Monday, July 16, 2012

Carrying A Dinghy On A Boat

My situation is a little unique.I am building a boat and a dinghy.Carrying one,however,has presented a challenge because of my boat build.Most boats use a davit system and carry the dinghy on the swim platform or transom.Some carry them on the roof.At first,I thought the roof would be a good place,but as pointed out to me on a forum post,it's not.Carrying on the roof can make for a dangerous situation in rough water.It's hard to launch a dinghy while it's swinging on a boom or crane.It could crash into the boat and break stuff.It could break loose and hit someone or sink.In an emergency,the boat could sink before getting the dinghy in the water, taking the dinghy down with it.

Most production boats have a lot of freeboard or height of the sides above the water.The boat I am building doesn't have much freeboard at the transom compared to production boats.Because of my boat's lower freeboard than most, presents some major challenges for carrying a dinghy.I can't run a full width swim platform because my I/O comes through the transom right in the middle of it.This rules out swim platform dinghy lifts.A transom mount davit could possibly work,but it would be of my own design.Production davits wouldn't be able to lift the dinghy high enough to clear the water or I/O,at least none that I have seen.Then there is the issue of carrying the dinghy across the back.The dinghy will be longer than the boat's beam is wide.This could cause problems when in tight marinas or narrow channels.Any of these options would severely limit my rear visibility, thus blocking my transom and preventing my boat's name from being visible to other boats.I do plan to tow my dinghy, on the days I plan to use it,if the weather is good.

Some have suggested that I go with an inflatable or folding Porta boat.I've had issues with inflatables in the past and they are heavy for their size.Some folding boats are a little to flimsy to really carry any weight.I need to be able to carry roughly 800 to 1000 pounds.I don't think it's possible,so two trips to shore will be required.Maybe I could pull a ski tube behind the dinghy with our supplies in it.Wait,I know!I'll toss the kids in the ski tube and put our provisions in the boat.They will love that.

My hull draft will only be 16 to 18 inches,so I could possibly drop anchor and wade to shore.I'm not sure how my significant other and our kids will like that.Got to keep Mama happy,LOL.When I am in a marina,I will more than likely moor the boat, while we go ashore for provisions.If the area will allow for it,I could beach the bow and let everyone off ,moor the boat,and take the dinghy back to meet the family.When we return,I could take the dinghy back to the boat,bring the boat back to shore,and load up.Seems like to much work.Some places will allow boats to temporarily dock for a quick trip to town for supplies.that would be the ultimate solution.

I still have a while to go before I make a final decision on how to carry a dinghy.Until then,I will be looking and watching other boats and how they carry a dinghy.I'm always open to suggestions.

After some discussion on the Trawler Forum,I am considering adding a rear rack to carry my dinghy and to hang the rear canvas enclosure from.I feel that this rack needs to be removable.I only plan to carry the dinghy when I do the Great Loop Cruise.Every where else I will be able to dock or trailer the boat out.Here is what I had in mind for those that are scratching their heads trying to figure out what I am rambling on about.

More info on the boats in the picture can be found at Allweather Boats.

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