Strength Hacks for Launching and Running Your Dinghy

Strength Hacks for Launching and Running Your Dinghy, Strength Hacks for Launching and Running Your Dinghy

Here’s a quickie list of considerations and tips for operating your sailboat’s or powerboat’s dinghy.

  1. Starting the Outboard 
    1.  Fuel shutoff and Fuel tank valve
    2.  Choke position
    3.  Starting position
    4.  Handle position, recoil, look behind you
    5.  Electric start – or buy an electric motor??
  2. Entering / Exiting the Dinghy
    1.  Slippery sides
    2.  Where to put body weight – floor, middle
    3.  Sit down soon, center of gravity
    4.  Additional riders
  3. Getting Underway in the Dinghy
    1. Securing the painter while underway
    2.  Watching for traffic
    3.  Other dinghies behind boats / anchor lines above
    4.  Strong outboard, sit stern, into the wind = flip the dink
  4. Anchoring the Dinghy
    1. Wind and docks and tides and oops
    2. Stern anchor
    3. Shore anchor
  5. Securing the Dinghy
    1. Cable, chain, etc on dinghy
    2.  Securing the motor, lock, cable
    3.  No name, less theftable than the next one
    4.  Lift on davits or halyard for the night at the boat
  6. Stowing the Outboard on Board
    1. Outboard bracket
    2.  Spare halyard, topping lift, what have you
    3. Lifting harness and arm – blocks – children
    4.  Watch long hair, pinch points
    5. Fiberglass, cushion, positive control
    6. Raise and lower evenly
    7.  Drain plug!! – out for rain weight, tilt to drain
    8.  Where is your vessel exhaust – fill with hot water?
  7. Stowing the Dinghy on Foredeck
    1. Jib halyard or spare halyard or pole lift runs forward
    2. Watch the wind
    3. Deflate to manuever around?
    4. Covers anchor locker?
  8. Towing the Dinghy
    1. “In step” with the boat – no jerk, collide, pull
    2.  Towing bridle or harness
    3.  Two painters
    4.  Empty everything even the outboard
    5.  Close to the dock, anchorage – choke up
    6.  Watch the painter(s)
    7.  Use a mirror, or look back often, water is heavy
  9. What to bring with you
    1. Bailer to offload rainwater or seepage from a slow leak. A cut-off plastic bleach or gallon water bottle with the lid screwed on works and provides a built-in handle.
    2. Hand pump for ejecting more water more quickly
    3. Mirror to signal for help in an emergency
    4. Extra drain plug
    5. Spare outboard key
    6. Baseball cap, sunscreen, and spare drinking water
    7. Life jackets for the number of people using the dinghy. Add extras for guests and properly sized ones for youth, and wear them.
    8. Waterproof flashlight, in case you return in the dark or need to read your combination lock. Check these batteries at least once a month.
    9. VHF and/or a cellphone, all in a drybag
    10. Extra set of boat keys
    11. Registration
    12. One ounce medicine bottle for oil mix
    13. Spare oil
    14. Personal location beacon
    15. Extra length of line to extend the painter and tie to a tree or rock ashore.
    16. Two rags: one for wiping down, one for keeping gas spills contained when refilling the outboard.
Strength Hacks for Launching and Running Your Dinghy, Strength Hacks for Launching and Running Your Dinghy

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