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post #1 of 18 Old 02-05-2009 Thread Starter
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another dinghy question

I need an 8 to 9 foot dinghy and I want the smallest engine I can to get up on plane...does anyone have an 8 or 9 foot inflatable that will plane on a small outboard....like a 3 or 4hp ?

Thanks for your input also wood slat or inflatable floor ?
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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Get a fold-boat... and don't worry about getting up on plane. you just need to go from the anchorage to the dock and back again.

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post #3 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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More HP = Plane

I think it is a bit of a stretch to expect to plane with a 3-4hp motor. I have a 9'9" Titan, inflatable floor & keel with a 5hp honda and conditions have to be just right to get up on plane. There needs to be enough ripple on the water to get some wind under the bow to help lift it on plane and I have to be alone with my 220 lbs or it just won't get up there. Most time I don't make it but there have been times when I can get 10-12mph on plane. Now if I had 6hp, or even better 8hp, or better still 9.8hp 2-stroke I am sure it would plane easier even with two crew on a 9.8hp. Those 3-4hp engines are just for dinghy dock service, if you want to plane (go fast) you need a bigger engine.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-05-2009 Thread Starter
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It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck401k View Post
It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
Wouldn't you rather that be a sailing dinghy when it happens?


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post #6 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
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It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
I still yipee today at 55 never mind 10, when the air gets under the bow and she starts skipping along on a plane, even at 10-12MPh it is still a cheap thrill!
If you want to plane, then really you want to play, and you need at least 6hp to have any real fun. When my wife & I get to the next marina or anchorage one of the things I enjoy doing most is getting out to explore the area in my dinghy. If conditions allow me to scoot around quickly I can go further, faster in shorter time periods, and have fun in the process. I use the dinghy for more than just dinghy dock service, I take it out in the bigger water and explore further away, I also use it to take the gas tanks over to be filled and to go get groceries. Some days I go down to the marina to sit on my boat then take the dinghy out for a run and I like to be able to scoot around when I do. It all depends on what you plan to do with your dinghy, just keep in mind that more HP is more weight, a 6+ HP engine will not be light. My 5hp honda weighs 60lbs so I leave it on the dinghy transom and tow the dinghy. A 2 stroke will be lighter for any given HP. If your dinghy is just for dinghy dock/shore service, a small dinghy w/small engine will suffice, if it is going to double as a toy powerboat then a bigger dinghy with more HP is required.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-05-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.....I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Zodiac 11' air floor with a 5 hp...owner says it planes w/ his two stroke 5 hp..
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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I have a 9 foot West Marine with wood slat floor and a 3.3 HP 2 stroke Mariner (aka Tohatsu) outboard. With just me on board (213 lbs. this morning) it scoots right along in still water although I need to sit way forward to avoid transom squat. In rough water with two people it can be a long and wet ride. The engine is, I think, a bit small but it's nice and light. I'd like a bit more horsepower but I don't know if I would make the weight trade off. Getting the motor off the dinghy and onto the boat while the dinghy is in the davits is a little tricky now and I'd think twice about a heavier motor.

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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I have 9' Brig inflatable with an older Johnson 6 hp, mid seventies I think, that won't even plane? I guess I need to pimp my dinghy!

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post #10 of 18 Old 02-05-2009
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Sorry to be glib earlier, but it's just that I'm a traditionalist and I think it's important to introduce kids to small boats progressively. I am not against motor boats, in fact my son got his "driver's license" from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (which your son will need to do if you plan to let him operate the motorized dinghy) when he was 10 years old and is fully capable of handling them.

But we first taught our kids to row, then to sail.

Here my son stress tests the rig of one of our sailing dinghies (the one we built), in about 20 knots of breeze. No inflatable, even on a plane, can come close:



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