Re: What do other folks use?
yes , purpose and expectations play a big role in what you need for a tender.
I always wanted/want a dingy I can sail as well as row. the reality though is a sailing dinghy large enough for me and anyone else aboard would be too large to hoist or store on deck. Unless it nestles or folds.
I've had an 8' Square tri-hull type that was great when we had dogs,but too heavy to lift, now no dogs, I've got an 8' that has a swing keel ,so it could be sailed. and a deflatable on deck I've yet to use. Hope to use it w/ the 3.5 when I get further south.
Dinghies seem to be a tough one.