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  #1  
Old 07-13-2010
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Dinghy: to plane or not to plane....

I'm starting to look at dinghies -- it is almost as tough as picking the main vessel!

Given the following:
  • Use davits
  • Typically carry ~300-400 lbs (2 people)
  • Occasionally want to be able to carry 4 people
  • We are planning on heading south from the Chesapeake, cruising the ICW, Bahamas, and maybe further into the Caribbean.

I'm thinking that a hypalon RIB in the 8-9 ft makes a lot of sense.

But what about motor size? How big of a motor do I need to be able to plane? I think it is about a 10 HP or so.

Do I want to be able to plane for the type of cruising I'm talking about? Or is it better to get a smaller motor, and the associated less weight?

What about the single floor vs. double floor? I like the simplicity and lighter weight of the single floor.
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Old 07-13-2010
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One thing.. I'd point out that you probably want a dink motor that is light enough that the smallest adult crew member can lift it and mount/dismount the motor from the dinghy in less than ideal conditions. One of my friends has an AB 9' 6" fiberglass hulled RIB with a Tohatsu 3.5 HP outboard on it. They can run with four adults in 20 knots of wind....but not on plane. However, the engine is only about 40 lbs. and their 13 year-old son can mount it on the dinghy by himself.
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Old 07-13-2010
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I'd second the Tohatsu/Nissan 3.5 also look for the new AB dinks that have aluminum hull instead of FG, they seen to be becomming the hot ticket, ultra light @ 8-9' to where two people can lift it easy over their heads; The alu has a brushed finished not painted with rubber anti slip strips, nice dink
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Old 07-13-2010
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The one advantage of the fiberglass hulled RIBs is the ease of repair. Most people can learn to patch the fiberglass hull reasonably well, which is not the case with the very thin aluminum hull on the aluminum hulled RIBs.
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Old 07-13-2010
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You can put me in the camp of those who want to plane. I agree with the alum RIBs but i would consider a HP floor too. I have 2 RIBs. An old 10.2 Avon. It's heavy but a great boat, very stable and predictable. The other is a Caribe C9, it has a double floor. I don't like it much. It is more difficult to plane and I see no advantage to the double floor. I prefer 2 stroke engines because they are lightweight and can be easily handled, but they are louder than a 4 stroke. My 15hp Johnson weighs about 80 lbs. I plan on getting rid of the Caribe and getting a HP floor 10'.2. The Caribe is too heavy for me to load it on the deck by myself and is too short to plane properly/comfortably. If I install Davits I would use my Avon anyway so something like a 79 lb Achilles 10 footer would be a good compromise for the front deck.

A planing boat is great for touring. Otherwise I would be tempted to forgo the gas altogether and just row or sail.

If you are going with a planing boat I would go with a 10 footer. If not then a shorter and much lighter boat will have it's advantages.

Davits - 10' RIB (alum would be great)

Beaching wheels are great. BTW

Gene
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Old 07-14-2010
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If you only want your dink to get from anchor/mooring to shore, go as small and light as possible and forget planing. Much easier to deal with.

However, if your dink is going to be part of the entertainment value of your boat by allowing you to explore the shallows or zip around the island, then go as big as you can accommodate. Limbo in the middle seems to be too heavy to deal with easily and too small to really enjoy.

I'm all in for what I can carry. 11ft, steering console, 18hp engine with stern planes. She hangs off serious davits with the engine remaining on the dink. You couldn't disassemble the steering linkage in any reasonable time to hoist the engine separately. It takes one main winch to pull her up the 6x blocks. It has made the time at anchor a real blast for everyone and greatly extended our reach.

The significant downside to this setup is heavy weather sailing. The davits are very secure in coastal cruising, even in 10ft seas, as personally tested. No way they would be appropriate for serious blue water, or following crashing seas and the console prevents it from being flipped and lashed on deck. The best we can imagine for that blue water trip, is taking her apart and hauling her on the foredeck. It would just be relatively out of commission until arriving at a long term port.
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Old 07-14-2010
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If you're going cruising, especially the Bahamas, get the biggest dink you can fit on your davits and a 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke. I've always had at leat a 10 foot RIB , carried on the davits or arch (2 different boats) with the motor mounted on the dink. Most popular combination is a 10'06" AB RIB and the 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke. If you get anything less you will soon switch. In the Bahamas we go miles and miles in our dinks, fishing or exploring. Mine's second from the front with the netting to prevent chafe.

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Old 07-14-2010
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Thanks for all the responses.

I think I lean towards having a setup that gives me the ability to plane and explore. On charter trips I've done, I really like the flexibility it gives. Town is a couple miles away and need ice? No problem -- hop in the dink and your there in no time.

When, if ever, do you take the outboard off the dingy and put it on the stern rail? Longer passages? Heavier weather? What's the thinking there?

If I have davits, can I use the davits to hoist the outboard up onto the rail?

Again, our plan is coastal cruising/island hoping...
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Last edited by EpicAdventure; 07-14-2010 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 07-14-2010
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Unless we are doing a simple day sail, we remove the engine and store on the rail. For any passage, we put the dinghy on the deck.
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Old 07-14-2010
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I just upgraded to a new Achilles 9'2" RIB mated with a 9.8hp Tohatsu...from a 10' Avon Inflatable Floor and 2hp Honda and love the new one, and the Achilles is such a better boat than the Avon...NEVER will I buy another Avon...POS!

It will plane easily with just me, pretty easily with me & my wife, but has difficulty planning with me, wife, and two young kids. I wanted a shorter dingy so it would fit better on our davit and boat, and it does. However I probably should have gone with the 10' RIB and a 15hp. For now though considering where we are and what we do now this one works fantastic. I also installed a Forespar Engine lift, a must, now way are you going to lift a 80# engine on your own (BTW, I was disappointed that the engine lift came with a single block and not a double, I just replaced the block and of course it so easy to lift now its silly)

I am looking at adding a fin to the engine to help with planning or maybe tabs on the dingy itself? I'll let you know if I see any improvement ;-)

You should be prepared to drop some bucks though:

Davit = Garhauer $800.00 Garhauer Marine Hardware -1316289
Engine Lift = Forespar $500 Nova Lift
Dingy = Achilles $3000 Rigid Hull Inflatable (RIB) 9' 2"
Engine = Tohatsu $1700 9.8 HP 4-Stroke
Boat Cover = Taylor $100.00 Taylor Made Products 2010 Product Catalog

$7000 + other incidentals

If you cant store the RIB on deck then get a inflatable floor (my boat neighbor had to do this because of his baby stay), but if you are going to do davits and want to plane then get a RIB, no question!

And no, I don't see how you can use the davit to lift the engine unless it mounted way high? What kind of boat?
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