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Old 07-01-2013
JonEisberg JonEisberg is offline
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Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Thanks for the link. Those fabric boats are interesting but don't look durable enough. They're probably suitable for calm harbors. I am looking for a hull design to lay up in kevlar, a super tough, light fabric that is commonly used in whitewater boats. These river craft take a real beating. Polyester resin and standard mat/cloth are certainly plenty strong but the thickness required to attain adequate rigidity and strength results in a lot of weight. Kevlar can be laid up thinner because it is much stronger than traditional glass fiber. Marine Composites | DuPont? Kevlar®If the pram design were more seaworthy, it could probably be built light enough with these kinds of materials but I'm looking for a hull design that rows really well.
I don't think you'll find a sweeter design than a Spindrift...

spindrift

I (over)built one about 10 years ago, so it came in a bit heavier than intended... If I were to do it again, I'd seriously consider using a lighter weight material called Coosa, instead of plywood...

Coosa Composites, LLC - Manufacture of high-density, fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane foam panels

After a trip south one winter, I quickly came to appreciate the downsides of a hard dink for a boat the size of mine... I wound up purchasing an Avon Lite RIB with a folding transom at that year's Miami Boat show, and have never looked back, it's the best all around compromise for me...

I still have the Spindrift, and use it on occasion when I'm just going out on the bay for an overnight, or a weekend, and will simply be towing it... For extended cruising and passagemaking on a boat as small as mine, however, I think hard dinks represent way too much drama bringing back aboard, and stowing...

Sure, it rows very nicely... but in anything other than a flat calm, it can quickly become a VERY wet boat... My girlfriend hated it, and as far as load-carrying capacity, it was minimal compared to an inflatable...

The amount of time spent re-launching and assembling the 2 pieces was always longer than expected, and could be a real PITA... As a result, I often wound up towing it, when prudence might have dictated shipping it back on deck would have been the more seamanlike option... Having said that, it does tow beautifully, and effortlessly...

It's really the stowage on deck that became the problem, for me... Despite it's compact size, it still represented a HUGE box on my foredeck underway, and obscured the visibility from the cockpit to a considerable extent... In a real blow offshore, I'd be very concerned about a boarding wave sweeping the foredeck, and the dink taking lifelines, stanchions, and who knows what else with it over the side...

Again, for one cruising in more protected waters, say the Chesapeake, or the mid-coast of Maine, it could make a a more suitable tender... but if you're going offshore and need to bring it back aboard, I think you need a mother ship of at least 40 feet or more to make these things work...

Others' mileage may vary, of course...

With just the bow section on deck, not too bad... Fit the stern section on top of it, whole different ballgame... Plus, it just really looked STUPID sitting up there, my inflatable stowed on deck is WAY less obtrusive... (grin)





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smurphny (07-01-2013)