24' sailboat dinghy suggestions? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-09-2014
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Re: 24' sailboat dinghy suggestions?

I will agree with all those who recommended the 7.5-9 foot, slat or inflatable floor, inflatable dinghy. One that has some v shape to the bottom. Good stability. Half decent to row.

No on the inflatable kayak. You want to be transporting gear, you want that stability.

Also you say you don't want an engine. Maybe you won't, but if you get a real dinghy you can always add an engine later.

You know me, I've been there. Last year I went old avon 8 inflatable and swore I was a real sailor and wouldn't tow it. Didn't need an engine. Tow it. 9 times out of ten tow it! You will not want to be inflating and deflating every time. It may take five to ten minutes but it's a pain, it really is. They tow very nicely up there.

If you're only going to be using it a couple times a year, you can totally get by sans engine. But if you start going farther or more often you might find you want an engine. Again. I found that I wanted an engine. If it's you and your wife or girlfriend, the weight and the current, maybe some wind. Some places it's a long row. I mean like 20 minutes each way. And if you just forgot onions at the store, or need to walk the dog, or take a shower, or just go to shore to stretch you legs and take a walk. It gets long rowing. But sometimes it's fun. You'll figure out what you like. But definitely get one that can take an engine if you need to.

And no offense to the kayakers. I don't think inflatable kayaks look cool or very "pro". Just as you don't wear a dirty tee shirt that says F U on it, you want to look nice, and have people think you're hot stuff . An inflatable kayak doesn't say that, it says I'm utilitarian, or I don't care about looking cool. That's not what you want.

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post #12 of 15 Old 05-09-2014
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Re: 24' sailboat dinghy suggestions?

We have a 24' Bristol and used an 8' inflatable last year with an outboard. We towed it because even deflated we felt it was going to take up too much room, and frankly we didn't find towing it to be a big deal. We did, however, put the outboard on the stern rail.

This year we have a 9.4 Watertender from West Marine (the inflatable ended up with two large holes right at the seams - I'm suspecting a critter in the garage). Towing will be the only option, but at least we won't have to buy another dink.

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post #13 of 15 Old 05-09-2014
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Re: 24' sailboat dinghy suggestions?

I have a fully inflatable raft, previously called "Seahawk II," but since rebranded as the "Mariner 3." Got it in 2012 for $115 on Amazon, $17 for motor mount, $80 for trolling motor, I use a spare battery from my basement. I've only used it once, and it worked great in protected waters. I've taken it with me many times, but didn't need to use it. It stows in a small bag, weighs 40 lb (boat only), fits easily in aft berth. Probably not very good for rowing, but it does have collapsible oars.

It is probably not a good solution for frequent use, but for occasional use it may strike the right balance of portability for a small boat. It's small enough to always have with you, available for use only if you need it.


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post #14 of 15 Old 05-09-2014
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Re: 24' sailboat dinghy suggestions?

it says I'm utilitarian, or I don't care about looking cool
I'm sold! That is what I am after. You guys should have seen me and my teenage son trying to get ashore using our tiny pile of junk cheepo inlatable boat. The thing was sinking faster than we were rowing (mostly in circles because we were laughing too hard). I'm pretty sure the guys in the yacht club we were encroaching on where laughing pretty hard too.

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post #15 of 15 Old 05-09-2014
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Re: 24' sailboat dinghy suggestions?

I don't like inflatable kayaks because it takes twice as much effort to paddle as compared to a rigid kayak, and because they do not last. I don't care that they look cheap or utilitarian.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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