Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Dinghy Dilemma

(The movie takes about 5 minutes, but it's kinda fun to watch. Especially right after lock 3 when Russ is pointing at directions for the boat to go. Currents there were rough, and the boat weaved and dodged.)

The new dinghy is now part of the boat. It was here, the new motor was here, so all we needed to do was put it all together.

We have a davit system that is made of two parts: two winches that raise and lower the dinghy, and two arms we raise by hand to support the dinghy. Of course with each we had an issue with both of those. 

The Pudgy Pug is smaller than the last dinghy. That means the location of the cables to raise it are closer together than the winches. And that means the cables would wind on angles instead of perfectly vertical. The second issue were the support arms, which miss the new dinghy altogether, offering zero support.

Russ had a good notion on how to deal with problem #1. A strongback. He wanted a metal bar about 8 feet long with two sets of eye bolts, one set on top that line up with the winches and the second that line up with the dinghy's lift cables. Unable to find a welder to make such a thing, he went to the hardware store and bought pressure treated 2x4.

Our homemade dinghy sling.
Yep. We're bringing Appalachia to the loop!

We could easily lift the Pudgy Pug, which is way lighter than the old boat. Now we needed to secure it.

Russ though about adding some attachment to the two arms, like a plate or a bar that would come up from below. After some churn and picture drawing, I googled "dinghy sling." We found nets made to support little boats.

Wait a minute. We actually HAVE a net. We use a cargo net to carry stuff strapped to the roof of the fly deck.

Little more than an hour later, Russ had lashed a cargo net to each of the arms. We tested the system.

Note the 2x4. 
It's not perfect yet. He'd like to wrap a couple of line around the net and boat to truly secure it in place. We'd like not to have the thing bouncy off if we hit some rougher water. But it's a great start.

Once done we moved Cat-n-Dogs between locks 7 & 8. It's more protected there, and it seemed like the weather was going to be a little nasty. Still hasn't yet. That's boating for ya.

Russ had to lasso these lines while moving.
A trick given the lack of space for error.

Another reason we moved. Getting the dogs on 
and off here was a real bother.
Those big blocks were to keep boats from floating
into the parking lot. The water was that high.

Sometimes you get weird parking spots.

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