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There is one for sale near me locally, comes with oars and an electric motor with battery and charger, I'm thinking about buying it, making a sail kit for it (since I already have a small boat rig) and using it for camping, and just messing about. Then when we get our big boat, use it as a dinghy. But is an 8' hard dinghy too big for a 27-30' boat? It's very light so I can easily haul it out of the water, but not as light or easy to store as an inflatable.
 

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I bought mine 4 years ago to use with my 25' boat. It will take up your entire foredeck if you put it up there. But they also tow pretty well. I towed mine from Washington to Alaska, including about 120 miles of open water.
So I say yes, but only if you are young & able. They aren't as forgiving as an inflatable if you mis-step getting in. They also have a very low weight limit. Two big adults can easily exceed even without any gear.

here is mine being whisked along at 6+ knots in 30 knot wind.
YouTube - Febuary sailing in Alaska
 

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Telstar 28
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It's a pretty big dinghy for a 27-30' boat, and would be pretty tough to stow on most boats in that size range.
 

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I have a sandpiper 8, which looks to be very similar to the walker bay you are looking at. My biggest problem is weight capacty. At 6'4" and 240# it seems a little unstable, especially if there is any chop. I have not tried it yet with anyone else on board.
 

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Sounds like the perfect boat to me. Thought about one for myself, to tow the few times I need a dingy, and can load it into the pickup bed, and if I wanted, sail it in the 1/4 mile away .75-1 mile diam lake.

You can also get inflatable bladders to put at the rail, to gve you a bit more stability with weight etc too. Overall, not a bad boat, better built ones out there yes, but for what you pay for it, not a bad boat.

marty
 

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I cruised for 9 months with a 8" hard dingy. It was wood but very light. It was lashed upside down on the foredeck in chocks and stayed put in some very rough conditions. We hung it over the side with a bridle and a halyard lashed against fenders when at anchor.
It had handrails on the bottom to help to get past it on the foredeck and to allow it to be dragged on the beach and a very large fender under the seat for flotation.
Best thing was, I never had to blow it up or patch it once. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, it would be towed most of the rare times I would need it (longer lake cruises) it would be used more often as a camping or messing boat. Also at 71lbs, I could easily haul it up onto the deck if it's too rough to tow it. How do you know it's too rough to tow? When it starts passing you? :) What's a good rule of thumb regarding wind speed or wave height?
 

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Thanks everyone, it would be towed most of the rare times I would need it (longer lake cruises) it would be used more often as a camping or messing boat. Also at 71lbs, I could easily haul it up onto the deck if it's too rough to tow it. How do you know it's too rough to tow? When it starts passing you? :) What's a good rule of thumb regarding wind speed or wave height?
Just before the dinghy becomes a drogue.
 

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Aeolus II
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Just before the dinghy becomes a drogue.
I had an inflatable surf into my outboard prop (wasn't running and was up out of the water) it punctured the dingy. I had to anchor it and return later to retrieve it. That was a nasty story for The Chesapeake Bay, 45+kts and 8' waves, another boat sunk and several people drowned nearby (I didn't know that until the next day.)
 

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AEOLUS II
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All I know is, my inflatable is so heavy I'll probably never use it.

The Walker Bay I'd at least mess about in.

Adding the RID tubes looks like the way to go.

I was thinking about the sail kit but if it's that nice a day I'm taking the 27' boat out!!
 

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Only problem I see with the RID tubes is they cost more than the dingy. For that kind of money (dingy + RID) you would probably benefit by expanding your options to higher end dinks out there.
As for the sail kit, I think that is worth it. You can really sail somewhere in the WB. You can make progress upwind, and even roller reef the sail if it gets too windy (have tried this in +25 Knots). You can easily store the parts onboard. I made a sock for the mast and sail, which I store along the lifelines. You can see it on my boat if you carefully. http://www.sailnet.com/forums/416201-post102.html
Don't rule it out. Sometimes it is more fun to play in little boats than big boats anyway!
 

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The Walker Bay boats are very interesting from a technical point of view too. They came about because the company that makes them has the world's largest injection molding machine. They were looking for other work they could do with it. They can pump them out in any volume the market could possibly bear, and they get cheaper and cheaper to make as the volume goes up! Cycle times are just a few minutes each, so they could probably do 300 a day! The mold would probably last a million shots or so.

With the requirements for a really big molding machine I think it could be a while before they have any competition.
 

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The Walker Bay boats are very interesting from a technical point of view too. They came about because the company that makes them has the world's largest injection molding machine. They were looking for other work they could do with it. They can pump them out in any volume the market could possibly bear, and they get cheaper and cheaper to make as the volume goes up! Cycle times are just a few minutes each, so they could probably do 300 a day! The mold would probably last a million shots or so.

With the requirements for a really big molding machine I think it could be a while before they have any competition.
Never even considered that, or why there aren't any similar open boats. Things like Zumas, Open Bics, and the plethora of Kayaks out there are roto-molded. Walker Bay's are injection molded?
 

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An Aussie Sailor
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Digressing a little. I own a Walker Bay 10. It's getting on the heavy side but tows well. You really need the pontoons (expensive and which I don't have) to increase their carrying capacity and stability, in open bays they roll about a bit.

Also mine (2.5yrs old from new) has developed a crack in bow, currently making a warranty claim. In retrospect I would have been better off with a good inflatable but cost was a factor.

Mychael
 

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There is one for sale near me locally, comes with oars and an electric motor
I had one for a couple years on my previous boat and I agree with the instability issues. I tried making my own floataion ring around the gunwales using fenders with mixed results. Also it is a wet ride when heading into even small waves when powered by a 2hp. It does row very well and you could probably row it twice as fast as the electric will move it.
 

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An Aussie Sailor
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I had one for a couple years on my previous boat and I agree with the instability issues. I tried making my own floatation ring around the gunwales using fenders with mixed results. .

I tried exactly the same thing, as you say mixed results. Also tried bonding in some lead weights from a dive belt and putting them down in the keel groove. Trouble is getting anything to adhere to the poly of the hull.
I run a 3.5 hp outboard (2 stroke) and it motors along fine. In fact even towed the yacht with it once. Albeit a relatively short distance.

Mychael
 

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Telstar 28
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Of course, having to add ballast, reduces the payload capacity of a relatively low capacity boat even further... not great as solutions go IMHO.
 

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AEOLUS II
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OK, now I want an 8' with pontoons and a sailing kit.

No motor.

Oars.

And a bimini.

And a cart to wheel it around.

I like the deck and capacity of the 10' but it's just too heavy.
 
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