Dinghy Lift

Part of the issue with having a dinghy onboard your boat is that you have to lift it up nearly every night to prevent opportunistic theft, this in itself presents a few problems, where to lift it, where to store it, securing it etc. To this end, we needed to find a solution to this, as we were about to spend the next 3-4 months cruising the shallow waters of the Bahamas, where the dinghy is the only way to get around or get provisions.

The original davits were extensions to the arch that houses the wind turbines, solar panels and a plethora of electronic equipment, these davits were originally built to lift our first dinghy, which was smaller and had a smaller outboard since then we’ve upgraded both the dinghy and the outboard and although they were capable of lifting the dinghy, they couldn’t lift the dinghy with the larger outboard attached.

I can’t take all the credit for the design, as I stole bits and pieces of the design concept from other lifts I’ve seen over the last few years, I also had the technical lift radius data and weight distribution design calculated by John Swartz, a very good friend and drinking buddy from fort Lauderdale.

The basis of the design is that we now have two fairly large hinges bolted to the transom (back of the boat) which bears all the weight, with two large poles (50mm Dia)  that extend up to two small winches that attach to the dinghy, via two small pulleys that allow the height of the lift to be set, these are also connected to a set of pulleys that are threaded with Dyneema (the rope equivalent of steel cable) which is coiled onto a cheap and easily replaceable motorised 4×4 winch.

For greater detail check out the specs in techy stuff

The video below shows the end result.



  1. I really like the idea but is it now a pain in the rear to get off the boat with that being right at the spot one would cross though to the swim platform?

    1. No, I purposefully built the two stations at the same width as the bathing platform entrance so it doesn’t foul the bathing platform at all.

      I’ll do an addition in the techy stuff page with loads of photos and measurements for anyone that’s interested.

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