Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: Dinghy experiment #4, or it is 5, Porta-Bote
Why didn't I like my nesting dinghy? When I built her, I wanted a dinghy a bit bigger than the typical 8' one because I thought I'd be cruising with my wife and at least one kid and rowing the 8' dinghies with 3 people isn't easy for any distance. So, I built the nesting 2-Paw as a 9'. Unfortunately, this is too big for my foredeck meaning she cannot be assembled or taken apart on the foredeck. The two halves had to be put in the water, each tied to the toerail. I'd then get in the back half and join them. This sorta worked, Reverse the process for stowing her.
Very few of the sites discussing building a nesting dinghy have good ways to join them. Using bolts thru the bulkhead joining them is time consumming and water comes in while you are doing it. I developed a stainless slot and tab with slot on back half and tab on forward half to hold them together at the bottom (a slot and tab on each side of the bottom close to the sides. On the sides up by the gunnel, I installed stainless draw clamps with a large wire hook that hooked to the fastener on the other half and it latched closed. Worked well.
I glued closed cell foam to her insides for floatation.
She had plenty of capacity and rowed very well.
I probably should not have given her away but she simply did not fit on my foredeck (My boat is a 28' S2). I got tired of the lack of visibility over her and was always worried about her covering my forehatch. She did not tow well so had to ride on the foredeck.
I'll probably be unhappy with the porta-bote too eventually but I really do not want the PITA of another motor to care for on an inflatable or the necessity of registering another motorized craft.