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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So as part of the ever-lasting boat upgrades, I need to get a Dinghy.

The problem being, I'm not sure where to store it on a 36' sailboat. Putting it on the foredeck would get in the way, and using davits would be expensive and create a whole bunch of drag. Has anyone come up with a clever way of doing this?

My second question - what type of boat should I get? I am looking for as small as possible that can carry two people (I am 165lbs). Planing would be nice, but not 100% necessary, although next summer I am going to try to live on the hook for a couple of months, so maybe planing is more important than I thought?

Due to weight/space I am leaning more towards inflatable than hard. I would like to leave it permanently inflated, since I am way too lazy to blow the thing up every time I want to use it.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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You basically have three options. Foredeck, davits or tow it. I've done all three. I prefer my davits.
 

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I have a 7'6'' Achilles inflatable which does meet your basic requirements. I have a 2hp 2-cycle Yamaha outboard which is nice and light (22 lbs) and easy to move back and forth between the storage mount the stern rail and the dinghy. Not enough power to plane, but plenty of power for most situations. I tow the dinghy (without the outboard) in all but storm conditions when cruising and deflate it and store below when not. Works for me.
 

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I tried 5 diff types of dinghy for my not so roomy 28' S2 till I was happy. I finally bought a used 8' Porta-bote and find it is very easy to assemble on the foredeck, it is relatively lightweight. it rows well, it really does carry 3 grown men and I can carry it beside the cabin folded up. It also stows INSIDE the cabin when I am gone for long periods.
 

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You basically have three options. Foredeck, davits or tow it. I've done all three. I prefer my davits.
There is a fourth option, which is to use an inflatable and to stow it when not in use. There are plenty of <60lb inflatables that will pack down small enough to disappear into a cockpit locker on a 35' boat.

Some boats also have room to fit a dinghy under the boom, behind the mast.

I use a rigid dinghy (Dyer Dhow Midget) and carry it on the foredeck on longer days or where rough weather is possible and tow it on short days when rough weather is not a concern. It doesn't really get in the way, I can still get to the anchor locker and rig a spinnaker with it on the foredeck. I'm not going to lie and say that it's just as nice as not having it there, it is nicer when the foredeck is clear, but it isn't a major hassle having it up there.

How well that works can depend heavily on the boat. On a boat with a babystay and/or a narrower beam (like my friend's Yankee 30) a rigid dinghy on the foredeck would be more of a hassle.

I use the rigid dinghy over an inflatable because I prefer how it rows. I do use a motor on it from time to time, but I prefer to row it unless I'm going a long distance.

Last time dinghies came up RIBs with a folding transom were mentioned. I'm curious about those as an option but the cost and weight are prohibitive.
 

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You basically have three options. Foredeck, davits or tow it. I've done all three. I prefer my davits.
I do options one and three, as I don't have davits. But, I keep thinking about getting them.
 

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We had a nice 10' Whitehall style tender which was beautiful to row, but a hard dinghy is a real P.I.T.A. in my opinion. We ended up getting an 8.5' Aquapro aluminum hulled RIB with a 4hp Yamaha 2stroke. It fits on the foredeck even with the babystay, but we never put it there. The outboard mounts on the pushpit and we tow the dinghy. It works great for the 3 of us but it will only plane with 1 person in flat water. It is rated for 8hp, but I wouldn't want to lift a bigger outboard on and off without some kind of davit.

The aluminum hull is much lighter than plastic hulled ribs...less than 100lbs, so I can lift it onto my foredeck without any mechanical assistance.
The nice thing about inflatable boats is that they are just like giant fenders! You don't have to worry about scratching your boat when getting in and out of it at anchor, and they are extremely stable.
 

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We have a 9.6 on the foredeck of our 31'. Sure it's close quarters, but you should be able to do it easy (unless your getting a 12'). We've even flown the spinnaker with the dink on the foredeck.

We bought a Saturn inflatable and have a Suzuki 2.5 stored on the stern rail. love it.
 

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I have a Boston Whaler 11 foot tender that fits on my foredeck (42 footer) with room left forward to open the anchor locker and work up front.

