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Kalina-Lona 11-11-2012 05:10 AM

What do other folks use?
Hello, you finally purchase your first sailboat, and mine is a 1981 Halman Horizon 27. All I'm doing right now is looking at pictures and I can drive an hour to look at it in storage. In the spring it comes home and it will only be a 10 minute drive.
I'd like to have a dinghy of some sort....thought of building one for a winter project, but what do others have on board for emergencies or to travel to shore if needed? I'd really like to keep the costs to a reasonable amount.

Thanks all!

PBzeer 11-11-2012 05:36 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
Kinda depends on what you want out of the dinghy. Do you just want to row a couple of people ashore? Do you want something that can carry more than that? Motorized? Sail-kit?

Figure out how you'll use it, then you'll know what you need. And then you can decide new, used, or home-built.

joethecobbler 11-11-2012 06:26 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
yes , purpose and expectations play a big role in what you need for a tender.
I always wanted/want a dingy I can sail as well as row. the reality though is a sailing dinghy large enough for me and anyone else aboard would be too large to hoist or store on deck. Unless it nestles or folds.
I've had an 8' Square tri-hull type that was great when we had dogs,but too heavy to lift, now no dogs, I've got an 8' that has a swing keel ,so it could be sailed. and a deflatable on deck I've yet to use. Hope to use it w/ the 3.5 when I get further south.
Dinghies seem to be a tough one.

CorvetteGuy 11-11-2012 08:33 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
Inflatable seems to be the way to go, it can be hauled and stored easily, and with the 3.5 hp can get you where you need to go. Glass dingies are great but hauling and storing without davots could be a pain. As for a sailing dingey why put a sailboat on a sailboat?

lillia28 11-11-2012 09:05 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
Like everything else any dink will be a compromise. I have a walker bay 8.8, relatively inexpensive, light, fine. For one for 1 plus gear, zero maintenance, cons flexes a bit, tippy, no fun and harder to row with 2 plus not much gear.
I'd like an inflateable with motor, but heavier, a lot more $$, a lot more maintenance, harder to row. My final decision was to keep the walker bay and move toa marina with launch service! Your decision will depend on what you need, what you want, how much you are willing to spend, how much you want to lift etc etc.
Good luck. As an aside in my experience, used dinks and outboards are plentiful when you don't need them. As soon as you start looking for one the used market disappears. The day after you take delivery, some one will offer it for free. That is why sailors become stoics.

eherlihy 11-11-2012 09:27 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
I have a WM (Zodiac) inflatable with a wood floor. It fit the budget, and is a good compromise between the roll-up (slat floor) and a RIB. It takes me about hour to convert it from an 85lb 2' x3' x 4' package into a 9' boat. It works well enough with my 3.5hp 2-stroke to get itself and my 190lbs up on a plane. It rows OK, but I would not want to row it for miles at a time.

I like inflatables because they are very stable, and have an excellent load carrying capacity. Look at any nearby dinghy dock; what kind of boat do you see: inflatables.

Many other folks here use, and love their Porta-bote. This is a fold-able boat, that is god-awful ugly, but more rugged than an inflatable. I understand that you can drag them up on a beach of shells without a care. I also understand that they row well. The down side is that these do not have the same carrying capacity, and are "tippy."

msmith10 11-11-2012 09:46 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
On a 45' boat you have a lot more options. On a 27' options are limited. On a big boat you can put it on davits or on the deck, or towing it doesn't hurt your speed too badly. On a little boat the first 2 are out unless you carry it deflated. I just hate towing as it costs me a least a knot, more upwind. When I carry one I carry a 2 man inflatable kayak as it's small when deflated and doesn't take long to inflate.
As above, your intended use will dictate what you need-- 4 adults and a dog at anchor for a week-- you'll need to tow something or inflate/deflate as needed. Just yourself or 2 people to get to shore once in a while- go inflatable and stow it.
I don't consider the safety issue pertinent- if you want it for safety you need a life raft, not a tender.

Sabreman 11-11-2012 10:00 AM

What do other folks use?
If you have average woodworking skills, a Nutshell Pram is a great project boat that can be built over the winter. They have exceptional sea keeping ability and can be rigged with a sail. Wooden Boat sells the plans.

Kalina-Lona 11-11-2012 10:28 AM

Re: What do other folks use?
Hi and thanks for the replies. I think what I really need at this time is something to use for crew safety and be able to get to shore if at a mooring ball. I've seen kayaks on deck of a 27 footer and it looks crammed up, I've seen towing a 9' dinghy and the motor attached to the stern rail. There doesn't seem to be the all around best fit!
I'll need to just keep looking at what other folks use to get the right idea. I like the small wooden row type, but where can you store that? Having a small sailing dinghy doesn't sound right for some reason.


paulk 11-12-2012 08:53 PM

Re: What do other folks use?
As said above, a lot depends upon how you plan to use the dinghy. If it's just a short row from the dinghy dock out to the mooring, a pram might be good. Do you plan to take the dinghy with you cruising, or leave it on the mooring until you get back to it? On a 27' boat, there's not a lot of room to carry a dinghy on deck. Kayaks do not make good dinghies. They're hard to get in & out of, and are difficult to load with duffles of gear or bags of groceries or drinks. Towing a dinghy behind may not be a good idea if you're out in rough weather. An inflatable (with a motor) could be stowed below, and give you a bigger range for exploring the harbors you visit. A gently-used one might be a good bet.

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