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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I sold last years dinghy which was an 80's avon 8 inflatable with oars. Sometimes paddling slowly for 1-2 miles got old.

So I'm in the market for a motorized dinghy.

Bristol 26. New stern rail with beefy motor mount so that's taken care of. The dinghy itself will probably be towed 70% of the time, but I need one that I can pack down a bit and stow when I need to. I'm not all that familiar with how oter dinghies pack down and how small. Mine was pretty easy.

It's mostly just going to be me or me plus girl so it would need to carry 300-350 pounds depending on gear.

I don't understand why dinghies need such big engines. My ranger 23 had a 6 hp and that moved a 3500#boat along great so why does a 60# dink have a six or often even bigger. I would think it would need a .5.
 

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I started out with a seagull on a good rowing dinghy. Think i rowed fasted then the seagull could motor.
 
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Corsair 24
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I sold last years dinghy which was an 80's avon 8 inflatable with oars. Sometimes paddling slowly for 1-2 miles got old.

So I'm in the market for a motorized dinghy.

Bristol 26. New stern rail with beefy motor mount so that's taken care of. The dinghy itself will probably be towed 70% of the time, but I need one that I can pack down a bit and stow when I need to. I'm not all that familiar with how oter dinghies pack down and how small. Mine was pretty easy.

It's mostly just going to be me or me plus girl so it would need to carry 300-350 pounds depending on gear.

I don't understand why dinghies need such big engines. My ranger 23 had a 6 hp and that moved a 3500#boat along great so why does a 60# dink have a six or often even bigger. I would think it would need a .5.
most inflatable with hard bottoms at least are designed to plane...for a couple an 8hp is about as low as you can go to comfortabley plane...

most cruisers these days have big ass dinghies wwith 9.9 outboards or even 15hp yamaha to do this

I have decided to not go inflatabale on my current boat but go to a hard dink that will double as a liferaft with added buoyancy...and hopefully a small sail rig...

most hard dinks can be mad to accept a 2.5-4hp outboard which is fine for getting o off shore

not to mention little outbards are incredibly reliable and fuel efficient
 

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I'll say this, just about the engines.

On my last cruise, I had a 25 HP Mercury on my 11 foot hard shell tender (Boston Whaler).

The good.
It would go over 30 mph if I ever needed to.
It would plane with four adults in it and as much gear as you could load in it.
It would have easily towed my 42 foot boat if I had ever needed to do that.

The bad.
I never found one situation where I needed to go 30 mph.
I only ran it up on plane a few times, or were even in places where it was really helpful to do it. My wife would say, "Why are we in such a hurry?" every time I would do it. Most of the time I saw other cruisers running their dinghies on plane, they were doing it in places they shouldn't have, or didn't need to.

It weighed over a 100 pounds, and was extremely difficult, even with a motor lift to get on and off the boat, making me leave it on at times when I really should have taken it off (I'm lucky it didn't get stolen).

When I got back, I got rid of the 25 and got a Mercury 2.5 (one of the old Tohatsu made ones from a guy who had bought and apparently never used it, for $350).
It won't plane my dinghy, under any circumstances, but it will move it along smartly at 6 or so knots. It is so light, I don't even need the motor lift to put in on or off the boat, or on the stern pulpit mount. It is so simple, there is almost nothing to break (it doesn't even have a transmission).

The next cruise, I will have the 2.5 and a bigger motor, probably a 10 horse or so, as a spare, but I will use the 2.5 most of the time. I really love the 2.5 and I find myself putting it on the dinghy to go on short trips around the harbor, anchorage, etc., where I would have never gone to the trouble of manhandling the 25 to go on.

Live and learn.
 
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2.5 all brands are about as perfect a motor as I can think of they do most everything well and are so easy to work on and fix and carry...
 

