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Old 28-09-2020, 11:08   #1
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Dinghy Question

First time poster, short time reader ....

I have been a boater my entire life (sail and power) but I have never been in a craft large enough to warrant a dingy.

I am in the process of evaluating a much larger boat and with that comes a dingy. In reading this forum, I realized there is more to it than just a small boat. For example, I now know there is a motor up vs down etiquette when at a boat dock. Thanks!

My question is around tying up the "little boat" and properly securing it at a boat dock. People on this forum expressed theft concerns. Given that I will likely have 5 - 10k in a dingy (boat and motor), I thought this was a good issue.

How do you handle tying it up? Do you use a simple rope or some sort of locking mechanism? I am sure everyone wants to get back to the dock and find their dingy and this is a problem long solved.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 28-09-2020, 14:11   #2
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Re: Dingy question

Hello Vizsla_Buddy,

Many cruisers use a pvc coated s/s cable with thimbles in each end, or a chain, with a lock to lock up their dinghies in risky areas. You can sew up a bag for it.

It depends on where you're cruising, the kinds of modifications you want to add to your dinghy. We have a RIB, with an aluminum hull, and have added port and starboard stern cleats. Some places where we tie up, we need to use a stern anchor out to hold the dinghy off, and secure the stern anchor at one of those cleats. Sometimes we want to tie the dinghy athwart our stern, and the stern lines are useful for that. But it really depends on where you are located and how you want to use the dinghy. We use ours sort of like a pickup truck, toting *stuff*: laundry, groceries, heating fuel. Whatever needs to come to the mother boat, comes via dinghy.

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Old 28-09-2020, 14:45   #3
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Re: Dingy question

We have something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-bra...329219&sr=8-45

With something like this on each end.

https://www.amazon.com/ABUS-T84MB-40...329315&sr=8-26

Attached to one of the holes in the plate under the inflatable on the bow on our Highfield.

https://www.highfieldboats.com/wp-co...1-1024x683.jpg

It has worked for us for two years, though the end "permanently" attached to the boat is QUITE rusty, both the lock and the length of cable down there. I should probably replace it in the spring when we put back in. It's all cheap enough it could probably be replaced much more frequently but, *shrug*, it still works?
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Old 29-09-2020, 19:38   #4
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Re: Dingy question

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
We have something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-bra...329219&sr=8-45

With something like this on each end.

https://www.amazon.com/ABUS-T84MB-40...329315&sr=8-26

Attached to one of the holes in the plate under the inflatable on the bow on our Highfield.

https://www.highfieldboats.com/wp-co...1-1024x683.jpg

It has worked for us for two years, though the end "permanently" attached to the boat is QUITE rusty, both the lock and the length of cable down there. I should probably replace it in the spring when we put back in. It's all cheap enough it could probably be replaced much more frequently but, *shrug*, it still works?
Thanks.
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Old 29-09-2020, 20:59   #5
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Re: Dingy question

Whatever you, please don't be a jerk and lock your dinghy to a busy dinghy dock in places with no dinghy theft - like the Family Islands in the Bahamas.

You'll be very unpopular among the other cruisers who then have to climb over your dinghy's because your too short lock cable doesn't allow them room to tie up.

I cruise from Maine to the Bahamas. I carry a lock in the dinghy but only used it twice last year. I've never had a dinghy stolen in 40 years of cruising in these waters.
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Old 29-09-2020, 22:05   #6
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Re: Dingy question

Lock or no lock, on a crowded dock you should leave at least 10í of painter so that there is room for others to tie up. By tying up with a short painter you leave little room for others to squeeze in. At busy docks, done correctly, the dinghys might be 3 deep and youíll need to climb through them to get to yours, but who cares, youíve extended the courtesy so others can park their small boats too.
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Old 29-09-2020, 23:09   #7
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Re: Dingy question

in our part of the world we rarely need to lock the dink...maybe if leaving it overnight is all

when we do lock it, we tend to use a bike cable but it can be a bit short sometimes.

others use custom made stainless steel cable & padlock. this can be as long as you like

of course anything can be cut and you can only stop the honest folk

btw : i echo above comments about keeping in mind other people when you lock it in place

cheers,
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Old 30-09-2020, 02:33   #8
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Re: Dingy question

I have a 10í long piece of stainless steel cable with eyes spiced into both ends and a combo padlock. Itís quite thin and flexible so someone could easily cut it with wire cutters. But it doesnít take up much room and would thwart a casual thief. Because itís thin it can fit through the hole in the middle of some dock cleats. I have only used it once because another dinghy was reported stolen in my harbor but it turned out to be a false alarm.

