07 June 2007 | FKG
Two things used to require a bit to much exertion on our boat. Raising the main (check) and bringing the dink aboard.
Getting our Walker Bay onto the aft deck used to require manually lifting the 8 HP off of the dinghy transom and loading it into the lazarette or stowing it on the rail of the big boat. Not easy on the joints for us old folks.
We had originally tried to hoist the dink with the retractable davits. It worked fine but our davit retraction line doesn't run too fair through the arch and makes it pretty impossible to lift much more than the Walker Bay empty. Putting the dink away turned into quite a chore. Take the motor off and put it away, clip in the dink, raise it up, and strap it down. My strap down system involved looping some nylon strapping around the swim platform pipe and other mumbo jump that took a fair amount of time to adjust.
We have revolutionized this whole mess. FKG set us up with a nice Lewmar 4 part block and tackle and we have welded eyes onto the swim platform pipe and the davit verticals near the bottom.
We can now tilt up the outboard on Little Star, haul it up on the block and tackle rig, bring the davit in, and drop it on the chocks. To strap it down I just clip two come alongs to the four hard points and ratchet them down. Awesome.
The only thing I'd do different is that I would get blocks with jammers (I still may). FKG welded some nice cleats on the davit so we cleat off the lines once the dink is in the air. This is trickier than it sounds on the heavy end. Jammers would let you just heave and go.
P.S. Easy dingy stowage has been a snap for us since the upgrade. We are in Saint Lucia now and even in anchorages where we get in at sunset and leave a dawn we have no second thoughts about dropping the dinghy for a quick ashore. I also don't have to stow the gas tank or unlock the outboard security setup. We drop it in the water and it's ready to go.