Davits are a convenient attachment that will allow you to raise your dinghy out of the water behind your boat. They hang out over the stern like crane arms and allow you to pull the dinghy straight up. When you are ready to launch the dinghy, all you have to do is release the davit lines and lower the dinghy back in.
Davits are convenient but they suffer two major flaws. Their first flaw is that the dinghy now is hanging behind your boat right side up. If you are in a following sea, you risk a boarding wave filling the dinghy with water that will rapidly add a significant amount of weight to the back of your boat. This usually results in the davits being bent or ripped off the back of your boat as your dinghy plummets into the sea behind you. Now, you are dragging a drogue of your mangled davits and dinghy.
The second flaw with davits is they are expensive. Cheap davits are a few hundred dollars and are not worth the money. I purchased some very inexpensive Davits to raise my dinghy out of the water. The arms were too short so the dinghy kept hitting the transom on its way up; and the purchase system was so puny that I couldn't raise a simple 80 pound dinghy. More expensive davits solve these issues by having much longer arms that hold the dinghy further from the boat to solve the transom clearance issues. They also have better purchase systems and sometimes, even a winch system to crank the dinghy right up. These better systems will not cost you hundreds, but instead, thousands of dollars!
So, you decided that you don't want to carry your dinghy like a bucket waiting to be filled with water behind your boat, and you also don't want to fork over thousands of dollars. What else can you do?
The answer is easy! All you need to do is store the dinghy on your deck. If you are coastal, you can keep the dinghy right side up. If you are offshore, simply flip the dinghy over to keep it from being filled with water by a boarding wave. Now, how do you get the dinghy onto your deck?
Your mast and boom are capable of serving more purposes than just holding your sails. They can also be used as your own oversized davit system. All you will need to do is add a length of rope to act as an outhaul. That's it!
In the dinghy, you just need three small lines that run to the two stern corners and one to the bow ring. These are standard on all dinghies and referred to as the lifting rings. The three lines are led to the halyards shackle, allowing you to pick the dinghy up from a single point. It is important to custom tie the lines so that the weight of the dinghy is balanced and the dinghy hangs level. Remember, most of the weight in a boat is located by the stern, so the bow line will be a bit long and the stern lines a bit short.