Posted By RichC on August 22, 2013
I’ve come full circle in researching the best way to keep the price down and our Zodiac inflatable easily available when sailing Encore (or eventual a new lightweight RIB – AB or Walker Bay). The best davit option was to have a custom welded stainless steel (or aluminum) system made in order to hold not only the dinghy, but additional solar panels and a wind generator. None of the contacts that I have made were convincing, considering the high cost.
Also, I’ve been emailing back and forth with two different Marks, both liveaboard friends, who have experience which I value. Mark Jones, who recently research some of the same items (installed his wind gen and solar panels from eMarine) has been helping me “brain storm” and weighed the pros and cons of each option (a very helpful couple of emails).
The conclusion (at this point) is that the highly rated Martek Davits (video “in use” or marketing clip) are probably the best option. Unfortunately, according to Tom at Martek, I’m going to have to disassemble the Cape Horn steering gear to use davits and switch back if I ever intend on longer bluewater passages. Frankly with the advent of autopilots, wind steering systems have fallen out of favor, but there is something to be said for getting away from complex electronic gadgetry that appeals to me; I really hate to remove the gear.