Join Date: Oct 2010
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Re: What kind of dinghies are de rigeur.
I'll say this, just about the engines.
On my last cruise, I had a 25 HP Mercury on my 11 foot hard shell tender (Boston Whaler).
It would go over 30 mph if I ever needed to.
It would plane with four adults in it and as much gear as you could load in it.
It would have easily towed my 42 foot boat if I had ever needed to do that.
I never found one situation where I needed to go 30 mph.
I only ran it up on plane a few times, or were even in places where it was really helpful to do it. My wife would say, "Why are we in such a hurry?" every time I would do it. Most of the time I saw other cruisers running their dinghies on plane, they were doing it in places they shouldn't have, or didn't need to.
It weighed over a 100 pounds, and was extremely difficult, even with a motor lift to get on and off the boat, making me leave it on at times when I really should have taken it off (I'm lucky it didn't get stolen).
When I got back, I got rid of the 25 and got a Mercury 2.5 (one of the old Tohatsu made ones from a guy who had bought and apparently never used it, for $350).
It won't plane my dinghy, under any circumstances, but it will move it along smartly at 6 or so knots. It is so light, I don't even need the motor lift to put in on or off the boat, or on the stern pulpit mount. It is so simple, there is almost nothing to break (it doesn't even have a transmission).
The next cruise, I will have the 2.5 and a bigger motor, probably a 10 horse or so, as a spare, but I will use the 2.5 most of the time. I really love the 2.5 and I find myself putting it on the dinghy to go on short trips around the harbor, anchorage, etc., where I would have never gone to the trouble of manhandling the 25 to go on.
Live and learn.
On the northern Gulf of Mexico.
"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico