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jbarros 02-16-2004 08:27 AM

nesting dingies vs inflatable kayaks as tenders
Hey all,

My boat has a whopping 4'' of foredeck, and about that much beam at the stearn, and seeing as how I can make about 4 kts if everything is happy, I''m not ok loosing a kt trying to tow a dingy thats got more drag than my entire boat.

So I''ve found too "maybe" options, and would like to get some feedback.

Any tender I get will be for rowing only.

Option 1.

a "Two Paw 8''" 8 foot, nesting pram.

Fits on the fordeck (4''x 3.5''x21" nested)
Varnished wood looks better than cheap pvc.
Wont pop.
Carries "3" (which owners say translates into 2 adults comfortably)
Simple but fun looking project to do.
Should be no problem rowing out a 25# hook

another 65 lbs on the bow isn''t going to help ensure a dry ride.
scratching up my fordeck
trying to (dis)assemble it.
Not sure it has enough freeboard (this shouldnt be too dificult to fix though)


A Pair of inflatable 1 man kayaks. I know a few small boat sailors who do this.

each pack down as small as a backpack
2 people can go to diffrent places, or go exploring.
I know I can inflate on on josie and not send stuff flying.

a hook and an inflatable kayak just dont sound like a good combination.
have to inflate and deflate.
have to tow one to get any serious load (may not be an issue, because there''s not room on Josie for any serious load of stuff)
Cant cary 2 people.
probibly going to get wet if coming in through a chop (may still apply to the pram too though)

Are there other factors I''m missing?


Thanks :)

-- James

WHOOSH 02-16-2004 08:55 AM

nesting dingies vs inflatable kayaks as tenders

"Are there other factors I''m missing?"
A couple. How will the tender be used, and where? I guess some folks will be happy with anything but I would find a kayak a poor tender substitute if the boat is being cruised, the dink is the family car, reprovisioning must occasionally be done, the mate was other than a mermaid, and the weather was seasonal and water cold vs. tropically stable and warm.

I liked your list and think you''ve got the issues re: the nesting dink pretty well identified. It will present an obstruction for you, both visually and when working the foredeck, and IMO they are a better answer when they can be placed on the cabin top aft of the mast. They can also be terribly frustrating to ''nest'' in a chop, when the two pieces are bobbing around in different directions and you''re trying to drive bolts. Dave Gerr''s Nature of Boats offers what seems like a suitable method for attaching dinks but there are others, too. If that''s the direction you go, don''t over look this issue.

You''re right about the project; it''s good fun and easy. And building a nesting dink is even easier because the work footprint you need is small, the pieces are lighter you are working with, etc. The Two Paws looks nice...but as you say, there is a tradeoff between freeboard when it''s a dink and visual sightlines when it''s on deck.

Portabotes don''t appeal to me but perhaps you should consider that alternative before making a final decision. And it''s possible to inflate a simple/cheaper inflatable on a foredeck your size (e.g. one of the venerable Redcrests or Redstarts by Avon; they should be available used for not much money). As you inflate the front half, you just move it forward and up onto the lifeline/pulpit (one side or the other) while inflating the stern. But of course this option won''t sail and won''t row well; it just offers other benefits (stability, load carrying, small footprint & weight deflated, easy to repair).

Good luck. Fill us in on how the dink will be used, and where - perhaps that will stimulate other comments.


jbarros 02-16-2004 09:35 AM

nesting dingies vs inflatable kayaks as tenders
The 8'' portaboat wont fit on my deck. I cant lash it to the lifelines for the bend of my hull, and I dont even want to think about trying to open it on my miniscual fordeck. Oh yhea, and they cost more than I spent on my boat, and I cant find em used anywhere.

Bummer too, as they row realy nice.

Use will be primarily California Channel Islands, lots of rocky landings, rowing only, 2 people is reasonable (did I mention my boats a whopping 19 feet long) and if I have more, well, it''s just for a day trip, and a ferry trip back to the boat/shore for someone durring the occasional warm weather calm conditions I bring out more than a single friend on the boat wont be too bad.

So once agian, provisioning for one for as long as I would want to stay out on a 19'' sloop shouldnt be too horible.

I''m hoping to get down to Baja one of these days, but right now it''s not on the immediate agenda.

I love Gerr''s designs, but none are small enough, and I dont trust myself to properly downsize a design yet.

I''m going to go see what I can hunt down on the Avons right now.

Thanks :)

-- James

jbanta 02-16-2004 10:47 AM

nesting dingies vs inflatable kayaks as tenders
Nice thing about an inflatable is you can lash them CLOSE to your transom without the worry of the hitting you... So what if they do :) I tie mine close I mean touching the transon when I am out and will be making a landing on one of the Lakes islands.

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