So - crunch time. We need a dink pretty soon and we are still not completely clear. The Bristol is tricky for on-deck storage. There is only 5' 6" between the mast and the traveller and storing foreward of the mast will cover the V berth hatch which is the only fire escape. This makes a hard dink problematic. We tried a Porta-bote but were not thrilled with stability or build quality. Where we are now is a SMALL aluminum RIB. Probably the AB8
. This only needs a small OB. For Maine sailing we would either leave it on the mooring or tow it. Once we head south it would be davits for island hopping or deflated on deck for passage making.
Does this approach make sense? Amy i missing anything obvious? There really are no perfect solutions are there?
Closest thing to a perfect solution to me is an Avon Lite, which is a hard bottom inflatable with a folding transom... That feature makes all the difference, my tender stows in a fairly low-profile package up forward on my 30-footer... I've tried just about every variety of tender over the years, and have found the hardbottom with the folding transom to be the best solution, by far...
Hard dinks involve way too much drama, IMHO, and only really work for coastal/local cruising where you'll be towing them all the time... I took a beautiful nesting Spindrift south one winter, and came to quickly detest the damn thing. Minimum payload, very wet ride, incredible PITA to bring back aboard and stow, and even nested, represented a gigantic ugly box on my foredeck which could have spelled real trouble with with a boarding sea sweeping the deck... Hell, it probably would have been better just to cruise with the bow section, alone... (grin)
I'm of a different mind than most regarding power, I'd suggest going smaller and slower, as opposed to larger and faster... My little 2 Hp Honda can be lifted aboard with one hand, and stows easily in the lazarette of even a boat as small as mine. That all translates to less Crap on the Back, no need for engine hoisting davits and all the other gear related to SUV dinghies... I think "range" is one of the most overrated features in a tender anyway, and once you get out in the boonies, lots of folks appear to disregard the notion that you really shouldn't be venturing too much further away from the mother ship than you'd care to row back, anyway... But, these days, that's probably just me...
Originally Posted by Stumble874171
Finally carry the biggest boat you possibly can.
Uhhh, within reason, of course... (grin)