Dinghy Storage

Hello Steve and Linda: As part of the crew aboard a Deerfoot 61, I will be assisting with preparing the vessel for extended cruising. She has a sugar scoop stern which brings her to 63′. My question is where to store the 12′ inflatable dingy. Currently it is hauled out of the forepeak, assembled, inflated and swung over the side using a halyard. The thought of performing this evolution at each anchorage is unappealing. After spending 6 years cruising aboard my own vessel which was equipped with davits I was mindful of the need to launch and retrieve the dingy easily. If we were sailing in protected waters the dingy with outboard hung in the davits. In open waters we removed the motor to the stern rail and snug the dingy up tight. Going to sea the dingy was brought to the foredeck, partially deflated, inverted and lashed down. I have looked over this web site and your book (an older one) and found references to the dingy but not to storage aboard the Deerfoot. Any references or insights would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Don

Hi Don: Dinghy storage is always an issue with lots of tradeoffs. Many boats use davits off the stern nowadays. But as you’ve mentioned, this is usually not a good practice offshore, especially with slower boats which are apt to be caught and passed by lots of waves. It also adds a huge amount of weight at the end of a very long lever arm, and makes upwind and reaching a lot slower and less comfortable (windage is an issue too). The original design for the Deerfoot 61 contemplated the storage of an 11’foot Novurania inflatable between the dorade boxes which are in front of the cockpit coaming–with the bow projecting forward. I’ve forgotten the exact dimensions of these dinks now, but I think they were about 54″ wide and 11’6″ long (we had one aboard BEOWULF until last year). The outboard was stowed in the engine room or on the pushpit. Hope this helps. Regards–Steve Dashew

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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