Yet another example of Sailnet thread "needs inflation."
The OP starts off with a simple premise, by the second page he is getting reccommendations that far exceed his needs, with dire warnings that his original premise will be a complete failure.
Seriously, lots of folks cruise with dinghies
without hard bottoms, and do just fine. Who the hell cares about planing in a get-to-shore dinghy
and dive platform?
an RIB is at least twice the cost of a hard floor inflatable of the same length, and weighs twice as much, requiring a bigger O/B, and they are very nice, but require davits (more $$$) and the benefit is?
They plane and handle coral better.
Hell, one could sacrifice a soft bottom inflatable to coral every year and still be money ahead three years later.
Somewhere along the way , the original spec of "Normally 2, max 4" occupants got extrapolated into needing to accomodate 4 regularly.
Our 6.5' (yep, it is real short) inflatable regularly carries two unlight adults, a hyperactive dog and 10 gallons of water comfortably, easily propelled by a 2 hp OB. Yeah, the boat doesn't plane. So what? neither does my sailboat.