Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 143 Times in 132 Posts
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Re: 2017 Sailing Season on the Chesapeake
Our Memorial Day observance in Swarthmore today was a great success. It was worth cutting our cruising plans short to honor our departed heroes.
This weekend was the first test of our dinghy, which is just a flat-bottom raft with motor mount and trolling motor. It was a great success, and will come in very handy because we get stir crazy if we can't get to land to walk around every other day or so. The biggest problem with the inflatable bottom is that when you put a foot or knee down, any water rushes to the low point, soaking your foot...not the best thing if you're heading to shore to go somewhere nice for dinner. So one of my winter projects was to fabricate a hard bottom for the boat. We lose the ability to roll the boat up, but the design was extremely lightweight, and adds some positive flotation in case of catastrophic puncture, as well as providing anchor points for raising the dinghy on davits. (See pics below).
Another benefit to this dinghy design is that it's narrower than most inflatables, and therefore hangs on davits far enough away from the transom that I can fit our gas grill in the gap. A more traditional inflatable dinghy would be too wide to fit the grill.
Time will tell if we're fully happy with this raft, but I'm determined to use it until its end of life before spending more $$$, since the one I already have seems to work OK and has some advantages on the davits.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
Last edited by TakeFive; 05-30-2017 at 12:55 AM.