Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Our current dinghies consist of a small zodiac, which is nice and stable, but with the slatted floor and the small size, isn't an ideal dog and Admiral transporter, and a traditional style hard dinghy which has a little more space and is indestructible, but unless you use laser positioning to get yourself exactly into the centre when you get in and out, you are going swimming.
I saw a little tri-hull up for sale, how would they compare with a zodiac in terms of stability? I don't care if it won't get up on a plane etc as it's only going to have 2.5hp anyway, but otherwise it ticks a lot of boxes as a tender.

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post #2 of 18 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Mates of ours have recently ditched their inflatable for a tri hull. Mind you they have a 40+'er so the thing can be stowed upside down on the foredeck. Whether that is doable on 27'er may well be another matter altogether.

stability wise ..... brilliant.

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

It's only 8', so not really any bigger then the zodiac or the hard dinghy. Hmm, definitely an option to explore I think.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Or how about a tri-hull versus a Walker Bay RID?

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

When you say tri-hull, I assume you mean something like what I have which is this: WEST MARINE WaterTender 9.4 Rowing Dinghy at West Marine

It's not as stable as a zodiac, I'm sure, but I find it to have all the stability that we need. I can stand anywhere inside--all the way to one side or up on the bow seat--and it will not go over. Routinely, we have two adults, a child, and maybe 20-30 pounds of gear, and I've never once felt unstable. My 4 year old and I will go rowing and fishing in it and he bounces all over that thing without a problem. I've had as many as 3 adults and two older kids, plus gear, and that was pushing capacity but doable. We've had our ~60 pound lab in there, and that was no problem from a stability standpoint. Plus, it rows really well.

As compared to the complimentary 7-8' hard regular dinks that my marina offers, it's a world of difference for the loads that we normally put in. We used the complimentary dinks for a month or so, and I definitely did feel vulnerable to capsize in those.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Not all rigid dinks are the same. If I remember correctly you have a Ranger Minto or something like it, with a very round hull shape. Those are sensitive to weight placement.

We have a Dyer Dhow Midget that has a much flatter bottom. It is from a design originally made in plywood, so it has hard chines with a shallow v. It isn't as stable as a Zodiac, but it is much more stable than the Minto. I routinely stand up in it for instance. It's under 8' though, and would be tight for 2 adults and 2 dogs.

It fits well on the foredeck of our 28' boat. Does your C&C 27 have a babystay? That would make things tougher. The squarer shape of the tri-hull boats would kill access to the anchor locker on my Pearson, while a more pointed shape like what is on my Dyer allows me to push the dinghy over a little bit to open the locker.

I've read that Walker Bay dinghies are not stable, but the tube kit might make all of the difference. Down here (Seattle) they are easy to find used, maybe the same is true up there. At least then if the boat doesn't work out you can sell it for the same price that you paid.

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

I've pretty much settled on the fact that my next (and 'go cruising') dinghy will be a Livingston 10
It's heavy, it's stable, it's indestructible, and at 2k it's half the cost of a comparable RIB.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Hey,

My boat is on a mooring and I use a dingy to row out to her. Over the years I have had a number of dinks:

First one was an old Sumner 8' fiberglass boat that someone was throwing away. One gunnel was rotted. I fixed it up (poorly) and used it for a year. It rowed well and was easy to drag up and down the beach but was unstable and could not hold much.

Second boat was an old Water tender, not the tri hull. It was plastic, so it was light and easy to drag. It held a decent amount of gear and rowed well. It was more stable than the first boat but not very stable, especially in the bow.

Eventually the water tender wore out from being dragged up and down. Last year I replaced it with a new Watertender 9.4 tri hull. This one, as mentioned above, is very stable. I haven't used an inflatable, but the tri hull does make the boat stable and you can stand almost anywhere and not feel like it's going to tip. It is pretty light and easy to move. I don't think it rowed well because of the tri hull. It certainly does not row as well as the older style boat or a Walker Bay.

This spring my watertender was stolen. I replaced it with a used Walker Bay 10. The 10' WB is just about as stable as the Watertender 9.4 and rows better. The WB 10 is wide and that definitely helps. Mine came with the inflatable tube around the hull but I removed it because I have to store the boat on it's side. The downside the WB10 is that it is very heavy. Mine had a sail kit at one time, so there is a floor, centerboard trunk, mast mount and some other stuff too. I thought that since it was plastic it would be light but it isn't. The damn thing almost kills me when I get to the beach at low tide and have to drag it up the beach to the rack. I'm trying to think of a dolly that would work in soft sand but I haven't built one yet.

Hope this helps.

Barry

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
I don't think it rowed well because of the tri hull. It certainly does not row as well as the older style boat or a Walker Bay.
I wonder if this had to do with the oars you were using. I find my Watertender 9.4 to row very well, even better than the regular 8' monohull fiberglass dinks that I've used. I have nice, but pricey, Caviness aluminum oars with clamp-on oar locks. I think these oars would be too big and bulky on a smaller dink, but perfectly matched for the size of the Watertender 9.4, and really propel and steer it nicely. I had to use an old, smaller pair of wooden oars on the Watertender one time and it did not row nearly as well.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Zodiac vs tri-hull for dinghy

Paul, locally, Horizon produced an 8' dink that was much like a miniature Boston Whaler. I think one of them might suit you. Not very heavy and well built.

Much nicer than the Livingstones but I doubt it would have the same carrying capacity.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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