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Winching your engine off the dinghy?

Jul 27, 2011
3,575
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Nothing growing on the bottom of mine, and this is so for most folks around here.
The bottom does not have to be dirty to slow you down pulling a 150# to >200# dink + engine, etc. It can cost as much as a knot even under power. Under power you MIGHT be able to throttle up some to compensate. Not under sail. You’re stuck with it all day unless the wind picks up some; maybe. On a 60 n.mi. run, the difference between VMG of 6, instead of 7, kt is about 1 and a half hr. For 600 n.mi., the cost is an extra day’s run, etc.

One has to figure the “cost” in diesel-engine horse power (even if there is a generator running at times). Whenever the batteries are charging via the alternator some horse power is removed from thrust, etc. Running refrigeration?, autopilot?, radar?, navigation electronics?, charging cell phones? adds up throughout a day. In addition to that, the diesel has to push the boat and pull the dink, if under power, which will likely be a lot of the time if going down the ICW.
 
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Nov 18, 2010
2,325
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
I found reading the responses to be quiet entertaining.

Here is my perspective. I probably have about 20k NM towing our dinghy. It's a 9.5 foot aluminum RIB. For most of that time we had a 9.8 hp 2-stroke Tahatsu, it is by far the most bang for the weight in motors weighing only 57 pounds. Most of the time the engine was on the rail with the home made cross bar setup shown in a previous post, cost me under $75 to make, similar to what Ralph showed. For the bridle we used a double bridle setup. One to the two D rings and one to the welded attachment on the hull. Both bridles had two points going back to Smitty. It took a little practice to get the lines spaced right and not chafing. We towed from Maine to the BVI like that. For some of the bigger crossing, we used the Dinghy Sling to get the dinghy out if the water and gain a little speed. But most of the time we towed simply because cruising with a dog means that at a minimum you are going to shore in the morning and in the evening.

While in the USVI we upgraded to a Suzuki 15 hp 4-stroke with fuel injection. This is probably the lightest 4 stroke you can get at 97 pounds. A Yamaha 2-stroke in this size is 85 pounds. We also added an arch for a large solar panel and as davits (post soon come). But we towed the dinghy with the big engine on it for probably a thousand miles. This includes in the Trades, during Christmas Winds, sometimes with seas as big as 12 feet. On several trips to St. Croix we towed the dinghy, it's only about 50 NM but almost all of it is in open water. For work I would tow up to a 16 foot RIB with a 25 hp 4-stroke with electric start and a battery. Thousands of miles doing that.

We have never once flipped our dinghy. We have never lost our dinghy. We have never had any real issues. But it did slow us, almost a knot. Like I mentioned we now have davits. This decision was based on first adding a big solar panel, second security of the dinghy from left and third getting that knot back. Yes we use the davits offshore with the engine on but that is a post for another day.

Now if I were @Pumkinpie I would look at the Dinghy Sling from Harbormen. If you poke around my blog you will see my write up. It's also in a past issue of Mainsheet. With the dingy you describe this will be a perfect fit to lift the dinghy flat against your transom and get it out of the water for longer passages without having to add any hardware.

For the motor, I would get the nylon lifting handle. You could use that with a halyard to help lift the engine off the dinghy and put it on the boat. You could even add an opening block to the boom to help with this. Something like this mounted near the aft end of the boom to hold and guide the halyard. This would turn your boom into an engine crane for maybe $50 ($200 if you had the yard install it). Just line up the spot on the boom with the spot where you will store the dinghy.

Now for engine storage, the easiest answer would be to put it in your lazarette. But that's valuable storage space for other stuff. And the engine might not fit. So if I was going to use the rail I would probably start with buying the good Edison rail mount. If I recall correctly that has an intergrated cleat on the rail, if not you could use a soft shackle right on the rail next to the bracket. Make up a block and tackle with an intergrated cam cleat (you probably have something like this for your boom vang if you don't have a rigid vang). Install a folding padeye with a decent backing plate so that you can pull the rail in the opposite direction as the engine. When you put the engine on the rail, you attach the block and tackle and pull on the line slowly until you feel it counteract the engine. You don't want to over pull. I would also take the precaution to put a real backing plate on my rail supports, not just fender washers as might be there. Another option would be to add stainless steel pole supports to do this. But that's more drilling and planning.

