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Old 16-01-2012, 22:16   #1
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Dinghies on a Shoestring

Ok so, as a bargain hunter, this is the type of scenario I face all the time. I'm going to pose the question here to see what you guys would do.

This is just an example, but it's a real world example and a serious question...

I have an opportunity to buy a very nice wooden rowing dink. Its 7'6" (fits on the boat), well designed, well built buy an enthusiast with good materials and stich-n-glue construction. comes with oars. It's even painted the right color the match my boat

$150

Seems like a no-brainer, good bargain, right boat, can't go wrong?

But, I already have a dink... It's an inflatable, pain in the ass to launch and stow, probably won;t last much longer than 2 or 3 years of regular use (maybe more).

What would you do? Buy now in preparation for the future? or go with what you have until it fails on the faith that you'll find something else when it's needed?

(edit) I forgot to mention... If I spend this $150, it would be taking away from already pre-budgeted equipment for the boat. I'd have to sacrifice something somewhere along the way (and we're not talking about AIS here, we're talking about bottom paint, wiring...whatever else, but notably important items, or food).
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Old 16-01-2012, 22:54   #2
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Ok so, as a bargain hunter, this is the type of scenario I face all the time. I'm going to pose the question here to see what you guys would do.

This is just an example, but it's a real world example and a serious question...

I have an opportunity to buy a very nice wooden rowing dink. Its 7'6" (fits on the boat), well designed, well built buy an enthusiast with good materials and stich-n-glue construction. comes with oars. It's even painted the right color the match my boat

$150

Seems like a no-brainer, good bargain, right boat, can't go wrong?

But, I already have a dink... It's an inflatable, pain in the ass to launch and stow, probably won;t last much longer than 2 or 3 years of regular use (maybe more).

What would you do? Buy now in preparation for the future? or go with what you have until it fails on the faith that you'll find something else when it's needed?

(edit) I forgot to mention... If I spend this $150, it would be taking away from already pre-budgeted equipment for the boat. I'd have to sacrifice something somewhere along the way (and we're not talking about AIS here, we're talking about bottom paint, wiring...whatever else, but notably important items, or food).
Why could you not sell the inflatable for $150 then its cost was just a changeover and you have a long lasting dink.
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Old 16-01-2012, 23:00   #3
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Why could you not sell the inflatable for $150 then its cost was just a changeover and you have a long lasting dink.
Well, I might be able to... I paid $100 for it (which was a bargain in-itself). It has a patch in the hull, and it's 23 years old... it's still in excellent condition (apparently kept indoors for most of its life) But those factors reduce the chance of sale significantly.

But, the principal is, I already have a dink, it works, it'll get me through... So, is there enough incentive to buy a new one on the premise that it's "better"? And the assumption that I won't be able to find the same deal later on, when it counts?
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Old 17-01-2012, 03:37   #4
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I have an opportunity to buy a very nice wooden rowing dink. Its 7'6" (fits on the boat), well designed, well built buy an enthusiast with good materials and stich-n-glue construction. comes with oars. It's even painted the right color the match my boat

$150

Seems like a no-brainer, good bargain, right boat, can't go wrong?

But, I already have a dink... It's an inflatable, pain in the ass to launch and stow, probably won;t last much longer than 2 or 3 years of regular use (maybe more).

What would you do? Buy now in preparation for the future? or go with what you have until it fails on the faith that you'll find something else when it's needed?

(edit) I forgot to mention... If I spend this $150, it would be taking away from already pre-budgeted equipment for the boat. I'd have to sacrifice something somewhere along the way (and we're not talking about AIS here, we're talking about bottom paint, wiring...whatever else, but notably important items, or food).
Offer him $100 or $50 with a p/ex on the inflatable .

Finding a hard dink that fits onto a 30 footer would be the tempter for me (if you can give up the inflatable - to e-bay etc)......as not always around when you want them.

But if it impacts on your immediate budget (i.e. you can't do certain things now - until the kitty grows back) then I would give it a miss......but if it's money that would only be spent in 6 months + I would go for it.

But no "right" answer. nor wrong one.
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Old 17-01-2012, 04:15   #5
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Solar ovens do work, but you need to pay attention to the clouds and shade.

$150 now for an improvement long term in quality of life is usually worth it. Especially if you can sell the inflatable, trade for a reduced price, or make budget cuts elsewhere temporarily.
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Old 17-01-2012, 04:24   #6
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

agree, get the dink, how often do you see a dink in that kind of shape for sale that cheep... if the answer is not very often then snatch it... i got an anchor rode off craigslist this week... 25' 3/8ths g4 chain spliced to 200' of 3/4" 3 strand... used once...$75... do i neeeeed it now? no, am i ever gonna see it that cheap again? nope
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Old 17-01-2012, 04:31   #7
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

And so the true 'Budget Cruiser' becomes that old hippy with a boat covered in junk...
But jokes aside.. one starts to develop a different mentality...
In the past for example I've bought 2 new dinghy's as where I was heading 1 would cost 3 times as much... got a free dinghy and my money back on the other.. and the buyer was happy.. he'd saved 1/3rds on shop price..
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Old 17-01-2012, 04:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy

(edit) I forgot to mention... If I spend this $150, it would be taking away from already pre-budgeted equipment for the boat. I'd have to sacrifice something somewhere along the way (and we're not talking about AIS here, we're talking about bottom paint, wiring...whatever else, but notably important items, or food).
A 23 year old inflatable will be hard to sell but the new dink is definitely an upgrade.

