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Date Posted: - Thursday - 02/ 6/14 - 6:56pm
Author: Rob Brown
Subject: Nesting Dinghy Main Boom Raise
I am now the proud owner of Gitana and am preparing her for a trip through the south Pacific! I have a question about dinghies however. I feel I would like a hard one, and my girlfriend wants one that can be sailed which sounds fun. I am thinking that the 8ft nested dinghies would do nicely. However, it will be a very tight squeeze under the main boom. I have seen on Murre that it appears the boom is much higher than on my boat, is this the case, was it raised?? Also, the main sheet tackle seems to be in a 4 point configuration, is this recommend for better sail shape? Thank you all for the advice!
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Murre's Dinghy -- Randall, Murre, M31, - Saturday - 02/ 8/14 - 7:34pm
Congrats on Gitana.
Random thoughts on a rainy weekend afternoon:
I'm with you on the hard dinghies. Murre came with an inflatable, but they are such a pain to row, and I'm not willing to put an outboard on the rail.
Murre's dinghy is a Bolger Tortoise, very easily built from two sheets of 1/4" ply and some 1x2s. She's 6'6", which fits, if barely, between the main mast and the main sheet track that you noted. The main boom was on a short, vertical track, but I've never had any call to raise and lower the boom by a few inches, so I blocked it up in its high position, which allows plenty of room for the dinghy to fit under. Not near the boat at moment, so can't measure for you.
Though it doesn't fit perfectly on the Mariner split coach roof (and what will?), and though it does block some of your view forward, I've grown to love this little dinghy. It's short, but it has tons of free board and can carry me and the wife and stores with ease. Probably the heaviest load I ever carried was three Group 31 deep cell batteries from the quay in Moorea back to the boat w/a guest. No problem. The dinghy has to be a work horse. For example, all your watering in the South Pacific is done via dinghy and water jugs. Heavy stuff in typically windy, choppy anchorages. The tortoise's scow shape means she does pound and spit at you when in chop, but ... oh well.
She weighs about 50lbs (I glassed the outside), so can be hauled aboard by one person.
Google Phil Bolger Tortoise for more if interested. Or buy a used copy of BUILD THE NEW INSTANT BOAT by Harold "Dynamite" Payson. Fun book...even if you don't like the tortoise, there may be other plans in there that would work for you. Plans come w/suggestions for making her a sailing dinghy, which I've never done.
It would be great if she nested, and I've thought many times of cutting her down and putting in bulkheads, but I glassed in the fore and aft seat, which would make nesting difficult.
Also, when looking at nesting dinghies, consider the time it will take to put the two halves together and how/where you will do it on such a crowded ketch-rigged deck. In my opinion, one big advantage of a hard, one piece dinghy is you can have her freed and over the side five minutes after dropping the hook.
You'll want ample rub rails on your dinghy, whatever it is. No matter the tide or wind, hard dinghies seem to come knocking at the hull just at the wrong moment. Also rig a stern painter as well as the painter on the bow. Many uses, only one of which is that it allows you to put them together as a bridle and hoist the dinghy via the main sheet a few feet off the water at night, by way of keeping her nice and quite while you sleep at anchor.
Re the main sheet block and tackle, the four points you notice bring the sheet to an athwartships track. Murre came with, but Bruce on Gitana Vela installed his. Might tag him for advice. Two advantages to a track: 1) it distributes the sheet load across the coach roof top; 2) it allows you to flatten the sail by moving the line of tension from one side to the other of the coach roof. Both nice; neither essential. That said, the main sheet to coach roof attachment can be weak and, I think, potentially a failure point if not braced into the knee/cabin side structure. How will that point behave if you take a really bad jibe or if the sail gets slammed by a wave. Luckily, with our split rig, the sail is already quite small, but something to consider. Others have taken pains (Bruce on Gitana Vela, Jared on Architeuthis?) to secure this point into the main frame of the boat. I didn't, but always wanted to.
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