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Discussion Starter #1
Dinghy #1 was an old 8' hard Nautilus
Dinghy#2 was an old inflatable
Dinghy#3 was an inflatable kayak
Dinghy#4 was a home built nesting 2-paw 9
Dinghy#5 is now a used 8.5' Porta-bote.

OK, Always wanted to try a porta-bote and now I have one. Seems kinda old but in "OK" shape except the transom plywood is delaminating. Doesn't porta-bote use marine ply?
 

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Doesn't porta-bote use marine ply?
They do now. Didn't used to.

I assume that at some point you will write up a nice description of all of the pros and cons for these various types of dinghies? At least I hope so! Especially since the question of what dinghy works best seems to come up so often.

So, quick question, I am considering a nesting dinghy. What is it that you didn't like about yours, that made you switch to the porta-bote?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why didn't I like my nesting dinghy? When I built her, I wanted a dinghy a bit bigger than the typical 8' one because I thought I'd be cruising with my wife and at least one kid and rowing the 8' dinghies with 3 people isn't easy for any distance. So, I built the nesting 2-Paw as a 9'. Unfortunately, this is too big for my foredeck meaning she cannot be assembled or taken apart on the foredeck. The two halves had to be put in the water, each tied to the toerail. I'd then get in the back half and join them. This sorta worked, Reverse the process for stowing her.
Very few of the sites discussing building a nesting dinghy have good ways to join them. Using bolts thru the bulkhead joining them is time consumming and water comes in while you are doing it. I developed a stainless slot and tab with slot on back half and tab on forward half to hold them together at the bottom (a slot and tab on each side of the bottom close to the sides. On the sides up by the gunnel, I installed stainless draw clamps with a large wire hook that hooked to the fastener on the other half and it latched closed. Worked well.
I glued closed cell foam to her insides for floatation.
She had plenty of capacity and rowed very well.
I probably should not have given her away but she simply did not fit on my foredeck (My boat is a 28' S2). I got tired of the lack of visibility over her and was always worried about her covering my forehatch. She did not tow well so had to ride on the foredeck.
I'll probably be unhappy with the porta-bote too eventually but I really do not want the PITA of another motor to care for on an inflatable or the necessity of registering another motorized craft.
 

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Dinghy #1 was an old 8' hard Nautilus
Dinghy#2 was an old inflatable
Dinghy#3 was an inflatable kayak
Dinghy#4 was a home built nesting 2-paw 9
Dinghy#5 is now a used 8.5' Porta-bote.

OK, Always wanted to try a porta-bote and now I have one. Seems kinda old but in "OK" shape except the transom plywood is delaminating. Doesn't porta-bote use marine ply?
So how did you like the inflatable kayak? I have a large Sea Eagle 370 that I have considered using for a tender but haven't actually tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My inflatable Kayak was in fact a "Sea Eagle" which should be "Sea Slug". It did not paddle well and did not hold air and seemed flimsy.
This really makes me look like someone who will always be unhappy with dinghies, maybe that's true. I dunno.
I think that beaching it on an oyster bar did it in.
 

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Don't feel bad. I'm on my 3.5th dinghy in the last five years, plus two others bought but not used. (I don't have a boat problem. I can quit any time I want. And you should have sold the nester to me!) After my 11' glen-l was stolen! (it was getting too heavy anyway), I bought a 7'6" Mouse. Light ashore, cute, but no good for rowing in a breeze, and not enough legroom. Then a 14' square sterned rowing canoe. Great solo, less so with three, and clumsy on land. Then a 12' v-bottom ply Martha's Tender. Near ideal until I moved it to a club dock with a limit of 10'6". I sawed off the ends and built new transoms. (That's the third and a half version). I also bought an inflatable rowboat and a folding dinghy for on board.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I am getting my boat addiction under control as I have reduced the number I own by two.

Previously:
Sea Eagle kayak
Sit on rigid kayak
18' Grumman canoe
MiniCup #1 12' sailboat
MiniCup #2 12" sailboat
Two-Paw-9 dinghy
28' S2 sailboat
20' Tolman skiff
An old sailboard

Having gotten rid of the Sea Eagle kayak and allowed MiniCup#1 to rot, I am down two boats.
They say you know you are a redneck if you mow your lawn and find a car but I say you know you are a N. Florida redneck if you mow your lawn and find a boat.
 

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We went from a small rowing pram to a 10' inflatable to a 10' port-a-bote. We really like the port-a-bote but I haven't decided yet whether that's the one we want to take with us when we go off shore. It rows pretty good, it motors very well. It appears to require less power to get me and the dog up on a plane over the inflatable. I don't worry about landing it on the beach where there are sharp rocks. It's not quite as stable as the inflatable. My son and I used to go SCUBA diving with the inflatable and it was easy to haul ourselves out of the water over the tubes. I can do it with the port-a-bote, but it's a lot scarier. The thing that worries me a little about the portabote is trying to land it on a beach with some large waves. Seems like the risk of a capsize and a wet motor is higher with the portabote over a rigid hull inflatable.
 
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