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  #11  
Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

GrahamO,
Neither of these boat fit your requirements:
1. Four people is four people not "maybe three". Can you visualize the 6'1" X 2'2" (inside dimensions) Achilles with four people in it? Certainly no gear or supplies and somebody is going to get their butt wet as they will be sitting on the floor.
2. You probably will go faster rowing four adults in the Portabote than in the Achilles with a 3.5 hoursepower motor. How many horsepower does it take to plane a Portabote with four people? The Achilles will be a pig with 3.5 horsepower.
3. Inflatables support diving better as in and out is easier. However there are inflateable collars for rigid dingys that accomplish the same thing.
4. Shallow water over coral, rock and oyster shells are the kiss of death for inflateables and can do pretty good damage to some types of rigids.
5. Soft bottoms and hard gear are also problematic.
No easy choices, but you probably will do better with an inflateable for diving, they seem to be ubiquitous for this use. But the model of Achilles you listed does not meet your requirements.
Hope this helps.
John
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Yes, that is a sea kayak. I have one. The kaboat is ment to be propelled with kayak paddles if not by engine, which I understand it does quite efficiantly. Rather than rowing, which your run of the mill, standard inflatables don't do so well to windard. I've cruised with sit on top kayaks, paddle boards with kayak paddles, even a canoe that I used a Kayak paddle and sat in the middle. I've had inflatables, deflatables, hard bottom inflatables, Buldgers, Dyers, prams, homemades, sinkables, unsinkables, whalers, a livingston, a ganoe, a dug out canoe, when I anchored off Miami Beach in th early 90's I paddled out on a surf board and changed into dry clothes on land,( balanced a plasitc bag on the back of my head) I've had no dighy and swam out to my boat. I've used white water Kayaks, even had an inflatable kayak and the Kaboat is essentially that on steroids. Hence the Ka in Kaboat. You can put four people and gear in the biggest of the Kaboats and hand each of them a kayak paddle. You'll be the envy of the anchorage. When that dude came zooming through our anchorage in his Kaboat, we all wanted one. You know how silly 4 adults in a little inflatable with one guy rowing up wind look's. You'll get more push out of your 3.5 as well.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 05-22-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
GrahamO,
Neither of these boat fit your requirements:
1. Four people is four people not "maybe three". Can you visualize the 6'1" X 2'2" (inside dimensions) Achilles with four people in it? Certainly no gear or supplies and somebody is going to get their butt wet as they will be sitting on the floor.
2. You probably will go faster rowing four adults in the Portabote than in the Achilles with a 3.5 hoursepower motor. How many horsepower does it take to plane a Portabote with four people? The Achilles will be a pig with 3.5 horsepower.
3. Inflatables support diving better as in and out is easier. However there are inflateable collars for rigid dingys that accomplish the same thing.
4. Shallow water over coral, rock and oyster shells are the kiss of death for inflateables and can do pretty good damage to some types of rigids.
5. Soft bottoms and hard gear are also problematic.
No easy choices, but you probably will do better with an inflateable for diving, they seem to be ubiquitous for this use. But the model of Achilles you listed does not meet your requirements.
Hope this helps.
John
Thanks John,
It sort of helps but, given that neither of my options work, do you have any recommendations that might get me there?
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
Yes, that is a sea kayak. I have one. The kaboat is ment to be propelled with kayak paddles if not by engine, which I understand it does quite efficiantly. Rather than rowing, which your run of the mill, standard inflatables don't do so well to windard. I've cruised with sit on top kayaks, paddle boards with kayak paddles, even a canoe that I used a Kayak paddle and sat in the middle. I've had inflatables, deflatables, hard bottom inflatables, Buldgers, Dyers, prams, homemades, sinkables, unsinkables, whalers, a livingston, a ganoe, a dug out canoe, when I anchored off Miami Beach in th early 90's I paddled out on a surf board and changed into dry clothes on land. I've had no dighy and swam out to my boat. I've used white water Kayaks, even had an inflatable kayak and the Kaboat is essentially that on steroids. Hence the Ka in Kaboat.
Understood - just playing.... Looks like it would be a blast in surf.
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

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Originally Posted by GrahamO View Post
Thanks John,
It sort of helps but, given that neither of my options work, do you have any recommendations that might get me there?
I just looked at the Bristol 38.8 website. Beautiful boat. I'd like one myself. Looks like there are several opportunities to carry a dinghy on deck. Have you querried the Bristol group as to how they do dinghy? You seem to have settled on a minalmist dinghy that would be required if you had a 28' boat. There are nesting dinghies that will travel on deck and give you the size you need and there are inflateables large enough for your needs. The problem with inflateables is that they require a big engine which can weigh more that the boat and are puncturable.
I would look at nesting dinghies around 10-12 feet and about 6hp and, if you are really going for four people with dive gear, get a flotation collar fitted to it.
nice boat,
John
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Ya, I saw video of a guy going down white water with gear and then out to sea with a 2 horse when he got to the mouth of the river. It's a tough, versatile little boat. Why don't you make the plunge and get a hard bottom zodiac, fast rescue model. center console, hang it on davits or nest it on deck, use your hallyard to launch? They make a 10 footer I think.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 05-22-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
I just looked at the Bristol 38.8 website. Beautiful boat. I'd like one myself. Looks like there are several opportunities to carry a dinghy on deck. Have you querried the Bristol group as to how they do dinghy? You seem to have settled on a minalmist dinghy that would be required if you had a 28' boat. There are nesting dinghies that will travel on deck and give you the size you need and there are inflateables large enough for your needs. The problem with inflateables is that they require a big engine which can weigh more that the boat and are puncturable.
I would look at nesting dinghies around 10-12 feet and about 6hp and, if you are really going for four people with dive gear, get a flotation collar fitted to it.
nice boat,
John
Thanks John,
I was not completely clear. Two people max diving, occasional 4 people ferried to/from dock or shore.
I'm not a kid any more so I am really trying to keep the weight down as well as deck obstruction as I really don't like towing....
I am probably getting a bit ahead of myself here (what's new?) as we have not taken delivery of the boat yet and we will have a slip for the first year so getting on board and working out what will work is probably the best idea. Trouble is we need to move it from southern Mass to Central Maine and I'm not keen to do that without any dinghy. I guess we can use a Walmart tub for a few weeks. That's actually all we had on our last sailboat...... That way we can work this issue a little more effectively. Four people in that should be a scream.
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  #18  
Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

