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post #1 of 13 Old 06-20-2006 Thread Starter
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inflatable dinghy recommendations?

I'm waiting for the survey on a Bristol 29.9 I've contracted to buy and thinking about where to keep it. I'm inclined toward renting a mooring instead of a slip to save $ but the Bristol doesn't come with a dinghy, so I've been looking at internet ads for inflatables. This "Sea Eagle 8" looks like it could serve the purpose, and it's pretty darn cheap: http://www.seaeagle.com/motormount/se8.asp#Order
Does anybody here have any opinion about Sea Eagle products?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-20-2006
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I know nothing of the company but judging by the pictures in the link, I would say that these are not top quality inflatable boats. May be enough for your purposes though.

My concern would be the low hp rating and the fact that you would probably be leaving the dink somewhere, constantly exposed to weather and vulnerable to damage from birds, insects, people, whatever. The Zodiac types are great but the price can be a little intimidating, especially with the price of outboards. If it's just for getting to the boat, why not build something like one of these?

http://www.bateau.com/freeplans.php

http://www.clarkcraft.com/cgi-local/...item=942408945

http://www.clcboats.com/boats/passagemakerdinghy.php

Last one is my favorite.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-20-2006
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I used a Sea Eagle inflatable many years ago, and I was not really impressed. We were fishing and it leaked from the get go, even though it was new. Most of the better inflatables are made of either PVC or Hypalon, with Hypalon being slightly better material.

From the photos I saw on their site, I would be questioning how sturdy the oarlocks or safety line mounts are.

Also, their weight capacity seems to be a bit generous. I have a 12' 6" Porta-bote, which is considerably longer and a bit wider (60" vs. 56") than the Sea Eagle 8, and it is rated for only 670 lbs.

The waterplane area on the 12.5' Portaboat (approx 50 sq. ft) is significantly more (13%) than that of the Sea Eagle 8 (at best 44 sq. ft.), yet they rate the Sea Eagle for more weight (almost 40%). Also, the Porta-bote has significantly more freeboard and interior room. Also, consider the sailing dinghy that Hawkwind has favored is 11' 7' x 4' 8" and a weight capacity of 650 lbs, yet is two feet longer than the Sea Eagle 8. Hmm...Some one's numbers seem to be out of whack... and it isn't Porta-bote or CLC-boats.

This alone makes me question the quality and honesty of the company. Just food for thought.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 06-20-2006 at 07:19 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-20-2006 Thread Starter
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You guys have convinced me to stay away from Sea Eagles. The boat plans are very neat, but I don't think those things would stow well on a 29.9, and I'd like to have a dink I can take along on cruises. So looks like it'll have to be a Hypalon balloon-boat or a Porta-bote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkwind
I know nothing of the company but judging by the pictures in the link, I would say that these are not top quality inflatable boats. May be enough for your purposes though.

My concern would be the low hp rating and the fact that you would probably be leaving the dink somewhere, constantly exposed to weather and vulnerable to damage from birds, insects, people, whatever. The Zodiac types are great but the price can be a little intimidating, especially with the price of outboards. If it's just for getting to the boat, why not build something like one of these?

http://www.bateau.com/freeplans.php

http://www.clarkcraft.com/cgi-local/...item=942408945

http://www.clcboats.com/boats/passagemakerdinghy.php

Last one is my favorite.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-21-2006
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There will not be alot of room on a 30' boat for a stored dingy but it is possible. You can either tow it or stow it on deck. If u stow an inflatable on deck, given the size of your boat, I would say you will have to look for one with either a slat floor or one with a air-pressure air floor. If you are ok towing an inflatable, like I do, I love having a rib. Practical sailor has done several reviews of boats but some of the highly respected inflatable boat makers include avon, zodiac, ab, novurania, etc. They are either made from pvc or hypalon. People will argue all day over which is better.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-21-2006
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Henry, Sea Eagle generally is what you'd use to take the kids out fishing in a backyard lake. Nothing wrong with it, a PVC on vinyl inflatable is all you need for some things. If you will be moored in sheltered waters and only want something to get back and forth at that mooring, it would work. And if you will be daysailing, or not needing to take the dink with you, something cheap and simple that can be left on your mooring ball isn't a bad idea. As dinks get more expensive...let's just say the new looking ones sometimes walk away on their own, be sure to mark yours prominently and permanently and secure it when you aren't with it, if you can't afford to replace it readily.

As Ham says, there's just no way to store a dink on a small sailboat. Tried it with an 8' roll-up...PITA to roll and unroll and inflate. Won't be room on the foredeck. A bother to tow. There's no elegant solution, really. Sometimes a kayak, or better grade inflateable kayak, is worth looking at, if that can meet your needs. Sometimes...you just ante up and pay the launch service.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-22-2006 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
As Ham says, there's just no way to store a dink on a small sailboat. Tried it with an 8' roll-up...PITA to roll and unroll and inflate. Won't be room on the foredeck. A bother to tow. There's no elegant solution, really. Sometimes a kayak, or better grade inflateable kayak, is worth looking at, if that can meet your needs. Sometimes...you just ante up and pay the launch service.
How small is your boat? Two 29.9 owners said in the Yahoo BristolYachts forum that they stow deflated inflatables on their foredecks.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-22-2006 Thread Starter
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BTW, another reason I'd like to be able to take a dink along: in case I go aground and need to kedge off.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-22-2006
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Two years ago I bought a new dinghy for my boat. Based on my needs, generally no more than two people, easy to stow below and on deck, I chose a Bombarb AX2-8' dinghy, they are made by Zodiac. They have intergral pumps, and I bought a foot pump at our local hardware store, works well, oar locks are the same as those on bigger models of Zodiacs. It has a slatted floor and is easy to handle. Most important of all, the price was reasonable.

Last edited by Ronbye; 06-22-2006 at 10:14 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-22-2006
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I have to warn you guys that getting a dingy into and out of the water even on bigger boats isnt that easy. Trying to inflate on a small foredeck is a challenge as is setting the lifting gear. The dink is always wet, possibly slimy and may have bottom paint that can rub off. Depending on how many people you have, how strong they are, and the amount of wind getting it up and over the lifelines can be more of a challenge than you wud ever think. I know, i know. Towing one is no joy ride either...
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