2.85m (9') Zodiac air floor with 8hp Yamaha.
Only used when cruising. Stows in cockpit locker longterm, fore deck when going coastal or offshore, towed in harbour. Donk on stern rail with block and tackle for lowering/raising to/from dink. Never ever leave it on the dink when towing.
Previous boat we had an 8' cheapy with slat floor. Have also owned an 8' Avon with timber floor.
Given that the only place to inflate is foredeck and therefore rarely completely flat surface, air floor is the only way to go. Timber floor complete pain in the arse, slats marginally better.
High speed pump
recommended. Best to connect directly to batteries but they will pump
to full pressure in a matter of minutes. If pumping up for long term use we still give a few hand pumps
but for a day or so no need.
42'er has sufficient foredeck space to stow on deck and still leave room for moving about but the dink does get in the way of the mast mounted spinnaker
pole if lashed down hard against the mast.
8hp motor is too big. Quite frankly I have no need to do 20 knots through an anchorage and curse those who do. A 6 or even 4hp would serve our purpose and be so much lighter and easier to handle.
We have a hard dink for ship to shore in mooring field and will tow that for weekends if we intend just going off to anchor
out. Most of our sailing is done outside the harbour and I don't like towing in the inevitable swell.