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post #48 of Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Am thinking about building a hard rowing dinghy, maybe a nesting dinghy to replace my rubber ducky. I like the idea that the RIB can be deflated and stowed for long trips. It also rows quite nicely...BUT not like a well designed rowing hull like a Whitehall or Adirondack Guideboat or similar hull shape. Something like a Dyer dink shape is very seaworthy and would be great except for the weight. Does anyone have a hard dink that is seaworthy, slips through the water nicely, and is light enough to drag aboard without a major block and tackle operation?

I built a (plywood core) stitch and glue pram style dink a couple of years ago but it is neither very light nor is it very stable and seaworthy. It's ok to get from boat to shore on Lake Champlain in a protected spot but I would not trust it in a following sea on salt water or bring it cruising.

I'd like to lay up a very light foam core via stitch and glue and then cover with Kevlar, emulating the construction of some ridiculously light whitewater racing canoes I've had. The last 18' Sawyer weighed in at something like 45#. A boat as small as a dink, say 8', constructed with these ultra-light materials shouldn't weigh more than about 40#. I just need a design so as not to reinvent the wheel.
Smurphy, I went through the same thought process a while back. I wanted to build a decent nesting dinghy that rowed well, could carry 3 or 4 adults and that was stable and not too heavy. I thought about using divinycell sheets for stitch and glue construction. A former member here pointed out that I probably wouldn't save any weight since the divinycell sheets had to be saturated with resin and sheathed with cloth inside and out. It seems that quality thin 4mm or 6mm ply has a lot going for it in both weight, stiffness and strength. Long story short, I searched around for plans and found Danny Greene's Chameleon, a 10ft nesting dinghy that weighs 100lbs, rows and tows well and is very stable. I'm actually building it right now and the design is very nice. I wouldn't say it's the easiest dinghy to build (it has a bow locker, aft buoyancy tanks and other fiddly things to build), but it is well within the abilities of an amateur builder. I wanted to reduce the weight a little so I used slightly thinner ply (but quality Brazilian hardwood marine stuff) and slightly lighter cloth. I'm hoping it will weight 80 to 90 pounds when finished. This means each section will be a very manageable 40 to 45 pounds to raise on deck and lower into the water. My stupid inflatable must weigh this much...

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