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okapi3 05-31-2010 06:06 PM

Tender for a PSC 31
I know there have been many threads about tenders. I think I have read them all. And browsed through the internet for hours. this is my third season with my PSC 31 cutter rig and I still haven't solved the problem of the right tender for this boat and my activities. I cruise the Chesapeake but soon will be doing more and more offshore sailing and cruising. I think the deck is too small too keep a hard dinghy or inflated inflatable on deck--I have a solar panel right in front of the mast and I don't like the idea of blocking visibility forward either. I think davits are out of the question for a boat this size, plus I just installed a windvane self-steerer. Since I will be doing a lot of offshore sailing I cannot rely on towing.

I think I have narrowed it down to a roll-up inflatable stowed below when sailing vs a Portaboat lashed to the stanchions. I am concerned about how my back will appreciate hauling a rolled up inflatable up and down the companionway and I am wondering about the windage of a 9' by 2' "surfboard" strapped to the lifelines and how it would behave in a gale? I like the idea of the portaboat because of all the advantages of a hard dinghy, plus its lightness and reasonable cost.

What do other 31 owners (or other small yacht owners) do? Any advice will be very welcome before I tender my credit card for a new tender.:confused:


lsbrodsky 06-01-2010 04:23 AM

I had Asylum for many years with the same situation. I did not want davits and ruled out a hard dinghy. I had two different inflatables to solve the problem. I had a larger, heavier one when I had several people aboard and stowed it rolled up between the two fwd cleats. I always had help to unstow and stow it. When I was single handing or with my wife, I had the lightest decent dinghy I could find, a Bombard. It was stowed below and was quite easy for me to move around myself. Both were air floor style. In the same vein, my outboard was a 3.5 hp, 4 cycle, light enough for me to move from the rail mount to the dinghy by myself. It did not get the dingy on plane but it got me into port from anchorages.

stevemac00 06-01-2010 06:34 AM

We have a nine foot Zodiac with a roll-up high pressure floor and stow in the stern berth when underway. I use a spinnaker halyard to raise and lower it to the water. It's not bad for us to carry when the floor has been removed - I'd guess about 40-45 pounds.

We have a Forespar Novalift to handle the motor.

I agree it's a compromise but seems to be the best for us. The only other option I can see is davits but it's had for me to imagine a RIB banging around back there in rough seas.

svjobeth 06-01-2010 12:59 PM

We too are dealing with the "dingy dilemma" as we've come to call it, and have been for some seven years now. We're on a 34 cutter, so it would seem our set of issues are not too different than yours, or with any boat: a matter of stowage.

We're thinking of the 7' Fatty Knees hard dingy built by Edy & Duff. It should fit beneath the boom on the coachroof. Based on our measurements, the distance between the mast step and the traveler is 7'1". I've yet to build a mock-up to see how well it would work. The vang would have to be moved too.

Length is the big issue, as the boom has plenty clearance and the bean of the dingy is well within the width between the handrails.I should say that for various reasons, we prefer a hard dingy over an inflatable; it's mostly about durability over the long term. Plus, my wife really wants a sailing dingy.

Regarding the Portaboat, we have some friends that used one on a 34 and liked the arrangement; at least we never heard otherwise.

teejayevans 06-01-2010 04:44 PM

I have a inflatable with slats,
for offshore runs, I roll up and store against the front of the cabin top.
for long term, I roll up and store in Q-berth
short term is a problem, leaving in the water results in bottom growth and
in bad storms it takes on a life of its own. Is there bottom paint for inflatables?

niftynickers 06-01-2010 04:49 PM

Dinghy thoughts
We have similar problems on our 37 and finally settled on a Avon 280HP-hi pressure air floor.After 7 years its not pretty but still gets us there.We have a good friend who is cruising on a Southern Cross 35 and has a Fold-O -Boat or Portaboat (pretty much the same thing) and Loves it.He gets it on plane with one person aboard with a 3HP Nissan outboard.The only drawback is that it is very tender(tippy)and will flip while being towed.In fact his went airborne during a squall while at anchor and resembled a kite more than a dinghy.
He is a single hander and not very big but has no trouble launching or stowing his dinghy.
I believe he's had his about 8 years and is still going strong.
Good luck,
Dianne and Chuck Burke S/V NiftyNickers C37 #139

MARC2012 06-02-2010 06:14 AM

I have an inflatable on 32 ft & seems to be least of evils.Rolls up(little magic & lots of luck to get it in cover.When at sea lash it to life raft .Periodically genny sheet captures it but as stated least evil.Next ob will be air cooled.Hope someone comes up with soln.Had davits on previous boat dink rubs.marc

okapi3 06-02-2010 06:31 PM

Thanks for all the great feedback on this tender issue. Looks like the inflatables are in the majority for us small yacht owners. I'm still interested in the planing, rowing and even sailing abilities of a Portabote, though, and wonder if anyone has any first hand experience with one.

Starting to get a little dinghy,


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