Saturday, June 26, 2010
When we are offshore, our skiff/dinghy will be carried securely lashed down on the aft deck. We made the aft section of rail removable so it can hang over the swim step a bit if necessary. The boat would be launched and recovered from the deck using a boom lift off the aft mast. In protected waters or calm seas we wanted a safe way to easily pluck the skiff out of the water without a lot of hassle. When we cruised up through British Columbia a couple of years ago, we found that we would have to launch and recover our skiff at least once a day for fishing, going ashore, etc. With a crane or boom lift this becomes kind of a hassle. So for this new boat I designed a stern davit that pivots off the transom and (if all goes as planned) will have the geometry to allow us to put the dinghy in the water right aft of the swim step with one 90 degree drop of the davit. It will be operated off the vessels hydraulic system (using hydraulic cylinders or a simple hydraulic winch) with some type of manual back-up. In the up position it will hold the skiff close in above the swim step where it can be well secured, but with enough headroom to not be in the way or block the aft steps. In the down position, it will put the skiff in the water right aft of the stern and allow easy access in and out of the skiff from the swim step. I'm still working out the design of the davit frame- what you see in the pictures is a mock-up (without the davit arms) that we used as a jig to weld on the lower stainless hinge points. We'll have to wait until we get our skiff/dinghy to finalize the rest of the design.