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Old 03-21-2007
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Dinghy Dilemma

I've read all about the pros and cons of inflatables, RIBS and rigid dinghys. All have their ups and downs.

Does anybody use a good ole 12-14' deep V fishing boat as a dinghy? It looks like I can get a complete used fishing boat with motor a trailer for the price of a new inflatable, and a lot cheaper that a RIB.

I see several advantages with this approach.

1) Less expensive.

2) Simpler Solution. If I'm going out for a daysail I leave it in my driveway. If I'm going our for a couple of days, I take it to the marina launch and tow it. I don't need Davits or an outboard hoist on the boat. Furthermore I don't have to worry about my outboard/inflatable at the marina.

3) More versatile. If I want to go fishing at the lake, I've got my fishing boat.

Is anybody doing this? What's the downside to this approach?

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Old 03-21-2007
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Seems like it would work well in your situation. Would probably be more drag when towing that a dink.
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Old 03-21-2007
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My guess is that it would depend on the condition you encounter while cruisuing. If your in protected waters and only cruise where the water is flat, than maybe it might work. But, if you ever encounter heavy seas, you certainly don't want to deal with a 14' boat on attached to your stern.
Can you imagine the mess you would be in if that ever got swamped?. And could you imagine trying to stow it on deck? Not a pretty sight.
If your in protected waters all of the time, maybe I would think about it.

Where do you sail?
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Some of these fishing hulls look very close to the walkerbay dinks. The weight is around 110 pounds. I just don't know if any special considerations went into the design of "dinghys" that would make them more suited for towing.

I know boarding stability is a big plus with the inflatables, but if that became a problem with a fishing boat, I could add "Dinghy Dogs" to help address that issue.
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Old 03-21-2007
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Sailortjk1 I'm in the chesapeake so there's always a place to run and hide when things get "bad". And I know "bad" in the bay is not really that bad.
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Like PB said, how much drag will 110lbs in tow produce?
Something else to consider.

I like you am always amazed at the prices for all of this stuff.

A nice RiB and motor, what, only a couple of thousand.
I wish I had the money I've spent on boats, supplies, mooring fees, yard bills,.... I'd be a rich man! LOL! Than again, I'm a boat addict.
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Is there a concern about drag other than the obvious one of slowing the sailboat down?
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Archis-

You don't say what size boat you have. Unless you're on a relative large sailboat, stowing it isn't even an option. That makes your option for "keeping" the dinghy much less likely. A 12' fishing boat is probably twice the size of an 8' walker bay rigid dinghy in terms of actual deck space it would take up.

I would think that a 12' fishing boat, being towed by your sailboat would create a lot of drag and hinder your ability to sail. Personally, I'm out there to sail...and I think that towing that would force you to motor a lot more than you would need to with an inflatable dinghy. What is the point of being out there if you have to motor everywhere... The winds on the Chesapeake are fairly light and fluky IIRC... so the additional drag is going to affect where you can go, how you get there and how long it takes.

Also, the amount of damage a 12' hard fishing boat could do to your sailboat in heavy weather is another thing to consider

Also, as sailortjk1 points out...what happens when it gets swamped. If you were sailing and it got swamped—would it rip the cleat it was tied to out of the deck or damage it??

Also, I think it would look a bit strange... especially if you have a smaller sailboat. If you have a larger sailboat, you can probably afford to spring for a real dinghy..
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Sailingdog I'll be on an old pearson 33. Do you think towing a 12' behind that will kill the sailing?
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I'll bet you loose a full knot.
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