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Join Date: Sep 2005
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I think you need a dinghy that you can, at least when advisable, store on deck. in the gaps between islands you can run into considerable seas and solid breezes once you're down in the leewards and windwards and I can't imagine being happy towing a heavy, largish dinghy at those times.
Also on occasion you'll be needing to land in some considerable surf where some HP will be critical, on top of that in many areas the run to customs from an anchorage can be considerable.
On some islands you can utilize the network of 'boat boys' for some of these requirements, but I don't think that's something you want to rely on.
We've done the chain from St Maarten to Grenada - I cannot recall off the top of my head very many cruisers who had sailing dinghies on moderate sized boats.
Maybe another option for you would be to sell both and look into something that might try to do both - eg some of the Walker Bays that can be rigged for sailing but will be shorter and may fit aboard more easily. However the ability to deflate and minimize the on-deck size of a RIB is an advantage too.
As much as I like the idea of a sailing dinghy, esp with kids aboard, if you cant' take both I'd opt for the RIB.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)