Vicki and I like a quite anchorage “away from the madding crowd” it can be lovely in an anchorage alone but the down side of this is the need for a dinghy to get ashore. With our last smaller yacht we had a 8ft flat bottom roll-up which we stowed in the quarter berth when not in use. Being flat bottomed we could get very wet going ashore in strong winds.
Also with Elektra being on a swing mooring we needed a dinghy at both ends of the passage.
Our last yacht was on a deep mooring in the Helford River and we used a 10ft Boston Whaler to get from HRSC pontoon to our mooring. Having bought Elektra and moved our mooring to Gillan Harbour we found the BW to be far too heavy to pull out on a launching trolly and pull up a stoney beach. So I saw and bought a 10’6″aliminum RIB which was great. Later on that summer a customer sold me a 9ft inflatible RIB, things were getting mad, though the year I had gone from two punts to four! So I sold the Boston Whaler on ebay, getting what I paid for it 10 years before.
We were still using the roll-up on away trips and the ali RIB as a punt to and from Elektra’s swing mooring. We liked the inflatible RIB but it was to heavy pull out the water and roll-up, we had towed it on a few passages but we didnt like doing so. We had gone back to using the 8ft flat bottom roll-up. The inflatible RIB had eyes for davitts, this got me thinking as we have friends who have also fitted davitts.
Looking on the internet I found davitts to take 120kg for £300, the dinghy was no where near as heavy as that! I have never been very quick at making up my mind and it was the end of Feb 2019 when I ordered them. It wasnt until they arrived that I could see I was going to have to get a pair of davitt holders made to bolt though the stern. Having enquired about these I found this wasnt going to be early enough to fit before the 2019 season. So we continued as before for another sailing season.
In October 2019 having made a template I ordered the davitt holders to be made, another £280 plus nuts and bolts and sicoflex took the total bill just over £600.
Then came the wet and windy weather of that winter, it wasnt until Feb 2020 I thought of doing any winter boat work. With Elektra being pulled out for her new engine to be fitted at the end of February now seemed a good time. I needed a small person (Vicki) to get in the cockpit locker to hold the nuts as I turned the bolts in from the outside, we had to reverse rolls for the starbroard side as Vicki’s arms were not long enough when lying on her back on the quarter berth.
It was then I noticed my blunder, I had told the guy who made the holders the location pin 90 degrees out! Being a carpenter by trade I used wood plug extentions to get them to work the first time. These were never going to be strong enough and broke durring first use but I needed to work out heights over the rudder. Then I took them to my stainless guy for them to be lengthened by 60mm, another £40! It seems the davitts are made of 40mm tube but british size is 38mm! Anyway the extention was hidden inside the davitt holders once fitted so didnt matter in the end.
It was a long winded job to do but now having sailed Elektra out in force 6 wind with our dinghy on her davitts without any problems, I am more than happy with the final finished job. I think if I was to do the job again I would have the davitts and holders made together locally.
I have now just sold my aliminum RIB via facebook marketplace for £700, so that paid for the davitts then.