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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-06-2013 07:36 AM
TomMaine
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Good for you. You don't need a motor on a hard dinghy. We've rowed for decades of coastal sailing(from Candada to the Bahamas).

It's good excercise(rowers arms don't do the double wave), it's a simple system that doesn't break(check your locks and oars regularly), it's clean and green and best of all, rowing is a pleasant experience on the water, you can't get with a motor.

07-06-2013 01:42 AM
shadowraiths
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Sold my RU Sunday. The Walker Bay 8, with newbie sail rig, was delivered today. Spent the afternoon cleaning her, hitting WM, and making her ready to take out tomorrow.


Still do not plan to get a motor though.
07-04-2013 08:36 PM
TakeFive
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

I had a few minutes between thunderstorms yesterday evening to place the battery and trolling motor on the raft and ride around a few of the local marinas. I confirmed that the dinghy has enough speed to make headway against the local current, which is obviously very important.

After an hour of motoring around the area, I packed up the motor and battery in the cabin and was done for now. I checked the voltage on the battery afterwards, and it barely dropped at all.

There's a nice little cove about 5 miles upriver with a restaurant (upscale internal restaurant and casual patio dining). We've bene there before by car, but with this little dink we'll be able to anchor in the cove and make it to shore without getting all hot and sweaty.

Between that and the occasional long weekend on the upper Bay, I expect we'll get some occasional use out of this makeshift dinghy.



07-02-2013 11:08 PM
TakeFive
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

FWIW, I chose to power my little inflatable "dinghy in a bag" with an electric trolling motor. Everyone has tradeoffs to make on their specific boat and motoring needs. In my case, I had no place secure to keep a gas powered moter except in the cabin, and I did not want gasoline down there. The electric trolling motor and battery both store safety down below (as does the dinghy when it's deflated). Also I'm cheap, and found the trolling motor for $80 and already have a couple spare group 24 batteries in my basement for driving sump pumps and starting my Trophy boat during the 1-2 weeks a year that I use it on vacation. This dinghy will get very infrequent use (once or twice a year), so for <$200 total it will have to be good enough for me. If I were a serious cruiser with a larger boat I'd get a more serious dinghy and outboard.

In addition, for the inflatable that I have, even though it's rated for 2.5 HP outboard with the motor mount, I felt it was safer to have the weight of the battery contained within the boat itself instead of the weight+torque of an outboard hanging off the transom. A steady 30 lb thrust should be enough to get this lightweight boat most anywhere in protected waters, and won't cause the flotation tubes to collapse under the pressure.

Weather lately has been terrible, so I've had to work in between rainstorms. All I've been able to do so far is attach the registration numbers to the boat (each one had to be attached with Krazy Glue because they didn't want to stick to the fabric) and install the motor mount. I hope to test it all out this weekend.





07-02-2013 01:37 AM
shadowraiths
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Some pix from yesterday's sail.





07-01-2013 06:14 PM
smurphny
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Yeah, I'd really like to avoid a two piece. I wonder if the Spindrift would work at 8' which would fit ahead of my mast and leave a little room to be able to do silly things like raise sails. Looks like a nice hull design.
07-01-2013 05:59 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Thanks for the link. Those fabric boats are interesting but don't look durable enough. They're probably suitable for calm harbors. I am looking for a hull design to lay up in kevlar, a super tough, light fabric that is commonly used in whitewater boats. These river craft take a real beating. Polyester resin and standard mat/cloth are certainly plenty strong but the thickness required to attain adequate rigidity and strength results in a lot of weight. Kevlar can be laid up thinner because it is much stronger than traditional glass fiber. Marine Composites | DuPont? Kevlar®If the pram design were more seaworthy, it could probably be built light enough with these kinds of materials but I'm looking for a hull design that rows really well.
I don't think you'll find a sweeter design than a Spindrift...

spindrift

I (over)built one about 10 years ago, so it came in a bit heavier than intended... If I were to do it again, I'd seriously consider using a lighter weight material called Coosa, instead of plywood...

Coosa Composites, LLC - Manufacture of high-density, fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane foam panels

After a trip south one winter, I quickly came to appreciate the downsides of a hard dink for a boat the size of mine... I wound up purchasing an Avon Lite RIB with a folding transom at that year's Miami Boat show, and have never looked back, it's the best all around compromise for me...

I still have the Spindrift, and use it on occasion when I'm just going out on the bay for an overnight, or a weekend, and will simply be towing it... For extended cruising and passagemaking on a boat as small as mine, however, I think hard dinks represent way too much drama bringing back aboard, and stowing...

Sure, it rows very nicely... but in anything other than a flat calm, it can quickly become a VERY wet boat... My girlfriend hated it, and as far as load-carrying capacity, it was minimal compared to an inflatable...

The amount of time spent re-launching and assembling the 2 pieces was always longer than expected, and could be a real PITA... As a result, I often wound up towing it, when prudence might have dictated shipping it back on deck would have been the more seamanlike option... Having said that, it does tow beautifully, and effortlessly...

It's really the stowage on deck that became the problem, for me... Despite it's compact size, it still represented a HUGE box on my foredeck underway, and obscured the visibility from the cockpit to a considerable extent... In a real blow offshore, I'd be very concerned about a boarding wave sweeping the foredeck, and the dink taking lifelines, stanchions, and who knows what else with it over the side...

