Monday, April 28, 2014

Installing the Dinghy Davits

 Ron was able to make it home for a full 46 hours this weekend and with his busy and highly unpredicatable schedule we decided to head to the boat and work on the davits. The pictures may show a nice, sunny day but we had major wind gusts and a measly 45 degree high for the day. Quite miserable really.

As our projects usually do, this one started out with a pretty good amount of cursing and frustration. Apparently our install options were somewhat limited due to the curve on the back of the boat - the further apart the davits were the closer the dinghy would be to the back of the boat and the trickier it would be to raise/lower the dinghy. Plus the rails gave us only a couple options of places to attach the davits to as well. I'm not really sure on the specifics here, I just tried to stay away from the cursing until I was needed. Well, that and I really have no skill or interest in these shenanigans. Luckily the captain has both and took one for the team.

Why is it the first part is always so difficult?!
The first attachment point went okay until the backing plate wouldn't fit over the screws and had to be redrilled a little. This was only made worse by the fact that Ron was crammed in the rear storage area in an awkward and uncomfortable position. Meanwhile I was freezing on the ladder off the back with a screw driver in hand waiting to hold the screws in place while he put the nuts on. I'm happy to report all the other backing plates fit fine. Whew!

Butyl tape on mounting hardware
A couple weeks back I ordered some butyl tape to use for rebedding one of our genoa tracks that has a slight leak and figured this would be the thing to use for this project as well. It basically helps ensure a water tight seal so we don't discover down the road that water is getting into the boat and causing issues. Hence the reason we need to rebed the genoa track, water (albeit a small amount) is getting under the track and causing some wetness in the deck. Down the road this could lead to structural issues and major repair costs...things we'd like to avoid.
I read a blog post from Dani over at Sundowner Sails Again and learned from her experience to not mess around with the cheap stuff. I'm glad I didn't because, although I'm sure the 45 degree temps were probably a little low to be putting on the good stuff, who knows how the cheap stuff would have fared. This stuff is sticky, and even in the cold temps was still very flexible and workable. Thanks for the advice Dani, I now totally understand your slight obsession with this stuff!
First arm on

Once we got the first arm on things started to go better and our moods improved.
After witnessing our good friends' davit debacle a couple years ago, we decided to go with the larger sized stainless steel davits from Garhauer that they ultimately ended up upgrading to (I think ours are 1 1/4" instead of 1"...Ron, Jessica...want to confirm this?). Anywho, each arm can hold up to 350lbs so between our 75lb dinghy, a 50(ish) pound solar panel and anything else we might have in the dinghy when on the davits, we shouldn't be anywhere near approaching the maximum limit. Plus, Ron assures me that unless I gain a lot of weight, I can do pull-ups on the cross bar. Yippee.
Our setup also came with some other reinforcements for the rail, which makes me feel better. Plus, they double as good handrails for the ladder.

I snapped this picture as I ran to the truck to warm up, ready to go!
It was so cold that I didn't dare try to get a coat of cetol in the exterior wood, which kinda bummed me out. But I did get poly coat #3 on the floor so it could have been worse.
SOOOO glad this day is done!


  1. Gotta be nice to have such a big project done! :)

  2. I think i'll be in the water before I get a chance to varnish this year. What are you using that goes down below 50 degrees for application or are you heating the cabin?

    1. Just using Minwax poly inside. So far it hasn't been below 50 when putting any coats on...although this past weekend may have been pushing it slightly, but the sun helped warm the cabin too. It was probably just below 50 at worst.

  3. Hey! Glad to see another butyl lover out there:). You'll want to make sure you tighten the screws or bolts down after a while as the butyl will soften ESPECIALLY when it heats up. Looks awesome!

    1. Thanks for the tip, we'll be sure to do soon as it actually warms up again!

  4. I believe you have 1 1/4" inch. Just like what we have. Or, what we upgraded to after Ron broke our 1" bars. ;)