very small dinghy - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-19-2007
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very small dinghy

I'm in the process of cutting up my plywood pram and putting it back together in a much smaller size. My end goal is to have a hard dinghy I can carry on deck (I already own a raft and don't like towing). Since I sail a bristol 27 space is limited; under the boom isn't really big enough even for a nesting dinghy so it will probably be fore of the mast. What is the smallest hard dinghy in use out there, and how does it row? I like this forum and I'm psyched I joined!
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Old 11-19-2007
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I have seen some 6-7 foot hard dinghies. Once you get down sub-7 foot you're pretty much talking about a one-man-and-a-dog dinghy. If the beam is decreased too much, it will not be very stable.

The Dyer Midget is about 7'10". There is a "low-shear" variant of the Midget which shaves the top 2-3" off the boat so it will more easily fit under a boom on the coachroof. This reduces freeboard and also results in reducing the l.o.a. by an inch or two. I thought that Trinka had made a 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 foot dinghy, but I no longer see it listed on their website (just 8, 10, and 12'). But I'm reasonably confident I've seen a smaller version.

But in such a small size range, in my opinion a pram is the best design as it does not waste any of the length in bringing the bow to a pointy end. And a pram should be beamier over the given length which normally will increase stability and load carrying capability.
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Old 11-19-2007
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Montgomery 6'8" pram

I have the 6'8" for all the reasons you mentioned. It weighs 65 lbs, so I can pull it up onto a beach or hoist it onto the foredeck myself. It rows really well, and can take two full sized adults without any problem.

It also tows beautifully, very very little drag. In the worst case scenario, it will swamp but not sink. Lots of positive floatation.

Good luck. Finding things to fit available space on small sailboats is such a challenge.

Mary
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Old 11-19-2007
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You've asked a loaded question. As you probably know, your dinghy is everything from the family car while anchored to a fishing boat to take the kids out in. Choosing a dink on what it will be used for is sometimes harder than choosing the boat you put it on.
I've gone through a number of dinks looking for just the right one and I've turned up with two.. An inflatable, Avon hard bottom, that folds down into a flat pack, and a fatty knees that sets over the deflated inflatable, between the mast and dogger.
Your question, "smallest", If you could get both feet in a bucket, thats the smallest, but who wants to paddle around in a bucket. I would think of what you are going to use it for first.. If its used as sail or just paddle, and do you use it yourself or will you have others with you, open water or lake use, using it every day or just now and then..
When putting it on the fore deck, you've just covered your anchor locker or your ability to get to the locker. (thats the reason I sold the first dink).
The smallest I've ever seen was about 2 feet wide and about 3 feet long, and used by a guy getting back an forth from his boat in Sasusalito,
(San Francisco Bay).. I have also sean a few "Seveyor" inflatables, at about 4 feet long..
With a smaller boat, you dont have a lot of options.......
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Old 11-19-2007
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Smallest on this site is 4'. Then there's a coracle. Any smaller than that and you're into an inner tube. If you'd like to be comfortable there is a Niccolls 10 foot dinghy that nests to under 6 feet long.
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Old 11-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnHand View Post
Smallest on this site is 4'. Then there's a coracle. Any smaller than that and you're into an inner tube. If you'd like to be comfortable there is a Niccolls 10 foot dinghy that nests to under 6 feet long.
Love the inner tube one only thing I need the inner tube from a mine dumpster.
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Old 11-19-2007
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I think that might make it an outer tube, Simon. With my boat anyhow.
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Old 11-19-2007
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I wonder if anyone considered this? I bought a 1 man inflatable pontoon type fishing boat for fishing our rivers but it also serves as a way ashore that takes up almost no space. It is pinned together and has 8 ft. pontoons. Disassembled it fits in a suitcase. Cost was 219.00 dollars. I'm in Flathead lake so , freshwater obviously.
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Old 11-19-2007
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Umm... It really depends on what you need. If you need to carry three people, a boat smaller than 7' is probably not going to work for you...If it is just you... 6' is probably about the smallest workable dinghy you'll probably find usable.
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Old 11-19-2007
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I had something called a "Sport Yak II" that I sailed around on as a kid. It was 6'6" I believe and plastic, and could carry about 250lbs. Had a cute little latteen setup with lee boards. Only for protected waters as waves would quickly come over the bow. Don't know if they still make them, but it would fit under a low boom.

I guess BIC makes them now: http://www.bicsportboats.com/boats/sportyak.php?lang=us

Last edited by sailboy21; 11-19-2007 at 10:58 PM. Reason: still made
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