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post #9 of Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Towing vs carrying a Rib on board

My requirements for a dinghy was something that could plane with 2 scuba divers on board including tanks.

Started with a small Avon Rib 2.80 with 8 hp motor. The Rib was small enough to fit between the mast and the inner forestay (staysail) on a Crealock 37 but heavy so frequently got towed between the mainland and Catalina Island. It could not plane with 2 divers and tanks. Lost it when towing it around the West End of Catalina with large seas and around 20 knots of wind. The dinghy flipped and the bow was digging into the water. Before I could slow the boat down the painter broke. I tried to get a line around the dinghy without any luck and abandon it at the start of Thanksgiving weekend. Reported it to Coast Guard Long Beach a couple of hours after we lost it. Was found by the US Navy on the backside of San Clemente Island and I got it back - but the Coast Guard San Diego put quite a bit of effort in locating me over the weekend.

Next I purchased a 15 HP motor that was larger then rated for the Avon Rib. It did not meet my goal.

Then purchased an Avon 3.40 (3.4 meters long) roll-up dinghy. It did the job for a number of years. Used with the 15 HP 2 stroke Mercury. Got up on plane was lighter then the Rib and I could inflate it on deck with the boat balanced on the life-lines.

After about 15 years the Avon Roll-Up seem to generate holes on a regular basis and I was tired of repairing it.

After searching the market for a similiar boat I went with an Achilles Hypalon Roll up with a hypalon inflatable floor. Its a foot longer then the Avon Roll-Up but is a few pounds lighter so is even easier to deploy and to bring back on the boat. Deflated it is sometimes tied down forward of the cabin and behind the inner forestay. For longer trips offshore it will likely go below either in the quarterberth or under the table in the salon, folded small enough so that the settee could be converted to a double berth.

If you are planning on running the dinghy up on the beach, be sure to purchase the large inflatable wheels that are mounted to the stern and can be lowered when you choose to land the boat.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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