Tender to Liberation and Inox engineering!

We have some beautiful davits on the boat now …. but we need a dinghy to hang in them and that is not a simple job!  Back in April when we did our flying visit to Umag, we went into the Novomar factory in Slovenia where we had looked a few years before for a dinghy for our last motor boat.  Novomar is a local Slovenian brand which is great value for money – the factory seems a bit odd at first as you think you are going into a deserted old warehouse, but the owner has stock of all types and sizes of boats – some beautiful luxury ranges which were not feasible for us, and some basic models which satisfied our needs pretty well.

Due to the space between the davits which was dictated by the design of the yacht, we need a relatively large dinghy as it had to rest on each davit.  However, we had already purchased the Yamaha 20hp four-stroke outboard engine ( which incidentally was the same weight as the 15hp model!) so the allowed weight was fixed to keep within the 150kg capacity of the davits.  We would have loved a dinghy with a centre console so we could have a proper seat and steering wheel, but this just wasn’t feasible.  In the end, we went for a 3m40 hard shell model – with an inflatable middle seat and a small locker seat in the bow.  One of the things we liked about the Novomar was the fact that the tubes were substantial and we hoped this would give us a better ride at high speeds in plane on the waves.

We picked the dinghy up ourselves from Slovenia – borrowing a trailer from the factory and taking it across the border into Croatia without incident towed behind the camper and attached the engine back at base in Umag.  Tender to Liberation was launched on the marina boat ramp for it’s maiden voyage of 100m back to the mother ship 🙂

Even at 3m40 (the biggest we could take from a weight point of view) the dinghy was too small to fit in the davits – which we knew already.  We needed to construct a stainless steel frame at the stern which would act as the davit pickup point – as well as building a reinforced pick up point in the bow.  We enlisted the services of the local stainless steel man – a master Inox craftsman by the name of Igor Babic who runs his own small Inox business Punta Nobis.  For anyone in Northern Croatia needing stainless steel work we can’t recommend Igor highly enough – he was a perfectionist with excellent engineering and design skills, far more than just a stainless steel welder, he worked with Ed on the technical design of what we affectionately called our torpedo launcher.  The structure was worked and re-worked numerous times until it fitted perfectly into the davits and snugly secured against the arms.

A few days after the torpedo launchers were completed, we needed to do some shopping and decided to take the dinghy over to the town to the local supermarket.  As is normal in the summer in Croatia, the sun was blazing down and as Ed sat patiently holding the dinghy on the quayside while I went shopping, he came to the conclusion that we really needed a bimini top!  We plan to use the dinghy for day trips out when we are laying at anchor – and laying in the blazing sun will not be good.  We enlisted the services of Igor again for another engineering project – and he designed and built a bimini frame and canvas structure.

The dinghy was completed with a modification to the bow locker to accommodate the fuel tank, the addition of a fuel pre-filter and priming pump, a beautiful little stainless steel claw anchor and a foldable dinghy ladder.  We’re all set now for a blast of speed when the feeling takes us and have the perfect little boat to go explore the small coves and bays we can’t reach with the yacht.

Can’t wait to get out there on the water!

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