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  #1  
Old 01-21-2014
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Dinghy question

Need thoughts about dinghy's
Should be purchasing a Pearson 35 in a couple of weeks and I will be in need of a dinghy.
Doesn't necessarily need to be "powered"... Can be rowed.
So need thoughts on type... Conventional dinghy or inflatable?
Can I get away with just towing or use some sort of davit system ?
Will be doing some coastal cruising with the need to be ashore at least twice a day (say small dog!!!!!)
Thanks

Bill
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

No easy answer. If you're going to row, you would probably prefer something with a rigid shaped bottom, so that it tracks easier. The whole dink could be rigid, or just a rigid bottom inflatable . I personally prefer the RIB. If weight is an issue, get a single hull version.

If you're coastal cruising, you might get away with towing, if you only sail in benign conditions. Otherwise, you'll want something you can either get on the foredeck or have davits to get it out of the water. Nothing worse that a dinghy that has flipped over, while being towed. Further, the inflatables will float, if this happens. Traditional dinks may hang below the boat on the painter, depending on what weighs them down.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

If you want to row, I think you'll need a hard dinghy. An inflatable is impossible to row against any real wind or chop, whether it's a RIB or not. You can build your own in marine plywood and epoxy using the stitch-and-glue method for very little money (have a look at Danny Green's Chameleon, for example) or buy a ready-made one like a Walker Bay. I just built a Chameleon and it's not difficult for an amateur builder. Rows and tows like a dream! Also, as it's a nesting dinghy, it takes up very little space on deck (no need for davits).
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

If you need to row it, go borrow an inflatable, and go for a row in moderate wind. Even the rigid bottom inflatables, row pretty badly.

That's one of the many reasons, I got rid of my inflatable and went to an eleven foot Boston Whaler tender. It's heavy, but it rows like a dream.

Nice when you need to make a short trip and don't feel like putting the outboard on.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

Consider also the TAKACAT catamaran dinghy. www.takacat.com

My experience and thoughts:

boat came with a Walker Bay 8. Rowed extremely easily. Very unstable, but you can get the inflatable bulwark thingies. Very limited as to capacity; I was nervous with 2hp Elgin, me, and a big load of laundry. Couldn't stow it completely away, obviously. I detested it.

found a West Marine (Avon 10) air-floor. Hard to row, but carried a good amount of stuff. Stowable. Difficult to board, and fairly heavy even with the air-floor. Nevertheless, a better boat than the WB AFAIC.

Decided to try the Takacat Lite. So far, is as advertised. Rows pretty well, goes with the 2hp Elgin. Easy to board. Light. Can easily stow it. Floor did develop a leak, and the guy at Takacat contacted a local chandlery who repaired it, so although Takacat is not local, they dealt with the issue locally. the Lite is PVC so I built covers for it. If it dies I'd replace with a Hypalon version.

--oh, BTW, I'd never tow a dink. Did that once on a charter and it was such a pain. I'd pay whatever it took for davits, or get that thing on deck.

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Last edited by Multihullgirl; 01-21-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine_bill View Post
Need thoughts about dinghy's
Should be purchasing a Pearson 35 in a couple of weeks and I will be in need of a dinghy.
Doesn't necessarily need to be "powered"... Can be rowed.
So need thoughts on type... Conventional dinghy or inflatable?
Can I get away with just towing or use some sort of davit system ?
Will be doing some coastal cruising with the need to be ashore at least twice a day (say small dog!!!!!)
Thanks

Bill
We're coastal sailors and have towed and rowed for decades. Our sailing let's us choose our weather and avoid conditions that will cause problems with a towed dinghy(even on an overnight off the coast).

But what you tow makes a huge difference. Some dinghys are designed to tow, most are not. We've been using a Joel White designed Nutshell pram for the last couple decades(this is our second pram tender). This is a big pram, 9'6" long. We've always sailed with kids and dogs(in fact we two small dogs), we need a real boat for a tender.



I like a hard dinghy for the simplicity, just oars(and we carry a sail rig for it). It's reliable, simple. And we like to row, the excercise, quiet gunkholing, dinghy sailing, it's part of coastal sailing for us.

If the rowing and simplicity are not what you're after, an inflatable could be a better choice, especially over a hard dinghy that is not designed to tow well. Putting most hard dinghys on deck for coastal sailing would be too tedious for most people. I've never put either of our prams on deck(too big)
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

Our solution for the past seven years has been a 10' Portabote. It folds and stows easily along our side deck. It is very light compared to an inflatable, making it easy to row and motor. It manages a large load, can take a small outboard, and rows very well. You can tow it if need be, but unless we're only going on a short hop and are very confident of the forecast we always bring it up on deck. It only take 10-15 minutes after all.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

inflatable dinks dont row well.
walker bay 8 is a tender tender.
fits on deck tho....

i upgraded from wb8 to wb10 with happiness, and still fits on my coach house under my main boom, but my boat i s huge.

friend was towing a hard dink and painter got caught in the prop, causing all kinds of mayhem including shipwreck. tow isnt always the best method of transporting dinghy. yes he had been cruising the same waters over 6 yrs.
here, a towed ding is someone elses dinghy. they go gone.
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Last edited by zeehag; 01-21-2014 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

It depends! Ha!

We have both a Dyer and Avons. I row both. I enjoy the time it takes me to get to out to the mooring. It isn't a lot of work to row a dinghy. Sometimes it is rough and I have to tack into the wind or plan my crab angle to make it. There are times when I enjoy drifting with the wind if it is working for me.

Your question is which one? The Avon! Hands down! The convenience of having a rubber dink wins! The added difficulty of rowing a soft dinghy doesn't amount to that much. It is valuable upper body exercise. The Avon is more stable. It can be dragged up on shore with ease. It comes aboard easily. It can be deflated and stowed. It doesn't "bang" into the boat. It will handle a 2hp obm easily if rowing is a problem. On most inshore days along the Maine coast I just tow it. If I am going "outside" on a busy day I drag it up against the transom. If it looks like I won't need it for a couple of days it and am headed "outside" I deflate it and stow it. A good custom cover for your towed inflatable makes towing much simpler and safer. One of my Sailnet friends built himself a beauty and posted it here in "low buck projects". Thanks Rik. It is on my "to do" list.

Get both!

I keep a 16' rowing P-Pod at the dinghy dock for days when I want to go for a row. It is a boat I copied from an old cedar canvass Morris pod I have had for 40 years. The one at the dock is Kevlar. Light, fast, capable and fun. I do have a pole mounted radar reflector at the stern.

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Last edited by downeast450; 01-21-2014 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Dinghy question

I still row my Whaler for exercise on the bay near where we live sometimes. I will usually row all the way across the bay and back, over two miles. I have learned to take the motor off, because, with the motor on, so many people assume I have broken down, and come over to try and tow me in (because, what idiot would row a boat with a working motor? ).

It's amazing how far, and fast, you can row a good hard shell dinghy. I have an electric trolling motor I use sometimes to (30 pounds of thrust) and I can row about twice as fast as it will push the boat on full throttle.

I always wondered what people with inflatables plan of action was, if they ever had a motor failure with a breeze or current taking them out to sea.

Inflatables have a lot of good qualities, but what happens when the motor quits, isn't one of them.
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