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Old 03-09-2014, 10:34   #1
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Dinghy Advice

Getting ready to finalize purchase of a 36 Hunter. Need a dinghy for San Juan anchorages. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:47   #2
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I assume you are talking SJ islands in the PNW? Not Puerto Rico? Barnacles on rocks are the big issue up here. one mistake coming ashore and you'll cut a soft bottom inflatable badly. I'm a big fan of RIB's. Stable, fast durable... but even with one of those... you will need to be careful. The difference in stability between a 9 ft hard dingy and a 9 ft RIB is... well not even comparable really. (been there done that) So like everything else on a boat it's a compromise. IF you go hard... get at least 9 ft... most 8 ft dingies with 2 aboard are verging on unsafe in a light chop. If you go RIB even an 8 ft will work, but 9-10 will take you long trips. In used inflatables Achilles are great (I think I saw a 9 ft RIB on Craigs list in Anacortes recently and a good price) Some people seem to like the FOL-Boats as a compromise.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:14   #3
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Might was well ask what type of anchor you need.

How do you plan to use it? Is it just to go from boat to shore, or do you want to go exploring with it, diving, fishing, etc.?

I prefer a 10' RIB with at least a 9 hp engine, but then we use ours to run for miles going exploring.

EDIT:
Things to consider are weight and size. Where are you going to stow it at anchor or off shore? Do you have davits or deck space for stowage or plan to tow it? How many people? Do you need to haul water to your boat?
Engine size and weight is an issue for stowage and fuel consumption unless you get a hard dinghy and plan to row.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:30   #4
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Main reason for the dinghy is to get from an anchorage to a civilized location for a beer.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:30   #5
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Oh...for my wife and I.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:58   #6
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I really think this subject needs a decent thread. Its true that soft bottom dingies are wrecked on barnicle encrusted beaches. The rib is better but much heavier. Hard dingies are less stable and need to be larger for an equivalent load. My boat will never have davits and deck storage blocks visibility from the piloit house. I must tow or fold and stow.
Tell you what I want? I want a stitch and glue hull shaped like a wherry, that's braced for 5hp with flotation collars. No more than 8 ft overall. No more than 50 lbs empty weight. Brackets in the bilge to lash down the outboard when towing. Decent seats and a little dry stowage for cell phones etc. The ultimate low drag towing dink. Very light wood construction reinforced with light frp. Won't work in blue water but excellent for the Salish sea. You can drag it up the beach and get 4 adults in it or groceries etc ect.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:20   #7
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Re: Dinghy Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
I really think this subject needs a decent thread.

I think I remember lots of decent threads on the topic in the past?

-Chris
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:31   #8
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Re: Dinghy Advice

walker bay 10 is a good hard dink--not unstavble and is large enough to carry heavy items and it doesnt mind barnacles. holds a decent sized engine, but not a speedboat.
most cruisers seem to love the ribs with outlandishly huge engines so they can speed thru anchorages to get beer before others, but those are also subject to theft.
no one steals walker bay.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:19   #9
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
walker bay 10 is a good hard dink--not unstavble and is large enough to carry heavy items and it doesnt mind barnacles. holds a decent sized engine, but not a speedboat.
most cruisers seem to love the ribs with outlandishly huge engines so they can speed thru anchorages to get beer before others, but those are also subject to theft.
no one steals walker bay.
You can also get the inflatable "skirt" pontoon for the Walker Bay dink which dramatically increases it's stability if that turns out to be an issue.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:31   #10
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Re: Dinghy Advice

I'm using a Portabote. Folding 80lbs, easy to manage rowing. Can handle up to a 56lb engine (roughly 6hp 4 stroke). Barnacles won't hurt it. Cheap. I can plane it with a 4hp 2 stroke with me and the dog on board.

I don't think a perfect dink exists.



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Old 04-09-2014, 09:12   #11
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Re: Dinghy Advice

An option is to find something cheap on Craigslist or somewhere with the intention of using it until you know what you want for sure.
My desire was for a dink that can hold four people and groceries and plane with 1' seas.
But, what I have may well be too big, too heavy and more expensive than what you want

How are you going to store it is a big part of what kind of dink.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:34   #12
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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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Old 04-09-2014, 09:41   #13
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Re: Dinghy Advice

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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Old 04-09-2014, 09:58   #14
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Re: Dinghy Advice

The walker bay 270 is interesting but the hull shape is high drag and it only takes up to 4 HP. It also weighs too much. For use in remote locations where you may return to the beach after a hike the tide may have left your dink 30 ft up on the beach. If you have a 250lb boat and engine combo you will be waiting on shore for the tide to rise. It can be inconvenient in the extreme.

I doubt there is a mass produced dink that can meet the need I see. If you store your dink on the swim step or on the upper deck of your Trawler you have solved the problem for yourself. I am just thinking about a more high tech solution for sail boats without a big ol pushpit and radar arch. I am moving toward building one and wonder if others have tried and what success the have had.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:18   #15
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Re: Dinghy Advice

The walker bay 8 is unstable, especially with a motor on it. Have no experience with the walker bay 10. Better is the water tender 9.4, which I have used for ten years. Best may be mike oreillys post about the portabote 10. I used one once and liked it.
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