Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Dinghy outboard size
There is a ton of personal preference here and a bit of what each needs their dinghy to do. Most dinghies are overpowered for just shuttling to shore, inside a flat water, protected, no wake, speed limited anchorage. If that's all you'll ever do, don't over think it.
On the other hand, I think many/most will eventually find the desire to get out and explore a bit and being on plane can be a great advantage. Some anchorages are more remote that others too. In some cases, being able to plane can make anchorage choices more flexible, as being further out, in a safer less crowded places becomes more practical. I clearly see most boats going to great lengths to squeeze in as close to shore as possible. I don't want to have to do that.
Weight is always a consideration. I had a center console dinghy, with a 20 hp motor, that required the davit line be run around a winch to haul her up. I hated that. My current dinghy is an aluminum RIB with a 9.9hp (personally, I'm not a fan of inflatable or inserted floors). It's well more than we need to shuttle even a dinghy full of 6 people to shore. With just two of us, we can get up on plane, unless we are dead into a tough wind and chop. The combination of the lighter aluminum dinghy and motor are easily hoisted by hand.
However, we do find ourselves wanting a bit more get up and go, from time to time. It's not frequent enough for me to regret the 9.9, but next time around, I bet I go for the larger HP (still on the lighter hull) to have more options. It would only add about 20 lbs, so hoisting shouldn't be notable different.
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