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Old 11-18-2012
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Re: Recommend a Dinghy for Cruising Caribbean

A couple of things . . .

I had a RIB, it was stolen off the beach where I live and not wanting to spend a lot of money now, I bought a used air-floor soft bottom dink. Never again. There is no comparison between a soft bottom and a RIB, the RIB is a Ferrari against the Amish cart soft-bottom.

Scratch the aluminium bottom on a rock or coral and it corrodes, drag it up the beach enough times to expose the keel, it corrodes. Successfully painting the damaged ali "out there" is a nightmare. GRP is totally forgiving of damage and in the unlikely event that it does get holed, it is easy to repair.

I'll second the 2 stroke. Lighter, smaller and in my experience uses less fuel. Easier to maintain, often quieter, less costly, how many more reasons are there?

My ideal dink is a 12ft Hypalon RIB with a 3.3hp 2-stroke OB with integral fuel tank. Mercury would be my choice - the only thing I can never understand is why they put the tiller arm on the left side and the gear shift lever on the right??. This combination is what my dnk will be when we go off.
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