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post #1 of 11 Old 07-23-2006 Thread Starter
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Dingy Questions

I'm looking for a dingy for use getting to and from docks/beaches ect. while weekending on the Cheseapeake Bay. I'll most likely tow the dingy when we'll have use for it, and leave it in the dingy rack at the marina when we don't, so storage size is not a major consideration.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of an inflatable with a rollup floor vs. a solid floor. What brands of inflatables have good reputations?

Anyone using a Watertender rigid dingy? Are you happy with it vs. an inflatable? This seems like both the most economical and durable option, but would pretty mcuh rule out bringing the dingy on board should the need ever arise.

Thanks for the input.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-23-2006
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I can't speak to inflatables, other than to say if you want a faster dinghy, that's the way to go. For a lightweight rigid dinghy, check out the Walker Bay ones, 8 and 10 foot. You can also purchase tube kits to make them a ridgid inflatable. As well as sail kits.

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-23-2006
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If you can't answer the question, you really should just not post a response.
Midlife: The inflatable floor dinghys are actually quite rigid and are easy to manage because the whole dinghy will roll up in one unit. The wood floor dinghys are heavier and tougher to stow. The rigid bottom dinghys are nice in that they will plane better under power but I think you are right...deck space is an issue.
I have the inflatable floor model and it works quite well.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-24-2006
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I have a Zodiac Fastroller inflatable floor model that I have found satisfactory. It has an inflatable keel that helps with towing and it stores quite compactly. We use it with a 2hp outboard that gives us sufficient speed for our purposes. We are on Puget Sound.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-25-2006
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Dinks

We have had three dinks over the years. We had a 10 foot Zodiac roll-up as our first. It is the cheapest and the lightest and it can fold up inside this little bag they give you (with considerable effort), but you can forget ever getting anywhere fast in it. It will not plane out. It will not handle well. And it is awkward to get used to steering it. We were on a 32 foot boat at the time and it's simplicity was nice, but I would not buy one again.

The next boat we bought (38 feet) we had davits put on it and bought a Avon Rib (10'2). It had a little anchor locker and seat and we really liked it in the water. We found it cut about a knot off our speed when we hauled it behind and in a storm offshore it will really "jam" the painter and fling around. Forget putting it on the davits in one of those storms (at least for us). It was so heavy and bulky that it would slam all over the place and we never found a good way to really lash it down. Even the Sports Fishers would really rock it. That being said, it was by far the best performer and fun to take to shore and piddle around in. Our dogs liked it better than the big boat!! One other comment about weight: It was murder to get it up on the davits. Unless you have davits, a fairly large and sturdy boat, and lots of upper body strength... don't buy it. Unles you plan on just hauling it everywhere with you.

The tender we have now is an Avon High Pressure Inflatable Floor, 10'2. It is Hypalon (which is probably the way to go). It does not plane out nearly as well or handle nearly as well as the RIB, but it typically stays on the davits wherever we go. It is easy to hoist and responds moderately well. Not as good as the RIB, but still night and day from the wood slat tender.

They ALL have trade-offs (I think that is true of all boating). I like Avon the best. They really stand behind their products. We had an issue with our second Tender and they bent over backwards to get it fixed for us.

My thoughts. Hope it helps. Let me know if you have other questions.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-25-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good input. We've opted to go with a Zodiac slat floor roll up. We found a good deal on a used one, and are now shopping for a 4HP outboard to hang on it.

We have a 32' boat, so the input on dingy size/style vs. boat size was greatly appreciated.

Bill and Jill
s/v Palmetto Moon
Stingray Point, VA
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-25-2006
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Bill-
One thing, if your dink is "good enough" to buy? It is sadly also good enough to steal. Make a habit of securing it at all times, and engine too, using cable or chain and a lock. That won't stop the pros but will slow down the casual theives. Putting your ID on it prominently and making it easily recognizable also will help it stick around.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-25-2006
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But don't identify the dink with the name of the boat it belongs to, as that is a good way for thieves to identify which boats may be unattended. And if they steal your dinghy, and row up to your boat, very few people will question that they're breaking into your boat or taking stuff off of it...

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-25-2006 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
But don't identify the dink with the name of the boat it belongs to, as that is a good way for thieves to identify which boats may be unattended. And if they steal your dinghy, and row up to your boat, very few people will question that they're breaking into your boat or taking stuff off of it...
Thanks, but it sure blows that we have to think of this kind of stuff.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-25-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
Thanks, but it sure blows that we have to think of this kind of stuff.
Yeah, it does...but that's the way it is...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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