Upgrade your boat with a new dinghy davit system to make launching and retrieving your dinghy or tender easier and safer, allowing you to explore the open sea with your family.
Installing a New Dinghy Davit System
Welcome to another informative article in our Boat Modifications and Upgrades section. Today, we will be discussing the installation of a new dinghy davit system on your boat. This is an essential upgrade for those who are planning to set sail and explore the world with their families. A reliable and efficient davit system will make your life easier when it comes to launching and retrieving your dinghy or tender.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the following topics:
- What is a Dinghy Davit System?
- Types of Dinghy Davit Systems
- Choosing the Right Davit System for Your Boat
- Preparing for Installation
- Step-by-Step Installation Guide
- Maintenance and Troubleshooting
What is a Dinghy Davit System?
A dinghy davit system is a mechanical device used to lift, lower, and store a dinghy or tender on a larger vessel. It is an essential piece of equipment for those who plan to spend extended periods of time on the water, as it allows for easy and safe transportation of the dinghy to and from the water.
Dinghy davits come in various designs and materials, but their primary function is to provide a secure and convenient method of handling your dinghy or tender. They can be mounted on the stern, transom, or side of your boat, depending on the type of davit system and your boat’s design.
Types of Dinghy Davit Systems
There are several types of dinghy davit systems available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common types:
Manual davits are the simplest and most affordable option. They typically consist of a set of arms or brackets that are mounted to the boat and use a block and tackle system to lift and lower the dinghy. These systems require physical effort to operate but are generally reliable and easy to maintain.
Electric davits use an electric winch to lift and lower the dinghy, making the process much easier and more convenient. These systems are more expensive than manual davits but offer a higher level of convenience and ease of use. They can be operated with a remote control or a switch located on the boat.
Hydraulic davits are the most advanced and expensive option. They use a hydraulic pump and cylinder to lift and lower the dinghy, providing a smooth and effortless operation. These systems are often found on larger yachts and require professional installation and maintenance.
Transom davits are mounted on the transom (the flat surface at the back of the boat) and are designed to lift the dinghy vertically out of the water. These systems are popular on sailboats and powerboats with limited deck space.
Side-mount davits are mounted on the side of the boat and are designed to lift the dinghy horizontally out of the water. These systems are more common on larger vessels with ample deck space.
Choosing the Right Davit System for Your Boat
When selecting a dinghy davit system for your boat, there are several factors to consider:
Boat Size and Design: The size and design of your boat will determine the type of davit system that is most suitable. Smaller boats with limited deck space may require a transom-mounted system, while larger vessels with ample deck space can accommodate side-mount or hydraulic systems.
Dinghy Size and Weight: The size and weight of your dinghy will also play a role in determining the appropriate davit system. Ensure that the system you choose is capable of handling the weight of your dinghy and any additional equipment or passengers.
Budget: Dinghy davit systems can range in price from a few hundred dollars for a basic manual system to several thousand dollars for a hydraulic system. Determine your budget and choose a system that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Ease of Use: Consider how often you will be using your dinghy and how important ease of use is to you. If you plan to use your dinghy frequently, an electric or hydraulic system may be worth the investment.
Installation and Maintenance: Some davit systems require professional installation and ongoing maintenance, while others can be installed by a handy boat owner. Consider your level of expertise and willingness to perform maintenance when selecting a system.
Preparing for Installation
Before installing your new dinghy davit system, there are a few preparatory steps to take:
Inspect Your Boat: Ensure that your boat is structurally sound and capable of supporting the weight of the davit system and dinghy. Check for any signs of damage or weakness in the area where the davit system will be mounted.
Gather Tools and Materials: You will need a variety of tools and materials for the installation process, including a drill, wrenches, marine sealant, and stainless steel hardware. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for a complete list of required tools and materials.
Choose a Location: Determine the best location for your davit system based on your boat’s design and the type of system you have chosen. Ensure that the location provides adequate clearance for the dinghy to be lifted and lowered without obstruction.
Measure and Mark: Measure and mark the mounting locations for the davit system, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Double-check your measurements to ensure accuracy.
Step-by-Step Installation Guide
While the specific installation process will vary depending on the type of davit system you have chosen, here is a general step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Assemble the Davit System: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the davit system, ensuring that all components are securely fastened and properly aligned.
Mount the Davit System: Position the davit system on your boat, aligning the mounting holes with the marks you made earlier. Use marine sealant on the mounting bolts to prevent water intrusion and corrosion. Tighten the bolts securely, ensuring that the davit system is firmly attached to the boat.
Attach the Lifting Lines: Attach the lifting lines to the dinghy, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the lines are properly secured and evenly distributed to prevent the dinghy from tilting or swinging during the lifting process.
Test the Davit System: Test the davit system by lifting and lowering the dinghy, ensuring that it operates smoothly and securely. Make any necessary adjustments to the lifting lines or davit system components to ensure proper operation.
Secure the Dinghy: Once the davit system is functioning correctly, secure the dinghy in its stowed position using the provided straps or tie-downs. Ensure that the dinghy is securely fastened and will not shift or move during transit.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and proper operation of your dinghy davit system. Here are some maintenance tips and troubleshooting advice:
Inspect the Davit System Regularly: Check for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage on the davit system components, lifting lines, and mounting hardware. Replace any damaged or worn parts as needed.
Lubricate Moving Parts: Apply a marine-grade lubricant to any moving parts, such as pulleys, winches, and hinges, to ensure smooth operation and prevent corrosion.
Check the Lifting Lines: Inspect the lifting lines for signs of wear or damage, and replace them as needed. Ensure that the lines are properly secured and evenly distributed to prevent the dinghy from tilting or swinging during the lifting process.
Troubleshooting: If you encounter any issues with your davit system, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting advice. Common issues include difficulty lifting or lowering the dinghy, uneven weight distribution, or excessive noise during operation.
In conclusion, installing a new dinghy davit system on your boat is an essential upgrade for those planning to set sail and explore the world with their families. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a successful installation and enjoy the convenience and security that a reliable davit system provides. Safe travels and happy sailing!