We've stored our dinghy on both bow and stern. We've used the bow when we been going into a marina with stern to mooring. This keeps the stern deck clear for backing into the mooring and in close situations still allows you to launch the dinghy off of the bow.
For longer passages the preferred location would be the aft deck.
At night, at anchor, we could hang the dinghy from the solar arch at night, but that requires manual hoisting and some securing against swinging. So we hoist it with the mizzen balooner halyard, on the port side, using the electric main sheet winch and that is quick, easy and stable against the side rail at night.
You also mentioned going ashore with a heavy dinghy. We have used two approaches when we have had to beach the dinghy.
1) a few times we have been close to shore and we have not put the motor on and rowed to shore. The dinghy is much easier to beach without the motor. Or
2) we bring a couple of smaller 6-8 inch diameter fenders that we use as rollers under the keel of the dinghy to pull it up the beach and also launch. It's a little tricky, but is definately easier than dragging.
Have fun sailing and figuring out what works best for you and your boat.
Best regards, Dan and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM#387
Thank you all for your answers, please note that I have no intention to sail far with dinghy on davits; at most some day relocation between moorings.
I was looking for a recommendation comparing forward or aft storage. I see many SM with dinghy forward like SV Delos for example, then on the aft sun deck under the Mizzain boom. I assume the forward location impacts visibility but I just thought I would seek advice based on experience.
Note that I inherited a heavy dinghy with an aluminium hull and 15hp engine; I feel it is too much honestly as I am used to small light dinghy to go to shore, but now that I have it I would like to find a safe location for it without impacting too much both visibility and safety while keeping handling as simple as possible.
For the moment my preferred option being upside down on the after sundeck and to use the mizzen boom for handling. and the engine mounted inside the stern locker.
Thank you again.
There were no original davits for the SM. It is probable a previous owner installed them.
However, please don't think about using any sort of davits for any offshore passage on a SM. Use the aft deck.
CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550