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Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

I bought an inexpensive Baltic inflatable a few years ago. It has not only held up remarkably well but rows like dream. People often comment on how well it rows. It has an inflatable V section in the bow which totally changes the way it cuts through the water. I've had Achilles and Bombard inflatables in the past and neither has held up as well as this MUCH cheaper Baltic boat. There is no sign of the transom loosening, no delamination of any of the glued-on parts and it has shown no apparent UV degradation yet. The oarlocks are s.s. swing-up bolts with threaded cap nuts and although these negate feathering the oars, it also stops them from popping out of oarlocks that move around as they do on balloon boats. I made some real, longer wood oars to replace the crappy, stubby little aluminum oars that come with all the inflatables and can get a good purchase on the water.

Carrying gas is something I want to avoid and so far I've been able to do without an outboard. I also carry an old 8' whitewater kayak aboard which can go long distances in essentially any sea condition with the skirt on. It's also nice for exploring without the noise of an outboard.
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