Friday, April 30, 2010

Swim Platform (Dinghy Davits)

Update: 6/15 - Completed work on the stand-offs the last few days. The project is complete. Tie-downs were also added on the starboard side for gas cans and several hours were spent figuring out how to best tie off the dinghy once up on the davits. I ended up running a line on each side, from below the centerline of the dinghy up to the middle of the stern rail. This has the effect of spreading the load and making the dinghy rock solid while underway..

Like most projects, if I were to do it again, there are a few minor things I'd do differently but I consider this effort to be a success. Now on to some new projects.

Installation Complete - 1Update: 6/1 - Wrapped up installation this morning with final hardware, transom backing, bedding, etc. The platform is solid underfoot owing to the cored construction of the transom and placement of the brackets. I'm pleased with the result. Next step brings the dinghy to the marina for mounting the davits and stand-offs.

Update: 5/30: Started installation yesterday. Progress is slow because of the steady rain. Should wrap up initial work tomorrow followed by disassembly and bedding of the hardware. Taking plenty of time to be sure everything is properly aligned before drilling the holes.

Update: 5/28 - The platform arrived yesterday from Plasteak. Two photos were added to the gallery. I asked PlasTeak to take a few photos of the platform during fabrication but it didn't get done.

The platform looks good although I'm a bit concerned about the proximity of the vents to the place where the davit hooks mount. I would have preferred more solid platform there. Should be ok with use of some good backing plates though.

Update: 5/19 - Added some new photos to the project gallery. The platform was ordered about 10 days ago and should be here in about another week. Meanwhile, I gathered much of the hardware needed to mount it on the transom.

I asked PlasTeak to take some photos during fabrication of the platform and hope to get some interesting shots of the process.


I've never gone swimming in Puget Sound and have no plans to do so. A swim platform is a great way to carry a hard dinghy though - using Weaver Snap Davits

With the boat kitty replenished by the previously reported davit sale, a swim platform is in the works. This platform will be a rehash of one I built of the Nonsuch 26 seen here. This one will be about 18 inches wider and use improved supports. I'll follow a similar prototype process by building a plywood mock-up to confirm the design and fit followed by a custom build by Plasteak.

This is a slow project spanning about two months. The slideshow below shows the progress and will be updated as work is completed. On each photo is a "notes" link below the image. Click on it to read any included explanation. You can also click on the "link" link to open up the full-size photo on Flickr.

Get the flash player here:

Dinghy Davits - Sold

The dinghy davits sold last week to a guy in Ohio who responded to my Seattle Craigslist ad. Packaging them was a serious effort consuming 4 rolls of tape and a dozen sticks of hot-melt glue. Hope they arrive safely.

Craigslist is an amazing tool for the money (free). You do need to be careful not to be ripped off. The best insurance is CASH. I would not have had courage though, as the buyer did, to send a large sum of money to a stranger 2000 miles away on the hope that the merchandise would arrive as promised. But thats me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

High Performance WiFi Adapter

Swantown Marina where Summer Place is moored offers free wifi. Our slip however is far away from the access point and the signal is too weak for the laptop's internal wifi adapter. RadioLabs offers a high performance adapter for $140. + shipping that completely eliminates the problem.

All of the electronics are located inside the antenna module. All you need to do is install the driver software and plug cable into a USB jack.

I like having wifi on the boat for email and internet surfing but also for watching Slingbox and listening to Pandora, the free and excellent internet radio service.

Slingbox is a device that connects to your home video system and home network. It transmits your home TV signal across the internet to any location where wifi is available. You can even control your video system from the remote location

Satellite tv on Dell notebook (note the remote on left side)

DirecTV program guide controlled from remote location
Slingbox at home

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dinghy Davits

Summer Place came to us with a beautiful set of Ocean Marine lifting davits. Its a good setup for lightweight inflatables but not a happy marriage with a Livingston hard dinghy and 8hp outboard - my preferred setup.

Once the dinghy is raised as high as possible, its very difficult to stabilize as the davit is optimized for the tubes of the inflatable.

Rubbing salt on the wound, the length of the boat with the dinghy mounted on the davits, exceeds the allowed length for the 36ft. slip. That forces us into a 40 ft slip for an extra $40/month.

I have a nice set of davits for sale. Contact me if you're interested.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Summer Place has a power device for raising the sail. Its also great for hauling bodies up the mast. Its very powerful - easily capable of doing a lot of damage if used carelessly.

I was wondering why this thing isn't self-tailing like all the other winches?? Could it be converted? The name on the top is Maxwell Nilsson. I went to the Maxwell website where it says that Maxwell winch assets are now owned by an Australian firm called ARCO. (

I contacted them and the story is that this device is really an anchor windlass and cannot be converted. I learned that most Maxwell winches can be converted but not so for the windlass.