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Have a 24 foot sailboat. Want to do some overnights and weekends. Interested in recommendations for dinghies - I am imagining inflatable, small enough to stow uninflated and tow when inflated and sailing away from marina. When anchoring out or on mooring buoy I don't plan to be very far from shore. Don't want to have an outboard on the dinghy.

Anyone use inflatable kayak?

I'm in the Puget Sound area (cold water year round).
 

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Don't call me a "senior"!
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Have a 24 foot sailboat. Want to do some overnights and weekends. Interested in recommendations for dinghies - I am imagining inflatable, small enough to stow uninflated and tow when inflated and sailing away from marina. When anchoring out or on mooring buoy I don't plan to be very far from shore. Don't want to have an outboard on the dinghy.

Anyone use inflatable kayak?

I'm in the Puget Sound area (cold water year round).
I use an Achilles LT-4 as a tender for my 27' boat (the LT-2 might be a better fit for a 24' boat). It just fits on the fore deck if I want to leave it inflated for a weekend cruise. Deflated and in its bag it's not much larger than a stowed 150% genoa. I don't have an outboard for it; just row it.

Those inflatable kayaks look pretty nice too. I've seen several folks using them around Catalina Isld. as tenders.
 

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I have a 20 foot sailboat and use a 2 man kayak as a tender. Most of the time I tow it behind me, with the cockpit cover on. Works great, is fast, allows me to explore the area, and bring guests on board.
 

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Barquito
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I am going to try an inflatable two person kayak. My assumption is that it will row better than an inflatable dinghy. I think it is important to be able to store the dinghy onboard for rough passages. Thus, for us small boat owners, that means inflatable. At home, my choice is a hard wood dinghy to get to the mooring.
 

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I sail a 24 footer on the Lk MI. I have an inflatable Innova Swing Double kayak which packs into a Kelty Duffel bag with a foot pump and four-piece paddles.

Inflatable Kayak, Inflatable Canoe, Inflatable Boat, and Accessories by Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes - for Touring, Whitewater, and Adventure.

I also have an eight foot hard dinghy that came with my sailboat. I don't like to tow anything while sailing. I've not used the kayak as a tender, but I think it would be difficult to get into from the deck. For safety and ease of entry in an anchorage I'll continue to use the dinghy.
-CH
 

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A 7-8 ft slat floor rollup would be my choice. Maximum flexibility - tow if conditions are OK, on foredeck if that's better, and rolled and stowed below if that's best...

It's only a 5-10 minute job to inflate it and launch it, less time to stow it.
 
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I used a Zodiac Zoom 230 when I had my Catalina 25. It could roll up pretty small and fit under the dinette table or in the quarterberth. It's pretty terrible for rowing, but that is a reasonable compromise.

An inflatable kayak is a pretty good solution if it is for one person and without carrying gear.
 

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I've been using a Sea Eagle 2 person inflatable kayak for all the reasons above. But I tend to take larger groups out on the boat so that doesn't work (unless I want to paddle them to shore one at a time!). I recently bought a 7.5' Endevour inflatable dinghy and a little Tanaka 1.2 HP motor. The dinghy's rated at over 800 pounds, and the motor weighs nothing and fits anywhere.
 

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I will agree with all those who recommended the 7.5-9 foot, slat or inflatable floor, inflatable dinghy. One that has some v shape to the bottom. Good stability. Half decent to row.

No on the inflatable kayak. You want to be transporting gear, you want that stability.

Also you say you don't want an engine. Maybe you won't, but if you get a real dinghy you can always add an engine later.

You know me, I've been there. Last year I went old avon 8 inflatable and swore I was a real sailor and wouldn't tow it. Didn't need an engine. Tow it. 9 times out of ten tow it! You will not want to be inflating and deflating every time. It may take five to ten minutes but it's a pain, it really is. They tow very nicely up there.

If you're only going to be using it a couple times a year, you can totally get by sans engine. But if you start going farther or more often you might find you want an engine. Again. I found that I wanted an engine. If it's you and your wife or girlfriend, the weight and the current, maybe some wind. Some places it's a long row. I mean like 20 minutes each way. And if you just forgot onions at the store, or need to walk the dog, or take a shower, or just go to shore to stretch you legs and take a walk. It gets long rowing. But sometimes it's fun. You'll figure out what you like. But definitely get one that can take an engine if you need to.

And no offense to the kayakers. I don't think inflatable kayaks look cool or very "pro". Just as you don't wear a dirty tee shirt that says F U on it, you want to look nice, and have people think you're hot stuff . An inflatable kayak doesn't say that, it says I'm utilitarian, or I don't care about looking cool. That's not what you want.
 

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We have a 24' Bristol and used an 8' inflatable last year with an outboard. We towed it because even deflated we felt it was going to take up too much room, and frankly we didn't find towing it to be a big deal. We did, however, put the outboard on the stern rail.

This year we have a 9.4 Watertender from West Marine (the inflatable ended up with two large holes right at the seams - I'm suspecting a critter in the garage). Towing will be the only option, but at least we won't have to buy another dink.
 

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I have a fully inflatable raft, previously called "Seahawk II," but since rebranded as the "Mariner 3." Got it in 2012 for $115 on Amazon, $17 for motor mount, $80 for trolling motor, I use a spare battery from my basement. I've only used it once, and it worked great in protected waters. I've taken it with me many times, but didn't need to use it. It stows in a small bag, weighs 40 lb (boat only), fits easily in aft berth. Probably not very good for rowing, but it does have collapsible oars.

It is probably not a good solution for frequent use, but for occasional use it may strike the right balance of portability for a small boat. It's small enough to always have with you, available for use only if you need it.



Amazon.com: Intex Mariner 3 Boat Set, Grey: Sports & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41JrPpBgxbL

Amazon.com: Intex Motor Mount Kit: Sports & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41[email protected]@[email protected]@418kA3UQlML

Amazon.com: Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (30" Shaft): Sports & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@31Y5yZtBJDL
 

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Barquito
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it says I'm utilitarian, or I don't care about looking cool
I'm sold! That is what I am after. You guys should have seen me and my teenage son trying to get ashore using our tiny pile of junk cheepo inlatable boat. The thing was sinking faster than we were rowing (mostly in circles because we were laughing too hard). I'm pretty sure the guys in the yacht club we were encroaching on where laughing pretty hard too.
 

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I don't like inflatable kayaks because it takes twice as much effort to paddle as compared to a rigid kayak, and because they do not last. I don't care that they look cheap or utilitarian.
 
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