Re: Carrying Tender on Davits while crossing
1) I have a Highfield CL310 HYP as does Dean. The transom "lip" where the tubes are glued was bent when it arrived. Probably bad packaging. This is not the first time I have heard of this - Highfield fixed it under warranty after a bit of complaining.
2) The CL310 will fit with a bit of modification. Dean described the eye he mounted in the bow locker and I did the same. You will also need to mount some eyes, facing inwards, on the triangular transom supports as far forward as you can. Then place a metal ring halfway between the rings using rope lashing. It fits fine. I have a Suzuki 20AS which does not rotate 90 degrees so it takes a bit of positioning to have it all fit. I then use a line through the built in "eyes" on the dinghy stern floor up to the ring where the davit lines/wires come out of, to secure the dinghy. Don't rely on the lifting wires to hold up the dinghy once underway. While you're at it, change the davit wires to 12 strand dyneema. You can do it with very little modification - Simpson wanted 4000GBP for a "dyneema conversion kit" and it's simply unnecessary. You can do it yourself if you know how to splice 12 strand dyneema or pay a rigger 100euros.
For the bow, I secure the dinghy using a high quality stainless/aluminum ratchet with one end attached to the eye at the end of the davit arm and the other to a loop secured to the "armpit" of the davits.
The reason why I did not go for the CL340 is two fold:
a) I put the dinghy on the aft deck and the outboard in the lazarette on big passages. Coming around Cape Hatteras and even crossing the Med in fall, I have seen some waves from astern that may have swamped a hanging dinghy. I have also had the dinghy come slightly loose while sailing and while the wasn't a big deal on a day sail or short overnighter, I wouldn't want to deal with it in the middle of an Indian Ocean gale, far offshore. With the CL310 I can position the dinghy upside down on the aft deck and have it NOT protrude into the cockpit nor have it interfere with the mizzen track. It barely fits. I don't think the CL340 will fit unless you put it diagonally.
b) When it's just me and the misses doing a beach landing, with swell, we are at our limit carrying the CL310 with a 20hp engine. I tried to drag my friend's CL340 up a beach with him (he's 100kg and 195cm tall) and we struggled. In the Med, dinghy docks were aplenty. Less so in some parts of the Caribbean and probably even less so in the South Pacific.
5) I went with Hypalon. I believe I paid 3700 euros total for my CL310 HYP. Not sure where you are but I bought it from a dealer in Slovenia VAT-free. Hypalon was not much more in our case and the cost of chaps was more than the upcharge for hypalon. In the tropics, it was a no brainer for me. I have a PVC backup rollup dinghy and it's faring far worse.
Hope this helps.
2007 A54 #69