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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a dingy to buy this year. What is the difference/advantages of all the choices, RIB, air floor, wood floor, aluminum floor.

thanks
Greg
 

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I have a 8' rollup with a vinyl cover wood floor, I have it for boat to boat and boat to shore or just to putt around with it's 3.5hp motor

Advantage is it's simple uncomplicated and easy to store or inflat. There is no real disadvantage cause it does what it is meant to do
 

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Depends on what you expect to do with it.. if it's going to spend a lot of time alongside overnight, it's hard to beat an inflatable (RIB or floored) for quiet, easy on the topsides, etc. If you plan to land on a lot of barnacled/oyster beaches, then an inflatable is going to be less than ideal.

If you expect to put the dinghy away on board then a RIB is not for you. The roll-ups work best here but they are not the best for trying to get on a plane if you're going to be doing long trips on it.

If you're just going to stow the dinghy off season, then the sectional floored boats with inflatable keels will give you better performance under power and they can still be broken down to a manageable package for stowage.

I think the RIBs are the best combo, but they don't stow real well and are quite pricey to boot...

Hard dinghies row better, but are more difficult to stow and secure overnight.

As you can see, it really depends........
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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We had a roll up inflatable with a aluminum floor boards. It was reasonably light, it could move a lot of cargo and people and it was stable. It was delicate around shore and it rowed terribly.

We replaced that dinghy last year. We considered an RIB. The weight went up, it would have required a larger outboard to get around in and we probably would have had to install davits. Things started to add up for a boat that still didn't row well and could still pop if you hit one of the tubes with something sharp.

We ended up going with a Portabote. It was lighter than the RIB, it rows decent, it's tough as nails, it's pretty stable with positive floatation and the interior space is better. We're getting by with a smaller outboard to push it around and we don't need davits. It's ugly and it doesn't tow well. We're still five years away from our shove off date, but we're happy with our choice for local waters. We'll re-evaluate our need for an RIB when it's time to leave, but I think we'll do fine with the portabote.
 

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then the sectional floored boats with inflatable keels will give you better performance under power and they can still be broken down to a manageable package for stowage.
This is ours, not to bad for what we want to do
 

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I went from an inflatable keel to a rib. the rib is a much better boat...IF you can manage all the other issues mentioned earlier. My boat came with davits and I have just enough room on the fordeck to stow it if I go offshore. So it really depends on whether you can manage all the issues of a big heavy rib
 

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I've been thinking about what kind of dinghy/tender to bring along when doing weekend trips, and have been looking closely at either the portabote for its compactness or one of those tunnel hulled inflatables. I'm thinking they might create less drag when you're towing them.. That and it's probably the closest i'll ever get to owning a catamaran...
Anyone out there back me up on this?
 

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Dreamin,

Like everybody says, it depends on how you intend on using it. A lot of the choice is a tradeoff between stability and performance on one hand and stowability on the other. The article Sail Magazine 2008 Buyers Guide: Dinghy Choices does a pretty good job of listing the pros and cons of each type. We have the inflatable floor type and it works good for us. We don't use an outboard on it but we could. We just use the "Izzy Wizzy" to row our dog ashore to do her business, hense its name. It actually handles quite well with oars
 

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Basically it depends on what your budget is and what your needs are. RIBs, with the rigid hull, are going to give the best performance, but require the most space to stow. High-pressure air floored models are going to give better performance than roll-up models with about the same storage requirements, but cost significantly more.

You can also get a hard dinghy, which is harder to stow, but often less expensive and more durable—which is good if the area you're in has rocky coastlines... :) Some hard dinghies, like the NN10, come apart and nest, which make them easier to stow, but are more expensive. Hard dinghies also are generally easier to row than inflatables.
 

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I have a rollup inflatable with the floor slats and hate it. I got it used but was in decent shape. It just is not durable, doesn't track well when rowing, and is next to impossible to stand and move around. Am now looking for a hard dingy and am considering the Walker Bay or similar.

MSter
 

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I have a rollup inflatable with the floor slats and hate it. I got it used but was in decent shape. It just is not durable, doesn't track well when rowing, and is next to impossible to stand and move around. Am now looking for a hard dingy and am considering the Walker Bay or similar.

MSter
The Walker Bays have a good reputation for toughness and affordability. But along with some other well known designs, they are responsible for giving hard dinghies the bad reputation of being tippy/unstable. I have a strong preference for hard dinghies, but be sure to test their stability before choosing a model/brand. Some are MUCH more stable than others.
 

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Walker Bays are very beamy little boats and as such are pretty good for stability, and they row well too. The plastic construction makes them very durable and gentle on the mothership.

In addition they can be had with an inflatable add-on that means you can virtually stand on one gunwale and not tip over. This essentially creates a sort of RIB and the add-on means it goes alongside silently like any inflatable. It does nearly double the cost of the package, though.....

And, they are available in sailing versions too!
 

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Walker Bays are very beamy little boats and as such are pretty good for stability....
That is an interesting observation. My experience is a little different. I have used them extensively (my sister has one, we buddy boat and swap dinghies regularly) and have found them to be very tippy compared to our other hard dinghies (Dyer Midget, CLC Passagemaker).

I can stand up and walk around in our Dyer, even atop the thwarts, but I have to keep my CG very low in the Walker Bay.
 

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I have an 18 year old fiberglass Pilot dinghy. Among other abuse, its survived my kids running it over the rocks, bieng hauled up rocky shores, hit and sunk by a 50' Hans Christian. My brother borrowed it once and we found it a month later in a cove off the harbor.

She aint pretty, but she owes me nothing.
~matt
 

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... My experience is a little different. I have used them extensively (my sister has one, we buddy boat and swap dinghies regularly) and have found them to be very tippy compared to our other hard dinghies (Dyer Midget, CLC Passagemaker)....
I'll certainly bow to your experience John... my son has one and seems to think that it's not bad. The inflatable ring will, of course hugely improve that aspect.
 

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I'll certainly bow to your experience John... my son has one and seems to think that it's not bad. The inflatable ring will, of course hugely improve that aspect.
Faster,

I actually like the Walker Bays too. I think they represent fairly good value. But I have long suspected the addition of the inflatable collar was intended to remedy one of it's few shortcomings.;) They just don't seem to have the same form stability as the slab-sided, nearly flat bottomed dinghies.

Another aspect of their design that results in overall instability is the very fine bow sections, which do not have nearly as much reserve buoyancy as a pram or the more snub-nosed Dyers and similar designs. Shifting weight forward without counterbalance in the stern seems to really induce the "tippies.":)
 

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Porta-Boat

I've asked the same question over at the Tayana Owners Group message board and was surprised to hear that one cruiser had good luck with a 12 foot porta boat. Anyone here with any experience with one??
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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There are at least three of us here that have one. I have the 12 footer. A 3 h.p. outboard with get me and the dog up on a plane. That little motor would not do the same with our inflatable. While the boat folds up to about the size of a surf board. the seats and transom are separate pieces that need to be stored somewhere else, a draw back.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great information, I'm keeping an eye on Craigs List for a used one. Not much there yet, maybe in a couple of months there will be more.

Thanks again
Greg
 
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