off of the cabin trunk would be fairly vulnerable to waves if/when things get hairy. Plus, anything inflatible stowed like that might get accelerated tube wear due to chafe, where it rests on the forward edge, & sides of the cabin house.

Also, how do you "navigate" around a full sized (or close there to) dink on the foredeck? Specifically for things such as sail changes, or connecting your staysail stay & hanking a sail onto it. Getting to the mast to work the halyards. Or going forward to work at the bow. Be it to deploy the anchor, or some other task. Say, rigging up & launching or dousing the kite.

I know that with some dinghies you can stow them on the cabin top aft of the mast, in front of the companionway/dodger. Though if you do this, then your forward visibility goes to crap. Both from the companionway, as well as from behind the dodger. And even at the helm on many boats. Since at times seeing over the bare coach house alone, & under the jib can be a challenge.

So... I'm curious what your non-davit solution(s) are. And also what you've tried that was either moderately workable, or that you flat out hated. And the why behind any & all of the above. Though, yes, I know that a Porta-Boat sidesteps most of these issues.

One other component of my asking, is that it's nice, & something of a safety feature, to be able to have a dink ready to be launched at a moment's notice. Such as when you run aground on a falling tide, & need to put out a kedge anchor Right NOW. Which won't work if you have to inflate the dink, ditto if you have to bolt the two haves together, non?

I look forward to hearing folks thoughts & experiences. Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2017, 10:32   #2
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Great question and one I've been thinking about since we were given a 10'6 fiberglass floor dinghy that my wife loves yet it's too big for our 37' boat. Bought a davit at a swap meet but it's too heavy for the rear pulpit without major support.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:18   #3
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

I have no idea what the best solutions are, but I offer this as an example of a dinghy stored half on half off the cabin trunk. It's not a big dinghy so maybe you don't consider it "full size", but it's not a big boat either (27')

The stern is supported by a wooden cradle, and lashed to the mast to prevent forward movement, and lashed to the grab rails to prevent side-to-side slippage. The bow (should have a foam pad beneath it to protect the deck that is missing in the photo) is lashed to the cleat to prevent backward slippage, and I often lash it to the toe-rails too, but that creates a tripping hazard that I'm not too keen on. If I was really expecting rough conditions, I'd probably add a line from rail-to-rail across the top of the dinghy as well.

I've never been out with waves breaking over the bow, and don't intend to go anywhere that I might seriously encounter such conditions this year. But it stays solidly in place when the boat has been bouncing around.

It doesn't block the side decks for access foreward, and for working on the foredeck I sit on the dinghy with my feet braced against the pulpit stanchions, and it provides a very stable and comfortable position for handling sails or hauling in the anchor. It really doesn't get in the way of access to the mast.

The dinghy is going to need replacing before too long, so I too would be happy to see any good ideas for change or improvement.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:24   #4
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

A tender on the foredeck is one of the factors that encourages horsing around at anchor. Whether it causes a problem depends on the rest of the factors (cabin windage, under body design, rode type, etc.).

I actually use the kayak 4 times as often as the tender. The engine always start, and I know how much gas is in the tank. I also like it better.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:32   #5
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Sell it and get one that's "right sized" for the boat and your use of it. Sometimes you need to choose which compromises to make (but safety should be the last thing you compromise on).

There are so many options -- nesting dinghies, folding dinghies, folding transom RIBS, roll-ups, air floors, etc.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:37   #6
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Our inflatables always travel on the foredeck, fully inflated (no liferaft, hence). It is half on the cabin top and half on the deck. As pictured.

We were through one full knockdown (about 135 degs) and one full wipe out. And maybe half a dozen of huge waves that rolled all over the boat.

No damage to the dinghy ever. I use canvas and webbing strapping, soft.

Alas, the forces must be big, as on our last crossing the dinghy straps took out two stanchions. My fault, as I tied the straps half way rather than at the base of the stanchionds.

Too bad our roof is too short aft of the mast to fit even the smallest dinghy (215).

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Old 04-05-2017, 12:15   #7
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

I put a big folding pad eye on the fordeck, I lash the bow eye to that. I don't think it could wash off in any situation
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:03   #8
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Usually if I'm anywhere near anchoring, I'm towing my inflatable. Offshore it's deflated and stuffed in my pilot berth. I wish I could carry a hard dinghy somewhere but my boat is just too small. Maybe the smallest rib I could find, deflated, behind the mast would work. On my bigger boat I could strap a rib down on the foredeck with lots of room. I just ordered a 9 foot sit-on-top kayak, one the fat ones used for fishing, they don't paddle as nice as a decent 'yak but you can stand up on them. Easy to toss into the water in an emergency. I'll have to be creative finding a place for it.

I have almost all my lines at the mast and a small foredeck with staysail stay, so having tubes in either side of the mast and limited access to manual anchor winch is a no go for me, especially as I'm single handing 98% of the time. I also had my jib cut with a high foot (almost Yankee) just for visibility and I don't want to lose that.