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islander bahama 24
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My sea eagle (original french made one ) is rated for up to a15 HP motor I use a 6 HP evinrude the same one that powers my sailboat. Most of the time I row
 

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Old soul
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Our solution for the past seven years has been a 10' Portabote. It folds and stows easily along our side deck. I'm not sure if you could do the same with your Bristol 26 (great boat, BTW!). Perhaps the 8' version might be better.

I went through a couple of inflatables before settling on the portabote. It is very light compared to an inflatable, making it easy to row and motor. It manages a large load, can take a small outboard, and rows very well. I've now got a 3.5hp outboard which will plane the bote with just one person in it. Oh, and there is a lateen rig that you can get for the bote which is fun in an anchorage.
 

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I use a rigid dinghy (Dyer Dhow Midget) and carry a 2hp Honda outboard.

In most situations it is easier for me to ignore the outboard and just row. I can row the boat almost as fast as I can motor it, and the rowing is a lot quieter. It is a lot more fun to row and have otters or seals follow me then to motor and scare everything away. However I still have the motor for when I need to go a long distance.

The dinghy also has a sailing kit.

In calm conditions I tow it. In rough conditions I bring it up onto the foredeck. It might not fit on a 26' boat, but is comfortable on a 28' boat. There are smaller rigid dinghies than my Midget, but I like the size of this one.

I also co-own two inflatable dinghies: an Avon Redcrest and a Zodiac Zoom 230. I've only used the Zoom, it works well with a motor and is a decent size for two adults. Rowing works okay, but without an inflatable keel it doesn't track as well as a rigid dinghy. It is quite small (around 7'8") and rolls up into a pretty small size which makes onboard stowage easier. The slat floor makes rolling it up easy. I bought the Zoom two years ago, it is this model:
Zodiac Slat Wood Floor 7' 7" Lt. Gray / Blue PVC, 2014

We'll probably be selling that dinghy this spring. We're keeping the Redcrest (which is larger) for trips where we'll have 3 or 4 people.

I like the Honda 2hp motor. It isn't powerful, but it is reliable and the light weight makes it easy to get on and off of the boat. I won't tow dinghies with a motor attached. Our Honda is ~20 years old and still very reliable and easy to work on.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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I sold last years dinghy which was an 80's avon 8 inflatable with oars. Sometimes paddling slowly for 1-2 miles got old.

So I'm in the market for a motorized dinghy.

Bristol 26. New stern rail with beefy motor mount so that's taken care of. The dinghy itself will probably be towed 70% of the time, but I need one that I can pack down a bit and stow when I need to. I'm not all that familiar with how oter dinghies pack down and how small. Mine was pretty easy.

It's mostly just going to be me or me plus girl so it would need to carry 300-350 pounds depending on gear.

I don't understand why dinghies need such big engines. My ranger 23 had a 6 hp and that moved a 3500#boat along great so why does a 60# dink have a six or often even bigger. I would think it would need a .5.
Your choice is between an inflatable floor and a slatted floor. Both will roll up reasonably small.

This one dink would do the job and should last 5 years more if you keep it covered up.

Hypalon dinks will last 10 yrs even if uncovered.

As you say if you don't want to plane then 2 hp is all you need. Honda do an aircooled one that is very light but have a demo and make sure you can stand the noise they make. Alternatively look for a used 2 hp 2st. I like Tohatsus and they get sold under different guises.
 

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islander bahama 24
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I use a rigid dinghy (Dyer Dhow Midget) and carry a 2hp Honda outboard.

In most situations it is easier for me to ignore the outboard and just row. I can row the boat almost as fast as I can motor it, and the rowing is a lot quieter. It is a lot more fun to row and have otters or seals follow me then to motor and scare everything away. However I still have the motor for when I need to go a long distance.

The dinghy also has a sailing kit.

In calm conditions I tow it. In rough conditions I bring it up onto the foredeck. It might not fit on a 26' boat, but is comfortable on a 28' boat. There are smaller rigid dinghies than my Midget, but I like the size of this one.