No way Ii would ever go with another HPIB as a LA or cruiser. Been there done that. And BTW, I have punched a hole in a HPIB (hit a chunk of coral) and luckily I was close to shore. When you get south, you will find almost all FT cruisers carry RIB's becaues they can take a better beating, can go faster, and you aren't always airing them up.

I have a 10'2 AVON HPIB that is nicely rolled up in storage. I pull it out at times for the kids to toodle around on because I couldn't care less if it sinks.

Do not underestimate the need for speed (well, at least we don't). The ability to get out of an idiots way or when you anchor a long way out and need to get to supplies or any other number of reasons we have found the ability to plane out and go "fast" was a big characteristic. Contrary to what HPIB's tell you, they simply cannot perform like a RIB. And the first time your floor gets a hole in it (happened frequently to us) you will hate that boat. You will put a lot of wear in a tender for cruising and LA. It is your car. ANd when you beach it, and get back in, you will bring with you pieces of shell and gravel that starts really wearing into the floor and other parts.

The thing about RIB's I hated was the weight. I think the most awesome RIB is the aluminum AB's. THey are not cheap!! I warn you. But a solid RIB from what I have seen. I personally did not buy this RIB. I bought a WAlker Bay Genesis (not to be confused with teh cheap junk they sell). This Rib actually has a floor in it so the water sits under your feet in a bilge. This is good because clothes and groceries do not get wet in your travel between boat and shore. Also good because all the shells fall down into the bilge and do not constale chafe the inside of the boat. It has great compartmens to store stuff and is lightweight. My only negative of it is that it does not perform quite as well as our older Avon RIB 10'2 (not the POS inflateable). But since it weighs in around 100-110 lbs IIRC, its is a great option.

For an engine we begged and finally found a 2 stroke 15hp Yamaha. Best engine I have owened and it will fly and it is very light. If you shop hard you can probably still find a 2-stroke. If you can, I would reccomend buying it even if used. Just so you know, we also have a Mercury 6hp 4 stroke which is as reliable as our HPIB.

So there you go. Those are just my opinions. For weekending or small trips, I would buy a HPIB. But I would not for anything serious.

I have not owned a Portabote or the other, so will let others comment on them that have owned them.

Brian
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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 05-22-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

For serious cruising I wouldn't own anything other than a hard bottom inflatable, unless I had the room to carry a solid boat. After 8 years down island our RIB's bottom had been so abused it looked like someone had drug it down the road behind a pickup, but it just kept running long after an inflatable floor would have died. We actually started with a soft bottom, and ripped a unreparable gash in it six months into the voyage. Something about a coral finger as we pulled it up on the beach.

I would also really recommend getting as large an engine as you can. You won't be anchoring near most dive sites, and while it is nice to think you won't mind the slow trip to them, when those trips are over even remotely open water a fast dinghy is a safety issue as well, since getting back before storm break can be critical. It also means you will be much more likely to take dives since it changes a Day trip to a couple of hours. Finally in the event that you need to use the dinghy as a tow boat, which we had to do a number of times, a larger engine will make a world of difference.

Finally carry the biggest boat you possibly can. While island cruising they are often the only way to get water, provisions, fuel, people, parts, ect onto your boat. A small dingy that requires multiple trips makes all of these thing much more difficult. I remember having to reprovision 250 gallons of water, and 100 gallons of fuel by dinghy. As is it took us all day, in a smaller dinghy it could have taken 3 days easily.
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Re: Final Dinghy Choice - does this make sense?

Stumble and Cruising Dad are on the money. Once you get a hard bottom inflatable and get used to the speed and stability, it's impossable to go back. I alway's have a good a rowing or paddling something on deck as a back up. I to own a 15 horse yamaha 2 stroke which I purchased new in Guanaja Honduras, love it. I loved my Livingston, cat hull. Stable, very fast, light. and handled a chop better than any dinghy I ever owned. Half throttle I was at full speed. I still like those kaboats though. You just have to be tender, don't drag it up a coral beach, I owned a soft bottom Avon for ten years and never put a whole in it. The kaboat is light enough for two people to cary up on to the beach. You can drive a hard bottom up the beach at full speed though!
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