I only put it on the foredeck for offshore passages, or places like Nassau when tied up in a slip, to make sure I have it when I leave.

It weighs 280 pounds but it's still really easy to get up on the deck with a halyard and a block and tackle system I have rigged up for it. It's easier with two people but doable with just one.

Most of the time, I just tow it. I'd like to have some davits for it, but with the 2.5 HP I use on it now, oars, etc., it's probably pushing 310 or 320 loaded down. That seems to be over the weight limit for a lot of commercial davits, so until I see a good price on some heavy duty ones, it won't be hanging from davits.

The biggest advantage of a hard dinghy? Mine is a 1989 model, that I paid $1900 for, with a 25 HP Mercury included, that still looks pretty much brand new, and will undoubtedly still be going strong twenty years from now (I'm sure it will outlive me). Anyone here using a 1989 inflatable? :D

I replaced the rub rail recently, and re-oiled the wood and that's about all it takes in maintenance.

 

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Group9,

320 lb, at least on my boat, is a whole lot of extra weight. This equals extra fuel when travelling under power. The extra weight would mean a loss in sailing performance that would be quite noticeable, ergo I'd have to crank the engine when I might not be doing so, and then refer to that 'extra fuel' above. Even if I didn't care about the performance, I'd certainly have to forego carrying at least 100 lb of supplies, maybe more.

At least in my case, the money I might save on purchasing one more dinghy across 20 years (I've seen inflatables last for 10 with care) would likely add up to about the same in fuel costs and lost time.

YMMV, of course, but it is something to consider.
 

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Group9,

320 lb, at least on my boat, is a whole lot of extra weight. This equals extra fuel when travelling under power. The extra weight would mean a loss in sailing performance that would be quite noticeable, ergo I'd have to crank the engine when I might not be doing so, and then refer to that 'extra fuel' above. Even if I didn't care about the performance, I'd certainly have to forego carrying 320 lb of supplies.

At least in my case, the money I might save on purchasing one more dinghy across 20 years (I've seen inflatables last for 10 with care) would likely add up to about the same in fuel costs and lost time.

YMMV, of course, but it is something to consider.
Oh, no doubt when towing it. (but my boat does weigh 22,000 pounds so I don't know that performance is more than marginally decreased when it's on the deck). But, it's worth it to me. When cruising, I spend a lot more time anchored and fooling around on the dinghy than I do actually sailing or motoring the boat. And, I used to have an inflatable. I don't hate them, I just like my Whaler better (I like knowing you could shoot it with a 12 gauge shotgun and probably just do cosmetic damage). Just letting people know there are options and alternatives out there that are working. :D
 

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ok i have used rollup, i have used rib, i have used port a bote i have used hard dink...i have used kayak as dink..i have used rollup.....
if you value your dink , dont tow it. it is merely a matter if time before it vanishes.
iused a wb8 on my foredeck..i dont see how a 42 ft sailboat can carry a boston whaler on bow and still have room for working that bow...lol sorry, just cannot picture that. and they are heavy...lol..
i upgraded to a wb10 which does not fit on my bow, must slide under boom. i have no davits. i saw what that can do to a boat of my boats size and heft..lol we aint gona go there.. was disastrous forhte owner of the sea wolf that was heavily pooped to lose his dinghy and bend the davits down below the level of his afterdeck.....
and so..... yes i have to have help to lift the wb10 onto deck.
no there is no perfect dinghy. there are stolen from you dinghies, there are vanished dinghies and there are gonne be stolen dinghies and gonnabelost dinghies.
buy what you can afford to lose. take car of it and have a back up plan when the one you have disappears. it happens.
i love my combination of kayaks and wb10--no one steals a wb...lol... they want the inflatables and rigid inflatables--money boats... and the engines. mostly the engiines.
make sure all is locked and secured well to your boat.
 

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As much as I like the tradition of hard rowing dingy's, IMHO you cannot beat an inflatable for stability, and as the family "truck-ster" loading and unloading people and stuff.

When we had a bigger boat, I towed a big hard bottom inflatable for coastal cruising, putting the motor on the stern rail. For offshore work, we couldn't easily fit the hard bottom on deck (even on a 52 ft boat), so we got a rollup inflatable for that. Before a cruise, I had to decide which one to leave behind.

