Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...
Glad to hear that you're rowing and that you're enjoying it too! I row, because I don't have an outboard, and I enjoy it sometimes. I do sometimes feel like I'm the only one left on the water using his/her oars. How strange that people would call out disparaging comments to someone rowing....
I grew up playing with an 11' plywood floored (with inflatable "keel") PVC inflatable dink. I use that little craft every way you could think of. I have had a 2HP, 6HP and 15HP on it at different times. I experimented with various forms of sail rigs (all failures) and rowed it quite a bit.
One day I was going for an evening row IN MY MARINA and the current took me down the fairway. I tried to row against it but couldn't and had to row 90deg to the current and beach the boat, go get my car, and muscle it on top of the car and drive it back to the marina. I was discouraged to say the least that I COULD NOT row it against a modest current, but I also wondered about safety. I did have an anchor, but staying anchored for half the night didn't sound like fun.
Ever since that event I'm pretty soured on inflatables. I don't trust small outboards and don't want to have a big one. So what happens when the outboard dies while out exploring in an inflatable that you can't always row back to the boat.... hmmm..... Been looking for the perfect rigid dinghy ever since.
It sounds like you're enjoying many of the disadvantages of an inflatable but enjoying few of the advantages. They're primarily loved for their stability and the fact that they don't need fenders. Many don't ever deflate them, but there's that advantage too. I have a feeling that if you switched to a rigid dink of any kind you'd be in heaven.
The Walker Bay's are actually pretty good little boats, and since they're everywhere a used one should be able to be had cheaply. I have a Portland Pudgy which comes up on craigslist sometimes for reasonable prices.
Another thought is to get a kite (like a toy kite) and use it as a sail to help you move your craft. Kayaks do it and they even have their own small kayak sails. Might be hard to deal with since you don't have a rudder, but you could look at it. Another idea, which a friend of mine did for his kayak, was he kept a large folding golf umbrella (which had a clamp on it). In the rain, it kept the rain off of him. In the sun it kept the sun off. In the wind, you could open it up and it acted as a very effective sail.
"True, your boat will outperform mine to windward, but my boat will always outperform yours at anchor." --MedSailor
Last edited by MedSailor; 06-16-2013 at 02:24 PM.
Reason: Edited because I accidentally posted it 1/2 way through typing the post!