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Old 17-03-2014, 14:59   #16
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
The only inflatable experience I've had is with an Avon that had the put together plywood floor over an inflatable keel. After awhile the plywood would swell so that it

weighs 900 pounds and....

was not easy to install in the aluminum pieces it was made for. Also, sand would get under the sole between bottom and plywood and would be hard to get out until you dismantled it and hosed it out with a high pressure hose. Those are just things to think about. It performed well but no inflatable is easy to row so make certain your outboard engine is a reliable one.
I once had an old 14 foot with the same symptoms. I thinned the edges of the ply with a belt sander then painted them with epoxy paint, which somewhat helped. It was still difficult to get the floorboards in and out. I also drilled about a million 1" holes in the floorboards, which made things a bit lighter but didn't really make it easier to rinse sand out as I'd hoped - the floorboards just have to come out for that. The holes did provide entertaining fishguts-geyers though.....
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Old 17-03-2014, 15:56   #17
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

unfortunately you didn't tell us where/how you will be using the dinghy. if in mostly protected waters with mostly short hops to shore and mostly small loads a minimal rollup inflatable with a small 2 to 3.5 hp 2 stroke will work fine. i had that combo for years. i think i might go one size up from 2.5 m if possible. and that rollup floor really makes it easy to store on deck or below.

if longevity or strong sun is an issue, get one in hypalon fabric. if it's a two year throwaway, pvc will work and will be cheaper. also get a name brand like avon or achilles or ab or caribe or a few others that some here will soon recommend.
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Old 17-03-2014, 15:59   #18
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

So, wander around your marina looking at dingys. Maybe someone might let you sit in theirs and/or even let you hoist it up onto your foredeck to check the fit on your particular boat. And they don't all have the same tube diameter. We had an Achilles the same size as the West, it had 17" tubes and the West has 22". The Achilles had a 8hp max and the West is 10hp. I wouldn't say 8hp is waterskiing, but it will push us against a fair headwind, much less and I would have trouble with the estrogen contingent ...
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Old 17-03-2014, 17:05   #19
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

We have an 8' inflatable, and we row it. No issues.

You will want a motor if the distance from your boat to the shore cannot be comfortably crossed without one.

b.
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Old 20-03-2014, 16:44   #20
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post

unfortunately you didn't tell us where/how you will be using the dinghy. if in mostly protected waters with mostly short hops to shore and mostly small loads a minimal rollup inflatable with a small 2 to 3.5 hp 2 stroke will work fine. i had that combo for years. i think i might go one size up from 2.5 m if possible. and that rollup floor really makes it easy to store on deck or below.

Yeah, lots of sailors around here tow their dink...

-Chris
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Old 20-03-2014, 17:32   #21
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

Only you can answer what is too little, but differing shapes in dinghy design allows dinghy's with lots of space vs others look at taka cats with inflatable floors vs avon same length but lot more room and dry vs wet and hp to push the thing along.

a full roll up type leaves you with many choices so study up the options and you should find your answer otherwise get the exact dinghy you want and tow it behind the boat (many do)
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:00   #22
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Re: Dinghies and their outboards - how little is too little?

If you consider the dinghy alone just size the system to suit your comfort level.

You might want to consider that the dinghy needs to be able to get your yacht out of trouble. For that, you need more motor. We have a 9.5 Carribe with 15 Merc for our 36 ton boat.

I am seriously considering getting a tiny outboard for normal use but the 15 will go wicked fast with 4 people and long distances.
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