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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a long term project for me is to make myself the perfect dinghy.
I have 16 months to complete it.


After lots of thought to getting this dinghy, or that dinghy, I decided I should keep what I have, and modify it for my own use.

I plan to add floatation to the sides and bottom, and add a splash guard to the bow to give a more dry ride.
I want to add enough floatation to enable me to enter the dinghy in full dive gear, from the side.
I was thinking about getting two pvc pipes, maybe 4-6" and running them even with the bottom. Then glassing them into the hull permanently This would give a wider area, and allow better planning.

I want to make a hard cover for the bow, and install a battery, and tiny solar panel. I want to add a wheel, and throttle. I am considering adding a kicker motor, would hate to be anchored in NYC and not be able to get up river because my engine quit, or lost the prop.
 

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islander bahama 24
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1,842 Posts
In my opinion i t seems for most if not all of your requirements would be well served by a ridgged bottom inflatable with a remote steering system
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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9,026 Posts
So a long term project for me is to make myself the perfect dinghy.
I have 16 months to complete it.


After lots of thought to getting this dinghy, or that dinghy, I decided I should keep what I have, and modify it for my own use.

I plan to add floatation to the sides and bottom, and add a splash guard to the bow to give a more dry ride.
I want to add enough floatation to enable me to enter the dinghy in full dive gear, from the side.
I was thinking about getting two pvc pipes, maybe 4-6" and running them even with the bottom. Then glassing them into the hull permanently This would give a wider area, and allow better planning.

I want to make a hard cover for the bow, and install a battery, and tiny solar panel. I want to add a wheel, and throttle. I am considering adding a kicker motor, would hate to be anchored in NYC and not be able to get up river because my engine quit, or lost the prop.
You are going to do WHAT?? It's a dink! Don't make it into another mess like you're doing to with your ship!

PVC shatters with impact, can't resist sunlight and SHOULD NOT be at the bottom help plane or add "stability"
 

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Junior Member
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3,505 Posts
Get a RIB. You don't want to look like the Beverly Hillbillies do you?
 

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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are going to do WHAT?? It's a dink! Don't make it into another mess like you're doing to with your ship!
I am doing a restoration, not sure what you mean I am making it a mess.
 

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Master Mariner
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9,418 Posts
You're going to end up with something too heavy. You can't load the stern with too much weight on davits, nor can you do the same forward, or you will significantly affect your boat's sailing characteristics. If your dink is too heavy, you can't pull it up the beach. It will seriously slow you down if you tow it.
Again, you're trying to build a better mouse trap, when so many before you have already figured it all out and there are plenty of good options available.
 

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Registered
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1,833 Posts
So a long term project for me is to make myself the perfect dinghy.
I have 16 months to complete it.


.
I don't think you have enough s**t in there, yet. :D

I have to ask. What is the toilet plunger in there for?
 
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Administrator
Beneteau 393
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9,598 Posts
If you are using it for diving then stability is a big factor. But even the mods you mention will be nothing like a 17 inch inflatable tube.
Consider when you are getting out of the water, you float your tanks off, go over the side (not as easy as a rib) then you need to kneel on the gunwales with your full weight and vertically lift your dive gear inside. Do u think you have the stability to do this? What about in a chop?

I have never seen cruising divers use a dink like yours. seriously consider why no one else already uses your idea.
 

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Regular Member
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68 Posts
I've been down this road. I have a RIB as a tender for my sailboat but it's much too nice (easy to puncture, etc.) to be diving off of, maintaining my mooring ball, swapping mooring chain from and all of the DIY stuff I insist on doing because I'm both cheap and because I enjoy doing these things. The solution was not to modify my boat to meet unreasonable needs but to simply buy another boat. I bought a beat up and leaky 14' Boston Whaler. I'm going to use it as a work boat when needed and will simply move my engine on to it when it's time to roll up my sleeves and get some work done. I may install some basic electronics run off of a battery box but, there will be no need to modify the hull or structure to do what I want. On the other hand, this boat would make a terrible tender to my sailboat so it will never be towed around. (oh, and it cost $300 from craigslist, less than you would put in for 'modifications')

My overall advice, buy the right tool for the job.
 

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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd go for a Walker Bay 10' with the tubes for <$1K on Craigslist. It'd do everything you want except for the remote steering.
Thanks, forgot about the walker bay. Will research them a bit.
 

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Registered
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547 Posts
Thanks, forgot about the walker bay. Will research them a bit.
I think you'll find the tube design is very similar to your concept. It rides just above the water (static) but provides very good flotation as soon as the hull tilts by 5 degrees or so. Because the tubes are up high, you can drag it up on a beach or rocks and the rotomolded hull takes all the punishment but when you approach the mothership, the tubes keep it from banging her. The best thing is that if you puncture one or more tube compartments, you've still got a rigid dinghy to use until you repair the tubes. I've got a 2.5hp outboard on mine and she'll do 4 kts in smooth water with two adults, three kids, and a dog aboard.

My only complaints are weight (~150 lbs for the 10' model with tubes) and the fact that you need to distribute weight so the CG stays around the middle of the boat or she'll plow her stern, but a $30 tiller extension on the motor pretty much solves that issue. If you can get away with an 8' version, the weight goes down a lot and they're common as dirt on CL, at least in the Seattle area. The 10 footers aren't as common but you'll definitely find a deal within 16 months and probably much sooner.
 
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