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Old 04-09-2014, 10:20   #16
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I think I remember lots of decent threads on the topic in the past?

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There was a thread where someone listed every kind of dinghy he'd had (and he'd had them all!), and why they all sucked!

Right now I have a small (10ft) RIB. It's a great boat on the water, stable, fast, comfortable. It just scores about 0/10 for ease of storage.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:32   #17
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Re: Dinghy Advice

What about the Achilles HB-FX. Its a rigid hull with a folding transom that folds down pretty small. Anyone have experience with this design or is it just a gimic?

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Old 04-09-2014, 10:36   #18
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I have the Zodiac version, with a folding transom. The problem is, it still doesn't get any smaller than the size of the rigid floor, which is about 7ft x 4. I can get it in my car, but there's no room left for anything else. It won't fit in the lazarettes.

Also, it is a battle of epic proportions to get the thing into its bag. I don't know why they make those bags so damn tight.

I ended up buying a trailer for it, and I keep it inflated. If I take it on a cruise, I tow it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:54   #19
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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There was a thread where someone listed every kind of dinghy he'd had (and he'd had them all!), and why they all sucked!

Right now I have a small (10ft) RIB. It's a great boat on the water, stable, fast, comfortable. It just scores about 0/10 for ease of storage.
Exactly correct. The portaboat is a possible solution but up till now, I have kept gasoline totally off the boat and in the dink only. I fully expect my soft bottom dink to be UV damaged by the end of this year. I might just be stripping my own gears but I think I'm gonna have to build my own dink.
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Old 04-09-2014, 21:55   #20
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
The PortaBote looks very interesting to me (due to the ability to quickly and easily fold it down to a small size for stowing on smaller boats such as 30 footers). Visit Youtube and watch the videos on how easy it is to put together, how stable it is given the size and how compact it gets when folded down. I was very impressed.

Good luck.
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Another happy portobote owner here. Have the 10 footer with a 3.5 hp 4-stroke. Will plane with one person in it. Carries a load, rows well, is very tough and light, and stores folded on our side deck with the seats in a bag on the fore.


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Ah...another dinghy thread...I have a 10ft Portabot (new style with transom). I also had the old style (double ender) 10 footer back in the day. I've also had a 7.5ft. Livingston and 2 inflatables. I liked that the inflatables were light but the RIB's are not. Both my inflatables eventually leaked from nails protruding from docks and who knows where else. The Livingston was by far the most stable but a pain to see over while cruising. That's where the inflatables really shine. The can hide away in a pile on deck.
My first Potabot could not take much over a Tanaka 1.5hp. So was useless in a blow but a pleasure to row. My new 10ft. will plane easily with my 6hp., 4cycle Tohatsu. It stores well on my Garhauer kayak racks.
The down side to Portabot IMHO) is there hype.
1st. They do not fold up to 4", like they say. It's closer to 9". Secondly, the new transom types do eventually have transom issues as the plastic basically folds in 1/2 diagonally on both sides of the transom. I've met 2 people in La Paz who had the issue and both contacted the "factory" and was told they were abusing the boats and to fix it with roofing tape...nice!
I spoke to a representative about it and he denied they had any problems and no one ever contacted them. You can conclude what you want on that one.
I also built a 9 1/2' nesting dingy that was fun and not a bad compromise. If I had to make a suggestion and you were not going to drag your dink over coral, I'd go Inflatable.
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Old 04-09-2014, 23:36   #21
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I've had and used lots of dinghies since the early 70s. I prefer a Naples Sabot 8' but you can't find them anymore. They rowed, stowed and sailed easily. They would take a light 4hp.
I think Martin's Livingston was the most stable little boat I've ever had the pleasure of floating around in. It rowed and motored well but didn't stow very well.
Inflatable is probably the best way to go. The rib will motor and row better but is harder to stow. Every dinghy will have its trade offs and a lot of times its just what you like that makes the best dinghy for you.
Oh, and I've tried the Walker Bay as well. Both 10 and 8 are not as stable as a nearly flat bottomed pram like an El Toro or Naples.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:33   #22
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
The down side to Portabot IMHO) is there hype.
1st. They do not fold up to 4", like they say. It's closer to 9". Secondly, the new transom types do eventually have transom issues as the plastic basically folds in 1/2 diagonally on both sides of the transom. I've met 2 people in La Paz who had the issue and both contacted the "factory" and was told they were abusing the boats and to fix it with roofing tape...nice!
I spoke to a representative about it and he denied they had any problems and no one ever contacted them. You can conclude what you want on that one.

How long did it take for your bote to develop actual cracks CS? I can see what you mean about the transom, and I've wondered about the fatigue factor with continual flexing, but so far ours has remained fine, with no signs of failure. Our usage is seasonal, but we've had the bote now for about seven years.


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Old 05-09-2014, 08:42   #23
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Re: Dinghy Advice

SkiprJohn, Naples sabots are so common in Southern California that you can literally walk from one boat to another in some of the races. I like to sail in the "luge" position, laying my 6'2", 250 pound body horizontally on my back, the tiller over my shoulder, my feet hanging over the lee side, and my head propped up by the PFD on the transom shelf.
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Old 05-09-2014, 13:38   #24
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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SkiprJohn, Naples sabots are so common in Southern California that you can literally walk from one boat to another in some of the races. I like to sail in the "luge" position, laying my 6'2", 250 pound body horizontally on my back, the tiller over my shoulder, my feet hanging over the lee side, and my head propped up by the PFD on the transom shelf.
I guess I live in the wrong place to find another good one for sale. The last time I was at Minney's they had about 4 of them in their back lot. I think the starter price was $100.

