Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?
I wanted to add one more thing...
While cruising a dinghy is not just a way to get you back and forth to the boat, that is the least difficult of its jobs. Dinghys are work vehicles, pressed into service as everything from a resuply vessel, to a work platform, dive boat, gear retrieval system (stuff floating away), a taxi, a pickup truck, and anything else you can think of. They need to be strong durable, stable, and have the power to move people plus gear with ease.
Just as an example, when we were in Bonaire, friends and family would routinely fly in to meet us. This would mean at least 3 people plus two peoples luggage would have to make the 3 mile trip from the dock to the anchorage. If your dinghy can't do that and keep things dry, it won't work long term.
As for HPIB's, I have one on my power boat. It works fine with a 6hp on it. Kinda slow but it will get you to the dock and back. But the floor is not really rigid, and keeping it filled is a daily problem. For weekending around its fine, and doesn't weight anything, but for serious cruising... No way.
Finally carry a sea kayak, or small sailboat, we did and had a blast on it. But that doesn't make it a dinghy.