Another thing you can do is make your dinghy and outboard distinctive so a thief would know it can be easily identified. For example, my black mercury outboard has gray paint below the waterline and my dinghy storage compartment and floor has areas of tread master. If I were sailing in an area where I thought dinghy theft was a real problem Iíd probably do something more obvious like spray painting my outboard cowling a bright color. The point is you donít want your dinghy and motor to look like they just came from the factory.

One thing you mentioned is keeping your motor ripped down at the dinghy dock. Thatís one of my pet peeves when people leave them up so the sharp edges of their prop are exposed. But once I get out to my boat I try to remember to raise it to help discourage marine growth from getting too much of a foothold. That seems to help a lot so at the end of the season itís easy to clean off.
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Old 30-09-2020, 04:01   #9
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Re: Dingy question

I don’t get the cable thing, surely a reasonable length of chain makes a more secure and sensible locking painter..
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Old 30-09-2020, 04:13   #10
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Re: Dingy question

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Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
I donít get the cable thing, surely a reasonable length of chain makes a more secure and sensible locking painter..
Well maybe, Olaf,

But then you would have to carry a bunch of chain in your dinghy - and dinghies are small enough!

(And need room for groceries, laundry, jerry cans of diesel, boat supplies, etc.)

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Old 30-09-2020, 04:23   #11
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Re: Dingy question

Chain painter with an easily made canvas slide on cover works well.

Do not use a combination lock as it requires a flash light to unlock at
0 dark 30.


ON deck is safest when anchored out.
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Old 30-09-2020, 04:28   #12
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Re: Dingy question

Quote:
Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
I donít get the cable thing, surely a reasonable length of chain makes a more secure and sensible locking painter..


Ever try to cut one of these?

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4704.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	32.5 KB
ID:	224405

Bolt cutters usually mangle them, hacksaws take forever. Equal or greater time to defeat compared to a chain.
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Old 30-09-2020, 04:49   #13
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Re: Dingy question

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Ever try to cut one of these?

Attachment 224405

Bolt cutters usually mangle them, hacksaws take forever. Equal or greater time to defeat compared to a chain.
I have some rigging wiire cutters in the shed that would cut through that in a second..

The truth is, wire or chain will only keep your friends away, the trick is to encourage the nasties to move on to the next boat..
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Old 30-09-2020, 10:54   #14
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Re: Dingy question

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Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
I don’t get the cable thing, surely a reasonable length of chain makes a more secure and sensible locking painter..
Chain is a bit more bulky and heavy, but I think it's another pretty good option. Since it's such small chain and wouldn't be too expensive I think I'd opt for stainless steel chain rather than galvanized. An added advantage to using chain is that it could be shackled between your dinghy anchor and rode to add weight and protect the rode from chafe when anchoring.

I'm not sure either chain or wire rope is either more sensible or more secure. Neither can be broken by a thief's bare hands so both will work and both can pretty easily be cut by a thief equipped with a small boltcutter. They mostly just discourage amateur, "impulse stealing" thieves so it's easier to steal someone else's dinghy rather than yours.
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Old 30-09-2020, 11:56   #15
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Re: Dingy question

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Whatever you, please don't be a jerk ...
Thank you. The intent was certainly not to "be a jerk" but to understand and learn from the group's experience.

My take-a-way is that this is really a non issue. I love the idea of simply a "camouflage" or the opposite (bright paint) a new dingy so discourage use.

One more thought along this line ... do any of you put your boat name on the dingy? (Something I never thought about before but with a stencil and spray paint ....)
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