Observations & Options
Davits: We have Kato Marine Island Davits. They work fine. However, the built in seating in the rear pulpit made hoisting and stowing the 135# fiberglass Avon RIB an ongoing trial. With a new 78# aluminum hulled RIB from AB, the trial is over not really over. The geometry for lifting the dinghy is no better, and the new RIB has different lift points than the first dinghy making the geometry slightly worse. True it takes less energy to lift the RIB, but the twisting of the tackles led us to replace the center-becket triple blocks with offset becket blocks (with larger axles and more bearings) for a modest improvement. The right answer is the wrong answer — remove the transom seats. [1 June 2014]
Far offshore we carry the dinghy in davits deflated (to allow max lift) and upside down (to prevent rain or green water flooding). While there appears to be room on the foredeck, this is choice number six or more for me. Crawling over it to deal with a foredeck issue is singularly unattractive.
OB Motor Crane: We bought an aluminum Forespar Motor-mate crane. We used it twice and found it insufficient to our needs (We made the decision to go to a larger OB sooner than we expected). We have replaced it with the much more heavily built stainless Garhauer crane (Lifting Davit) with the longest arm. We modified it with a different cleating arrangement that gives us excellent control from a variety of cockpit locations — 180º cleating horizontally and 90º vertically as modified vs straight down-only cleating and perhaps control through 90º degrees horizontally as supplied. Because we mounted it sloping aft, when the motor is on it naturally swings to a position over the RIB transom (with the RIB half down and resting against the boat’s transom). [We now control that swing with an extra tackle shackled near the crane’s top and center of rotation. We ease the inboard tackle to control the motor’s swing outboard and reverse the process when hoisting.]
With a guy line attached at the crane hook, the motor can be easily swung around to the stern pulpit rail after being lifted to the pulpit level. I do think we need a wider motor mount on the stern rail so we can seat the motor sooner at lest risk to our backs, however. The winter will give us time to imagine a solution. [The second tackle obviated this requirement.]