If you truly are going to spend the grocery money I might pass.

I would not anticipate getting more than $50 for the old inflatable and factor that into my budget.
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Old 17-01-2012, 07:14   #9
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I was about to go buy it yesterday, then I paused, which led me to this question... I told the guy I changed my mind.

My thinking is that; It would certainly be nice to have and could easily last 10+ years, but my inflatable is still good. It's a PITA, and I'll probably have to replace it in a few years, but it works right now. Even though I do actually have the money to spend, I'm not going to because it's simply not on my list of priorities. The dinghy was already checked off that list...

When it comes time to replace the dink, I may not find such a great deal, but I can bet that I'll find some type of good deal, and I'll continue have a sufficient dink that will do the job. Maybe not the best, but it'll work at least as well as the one I have now.

If it had a sailing rig, or if I was ready to head to the caribbean, I may not have passed on it... But I still have another year or two in the States and these things will come and go (hopefully). I gotta keep checking things off the list until it's finished. Upgrading things that are already sufficient seems to be a step in the wrong direction to me. Even if those things might fail in a few years... I'd like to think I'll have similar opportunities no matter where I go, or when. The idea that I should have everything 'finished' and 'proper' before I go, is what I believe slows people down, promotes fear, and kills dreams. If my dink sinks in the caribbean because it can't handle the surf, then so be it. Atleast I'll be in the caribbean
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Old 17-01-2012, 07:49   #10
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Of course, it's possible I'll regret this decision next time I'm trying to row that POS through a 20kt breeze but until then, I'm sticking to the plan
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Old 17-01-2012, 08:28   #11
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
. . . I have an opportunity to buy a very nice wooden rowing dink. Its 7'6" (fits on the boat), well designed, well built buy an enthusiast with good materials and stich-n-glue construction. comes with oars. It's even painted the right color the match my boat
$150

Seems like a no-brainer, good bargain, right boat, can't go wrong?

But, I already have a dink... It's an inflatable, pain in the ass to launch and stow, probably won;t last much longer than 2 or 3 years of regular use (maybe more).

What would you do? Buy now in preparation for the future? or go with what you have until it fails on the faith that you'll find something else when it's needed?. . .
Is your "inflatable" dinghy a pure inflatable dinghy or RIB dinghy? A pure inflatable - rolled up and stored in a bag or case protected from the sun's UV - will last a decade or more. My Avon roll-up has lasted 15 years, 10 of that in a bag. I recently took it out of the bag, inflated it and it still works fine.

RIB's are a whole different matter. The tubes deflate but the main body - FRG or Aluminum remains its full size. So where do you put it if you also have a second dinghy that does not collapse, fold, store away?

Main problem I see with a rigid classical rowing dinghy is storage on a sailing boat. Davits are the normal solution as you just hang the thing off the stern. But without davits, on-deck storage is a royal pain getting the thing onto the boat and then off of the boat when you need to use it.

So the answer as an active cruising boat rather than a static live aboard - is - you have to evaluate how you are going to store the rowing dinghy on the boat. If you cannot find a satisfactory solution, then the rowing dinghy is of little or no value to you regardless of the price.
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Old 17-01-2012, 09:32   #12
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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. . . But my thinking on the wood dink is that it would tow 90% of the time, and go on the foredeck when necessary. That does pose some problems too as well. . .
Yes, IMHO, that is the only practical solution of what to do with a solid rowing dinghy and on average 90% of the cruiser's time is spent in a harbor, cove, whatever. The other 10% is on passages to the next place and on-deck storage is recognized as the safest way to keep from losing your dinghy to a wild ocean.

But - (always another "but") - you will need some sort of very solid, strong, and as nearly undefeatable as possible locking system is needed to keep others from making off with it.
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:14   #13
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Rowing in, In a jim dandy dink has alot to be said for it, It is amazing tho that theft is a real problem, I think that painting the mother ships name on it in Big letters helps keep that down, I will keep a cheapy totally inflatable as a reserve just in case of loss of the primary dink, Something that will last long enough till I can find a replacement dink.

Thanks for the reply on the solar oven, I will look into it and watch the clouds =)

Off topic, Does anyone have knowledge on 1972 Coronado 35's? I heard they used balsa core construction, I am looking at one that I really like but if the hull is balsa core well lets just say I dont like swimming that much =D
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:39   #14
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Rowing in, In a jim dandy dink has alot to be said for it, It is amazing tho that theft is a real problem, I think that painting the mother ships name on it in Big letters helps keep that down, I will keep a cheapy totally inflatable as a reserve just in case of loss of the primary dink, Something that will last long enough till I can find a replacement dink.

Thanks for the reply on the solar oven, I will look into it and watch the clouds =)

Off topic, Does anyone have knowledge on 1972 Coronado 35's? I heard they used balsa core construction, I am looking at one that I really like but if the hull is balsa core well lets just say I dont like swimming that much =D
I'm of the opinion that painting the mother ships name on the dink is a really effective way to advertise that the mother ship is unattended.
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Old 17-01-2012, 20:13   #15
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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I'm of the opinion that painting the mother ships name on the dink is a really effective way to advertise that the mother ship is unattended.
I hear this opinion quite bit around here, and it's probably true. But, keep in mind that any thief worth his salt will have scouted out which boats he wants to rob first, then he'd simply watch for you to leave. Doesn't matter what you leave in... Might be good for deterring those random hoodlum types on occasion, though.
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