With the boom snatch block and padeye approach this would only require 3-4 holes in the boat and 2-4 holes in the boom (then tapping those holes).

Let me know if you need anymore details.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
 
Jul 27, 2011
3,575
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I found reading the responses to be quiet entertaining.
Yes they are entertaining. I used to tow almost exclusively, but I don't anymore b/c it slows me down and the dink is not secure from theft in the water? Going to sea--you could do it, but maybe it's a good idea to pull it up using slings, or davits (which is what I do now with my heavier 15-hp engine)? Nothing bad ever happened towing my own dink or an even larger, heavier RIB as a maritime professional, so you can do it too with yours even in view of the fact you've not done stuff like this before? By the way; yes, it might be a good idea to be able to lift the outboard off the dink and stow it somewhere aboard, etc? Which is the origin of this thread.

Sounds like you're making most of the same arguments about certain undesirability of towing that others have been making. Nice to have the perspective of so much experience!!
 
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May 24, 2004
6,113
CC 30 South Florida
Just identify the location where you need to drill, place some masking tape down and drill through the masking tape to prevent cracking the Gel-Coat. Use a bit just a little larger than the bolts you will be utilizing. Don't worry you will not sink the boat.
 
Dec 29, 2008
721
Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch St. Croix, Virgin Islands
We use our boom, with a set of blocks to hoist out 149# 20HP motor up and over the rail. I made a harness for the motor.
 
Dec 29, 2008
721
Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch St. Croix, Virgin Islands
For lifting I have thought of but have not fabricated as of yet an arm which would easily connect to the boom and extend far enough back to be used as a engine/MOB recovery lift.
We use the boom as the MOB recovery lift. We swing it out over the side to lift them up, over the lifeline, and onto the deck.
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
3,515
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
It does not mean that the loss or abandonment of the dinghy, should that occur, will shut down your cruise. You'd just have to acquire another one along the way. :doh:
If you can afford to be in a marina slip every time you want to go ashore or have the budget to walk into a marine chandler and pay top dollar for a new dink and motor, your cruise is not going to mean sitting on the boat hailing passing dinghies for a ride ashore and waiting at the dinghy dock begging rides back; a real pain.
However, unless you are unusually lucky (and if you are run out and pick up a lotto ticket) finding a replacement dink and motor is no easy task. Few folks are selling great used dinks in the middle of the season, so at best you'll probably find some beat up, old, leaky inflatable or RIB without a motor or one that is a headache. Buying one of those certainly won't add to the pleasure of your summer cruise.
 
Jul 27, 2011
3,575
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
For many years, I nearly always carried two dinks and two outboards. Not equal, of course. But if I lost the principal one, or its outboard stopped working, I’d have a back up. One has to decide where the weak links are for a successful cruise and service them first. A roll up 8.5’ (less expensive PVC) inflatable w/a 2 to 4 hp outboard stowed below as back up to the main one would come before many other things people think they need to be “well outfitted.” Right now I have 3 dinks and 3 outboards, but lately I’m carrying just the 9.5’ inflatable RIB w/the 5-hp Tohatsu (4 stroke). It depends on where I’m cruising, and what services are near, what I carry. There are always dinks and outboards on craigslist. True, some may be a bit worn out, etc. But not all of them.
 
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May 2, 2019
241
Hunter 38 St. Pete Florida
@ Captain Larry I think it's possible this could work. They are located in Canada and not 100% sure if they're still in business. If I could rig this up and place the dink on the forward deck then I'm one happy fellow!