Hoisting Your Dinhy onto the Deck

It is a well understood fact that the safest way to transport your dinghy long distances is on your deck. The trouble with this is "How do you get it on the deck?"

While davits are wonderful creations to get your dinghy out of the water, it doesn't help get it on your deck. Instead it just lifts your dinghy up and presents it to any boarding waves.

Getting a dinghy on the deck is very easy, and doesn't require the purchase of fancy gadgets because every sailboat comes equipped with a massive crane system: the mast and boom!

You can raise your dinghy by attaching it to a halyard, but this will drag it into your top sides and bang up your yacht. To keep the dinghy off your yacht as you raise it, you can use the boom to help pull it off your boat. For this, you simply need an outhaul attached to the end of the boom that can be used to pull the dinghy along the boom and keep it in position.

Using the mast and boom as your massive dinghy davit, you can easily raise a dinghy above the lifelines, slide it towards the mast, and then swing the boom in to bring the dinghy over the deck. Winches will allow you to raise heavy dinghies with ease as you are able to use all your sail handling lines.

To carry this procedure out, you will only need two additional lines on hand. One will be the outhaul, the other will be a preventer.

The outhaul will be run from the mast (or wherever your main halyard winch is located) to the end of the boom and back towards the halyard that is doing the lifting. It helps to splice a thimble to the outhaul line that is large enough to slip the halyard shackle through it. This outhaul can be adjusted to control the position of the halyard along the boom, granting you the ability to slide the hanging dinghy in and out on the boom.

The preventer will pull the boom forward while the mainsheet will pull the boom aft. With these two control lines, you can position the boom out over the side of the boat without worrying about it swinging back and forth as the dinghy is raised.

These two lines are easy to manufacture and stow on the boat, making a cabin top dinghy easy to manage, launch, and retrieve.