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Jeffrey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need an 8 to 9 foot dinghy and I want the smallest engine I can to get up on plane...does anyone have an 8 or 9 foot inflatable that will plane on a small outboard....like a 3 or 4hp ?

Thanks for your input also wood slat or inflatable floor ?
 

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Get a fold-boat... and don't worry about getting up on plane. you just need to go from the anchorage to the dock and back again.
 

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More HP = Plane

I think it is a bit of a stretch to expect to plane with a 3-4hp motor. I have a 9'9" Titan, inflatable floor & keel with a 5hp honda and conditions have to be just right to get up on plane. There needs to be enough ripple on the water to get some wind under the bow to help lift it on plane and I have to be alone with my 220 lbs or it just won't get up there. Most time I don't make it but there have been times when I can get 10-12mph on plane. Now if I had 6hp, or even better 8hp, or better still 9.8hp 2-stroke I am sure it would plane easier even with two crew on a 9.8hp. Those 3-4hp engines are just for dinghy dock service, if you want to plane (go fast) you need a bigger engine.
 

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Jeffrey
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
 

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It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
Wouldn't you rather that be a sailing dinghy when it happens?;)
 

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It's not me that needs to go fast it is my 10 year old....do you guys remember the first time you were in a boat alone as a kid and it got up and went ? yipee
I still yipee today at 55 never mind 10, when the air gets under the bow and she starts skipping along on a plane, even at 10-12MPh it is still a cheap thrill!
If you want to plane, then really you want to play, and you need at least 6hp to have any real fun. When my wife & I get to the next marina or anchorage one of the things I enjoy doing most is getting out to explore the area in my dinghy. If conditions allow me to scoot around quickly I can go further, faster in shorter time periods, and have fun in the process. I use the dinghy for more than just dinghy dock service, I take it out in the bigger water and explore further away, I also use it to take the gas tanks over to be filled and to go get groceries. Some days I go down to the marina to sit on my boat then take the dinghy out for a run and I like to be able to scoot around when I do. It all depends on what you plan to do with your dinghy, just keep in mind that more HP is more weight, a 6+ HP engine will not be light. My 5hp honda weighs 60lbs so I leave it on the dinghy transom and tow the dinghy. A 2 stroke will be lighter for any given HP. If your dinghy is just for dinghy dock/shore service, a small dinghy w/small engine will suffice, if it is going to double as a toy powerboat then a bigger dinghy with more HP is required.
 

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Jeffrey
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys.....I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Zodiac 11' air floor with a 5 hp...owner says it planes w/ his two stroke 5 hp..
 

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I have a 9 foot West Marine with wood slat floor and a 3.3 HP 2 stroke Mariner (aka Tohatsu) outboard. With just me on board (213 lbs. this morning) it scoots right along in still water although I need to sit way forward to avoid transom squat. In rough water with two people it can be a long and wet ride. The engine is, I think, a bit small but it's nice and light. I'd like a bit more horsepower but I don't know if I would make the weight trade off. Getting the motor off the dinghy and onto the boat while the dinghy is in the davits is a little tricky now and I'd think twice about a heavier motor.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau, Bahamas
 

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I have 9' Brig inflatable with an older Johnson 6 hp, mid seventies I think, that won't even plane? I guess I need to pimp my dinghy!
 

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Sorry to be glib earlier, but it's just that I'm a traditionalist and I think it's important to introduce kids to small boats progressively. I am not against motor boats, in fact my son got his "driver's license" from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (which your son will need to do if you plan to let him operate the motorized dinghy) when he was 10 years old and is fully capable of handling them.

But we first taught our kids to row, then to sail.

Here my son stress tests the rig of one of our sailing dinghies (the one we built), in about 20 knots of breeze. No inflatable, even on a plane, can come close:

 

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Jeffrey
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No worries John....our son Sam learned on Opti's now wants a Laser...and if we drag him on the sailboat boat all day, where he mostly reads, he wants a little fun .... I hope as he gets older he still wants to sail with us....

I really like your sailing dingy !!
 

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No worries John....our son Sam learned on Opti's now wants a Laser...and if we drag him on the sailboat boat all day, where he mostly reads, he wants a little fun .... I hope as he gets older he still wants to sail with us....

I really like your sailing dingy !!
Duck,

Ahhh, it certainly sounds like you're going about it the right way. Although there really is no right or wrong. I just can't help myself -- I never seem able to pass up the opportunity to proselytize about the virtues of sailing dinghies vis a vis kids.:eek:

My son wants a Laser too!! And I'm sure he'd like an outboard as well!
 

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I"m planning on gettting an 11'2" inflatable with an 8 hp engine. Will it be too heavy to lift onto davits in general?

Regards
 

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when i was a kid my sister and i could plane around no problem in an 11' wood-floored zodiac with a 5hp two-stroke nissan, i believe that engine could also get my 220lb father on a plane. an 8 horse is a pretty heavy engine in my opinion, but at the same time it should plane 2 adults easily, slight chance of 3.

whatever you get, make sure it has an overboard cutoff switch on the engine (little cord you attach to your lifejacket) if you fall out it kills the engine, nice safety feature to have. Most outboards come with one, and if not the are easy to install.
 

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I"m planning on gettting an 11'2" inflatable with an 8 hp engine. Will it be too heavy to lift onto davits in general?

Regards
Brad,
I thought my twenty-five footer with the twenty-five inch draft was going on those davits :laugher And, no, she don't plane!
Mike
 

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Brad,
I thought my twenty-five footer with the twenty-five inch draft was going on those davits :laugher And, no, she don't plane!
Mike
With enough horsepower, we'll get your boat to plane.


I think this picture from the Defender catalog website answered my quesiton about hoisting both the dinghy and the engine. That looks like a 12 hp on there.



Of course, I believe the specs (300 pounds) more, but I'm not sure if that's 300# each or when used as a pair.

Regards
 
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