Would a Walker Bay 8 be good for a 27' boat? - SailNet Community

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Old 12-14-2008
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Would a Walker Bay 8 be good for a 27' boat?

There is one for sale near me locally, comes with oars and an electric motor with battery and charger, I'm thinking about buying it, making a sail kit for it (since I already have a small boat rig) and using it for camping, and just messing about. Then when we get our big boat, use it as a dinghy. But is an 8' hard dinghy too big for a 27-30' boat? It's very light so I can easily haul it out of the water, but not as light or easy to store as an inflatable.
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Old 12-14-2008
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I bought mine 4 years ago to use with my 25' boat. It will take up your entire foredeck if you put it up there. But they also tow pretty well. I towed mine from Washington to Alaska, including about 120 miles of open water.
So I say yes, but only if you are young & able. They aren't as forgiving as an inflatable if you mis-step getting in. They also have a very low weight limit. Two big adults can easily exceed even without any gear.

here is mine being whisked along at 6+ knots in 30 knot wind.
YouTube - Febuary sailing in Alaska

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It's a pretty big dinghy for a 27-30' boat, and would be pretty tough to stow on most boats in that size range.
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I have a sandpiper 8, which looks to be very similar to the walker bay you are looking at. My biggest problem is weight capacty. At 6'4" and 240# it seems a little unstable, especially if there is any chop. I have not tried it yet with anyone else on board.
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Sounds like the perfect boat to me. Thought about one for myself, to tow the few times I need a dingy, and can load it into the pickup bed, and if I wanted, sail it in the 1/4 mile away .75-1 mile diam lake.

You can also get inflatable bladders to put at the rail, to gve you a bit more stability with weight etc too. Overall, not a bad boat, better built ones out there yes, but for what you pay for it, not a bad boat.

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knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about
I cruised for 9 months with a 8" hard dingy. It was wood but very light. It was lashed upside down on the foredeck in chocks and stayed put in some very rough conditions. We hung it over the side with a bridle and a halyard lashed against fenders when at anchor.
It had handrails on the bottom to help to get past it on the foredeck and to allow it to be dragged on the beach and a very large fender under the seat for flotation.
Best thing was, I never had to blow it up or patch it once.
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Thanks everyone, it would be towed most of the rare times I would need it (longer lake cruises) it would be used more often as a camping or messing boat. Also at 71lbs, I could easily haul it up onto the deck if it's too rough to tow it. How do you know it's too rough to tow? When it starts passing you? What's a good rule of thumb regarding wind speed or wave height?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMKay View Post
Thanks everyone, it would be towed most of the rare times I would need it (longer lake cruises) it would be used more often as a camping or messing boat. Also at 71lbs, I could easily haul it up onto the deck if it's too rough to tow it. How do you know it's too rough to tow? When it starts passing you? What's a good rule of thumb regarding wind speed or wave height?
Just before the dinghy becomes a drogue.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Just before the dinghy becomes a drogue.

Very true
Actually, with a light dingy like that you might want to hang a line over it's transom when towing in certain conditions. It can help it behave sometimes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Just before the dinghy becomes a drogue.
I had an inflatable surf into my outboard prop (wasn't running and was up out of the water) it punctured the dingy. I had to anchor it and return later to retrieve it. That was a nasty story for The Chesapeake Bay, 45+kts and 8' waves, another boat sunk and several people drowned nearby (I didn't know that until the next day.)
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