Dinghy - Do you reeeally need one? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Question Dinghy - Do you reeeally need one?

This is kind of a location specific question (For the Chesapeake Bay)...

All my time spent on the bay so far has been spent as a racer, not as a cruiser. So I know where all the common windward and leeward mark setting locations are. But I know almost nothing about anchorage options between Havre De Grace and Newport News.

I've got a C&C 30 with a 5' draft, 10' beam, and 45' mast clearance.

Is it typical to be able to find open slips during the summer months at most anchorages, (e.g. St Michaels, Oxford, Cambridge, Solomons, and further south)? Do you normally have to call ahead to reserve slip space? And how often do you run into situations where your only option to get ashore is via dinghy?

I'm just wondering if dropping the $$$ on a dinghy and hauling one around is reeeally necessary to visit and enjoy most anchorages on the bay?
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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...I'm just wondering if dropping the $$$ on a dinghy and hauling one around is reeeally necessary to visit and enjoy most anchorages on the bay?
It will be money well spent. I can't imagine exploring the Bay without a dinghy.

If cost is a major concern, consider building your own dinghy and saving some money. A good rowing/sailing dinghy is all you need -- no need to spring for an outboard.


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post #3 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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It depends...but with a 5' draft, walking out to your boat is going to be tough... Get a dinghy.

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post #4 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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No...you don't need a dinghy...just a good Hefty bag. Put all your clothes in and a towel and you can swim in naked and change on shore!

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post #5 of 46 Old 04-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Ok... It sounds like everyone is having fun with the responses... But seriously...

Is it really that difficult to find an open slip or a dock side tie up that at places like I mentioned? If so, is it a problem with overcrowding, or is it a problem with having a relatively deep draft vessel (as compared to power boats)?

The cheapest non-pool-toy dinghy I can find with an inflatable bottom is $400 + tax... And anything with a rigid bottom starts at $1000... It seems like it would take a lot of overnight slip rental fees to add up to that cost.
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post #6 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
No...you don't need a dinghy...just a good Hefty bag. Put all your clothes in and a towel and you can swim in naked and change on shore!

Perhaps. but then again it may wind up being more expensive in more ways than one if he gets stopped for Public Indecency.

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post #7 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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Gee Whiz Bubba ! You are going to be the only sailor that pumps his waste tank by hand and swims to shore. Quit fighting it, you are overthinking things, if there was a better way most people would use it. People buy sailboats because they WANT them, you buy a dinghy because you NEED it to fully utilize the potential of the sailboat.
And you don't need an inflatable floor or a RID, rollups and wood floors are cheaper and more plentiful used.
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post #8 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backcreeksailor View Post
Ok... It sounds like everyone is having fun with the responses... But seriously...

Is it really that difficult to find an open slip or a dock side tie up that at places like I mentioned? If so, is it a problem with overcrowding, or is it a problem with having a relatively deep draft vessel (as compared to power boats)?

The cheapest non-pool-toy dinghy I can find with an inflatable bottom is $400 + tax... And anything with a rigid bottom starts at $1000... It seems like it would take a lot of overnight slip rental fees to add up to that cost.
My experience on the Chesapeake has been that slips are generally available but you definitely should call ahead to make a reservation as far in advance as possible. If you are staying in a slip, you don't need a dinghy. However, since slips run around $100 per night you'll soon have exceeded the cost of a used dinghy. Besides, the real joy is finding a nice anchorage and spending the night on the hook. You won't need a dinghy there either, so long as you won't be going ashore or visiting neighboring boats. If you're one of those boaters traveling with a dog... you need a dinghy, I've never seen a dog swim ashore, do its business and then swim back to the boat.

Can you cruise without a dinghy? Yes. Will you be happy having a dinghy? Yes.

Here's an option, try going without until you decide it is a good thing to buy.

Regards...MGM

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post #9 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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Buy one that can be deflated and stored in the lazarette or somewhere. Last weekend our dingy flipped over and over in 30+ gusts on the Pamlico River. It was quite a sight and every time we tried to pull it in it flipped again. The inflatable floor fell out but stayed attached, but we lost our keel. Dingy's are a PITA, but I think they are pretty much essential. Towing them is a hassle for a lot of reasons.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
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post #10 of 46 Old 04-15-2009
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The dinghy opens a lot of new territory, and oppurtunities while sailing. When the hook is down you can use the dink to explore. Maybe get up into some wetlands, or just cruise the neighborhood's backyards.

No matter what kind of dink you decide on. Once you have one you will wonder how you did without it.......i2f

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