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Thread: Securing a dinghy on the roof

  1. #1
    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Default Securing a dinghy on the roof

    With the arrival of a new Wooldridge Pilot House coming soon, the process of outfitting her has come...

    We will be buying a ~10' inflatable to store on the roof. I'm wondering what works best / what doesn't work when securing the dinghy to the roof. Of course it needs to be secure, but also protected from chafing/vibration. Considering having a cradle fabricated, or would simple rubber pads suffice?

    We are looking at purchasing a dinghy at West Marine in Anchorage, but welcome any other recommendations as well.

    Thanks!

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I just use a couple of ratchet straps and cinch it down. I also tie the bow line from the fact to a cleat as a safety line. Hate to have the raft fly off while towing g the boat down the road.

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    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Thanks JR2,

    You'll see on the roof we had them weld several eyelets below the rail, so it'll be cinched down nice and tight.

    Thinking basic ratchet straps should do the trick although the salt water/air will take it's toll on them. Any straps better than others?

    Probably what I'm most concerned about is protection between the PVC/Hypalon and the aluminum roof.

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    I don't do anything fancy with mine. I have 4 short lines, one in each corner of the zodiac. I have a rail around the roof that I cinch them down to, and like JR2, I tie the bowline down to the cleat in the bow of the big boat, to keep the bow of the raft held down. Works like a charm, I have had my zodiac for 6 years and I have not noticed any chaffing damage of any kind
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    I have a rack that serves many purposes that is mounted to the rear of the cabin. I tuck the back of the rack under the rack. In rub spot areas on the cabin including where I fasten it down on top of the raft with 2 ratchet straps both front and back, I use that rubber shelf skid proof lining that folks line their cubboards with. You can buy it anywheres from Walmart to Lowes and they come in assorted colors and roll sizes. Just cut to fit. They stay in place and provide excellent protection from abrasion. My straps are not Stainless but they are rubber coated on the hooks and I just spray my ratchets with Corrosion X for Marine Electrical Connections and my straps don't rust. I originally had a set of SS Straps but they grew legs in the off season. Teenage Sons!

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    I do the same as both above. We use a rope ratchet instead of a metal one so there is no rust on the moving parts as it's all plastic. Works like a charm for seven years now.
    Check out Spoiled One's roof pads he made to hold his since he has a keel on the bottom of his dinghy.

    Ellmar, where will you be launching out of for the most part? (Valdez I suspect)

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I use ratchet straps, but I found some on line that are stainless steel. I also have a knife tie wrapped nearby in case I need to get it off in a hurry sometime.
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    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Wide straps with stainless steel hardware they sell at West marine. I use the non-ratchet type on front and back and it has done well. I deflate the keel and use the space for storage of pots and extra buoys. I also keep the plug out of the transom so it does not fill with water. I would recommend a raft from Luke for portability and durability. The ones at WM does not last on the rocks at PWS. Drop-stitched floors makes it less than 60 pounds. I can throw up mine by myself and kick it off the roof to deploy while holding the line. PM me if you need Luke's number.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Truckers hitch and some nice doublebraid nylon, no rust ever !!
    http://www.animatedknots.com/truckers/index.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I use ratchet straps, but I found some on line that are stainless steel. I also have a knife tie wrapped nearby in case I need to get it off in a hurry sometime.
    I was going to mentioned having a knife up there too. If you are in a panic and going down there is no time for the ratchet/knot BS...just cut it away.


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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Usually have a knife on me, but I like the idea of having one up there as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    I was going to mentioned having a knife up there too. If you are in a panic and going down there is no time for the ratchet/knot BS...just cut it away.
    I bet i could have those truckers hitches loose faster than you could get the knife out and cut them.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I have another knife tip tied up front to the bow rail up by the anchor as well. They are $10 stainless knifes. I coat them in grease and they last quite a while. JR2, your brother has a story about having to cut off an anchor in Cook Inlet one time when hung in a big current. I bet the anchor seems expensive until you consider loosing the whole boat.
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    Great tips here, I sure appreciate them. We are out of Valdez. I like the knife idea, but also the simplicity of using a good old fashioned trucker knot...thanks Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellamar View Post
    Great tips here, I sure appreciate them. We are out of Valdez. I like the knife idea, but also the simplicity of using a good old fashioned trucker knot...thanks Steve.
    See ya at the fairbanks show? or will ya be shrimping ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    See ya at the fairbanks show? or will ya be shrimping ??
    Boat will be in transit about that time, so probably see you at the show!

  17. #17
    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Thought I'd follow up with what we came up with as a solution.

    We had Wooldridge weld a few extra welded eyes on the roof, then we consulted with Karold at Karold's welding here in Fairbanks to come up with something that would keep the dinghy up top stable, but as low as possible. The solution he came up with was in 2 parts secured to the roof. The first is a small cradle for the bow of the inflatable, and second a rear bracket that the dinghy's transom slips into, secured with two pins. The West Marine inflatable has several D-rings for tying it off to the welded eyes. Looks like it should work! Total cost of the fabrication was right at $500.

    Side of front dinghy bracket.jpgfront dinghy bracket lg.jpg

  18. #18
    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Rear bracket and side overall view

    Top Side Dinghy.jpgRear Dinghy bracket.jpg

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    That's a lot more "sanitary" than anything else I've seen. Great inspiration.

  20. #20
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    ducttape.jpegThis Should do the trick.
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