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awahl 11-04-2012 11:54 AM

Walker Bay RID 310
 
Hi Everyone,

There is a nice Walker Bay 310 RID going pretty cheap in my area. I was considering this as a potential tender for our (hopefully soon to be officially ours) 32' Endeavour, and looking for some opinions.

Most of the time it will be me and the wife plus our two teenage boys- and our beloved 70lb yellow lab... Our first year of sailing will be on a smaller lake with coastal excursions on Lake Michigan as we get more seasoned. I would expect that two, three or all four of us plus the dog would be going out at a time (maintaining proper weight requirements of course) for beach trips, etc.

We would be towing behind us when sailing/motoring. We would not be using this to get to/from a buoy since we plan on putting the boat in a slip.

Pros
  • Size - like the fact that 3 or 4 of us + dog can fit along with some gear- great for getting to the beach.
  • Stability - seems this boat would be much better option for us and offer some more options for cruising around and exploring smaller harbors- Getting in and out of seems like it would be easier, and the side-tubes make the thing pretty stable (especially when picturing the lab jumping off and climbing back on...)
  • Tough - can take some bumps- nice that the tubes act as fenders, dog is not going to put his claws through the floor or sidewalls.
  • Price - compared to used inflatables in the area this boat is half the price- it appears in fine condition with some minor scratches- and needs a good bath, but everything is there including the oars, a little 2hp trolling motor, original manuals/documentation, etc.

Cons
  • Size - this thing is big... 10' with a 6' beam (including the tubes). The tubes are not supposed to drag in calm seas, but I can see them creating some serious drag in choppier waters....
  • Weight - similar to the above- at 150lbs more weight/drag on the boat especially when sailing in light air. Not to mention hefting the thing around, putting on the foredeck, do-able but challenging)
  • Slip stowage - need to see what the marinas policy is for tender stowage. I have seen others tuck their tenders under the dock, cram it into a corner in front of the boat, etc. Since this is a larger rigid tender with tubes- this could present some challenges and potential for higher cost(?)
  • Transport/Storage - can't roll it up, transportation to/from boat is a bear, getting it on the boat (at 150lbs), and stowing on foredeck all challenging. Also thinking about winter storage, getting it to/from the marina without a trailer (suppose I can put it on the kayak rack on the car...)- etc. These are all surmountable- but we would not have these issues with an inflatable.

We are new sailors. Right now we want to feel as safe as possible while managing the dog, the boys, each other. We'll probably discover more about our needs in the first year.

I am not looking for the fastest tender in the harbor- but a sturdy/steady, and reliable one- I think this Walker Bay 310 may be a decent choice....albeit a bit on the large side. What do you guys & gals think?

Thanks!
Andy

sailortrash 11-04-2012 12:13 PM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
unless they have vastly improved the design they are junk and i have seen several transoms collapse. the patches that they use to bond the transom are way to small.

overbored 11-04-2012 12:24 PM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
dealing with a hard dingy is a pain. 150 lbs is to much to get up on the foredeck over the lifelines. walker bays are built cheap and fall apart fast. if you are going for cheap, then buy a new cheap inflatable which should last 3 years or more and is a lot easier to store in the winter

awahl 11-04-2012 04:46 PM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailortrash (Post 942741)
unless they have vastly improved the design they are junk and i have seen several transoms collapse. the patches that they use to bond the transom are way to small.

Not sure what you mean by transom collapse? The shell of the boat is injected molded poly material- the boat shell is essentially one piece, with an inflatable tube attached to the gunwales via a channel.

Are you referring to the transom getting soft and/or buckling from the weight and vibration of the engine? If so I guess that would depend on the engine and how the boat is used.

Quote:

Originally Posted by overbored (Post 942750)
dealing with a hard dingy is a pain. 150 lbs is to much to get up on the foredeck over the lifelines. walker bays are built cheap and fall apart fast. if you are going for cheap, then buy a new cheap inflatable which should last 3 years or more and is a lot easier to store in the winter

I agree on lifting it over lifelines... Not sure I am picking up on the cheapness aspect though? These dinghies seem to be pretty well reviewed product..?

Thanks you both-

chucklesR 11-04-2012 06:36 PM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
It should be fine for your intended use - as a side benefit you can get the optional sail package and turn your boys loose on it to learn to sail. It's no racing dinghy, but you can't capsize it either.

Use the main halyard to hoist it up over the rails, then swing it to the deck while letting out the halyard slowly

Depending on the E 32's stern you can pull the dinghy's stern up out of the water onto the stern when towing it, that reduces drag as only the bow is actually in the water (only on calm days as a following wave would fill the nose).

chef2sail 11-07-2012 03:48 AM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
We have a Walker Bay Odessey with an air floor/ Not the same as the ROB, but quality is similar. We usually keep it on davits but sometimes topwn or stow in on the foredeck. It weighs 72 lbs and has a cargo capacity of 1100 lbs alrge enough for your uses.

I like the WB because the tubes are large than most tenders therfore the stabilty is there and there is little water getting in when riding.

If you need the rib because you will be doing a lot of beach rocky landings..I would get it. If not consider what I have. It deflates wuickly for storage on the foredeck when we travel offshore and cruise and is easily inflated.

As far as lifting to the foredeck use your spinaker halyard atavhed to its bow to lift it over the lifelines and lower down. Much easier.

dave

killarney_sailor 11-09-2012 12:55 AM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
Is this an inflatable boat or a rigid WB Dinghy with the optional inflatable tubes? If the latter, I can't comment but if the former, WB inflatables do not have a good reputation among serious cruisers. They just do not seem to be made very well. We have one that is only four years old and junk. Most makes seems to last 7 to 10 years of full time cruising.

Note that can't always tow a dinghy. If it is too rough they can dump. If you think it is heavy empty try recovering it when it is full of water and lithe waves are big. You have to be able to store it on decks, at least part of the time.

bigdogandy 11-09-2012 05:25 AM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
I have an 8' Walker Bay har dinghy and I think it is great......it rows well, handles well under power - I have a 4hp 4-stroke Merc and a small trolling motor - and it tows well or stows on the foredeck without interfering with the jib. I haven't gotten the tube kit or a sail kit yet, but both look like they would add considerably to the functionality and enjoyment of the boat. I have had no problems with anything coming apart other than the wheel on the keel, and that was operatror error more than an equipment failure.

Also - I found mine on Craigslist in Miami and picked it up for under $300 with the trolling motor and oars.

awahl 11-09-2012 08:03 PM

Re: Walker Bay RID 310
 
Thanks all for the comments... it's still for sale- I may take a look at it this w/e.


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