Installation of Davits …. OH what a job!

Keto returned to Croatia on 2nd June to finish off the outstanding works – mainly for the installation of the davits but also to repair replace the custom floor panel which had been delivered in the wrong colour and to deliver a few odd replacement bits.  Daniel came out again with his assistant James – and what a horrible job they had to do!

By way of introduction, here is the end result of the davits … just so you know what we are aiming for!  The davits are very unusual – and we have never seen them installed on any other boat, although they are a standard “off the shelf” product.  They are produced by Simpson Davits, made by Cooney Marine and are model Oval 15 Zero Transom Mount – they won a special mention in the DAME design awards at METS in 2013.

The reason for our choice was their weight capacity of 150kg and the ability to be mounted vertically on the stern, as we do not have any flat area of aft deck to use.  The vertical mounting did require the construction of custom “shoes” which had to be mounted on the small stern area with glass reinforcement behind.  This meant very unpleasant construction of wood and fibreglass inside the very small technical space at the stern – in temperatures in the 30’s C.

The strength of the davits comes from the fact that they “track” the dinghy inwards when lifted, hugging it to the arms – and locking into the davit.  The dinghy is going to need some major modification to work – but that’s a job for next week.  Originally we had hoped that the positioning of the davits would lift the dinghy high enough for the swim platform to be opened underneath, so we could leave the dinghy on but still be able to crawl on and off the boat.  It’s clear that this is not going to be possible which I’m sure will turn out to be pretty inconvenient as we will have to drop the dinghy just to go for a swim … but you can’t have everything!

Daniel and James worked their bits off for days …. and the smell of the fibreglass resin and the confined space and heat must have been awful for them.  They completed the job in a couple of days and although exhausted, managed to stay in good spirits – but I’m sure isn’t a job they will want to do again in a hurry.

Davits now solid as a rock – the fixing bolts can be removed so the davits can be twisted inwards for winter storage, or easily removed completely.  Good job guys!

At the same time, the auto-pilot fault was being dealt with by Clipper Marine via Garmin in the UK.  It took some time, but they arranged for the local technical centre, Almi d.o.o., to replace the auto-pilot unit.  This was done although we weren’t really comfortable with the knowledge of local guys – but we didn’t have a choice.  They did not take the boat out for calibration – but instead told us that we would need to do that as soon as we left the marina.  To be fair, the boat is not really in a state that they could have taken it out if they wanted to!  We have the instructions and we’ll sort it ourselves as soon as we leave.



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