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Old 06-08-2022, 06:55   #1
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Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Hi there, I am new to the forum but wanted to share our recent davit project with you all. We added a custom stainless steel arch to our Hunter 41 DS. It was welded directly to the original traveler arch.

Key Features.

PRO's
1)1340 Watts of Solar. (four 335 watt pannels) Provides some serious shade.

2) Large storage area under solar (5 ft x 5ft x 18") We call it the "garage."

3) Great place to hang a hammock or 2

4) Designed to hold up our 8' x10' Solstice Sports Floating dock. The davits support the dock to keep it out of the water. It easily supports 2 people sitting on the end. This literally adds 80 square feet to our boat! It's also way easier and safer to enter and exit the boat from the dingy this way.

5) Fits our 12' 6" highfield CL360 WITH the 25 yamaha perfectly. - we spent 4 months in the Bahamas last season and the Davits handled great. (very little flex or movement with the 300+ lbs crossing the gulf stream.

6) Added an awesome Shower in the center. We used the original controls, and plumbed up through the stainless. Honestly I was so stoked on how this came out. I built several prototypes with varying size holes. The welder nailed it.


Cons

1) More weight in the transom (estimate 600lbs with dingy hoisted) our bow raises about 3-4 inches.

2) Docking- we have a big butt! Also often pay for a 50 foot slip rather than 42.

3) Increased Rocking at Sea. We added a lot of weight up high and increased our center of gravity. This boat already has a high center of gravity being a deck salon, with a shoal keel 5 Ft.

All in all the way we use the boat it has made our life in the Bahamas so much better. We do a lot of water sports, Foiling, Kiting, spearfishing, and having the dock off the back is a great place to set up gear, filet fish, and really just enjoy the water. We are costal cruisers and when doing major passages we always look for the best weather windows, and we generally stay a month or two in one location and then move. The decrease in sailing performance isn't something that affects us too much, but the increase in space and livability is huge!

I designed the entire systems in a CAD software and worked closely with a Dan Morgan at Morgan Metals in Jacksonville. He did an outstanding job. This system is Beefy! with 2" stainless tube and over 100 welds. He nailed it.

Cheers from SV SwellSeeker!
Jon K
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:26   #2
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Thanks for sharing - the design detail and usability returns are great. I’ve not seen a floating dock used like that, neat idea.

I’m guessing you will get some feedback akin to how unseaworthy a modification of this nature is. I hope folks read your post and the identified pros/cons and identified use case (presumably Bahama floating base camp more or less). Seems like you knew the trade offs you were making and embraced them with no false justification.
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Old 06-08-2022, 14:48   #3
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Looks like good engineering and execution... but what a dreadful thing to do to a sailing yacht... IMO.

Jim
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Old 03-11-2022, 09:59   #4
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Jon very cool arch, I'm looking to design my own (albeit less ultimate than that!) for the same boat. Any chance you'd be willing to share the CAD files so I can use the arch model as a starting point without having to determine the anchor points since we know yours fit? Thanks so much!
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Old 03-11-2022, 10:19   #5
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

In one of the pictures it looks like you have covers over the solar panels. Is that because sometimes you want to basically turn them off or is it to keep them clean - I haven't seen that idea before.
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Old 03-11-2022, 17:17   #6
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Pretty sweet deal for your needs. Dealing with a dinghy with a sailboat seems the mother of invention.
I had one concern from my power boat brain no welds on stainless near salt water. Our runabout has no weld stainless throughhull exhaust. All the connections are silicone boots.
I like the retractable davits next boat.
I have 4 105 watt flexible solar panels above my Bimini on two stainless steal bans. The bands attach to 4 clips I 3D printed which clamp on to the Bimini frame and create a tiny air gap. My first attempt I burnt 4 hot spots on the canvas.
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Old 03-11-2022, 17:25   #7
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumrace View Post
I had one concern from my power boat brain no welds on stainless near salt water.
Welded stainless in salt water is fine, you just have to be absolutely sure it was done properly. Welds done poorly and not properly passivated will rust, but well done welds hold up fine.
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Old 03-11-2022, 21:27   #8
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

Impressive that you have 1300+ watts in panels up there. What are you averaging from them in that configuration?
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Old 04-11-2022, 08:06   #9
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

So it’s more a problem in exhaust welds. Honestly I lovely the boat stripped. I even deflate the dinghy and stuff it in the port locker in the cockpit.
My wife has never been a great swimmer. I got her snorkeling in Aus. I throw her in with a noodle but I love the dock idea. Maybe a noodle coral. I’ve seen an inflatable swimming area which attaches to swim platform to avoid box jelly fish but never seen one here. You need to add the floating water evaporator to produce fresh water using sunlight
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Old 04-11-2022, 08:17   #10
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Re: Ultimate Solar Davit System. 1340 watts, shower, storage, 12'6" dingy

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Originally Posted by Rumrace View Post
So itís more a problem in exhaust welds. Honestly I lovely the boat stripped. I even deflate the dinghy and stuff it in the port locker in the cockpit.
Agreed, exhaust is a much tougher environment for everything (more heat and exhaust gases are corrosive even without salt water).

As far as how/where to store the dinghy, it really depends on what's practical on a given boat, what your needs are from a dinghy, how often you use it, etc.
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