Some yacht tenders dragged up on a shore

Stowing the dinghy

Ok, if you’re a day sailor, or a racer, or just interested in recreational fishing, I get it, you’re not pushed about your dinghy. You mightn’t even have one, and if you do, if not stowed at home then it probably lives in the furthest bowels of your boat. Either way, whenever you consider taking it out you probably question whether it’s worth the effort. Often as not, when you did take it out you couldn’t find the pump or the adaptor, or when you inflated it one of the tubes was punctured.

However we are cruising sailors and our dinghy is an essential piece of kit. No surprise then that our boat, Aragorn, is a cruising boat. Catherine and I have a Westerly Oceanlord. Forty foot, single masted, centre cockpit, comfortable island berth in the owner’s aft cabin, practical G-shaped galley, ample saloon space, guest accommodation in the v-berth, great stowage space, generous cockpit locker, and of course
nowhere to put the *****ing dinghy!

The notion of hanging it out of string from davits on the stern just doesn’t seem solid enough for some of the seas we occasionally stumble into, and our experience of inflatables has been, let’s say somewhat deflating! Then there’s the gruntwork of pumping up, deflating, stowing, unstowing, etc.

Yes, I hear you scoff! Our forty foot boat has a choice of foredeck and aft deck, but the fact is, subdivided by baby-stay, mast, and centre cockpit, we don’t have a contiguous deck space for anything other than a deflated dinghy without impeding running rigging, access to cleats, and/or something else.

We looked at a slick, snap, flick, and clip gismo that stows the dinghy flush against the transom, but it just doesn’t work with our configuration.

To read on, download the full illustrated article as a PDF file

What’s your experience with dinghies? We’re always looking for interesting articles like this.