A port-a-bote was stolen in la Paz last month when I was there, so don't think the ugly factor will provide they protection, but it's another option in considering as I'm patching holes in my high pressure inflatable floor. Ask me what happens when you drop a flapping snapper, then a grouper on an inflatable floor. Just glad they didn't pop a tube. Hopefully I'm getting smarter but I sure do a lot of dumb things.

I feel your pain. Maybe get a big boat and a small tender?

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Old 05-05-2017, 07:42   #9
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

This is why I chose an air floor dinghy. Short hops in settled weather I tow it. Longer trips or stronger weather I deflate it and stow it below.

All things about a boat are a compromise. I love my cutter rig with staysail boom but it does limit space on the foredeck. When we decided to go with the dinghy stowed below we also decided to get a life raft since the dink wouldn't be "immediately available". There are times and places I think I'd rather have a rib with a bigger outboard but not at the cost of being unable to stow the dingy below. It only takes a few minutes to inflate it from fully deflated. It is a good compromise for me.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:54   #10
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Storage on the foredeck is one of the reasons I opted for a portabote many moons ago. It stores on our side deck, safely inboard away from green seas or big winds. It doesn’t block any access, and can be assembled and launched from the deck in about 20 minutes. For our boat, it is the best dink option I’ve found.

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Old 05-05-2017, 08:16   #11
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Pretty boat, Mike O'Reilly. And thanks guys. I'll put on my McGuyver cap later on & see if I come up with any other ideas.

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Old 05-05-2017, 08:35   #12
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

6' Stitch and glue dink on foredeck of 25' boat. Hard rubber chocks... offset to port to allow easier passage when setting anchor etc. 45# makes easy on and off while cruising. While at anchor longterm, usually pick a larger local dink for day to day use, and sell when leaving.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:50   #13
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

the best way to ensure your dink is suitable for your needs is to measure your deck storage area in which you intend to store the boat. if it doesnot fit-- oops your loss.
i made sure before i left that my dink fit well and was deployable with or without assistance, as i usually find i am doing these tasks sola.
as for kedging off--if you are so emergently in dire need of IMMEDIATE deployment of a dink, you are too far gone for a self removal/salvage.
oops. try rocks.
on a shoal you have plenty of time. tides happen. they rise they fall. there is no need for speed, unless you are stuck high and dry on a king tide that willnot repeat for 8 months or in an active surf zone being beat to hell and bits. even then you willnot succeed in self salvage without much help and miracles. many times on shoals you ae able to WALK your kedges out into deeper waters.
the testosterone need for larger and faster is not a good guide for dinks. get what meets your needs not the keep up with joneses impracticalities of inland water cruising. it is not mandatory to plane--only a lot of fun. fun is often impractical.
never get a dinghy you cannot comfortably wear as a hat. ditto propulsion mode.
if dink doesnt fit on foredeck, try under mast.
oops boom vang--sadly that also is a variable option. something about performance cruisers vs heavy displacement cruisers comes in here.
as my boat has no vang nor does it need one, i can stash my 10 ft walker bay under my main boom until i build davits for my transom.. i used to stash my 8 ft walker bay on my bow-- fit perfectly.
if you cannot safely negotiate the space around the dink in case of need, it is too large and impractical.
practicality is not a state of mind but is a condition of safety. how ye gonna unfoul your sheets when they become befouled on these items you are stowing on your bow beneath the sheets and sail?????
btw--as engines tend to fail in times of greatest need--make sure you can row your dinghy to safety without difficulty. that is most entertaining to watch when the dink being rowed is a huge rigid inflatable with heavy engine affixed and much windage in a good blow.
i have seen dinks stowed on end and affixed to mast--is an option to consider.
good luck with the stowage ideas. can get flustrating.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:04   #14
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

Never tow an inflatable when traveling offshore in inshore when thunderstorms or squalls are anticipated. You will have enough to do handling the primary vessel and dont need another problem to deal with.

I like to partially deflate the zodiac when on the bow unless I know the weather for the next 12 hours. Lash down a partially inflated and you wont have problems in rough weather and it leaves lots of room for sail changes on the bow. Leave the foot pump tied inside the zodiac. If you have to abandon ship, you will have lots of spare time to get it pumped up!
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:32   #15
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Re: HELP! Tender size vs. Foredeck size (Issues)

We chose a 10' Walker Bay Genesis RIB with folding transom. For extended offshore passaging we totally deflate it with the tubes folded under and the transom folded forward. It nestles over the coach roof with only about 4" of added height, so sightlines are excellent, and we can walk forward on either side. The bow sits just aft of the inner forestay padeye. We lash the painter 2x thru the padeye and then lead it aft to the SS grabrail on the coachroof, then over the hull to the other rail. Oars and pump and a small ditch bag stow nicely inside. For shorter passages we often just deflate enough to fold the transom.
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tender, size, deck

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