WHEN A BOAT IS LARGE ENOUGH for even the occasional overnight, the need for a dinghy becomes almost manda- tory. But where do you put that all-important link to shore for lunch, dinner, shopping for supplies, walking the dog, seeing the sights, exploring the shoreline, or visiting neighboring boats? Fortunately, when it comes to davits, we have many choices to suit
needs and budgets. Considering the variables when comparing davit systems,
and finding the best system may take some research, but there
are solutions to fit every boat. The goal is to find the one that
works best for your boat and makes your day on the water
easy and fun.
Whether you have an express cruiser, trawler, sport cruiser, picnic
boat, or other style of craft, before you jump in, make a realistic assessment of your dinghy because its size, weight, and that of its outboard
will have a significant impact on davit choices. While a large rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with a 50-hp outboard might be great fun on the family
vacation, there are likely serious limitations for a davit system to fit such
a boat. Dinghy size and weight may impact trim, performance, and
the structural integrity of your mother ship. While some boat owners
get around this by towing their large dinghy, it’s not a safe or practical
solution for anything more than a short hop
from one anchorage to another. TowBoatU.S.
and the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Program
get dozens of calls each year after a towed
dinghy has done damage to itself or the boat
Keith Olver of davit manufacturer KATO
Marine says the question of what dinghy
you want comes with an important caveat.
“It’s harder for us to design for what owners
want, rather than selecting a dinghy for what
is possible.” If you’ve already got a dinghy,
you may be able to build a system to fit it.
If not, the next step is to find a system that
works for your boat type, knowing that the
system you choose will box in the size and
weight of the dinghy.
Tradi Tional davi T arMS
Davit arms work best on boats with vertical transoms or sterns with railings strong
enough to be the basis of support for the
davit arms, such as a lobster boat or trawler-style cruiser. The arms mount onto the top
DEALING WITH YOUR DINGHY
If dinghy storage is lacking on your boat, the wide range of
davits now available can offer a solution By Bill ParlaTore
PRACTICAL BOATER | DO IT YOURSELF
have a dinghy?
best davit sys-
tem that fits
your boat and
of dinghy. P H