We're now sailing a 38 ft sailboat. The big old hard bottom inflatable costs me lots of boat speed in tow behind a 38' sailboat, so I use the roll up. For coastal, tow it. For offshore, rolled up on deck. I'm using a 2.5 hp Suzuki, one handed lift even for a weakling like myself. I never tow with the motor on because I've flipped dingy's and it increases drag.

It's a tradeoff. For sure, a hard bottom inflatable is FAR better for stability and zipping around with a bigger motor. When we had a bigger boat I had a 15 hp for that thing and it could zip around nicely.

So I really think it depends on how big your sailboat is, and how much you value sailing performance vs. messing around in the harbor. I don't know of a way to get both if the mother ship is small and you want to combine coastal cruising with offshore work, but I'm listening to ideas.

I just plain don't like the look of davits on a small sailboat, and view them as questionable for offshore work...YMMV.
 

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320 lb, at least on my boat, is a whole lot of extra weight.
Most hard dinghies aren't that heavy. It's uncommon for them to weigh more than about 100-120lbs. 2 person ones are often under 80lbs, and can be as light as 50lbs.

Most of the RIBs that I've researched weigh as much or more as hard dinghies.
 

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Alex W, go look at the TAKACAT Lite I linked. I replaced a Walker Bay 8 with the Takacat. I'm effin' THRILLED with the Taka Lite. AFAIC, the Taka has been everything advertised. (Except for the hot chicks although I'm sure that Handsome Husband would love for that to happen.) Me, I don't ever want to mess with another hard dink nor a RIB.
 

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Alex W, go look at the TAKACAT Lite I linked. I replaced a Walker Bay 8 with the Takacat. I'm effin' THRILLED with the Taka Lite. AFAIC, the Taka has been everything advertised. (Except for the hot chicks although I'm sure that Handsome Husband would love for that to happen.) Me, I don't ever want to mess with another hard dink nor a RIB.
How does it row compared to your Walker Bay? I don't like to use a motor on my dinghy unless I'm going farther than a mile or two (which is less than 10% of dinghy trips).

How did you select it vs the Explorer Sport? The website's comparison text is not very helpful. I do like that the Sport comes in PVC or Hypalon, where the Lite (which is poorly named since the smallest version has the same capacity and weight as the smallest Explorer) only comes in PVC.
 

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So as part of the ever-lasting boat upgrades, I need to get a Dinghy.

The problem being, I'm not sure where to store it on a 36' sailboat. Putting it on the foredeck would get in the way, and using davits would be expensive and create a whole bunch of drag. Has anyone come up with a clever way of doing this?

My second question - what type of boat should I get? I am looking for as small as possible that can carry two people (I am 165lbs). Planing would be nice, but not 100% necessary, although next summer I am going to try to live on the hook for a couple of months, so maybe planing is more important than I thought?

Due to weight/space I am leaning more towards inflatable than hard. I would like to leave it permanently inflated, since I am way too lazy to blow the thing up every time I want to use it.
I guess this first point may not be an issue as you live in BC, but have you considered getting back into the dink of your choice after a swim/snorkel? It is MUCH easier on something inflatable.

I am part of the Eastern Caribbean live aboard community. 80 - 90% of us have a big tube RIB with at least an 8 hp. I have a 9ft AB with an 18hp. An ali rib is lighter but really 30 lbs extra does not really matter as I lift it onto the foredeck with a halyard. The OB goes on the stern rail with a block and tackle suspended from my rear arch. I have seen people use the main boom and the topping lift on a winch to lift a heavy OB .

I do tow on short passages in protected water, mind you I have found myself singing "Come back dinghy " when it escapes. [ Note to self listen to crew when they tell you the dinghy painter is frayed.]

If you go the Walker Bay route buy the inflatable tube that goes around the gunnel unless you KNOW you will be using it in protected waters, very protected. They swamp easily in a chop two up with shopping.

So my recommendation the biggest RIB you can get on the foredeck with at least 8hp.
 
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