Building a dinghy davit system
Building a dinghy davit system

Discover how to build your own dinghy davit system and ensure a reliable and efficient way to store and launch your dinghy while exploring the open sea with your family.

Building a Dinghy Davit System

Welcome to another informative article in our Boat Modifications and Upgrades section. Today, we will be discussing a popular DIY boat project: building a dinghy davit system. As you embark on your sailing adventures with your family, having a reliable and efficient way to store and launch your dinghy is essential. In this article, we will guide you through the process of building your own dinghy davit system, ensuring that it is both functional and in keeping with the adventurous spirit of our blog.

This comprehensive guide will cover the following topics:

Understanding Dinghy Davit Systems

A dinghy davit system is a mechanical device used to hoist, store, and lower a dinghy on a larger vessel. It is an essential piece of equipment for sailors who want to explore remote locations, anchor in secluded bays, or simply have a convenient way to transport their dinghy. There are several types of dinghy davit systems available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Swim Platform Davits: These davits are mounted on the swim platform of your boat and are ideal for smaller boats with limited space. They are easy to install and use, but may not be suitable for larger or heavier dinghies.

  2. Transom Davits: Transom davits are mounted on the transom (the vertical section at the back of the boat) and are suitable for a wide range of boat sizes. They offer a more secure storage solution for your dinghy but may require additional reinforcement to support the weight.

  3. Deck Davits: Deck davits are mounted on the deck of your boat and can be used to store your dinghy either horizontally or vertically. They are suitable for larger boats with ample deck space and can accommodate larger dinghies.

  4. Arch Davits: Arch davits are mounted on a custom-built arch at the stern of your boat. They are ideal for larger boats with limited deck space and can support heavy dinghies. However, they can be more complex and expensive to install.

Choosing the Right Davit System for Your Boat

Before you begin building your dinghy davit system, it is essential to choose the right type of system for your boat. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  1. Boat Size and Type: The size and type of your boat will determine the most suitable davit system. Smaller boats may benefit from swim platform davits, while larger boats may require transom, deck, or arch davits.

  2. Dinghy Size and Weight: The size and weight of your dinghy will also influence your choice of davit system. Ensure that the system you choose can support the weight of your dinghy and has enough clearance for its dimensions.

  3. Available Space: Consider the available space on your boat for installing a davit system. Swim platform and transom davits require less space, while deck and arch davits may require more room.

  4. Budget: The cost of building a dinghy davit system can vary greatly depending on the type and materials used. Consider your budget when choosing a system and be prepared to invest in quality materials and components for a reliable and long-lasting solution.

Materials and Tools Required

Once you have chosen the right type of dinghy davit system for your boat, it is time to gather the necessary materials and tools. The specific materials required will depend on the type of davit system you have chosen, but some common materials include:

  • Stainless steel or aluminum tubing (for the davit arms)
  • Stainless steel or aluminum brackets and fittings
  • Stainless steel or galvanized steel cables or ropes
  • Pulleys and blocks
  • Cleats or winches
  • Bolts, nuts, and washers
  • Marine-grade adhesive and sealant

In addition to the materials, you will also need the following tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw or pipe cutter
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Wrenches and socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Level
  • Marine-grade grease or lubricant

Building Your Dinghy Davit System

With your materials and tools ready, it is time to start building your dinghy davit system. Follow these general steps to ensure a successful installation:

  1. Measure and Plan: Begin by taking accurate measurements of your boat and dinghy to determine the appropriate dimensions for your davit system. Sketch a plan of your system, including the placement of brackets, fittings, and pulleys.

  2. Cut and Assemble: Cut the tubing to the appropriate lengths for your davit arms and assemble the brackets and fittings. Ensure that all connections are secure and properly aligned.

  3. Install Brackets and Fittings: Attach the brackets and fittings to your boat according to your plan. Use marine-grade adhesive and sealant to ensure a watertight seal and prevent corrosion.

  4. Attach Davit Arms: Attach the davit arms to the brackets and fittings, ensuring that they are level and securely fastened.

  5. Install Pulleys and Blocks: Attach the pulleys and blocks to the davit arms and boat, ensuring that they are properly aligned and securely fastened.

  6. Thread Cables or Ropes: Thread the cables or ropes through the pulleys and blocks, ensuring that they are properly tensioned and free of kinks or twists.

  7. Attach Cleats or Winches: Install cleats or winches to secure the cables or ropes and provide a means of hoisting and lowering your dinghy.

  8. Test Your System: Test your dinghy davit system by hoisting and lowering your dinghy, ensuring that it operates smoothly and securely.

Safety Considerations

When building and using your dinghy davit system, it is essential to prioritize safety. Keep the following safety considerations in mind:

  1. Weight Limits: Ensure that your davit system is designed to support the weight of your dinghy and any additional equipment or passengers.

  2. Secure Fastenings: Regularly inspect and maintain the fastenings on your davit system, ensuring that they are secure and free of corrosion.

  3. Cable and Rope Maintenance: Inspect and maintain the cables or ropes on your davit system, ensuring that they are free of wear, kinks, or fraying.

  4. Safe Operation: Always operate your dinghy davit system with caution, ensuring that all passengers and equipment are clear of the hoisting and lowering mechanisms.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Regular maintenance and troubleshooting are essential for ensuring the longevity and reliability of your dinghy davit system. Keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Lubricate Moving Parts: Regularly lubricate all moving parts, such as pulleys, blocks, and winches, with marine-grade grease or lubricant.

  2. Inspect for Corrosion: Regularly inspect your davit system for signs of corrosion, particularly on stainless steel or aluminum components. Clean and treat any corroded areas as necessary.

  3. Check for Wear: Inspect your davit system for signs of wear, such as frayed cables or ropes, worn pulleys, or loose fastenings. Replace or repair any worn components as necessary.

  4. Troubleshoot Problems: If you encounter any problems with your dinghy davit system, such as difficulty hoisting or lowering your dinghy, carefully inspect the system for any issues and address them as necessary.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can successfully build a reliable and efficient dinghy davit system for your boat. Remember to prioritize safety, choose the right system for your boat, and regularly maintain your system to ensure a long-lasting and enjoyable sailing experience with your family.