I also co-own two inflatable dinghies: an Avon Redcrest and a Zodiac Zoom 230. I've only used the Zoom, it works well with a motor and is a decent size for two adults. Rowing works okay, but without an inflatable keel it doesn't track as well as a rigid dinghy. It is quite small (around 7'8") and rolls up into a pretty small size which makes onboard stowage easier. The slat floor makes rolling it up easy. I bought the Zoom two years ago, it is this model:
Zodiac Slat Wood Floor 7' 7" Lt. Gray / Blue PVC, 2014

We'll probably be selling that dinghy this spring. We're keeping the Redcrest (which is larger) for trips where we'll have 3 or 4 people.

I like the Honda 2hp motor. It isn't powerful, but it is reliable and the light weight makes it easy to get on and off of the boat. I won't tow dinghies with a motor attached. Our Honda is ~20 years old and still very reliable and easy to work on.
Any idea on a price yet I'm thinking of replacing my old eagle its over 20 yes old
 

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As you say if you don't want to plane then 2 hp is all you need. Honda do an aircooled one that is very light but have a demo and make sure you can stand the noise they make.
I find that the noise that they make is highly variable motor to motor. My 20 year old one is considerably quieter than a friends few year old one.

The Suzuki 2.5 looks like the other one to consider in the ultralight category. It is about 5lbs heavier than the Honda, but water cooled and has a shift lever.
 

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Your choice is between an inflatable floor and a slatted floor. Both will roll up reasonably small.

This one dink would do the job and should last 5 years more if you keep it covered up.

Hypalon dinks will last 10 yrs even if uncovered.

As you say if you don't want to plane then 2 hp is all you need. Honda do an aircooled one that is very light but have a demo and make sure you can stand the noise they make. Alternatively look for a used 2 hp 2st. I like Tohatsus and they get sold under different guises.
Another reason I like my Whaler.

What a 23 year old (at the time the picture was taken) Whaler dinghy that I paid $1000 for looks like. :)



And, to show, it will go up on the foredeck (getting a new bottom paint job here).

 
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nice where are you again?
I'm on the Mississippi gulf coast right now. I bought the Whaler in Sarasota on my way south when I had had enough of my inflatable (which I later sold to some guy in Marathon). Those pictures are from the Bahamas a couple of years ago. I took almost a year off and cruised down there. I'm back saving up for the next one now. :D
 
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We have an 8'0 hard dinghy and use a 29 lb thrust trolling motor. We cruise for a week at a time and only once has it used the battery up. It was the time that we were all dressed up on our way back to the boat from our anniversary dinner, of course. The motor will push the dinghy with two of us at about 4 knots and it's as quiet as can be. Not sure how it would be for a RID or inflatable.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My last dinghy purchase didn't go through so I'm back in the market. Tell me what youse guys think of this:

10 ft. inflatable with 6 hp outboard

It's a Nordic with a Montgomery outboard. From what I can find out Nordic is a costco thing, probably equivalent to a west marine dinghy. And Montgomery engines are made by Chrysler. I can't even remember the last time I saw a Montgomery wards store. So it ain't new.

Otherwise not a lot to choose from. There is one more. It's a nasically new wood floor Achilles hypalon. $850. Probably a little negotiable. No engine.
 

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We have an inflatable with a 3.5 hp Tohatsu. It carries Mr. Cthoops and I (combined weight of approx 340 pounds) and our gear. We use it strictly to get to and from the boat, we can row it in a pinch (like when we run out of gas en-route), and never once have we thought "Boy, I wish we could plane right now."
 

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I'm with c.breeze I like a dink that functions. I would love a classic rowing dink but just not practical . My dinky is a Achilles 10.9, inflatable floor with a 4hp. 4 stroke Tohatsu . I had before (it got ripped off) the same dink but with a 2.5 Yamaha 4 stroke . I loved that little Yami , but it just didn't have the power to make the dink handle right . When I got my new dink I up graded to the Tohatsu and what a difference. If I had it to do over again I think I would get a 6hp.
 
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