Things that Work: Dinghy Sling

I bought a 9-foot inflatable dinghy to take cruising, intending to carry it in davits when island-hopping. Its plywood transom had a secure attachment point for a davit hoist line, but there was no provision for hoisting the forward end. I tried attaching lift lines to the port and starboard towing rings, but realized they would chafe the tubes over time and might stress the glued-on D-rings.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
 This easy-to-make lifting strap makes it a cinch to lift the dinghy in the davits without putting stress on the glued-on towing rings

This easy-to-make lifting strap makes it a cinch to lift the dinghy in the davits without putting stress on the glued-on towing rings

I bought a 9-foot inflatable dinghy to take cruising, intending to carry it in davits when island-hopping. Its plywood transom had a secure attachment point for a davit hoist line, but there was no provision for hoisting the forward end. I tried attaching lift lines to the port and starboard towing rings, but realized they would chafe the tubes over time and might stress the glued-on D-rings. So I designed a wraparound lifting strap, which works well.

The strap is made of heavy-duty 3½in nylon webbing covered with some chafe-resistant material my canvas shop had lying around. It passes around the entire front end of the dinghy, with a seamed joint at the sides to shift the angle so that it lays flat against the tubes. The ends overlap on top—amidships, level with the flotation tube tops a foot or so abaft the bow—and are strongly stitch-bonded together, making a sturdy joint through which I installed the eyebolt to which the davit hoist line clips. To prevent the sling from slipping forward, it is lashed to the dinghy’s port and starboard towing rings. The strap’s eyebolt is also tensioned with a line that runs aft through the transom’s midship attachment point and is brought up tight with a rolling hitch.

Although the lifting sling can be easily removed, I find it convenient to just leave it on when the dinghy is in the water. In fact, when the dink is tied behind the boat I habitually clip on the davit line as a second “safety painter.” As an added bonus, whenever rainwater collects in the dinghy below its transom drain, I can drain it in a minute by lifting the bow with the davit line.

Photos by Tor Pinney

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more