However, our increasingly fragile backs are less and less tolerant of lifting an inflatable dinghy, often with a small outboard attached, over slippery rocks all the way to well above the high water mark, as dictated by good seamanship.
And, of course, if you have a RIB, with a big outboard on it, dragging it up the shore is not a good option, no matter how young and strong you are—if you don’t have a bad back now, you soon will.
We have always carried a small anchor in the tender, and have used it quite often to cobble together a system to hold the dinghy off the shore while we went hiking, but it was always a bit ad hoc, and never terribly satisfactory, particularly in places with a lot of tidal range.
So a couple of years ago I set out to put together a purpose-built dinghy mooring system that would be:
- Easy to store and transfer to the dinghy.
- Ready to go at all times.
- Easy and quick to deploy.
- Keep the dinghy safe for long periods while we were off hiking.
- Be easy to retrieve and stow.
- Keep our feet dry—paddling may be fun in the tropics, but where we cruise, not so much.
Here’s what I came up with, complete with a video to show you how easy it is to deploy.