Yes, the luge position is fun in light air. I often got an offer of a tow while sailing in that position on a mild day.
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Old 05-09-2014, 13:53   #25
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Another +1 for Portabote.

I sold my portabote with my old sailboat. I thought it was a great dinghy. Everywhere I went people asked about it. I would get to put on a show for everyone in the anchorage -- they got to see me unfold/launch it on deck.

I didn't have a problem with the transom developing cracks, but it was only about 8 years old when I sold it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 14:56   #26
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I had a 9 1/2' clinker built, dory style woody, with an oversized tombstone transom. She was a dream, period. Carried from 1-3 folks, was maybe 3 1/2' wide. And easy as you please when it came to hauling her up or down the beach. Practically a no maintenance thing too, even compared to my hard glass dink. And I'd jump into her to go ashore when it was blowing 50kts without a 2nd thought (no joke).

As you might imagine, she rowed & handled unlike any but one other dinghy I've been in in the 15yrs since I sold her (another dory). And the nice part, which isn't always the case with dorys, is that I, at #230 then, could pretty much stand on the rails & not ship much H2O. So yeah, real stable too.

Her downfall/weak point was that she couldn't haul huge amounts of cargo, nor handle a giant OB. But for my daily 1/2 mile commute, ZERO complaints, even if I had to make 3 trips in a day in August. You find something built like that, keep it!

Sold her as part of the package deal, along with the mother ship. 8' oars, lock, security cable, & painter too... sadly.

That said, have a serious look at Russell Brown's collaboration with Paul Bieker. SWEET boat, as one would expect, given those who thought her up & birthed her. She's an 11' nester unlike any you've likely seen, & also has a twin sister which doesn't nest.
PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page
She'll even fit into the back of a Toyota 4Runner (the nesting version) & weighs somewhere south of 90lbs.

Also, there's the immortal classic, "Chameleon", from Danny Greene. A 10'4" nesting pram, written about by Annie Hill of she & Pete's "Badger" dory fame. For which one can find plans, gratis, online or by digging a bit.

And while I'm on nesting dinks, there's also the "Nester", which is a bit bigger pram. Just a touch over 11' if memory serves (possibly with dual rowing stations), which looks as if she'll handle a good bit of weather with ease. Ditto on cargo handling.
Also easy to find plans for online, gratis.

Just a tip, if you plan to spend a lot of time on the hook, & or living aboard, kinda' plan on having 2 dinks. If naught else, have a primary, & a $100 inflatable with a boogie board or custom, glassed foam floor board so she'll row better than a pool toy.
But for serious non-dock time, having 2 helps a lot. Whether one's down for maint. or one person's on the beach, & the other has to go in on a different sked... or to take the patch kit ashore because the other dink on the beach has a "flat". And a half a dozen other reasons. Friends or kids staying with you, you get the idea.
Being "stranded" onboard bites.

Also, and this ain't optional. Make SURE that you have a dink which rows well, or at least decently/comfortably (like for 1/2 mile+ upwind in a breeze). Along with 2, yes 2 sets of oars.
Nope, they're not cheap, but with decent care they'll last a quarter century or more. And if you drill, & then epoxy seal an 1 1/2" - 2" hole in the blades, your security cable will keep'em attached to the dink, no worries.

Ah, & if both the dink & oars are painted semi-ugly, and aren't the typical RIB with a high $ outboard, you stand a much better chance of them not "disappearing".
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Old 05-09-2014, 18:43   #27
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
How long did it take for your bote to develop actual cracks CS? I can see what you mean about the transom, and I've wondered about the fatigue factor with continual flexing, but so far ours has remained fine, with no signs of failure. Our usage is seasonal, but we've had the bote now for about seven years.


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Hi Mike...I was reporting on 2 in La Paz...not mine which is only a few years old (as the prior owner showed me). The 2 mentioned I believe were 10 years plus.
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Old 05-09-2014, 19:00   #28
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Hi Mike...I was reporting on 2 in La Paz...not mine which is only a few years old (as the prior owner showed me). The 2 mentioned I believe were 10 years plus.

Ah, sorry CS. Must learn to read one of these decades. Good info though. My bote is being more vigorously used now. Would be good to keep reporting on this apparent issue.

I do really like the botes, but there are other similar designs on the market now. If Portobote won't respond to a design flaw problem (not saying I've seen it yet, but...) then I'm sure others in the market will.


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Old 05-09-2014, 19:11   #29
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pirate Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I had a 9 1/2' clinker built, dory style woody, with an oversized tombstone transom. She was a dream, period. Carried from 1-3 folks, was maybe 3 1/2' wide. And easy as you please when it came to hauling her up or down the beach. Practically a no maintenance thing too, even compared to my hard glass dink. And I'd jump into her to go ashore when it was blowing 50kts without a 2nd thought (no joke).
Hahahahah. Thanks for the laugh. No joke. Maybe it is the "without a 2nd thought" part that's funny. I can't decide.
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Old 05-09-2014, 19:41   #30
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Re: Dinghy Advice

How about a 10 foot 95 lbs catamaran dinghy. Very stable, light, fast, easy to row and turns on a dime.

Dinghy and Davits
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