seeker of wonder
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Where the oceans have no address.
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Ummm....inflatables DON'T do well in the "hard and sharp"....that just comes with owning an inflatable.
There are other options for areas with lots of hard, sharp rocks....a nesting dinghy like "Two Paws" is a great option. I still stows in a larger overall package than an inflatable, though.
I am not sure what you mean by 45"....did you mean you will be towing a dinghy FROM a 45' boat or did you mean you will be towing on a 45' towline. If a 45' boat, you will have plenty of room to lash a nesting dinghy.
If you DO opt for an inflatable....they ARE handy and VERY stable! There is only one kind of fabric to get HYPALON...any other material simply won't last.
You can also think about a hard-bottom inflatable. Also called a RIB (rigid-bottom inflatable). These have sturdy fiberglass, v-shaped hulls and inflatable sponson sides. But they ARE heavier and more expnsive, and far harder to stow....most are carried on transom davits....not a good thing if you will be heading offshore!!
Or you can do what I do.....I have an inflatable with a traditional rubber bottom. Here is what I do: This DOES work!!
If the shore is rocky, I set a good sized anchor off the dinghy with plenty of spare line, enough line that I am able to row to shore and still have at least double the distance in line that the dinghy will finally be offshore (to alllow you to secure the bitter end to whatever shore-point). Don't drag the dinghy anywhere. Just get out a few feet from land, and start tugging on the line....this will send the dinghy back out and away from shore where it'll be safe....tie this line off to a fixed shorepoint...large rock, tree, root...whatever. Be sure to also have a very long painter-line so that you can pull the dinghy back to shore once you releash the other line. Make sure your anchor is a good one...those collapsible grappling-hook type anchors aren't good enough for this.
If in places where you can anchor very close in to shore, (certain places in the Caribbean, Iceland, wherever), you can even use a modification of this procedure to send your dinghy right back to your boat once you step on land....just tie a very long line between your boat and your dinghy, long enough to get to shore, and ANOTHER line to pull the dinghy back TO shore once you are done. Just make sure it's in an area where no other boats will be going between shore and your anchored boat or it could be a mess!! The dinghy basically becomes a "cable-ferry" in such a case...and will ferry various passengers back and forth whenever they want...no need for two dinghies!!
Sure, there are some extra steps involved, and you will get your feet wet (Thank you TEVA!!!!), but it WILL save the bottom of your dinghy from harm.
"...and a star to steer her by."
Last edited by SoulVoyage; 06-12-2010 at 10:05 AM.