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Old 01-25-2010
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bloodhunter bloodhunter is offline
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Kevin,
Have had an elderly RedCrest for seven + years now and find her quite stable though wet in a chop. She came with a motor mount and have a 4hp outboard. Rowing an inflatable with no keel can be very interesting in any kind of a wind.
She lives in her bag on the cabin top just in front of our life raft. When we anchor I inflate her (using a 12v inflator for 90 pct and the footpump for the rest). It takes some time, but the whole point of our cruising is we're not in a hurry. She's relatively light so when she's inflated I just drop her over the side (first cleating the painter).
The outboard lives on the stern rail and I have a block and tackle arrangement to lower the engine slowly to the dinghy.
We bought the inflatable because my boat is not suitable for davits, and a solid (or inflated) dinghy takes up too much room on the deck. I don't like towing a dinghy in any kind of open water -- too easy for it to flip or get filled with water. We got the RedCrest because we wanted a 4-person boat (we have a large family).
I've found the RedCrest to be very well made and she's given us no problems in the time we've had her. She's easy to get into as you can stand on the fat side pontoons (or whatever the inflatable part is called) without even coming close to turning her over.
I have thought about fabricating a floor for her out of thin plywood probably in three pieces but have not gotten around to it yet.
One other thing if you are going to keep you inflatable deflated, the inflator is most useful for getting the air completely out when you want to roll her up and put her away.
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