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Old 07-18-2005
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tow dingy with outboard?

In stories I''ve read, when the going starts to get excitting, the dinghy always catches a wave and flips. Sounds like having the motor in it will help this occur sooner, rather than later, with either a hard or soft dinghy. Since the dinghy with engine slows you down more than the dinghy alone, you''re sailing for a longer time, which increases the number of waves hitting the dinghy and the chances of one of them making it flip. If, as suggested above, leaving the engine in costs a half knot of speed and slows you to 4.5 knots, that''s a 20% increase in the chances of a funky wave costing you a few hundred dollars to have the engine fixed, if the filled dinghy doesn''t break the painter or rip out a cleat as well. (Though inflatables may be less likely to fill, they''ll still be likely to flip if enough water gets into them. ) Getting away with leaving the engine on the dinghy because the weather permits it does not make it a good idea every time.
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