Inflatable tender for 30' sailboat - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 34 Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Inflatable tender for 30' sailboat

My wife's arse got majorly wet this Christmas when we were cruising, "we need a dinghy with a hard floor that i can step on & that has an outboard that actually works" was her wording. She isn't much of a sailer...

My response "Okay darling I'll sort something out that can take us 2 adults and the 3 kids. Maybe even be able to do a little fishing as well".

A month later the new dinghy arrived .... okay so maybe I took her instructions a tad literally

Pics of the old (sans outboard) and the new.

The new one obviously wont be put on the deck, which isn't an issue.
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post #32 of 34 Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Inflatable tender for 30' sailboat

For many years I had a 9' Avon hypalon roll-up dinghy. The floor was pvc slats joined by rubber hinges like a roll-top desk tambour door. It was a real floor! The thwart seat and oars were the only removable parts. You literally rolled it out and inflated the two large chambers and the inflatable keel. I used it for 15 years seasonally in New England before I got a larger hard-bottomed dinghy (that's another story). The roll-up still holds air after 19 years.

We started with a 6 hp motor, but downsized to a 4 hp, which was easier to ship and unship. The motor was clamped on a bracket attached to the stern pulpit when underway. The 110 lb. dinghy--sans motor--was hauled up on the foredeck, deflated, and rolled up if we were traveling any distance over 10 nm. It helps to have an electric pump, but it isn't necessary. After a few years of horsing the dinghy over the lifelines, we decided it was easier to hoist it up using the main halyard.

The trouble with the roll-up was that is was a wet boat, having a low freeboard. We also had to be careful landing and launching on the beach. We added removable wheels back when they were called Davis "Wheel-Aweigh". We were getting older and this allowed us to pull it up the beach and not worry about sharp shells--and you do need to worry about them! We used this system for many years and it worked well.

Over the years we've had inflatable, hard bottom inflatable, and hard dinghies (Dyer Dhow). For your size boat, an inflatable that you can stow--preferably deflated--on the foredeck is what we'd recommend. An inflatable is much more stable that other types, but you have to protect it from shells when you beach it. You really need a motor, but a small one (2-4 hp) is all you need. If you intend to keep it for a long time, spend a few more bucks for hypalon and store it in its duffel out of the sun when you are not using it.
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post #33 of 34 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Inflatable tender for 30' sailboat

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Originally Posted by wopalx View Post
My wife's arse got majorly wet this Christmas when we were cruising, "we need a dinghy with a hard floor that i can step on & that has an outboard that actually works" was her wording. She isn't much of a sailer...

My response "Okay darling I'll sort something out that can take us 2 adults and the 3 kids. Maybe even be able to do a little fishing as well".

A month later the new dinghy arrived .... okay so maybe I took her instructions a tad literally

Pics of the old (sans outboard) and the new.

The new one obviously wont be put on the deck, which isn't an issue.

Go big or go home I guess
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post #34 of 34 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Inflatable tender for 30' sailboat

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Keeping it in the water all the time is pretty hard on the dinghy. Why not put it on the dock (with a rack that holds it vertical) when you don't have it in use? Otherwise you'll probably be hauled it out every couple of months to clean it anyway. If you aren't using it regularly (weekly?) the dinghy will last much much longer if you keep it deflated and put away when not in use. I bet a PVC dinghy will last only a few years if kept out in the sun, but go for decades if mostly kept rolled up and only inflated when it use. It takes me about 5 minutes to unpack and inflate my 7'7" Zodiac Zoom.
I keep my dinghy in the water all season long early May 'till end of October. we botom paint it with inflatable rubberized bottom paint. We never haul it out to clean it during the season. We're in the Northeast so we don't have the sun that you have to deal with in the southern climates. I had a West Marine (Zodiac) PVC dinghy with a plywood floor for ten years. I just replaced it this winter. I go to my boat usually at least a couple times a week, there is no way I want to be hauling out my dinghy everytime I go to my boat. If I didn't use it as frequently then maybe. Everybody's situation is different. You really can't generalize.

My new dinghy is a PVC. If I can get 10 yrs out of a PVC dinghy with the hard use I give it, I'm happy to replace it every 10 yrs with a purchase price of about half of what a hypalon costs.

If you're considering two sizes, I would go with the larger. As was mentioned, if the if there is any wave action there's a good chance you'll catch a lot of spray, so the bigger the better. Also, while most of the time there might only be two people how often do you have load more people and supplies? If you have access to a dock where you can load up, then it's not a problem. If you get a hard floor (plywood or aluminum, breaking it down and setting it up will take more than a few minutes. However, I like having a hard floor, (old one was plywood, new is aluminum) because you don't have to worry about leaks in the air floor. The advantage of an air floor is that it's lighter and probably easier to set up and breakdown.

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