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post #1 of 24 Old 03-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Dinghy?

Looking for pro and cons of towing a hard dingy? I've towed inflatables, but never hard. I need a new dingy and as I was looking at inflatable price's, a friend offered me a old used 12' aluminum Valco, nice and wide in beam, great shape, for free, great price! I like the idea of a hard dingy for fishing out of and such. I would tow with at the most a crab pot or two lashed in. I'm not a blue water guy, just coastal and P.N.W.
Thanks for any experience shared.
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-20-2016
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re: Dinghy?

Don't know about the dinghy your contemplating but hard dinghies should tow way better than a rubber one. That is if they don't fill with water or turn turtle. For local cruising, should be fine. My 8' sailing dink lives on the foredeck, have never tried to tow it.
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-20-2016
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My dinghy, a homebuilt D4, tows high and dry like a leaf on the water. Chesapeake Bay. It will fit on the foredeck in a pinch, but it hasn't been necessary so far.
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re: Dinghy?

With a substantial boat towing a dinghy is a slight slowdown but when the dinghy gets too big to fit on board you really don't have much choice. Dinghies that deflect spray rather than collect it are preferred.. on a choppy day a towed dinghy can ship enough water to be a problem (you can get one-way transom drain plugs.. recommended)

The bigger issue for me is securing the dinghy quietly alonside at night, and the attendant risk of dinghy rash (rather than dock rash) to your topsides finish, esp with a metal 'hard' dinghy. A wooden or plastic hard dinghy will be much friendlier to your paint or gelcoat.

I think you have to do a LOT of fishing and other activities where this sort of dinghy makes sense to make it worthwhile.
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re: Dinghy?

With aluminum boats it's hard to say if it will pull straight untill you try it: Some never stop weaving!....Dale
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Dinghy?

Thanks for the response, I think I'm going to stick with inflatable for some of the stated reason's here. I'd rather have it secure on board lashed to foredeck or deflated, tucked away. One less thing to have to think about as single hand. Thanks again! a friend of mine like's to say, A smart man learns from his mistake's, a wise man learns from other's mistake's. I do appreciate the wisdom here.
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-21-2016
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Re: Dinghy?

I never, ever, EVER. Ever tow a dinghy anymore.

Occasionally, when tempted, my wife, who only heard stories of, but was not witness to, my many mishaps, reminds me to never tow.

Unexpected weather when towing a dink is an awful thing. Unexpected weather at anchor with a dink in the water sucks too.

Dink line in the prop? Also sucks.

Anchor or other issues require that you move the mothership in the middle of the night? Dinghy on a leash an the dark sucks.

You know what never sucks? Good, easy to use davits. Hoist the dinghy every night (because it's built into the system to be easy) and you never have towing issues, you're theft-proof and ready to weigh anchor in an emergency.

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post #8 of 24 Old 03-21-2016
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Re: Dinghy?

In addition, the Portland Pudgy is an AWESOME dink. Owned and abused mine full time for about 6 years now. Still love it.

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post #9 of 24 Old 03-21-2016
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Re: Dinghy?

For many years both Sunsail and Moorings provided their charters with a hard dink about 11ft long. These were towed on passage. Passages were interisland and often pretty rorty. I did not hear of significant losses.

However over the years I have seen a couple of swamped hard dinks being dragged in SLOWLY.
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-21-2016
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Re: Dinghy?

Hard dinghys are great in crocodile country!

in many emergencies I gave used my dink to push boats with engine problems, and when dragging. One can't with a hard dink without damage.

The best guess of usefulness is to go to the local dinghy dock and count the ratios of hard to soft. Most places RIBs win hands down. (Exception being Northern Australia...)
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