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  #1  
Old 08-13-2007
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Dinghy's

Hi, I was wondering which dinghy would be best for coastal cruising.
I have an Achilles that is about 20 years old with a slow leak on one side. (wish I could find it, soapy water no bubbles, new O rings but still a slow leak, frustrating) served my hubby and I well.
My friend wants to buy a rigged bottom, have priced West Marine, Avon, Achilles, and zodiac. Which do you think is best?

Sue
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Old 08-13-2007
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Whats your budget? New or Used?

Have you tried a search of the topic? Lots has been written about this.
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Old 08-13-2007
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At the boat show in Philly I received information on Aquadutch. They looked to be very well made and had great pricing. The web site is Here.
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Old 08-13-2007
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Sue,

This will, or could be, the beginning of a very long conversation. It is almost like asking which anchor is best. It is very opinionated. Thus, let me say that the typical cruiser with the typical sized boat has the following basic options:

1) Roll-up. I have owned one of these. They are attrocious performers. That is not an opinion (smile), it is a fact. You will be limited to slow speeds, low HP motors, and very difficult steerage. It has only three benefits as I see them: cheap, can roll-up for easy storage, and is light.

I personally feel that anyone who is at all serious about any kind of cruising should steer clear of these if possible. I will never own one again.

2) RIB. Rigid Inflateable Boats are very good performers and a pleasure to motor. They will break through the swells and will plane out. THis is important. Remember that your dink is one of the most used pieces of equipment on your boat while cruising. It was for us. We wore ours out. Also, this boat can be beached with little-no damage. The negatives on this boat are big, though. It is typically the most expensive and it is very heavy. Obviously, you are not putting this in your lazarette and trying to haul it up davits requires a lot of umph. Taking it on passages with it on your davits is a nightmare if you get caught in a storm... as is having it caught behind your boat. The bottom line is that while in the water, you will LOVE this tender. Getting it out of the water or anything else, you will hate it. Ours was a Avon 10'2 with the locker forward. Great boat with limitations.

3) HPIB. High Pressure Inflateable Boats. These boats have gained in popularity as the medium between the two above. They really are not much cheaper than a RIB, but they will plane out... somewhat. They will also fold up and deflate into a bag... somewhat. Their big negative is that they do not do either one really well. However, they are quite light for what they are and you "can" plane out. It requires more maintenance on these boats. For example, if your inflateable keel loses air and you do not realize it (happened to me this last weekend), you will think you are on a flat bottom roll-up again until you re-inflate. Obviously, we have one of these now. It is a Avon Hypalon 10'2. I honestly will say I am a bit dissapointed in this boat. We only have a 4-strk 6 hp on the back... but it is very hard to plane with much weight and when it does, it will not plane very well and steer well. It is, though, a compromise. If I was serious cruising, and especially be doing many passages, I would probably still consider.

Where you go from here is up to you. If I could go back, I might go back to a RIB. I do have davits and can get it up on them... but I remember getting that boat up there was such a pain I left it in the water half the time. It is also a lot of weight for smaller boats (36 and below, depending on the boat).

I hope that helps. If you have specifics, let me know.

- CD
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Old 08-13-2007
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I have this one and absolutely love it.
but if i bought another i would take a look at this one.
edit, i really like this one to, my marina neighbor has one!
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Old 08-13-2007
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dinghy's

As price goes I don't think you can get much for under $2500 these days. He could help me find my leak, a lot cheaper!!! and buy it with an outboard for much, much less. But some how I am attached to it and probably couldn't part with it any way. Holds a lot of great memories.

Sue
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Old 08-13-2007
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Sue,

It all depends on how you intend to use the dink. If you're on the hook most of the time and not too near to "civilization" you'll probably want a good RIB like an AB as the dink will be your lifeline. If you use the dink just to putt around or go a few hundred yards to shore or a buddy's boat any old dink'll do. I'd keep the Achilles.

Mine is the AB second from the right.
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Old 08-13-2007
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It might be worth considering a hard dinghy. Hard dinghies are generally less expensive and can outlast the inflatables more than 2 to 1. It's possible to row or sail them, eliminating the need for the outboard and gasoline container. Some choices here.

http://www.cruisingworld.com/article...=397&catID=571
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Old 08-13-2007
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I have a hard dinghy, a 8 ft. Walker Bay. It uses a 2 hp motor and is very lite. I believe it weights 71 pounds. I do wish it was a tad more stable.
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Old 08-13-2007
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SanderO is an unknown quantity at this point
Planning is lovely if you are anchored way out. But getting up on a plan in a crowded harbor is rather irresponsible, could be dangerous and might even be illegal.

Speed is thrilling but... what the rush? What sort of situations do you need to plane your dink?

My dink is from NZ... it's an AquaPro... very nice dink.. tubes are too small I think... but it has an alum bottom. solid hand holds and zippered cover for the bow and storage in a fiberglass seat. 5 yrs... no leaks.

jef
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