Again, for one cruising in more protected waters, say the Chesapeake, or the mid-coast of Maine, it could make a a more suitable tender... but if you're going offshore and need to bring it back aboard, I think you need a mother ship of at least 40 feet or more to make these things work...

Others' mileage may vary, of course...

With just the bow section on deck, not too bad... Fit the stern section on top of it, whole different ballgame... Plus, it just really looked STUPID sitting up there, my inflatable stowed on deck is WAY less obtrusive... (grin)





07-01-2013 05:58 PM
smurphny
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Smurphy, I went through the same thought process a while back. I wanted to build a decent nesting dinghy that rowed well, could carry 3 or 4 adults and that was stable and not too heavy. I thought about using divinycell sheets for stitch and glue construction. A former member here pointed out that I probably wouldn't save any weight since the divinycell sheets had to be saturated with resin and sheathed with cloth inside and out. It seems that quality thin 4mm or 6mm ply has a lot going for it in both weight, stiffness and strength. Long story short, I searched around for plans and found Danny Greene's Chameleon, a 10ft nesting dinghy that weighs 100lbs, rows and tows well and is very stable. I'm actually building it right now and the design is very nice. I wouldn't say it's the easiest dinghy to build (it has a bow locker, aft buoyancy tanks and other fiddly things to build), but it is well within the abilities of an amateur builder. I wanted to reduce the weight a little so I used slightly thinner ply (but quality Brazilian hardwood marine stuff) and slightly lighter cloth. I'm hoping it will weight 80 to 90 pounds when finished. This means each section will be a very manageable 40 to 45 pounds to raise on deck and lower into the water. My stupid inflatable must weigh this much...
The plywood seems to be the greatest percentage of weight in the usual stitch & glue process. What I'm thinking of doing is using 1/4" polyisocyanurate foam (if I can find it that thin) to establish a shape. With a couple of layers of Kevlar over exterior and interior, using some large, taped corner fillets, it should be possible to build an extremely light and strong boat. As in the Adirondack Guideboats, which were designed to carry for miles through the woods, caned seats would also reduce weight.

I may just try this using the pram I mentioned above as a plug, eliminating the need for a core except for the transom.
07-01-2013 03:54 PM
copacabana
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Am thinking about building a hard rowing dinghy, maybe a nesting dinghy to replace my rubber ducky. I like the idea that the RIB can be deflated and stowed for long trips. It also rows quite nicely...BUT not like a well designed rowing hull like a Whitehall or Adirondack Guideboat or similar hull shape. Something like a Dyer dink shape is very seaworthy and would be great except for the weight. Does anyone have a hard dink that is seaworthy, slips through the water nicely, and is light enough to drag aboard without a major block and tackle operation?

I built a (plywood core) stitch and glue pram style dink a couple of years ago but it is neither very light nor is it very stable and seaworthy. It's ok to get from boat to shore on Lake Champlain in a protected spot but I would not trust it in a following sea on salt water or bring it cruising.

I'd like to lay up a very light foam core via stitch and glue and then cover with Kevlar, emulating the construction of some ridiculously light whitewater racing canoes I've had. The last 18' Sawyer weighed in at something like 45#. A boat as small as a dink, say 8', constructed with these ultra-light materials shouldn't weigh more than about 40#. I just need a design so as not to reinvent the wheel.
Smurphy, I went through the same thought process a while back. I wanted to build a decent nesting dinghy that rowed well, could carry 3 or 4 adults and that was stable and not too heavy. I thought about using divinycell sheets for stitch and glue construction. A former member here pointed out that I probably wouldn't save any weight since the divinycell sheets had to be saturated with resin and sheathed with cloth inside and out. It seems that quality thin 4mm or 6mm ply has a lot going for it in both weight, stiffness and strength. Long story short, I searched around for plans and found Danny Greene's Chameleon, a 10ft nesting dinghy that weighs 100lbs, rows and tows well and is very stable. I'm actually building it right now and the design is very nice. I wouldn't say it's the easiest dinghy to build (it has a bow locker, aft buoyancy tanks and other fiddly things to build), but it is well within the abilities of an amateur builder. I wanted to reduce the weight a little so I used slightly thinner ply (but quality Brazilian hardwood marine stuff) and slightly lighter cloth. I'm hoping it will weight 80 to 90 pounds when finished. This means each section will be a very manageable 40 to 45 pounds to raise on deck and lower into the water. My stupid inflatable must weigh this much...
07-01-2013 02:39 PM
shadowraiths
Re: Motor vs Rowing inflatable dinghy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Thanks for the link. Those fabric boats are interesting but don't look durable enough. They're probably suitable for calm harbors. I am looking for a hull design to lay up in kevlar, a super tough, light fabric that is commonly used in whitewater boats. These river craft take a real beating. Polyester resin and standard mat/cloth are certainly plenty strong but the thickness required to attain adequate rigidity and strength results in a lot of weight. Kevlar can be laid up thinner because it is much stronger than traditional glass fiber. Marine Composites | DuPont? Kevlar®If the pram design were more seaworthy, it could probably be built light enough with these kinds of materials but I'm looking for a hull design that rows really well.
Great points. And yes, while they're pretty and light, I agree. They do not seem to be something that would work well in anything other than very protected waters.
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