Ben Meakins assesses Dinghy Rings, a Swedish product designed to ensure convenient dinghy stowage while your boat is under way
Convenient dinghy stowage while your boat is under way
Stowing a dinghy is usually a matter or deflating it and shoving it in a locker – but if you’re gently cruising between sheltered anchorages, that can take some time.
Other options are to stow it on deck or install a set of davits – but the former can clog up your decks and the latter requires the large, heavy installation of davit cranes.
Dinghy Rings is a Swedish product that doesn’t require any permanent installation. It will only work with dinghies which have pointed sponsons – roundtail dinghies won’t fit.
It comprises a pair of stainless steel spectacles, with two foam disc floats that not only keep the rings floating, but also keep them away from the transom and allow it to move around without damaging your boat. The manufacturers say: ‘Hung over the stern, bow or side, it’s adjustable in height and fits almost any boat. The accessory can be taken apart for storage and the soft foam parts can be used as extra fenders.’ Your dinghy needs to have a width between the sponsons of 1-1.4m to fit.
The apparatus is attached to the boat with adjustable straps, and the dinghy’s sponsons fit into the spectacles, whereupon you can haul upon the painter to lift it out of the water.
We tried it on the back of a HallbergRassy 352, which has a plumb transom. The manufacturers’ photographs show it also fitting on a variety of transoms including those with sugar scoops – although it obviously won’t work with a transom-hung rudder.
We positioned the floating rings at the waterline, although you can hoik them up out of the water for sailing, and manoeuvred the dinghy into position. With a crosswind, this took a little time, but the dinghy was soon installed; and with a heave on the painter it was standing on its transom, with the sponsons clear of the water. We lashed the painter to the backstay, and added twin webbing straps to stop the dinghy moving from side to side when under way.
We then went for a sail to see how secure the system was. Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that this won’t do anything for your boat’s windward performance! However, as a way of securing a dinghy for short sails between anchorages, how did it do?
The whole apparatus was surprisingly rigid, especially with extra straps added. If you’re not worried about sailing performance, then it’s a good way to keep your dinghy clear of the water without having to haul it on deck or deflate it.
The dinghy stands on its transom, with the sponsons clear of the water