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Old 09-02-2018, 07:01   #1
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Dinghy for 28 footer

I'll be sailing the Gulf of Mexico, Keys, and maybe Bahamas on a 28 x 8.5 foot boat, single-handed and with my wife. My boat, although equipped with 2 bilge pumps, faced with an uncontrollable leak, does not have enough flotation to prevent sinking.

I just don't see any way to have both an inflatable liferaft and separate dingy because storage is a real problem. I will have the Inreach sat text device, and possibly an Epirb. Inflatables are impossible to row, and slow to assemble and inflate when urgently needed.

About the only thing I've seen is this 36" wide plastic kayak, which would overwhelm one side of the deck, or have to be towed.

https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Tand...%3A35000-80000

What do others do on a small boat?
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:11   #2
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

We tow. BTW, I'd have an Epirb before an Inreach if I couldn't afford both.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:16   #3
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Dingy for 28 footer

If your boat leaks find the leak and fix it before you go sailing. Maintain your boat in excellent condition and sudden uncontrollable leaks should not be a real worry. Carry appropriate plugs and sealers, such as wax rings, and be prepared to deal with circumstances that may realistically occur.

That said, on my boat, which is larger than yours, I do carry an inflatable air floor dinghy. For short costal sails in settled weather I tow the dinghy without the motor but for longer hops or stronger weather I bring it on board and roll it up, therefore I also carry an inflatable life raft.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:19   #4
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Find the leak in your boat and fix it before you go sailing.

Uh, well, yeah. I'm reducing thru-hulls from 4 to 1; my main concern is hitting something resulting in a hull breach.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:24   #5
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

Folding boat or a small inflatable upside down on the foredeck or good bets. If it was me I would go for the inflatable but there are pros and cons of each. The other option would be towing something like a Portland Pudgy.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:25   #6
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

You can hit anything you want in a Rhodes 28 and be fine. Now, if something hits you that can breach your hull, the breach will be the least of your worries.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:31   #7
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

Don't think they were saying the boat is leaking now, just if....

Maybe try a portabote. They are'n't my favorite any more but many like them. Had a 1968 Irwin 31 and a 8' portaboate. Made swing out "windsurfer" mounts for the stanchions and lashed it in. It was then off the deck and out of the way. For fair weather conditions or small hops this was ok, but offshore/bad weather I put it down below on edge in the main cabin. Storage of the seats was a bit of a pain.

They row fairly well, are unsinkable and motor ok w/a small OB. Look in you area for a used one as otherwise they are expensive.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:21   #8
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

Years ago I purchased from Avon I think, I a small (like a scuba) air tank that would fill my Avon to 80% quickly.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:22   #9
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

I highly recommend a Saturn 12 ft. K-boat. They are not that expensive, but will go pretty fast with a small motor. And you can stand up in one! I have owned several inflatables and rigid dinghys, and this is the best one so far. I don't think it will fit on your foredeck inflated. You could tow it. It tracks pretty good because it has stabilizing fins on the bottom and tracks well.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:23   #10
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

I have used both hard dinghies and inflatable dinghies. Generally I prefer a hard dinghy but there are advantages to both. Having said that, you may wish to consider the Porte Boat (https://www.porta-bote.com/portable-boat/) for the benefits of a hard dinghy yet with the convenience of an inflatable dinghy. Actually, in terms of convenience, it sets up much more quickly than an inflatable. Nothing is perfect however this may solve your problem.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:44   #11
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

I sail a 28' O'Day, but not off-shore. Coastal port to port or anchorage. We have an 8' 8" inflatable. No motor we row it. It does have an inflatable keel that improves rowing. The brand is North Atlantic Inflatables. Anyway it rows fine. It probably wouldn't row well in high winds or really rough seas. But if off-shore in an emergency situation it would be absolutely unsinkable. It folds down completely and is normally kept in the quarter berth. However, when we're going between anchorages or moorings it fits strapped down on the foredeck deflated. It is pretty easily accessible and inflatable there. On deck deflated it's a better solution in rough weather, IMHO than a kayak or portaboat strapped to life lines. I bought this particular one because of the keel and it fit between my mast and the anchor locker.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:48   #12
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

The probability of you encountering this circumstance of sinking rapidly from hittIng a submerged object is extremely low. The areas you mention are all warm water areas.

If you find yourself sunk light up the epirb (get two if super concerned) and wait in your inflatable that you tow behind and store on the foredeck for the hop across to Bimini.

28 footer? Keep it simple.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:05   #13
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

Why would you ever have an UNCONTROLABLE leak???

What sort of doomsday scenario are you envisaging? You DO check all hoses and their associated clamps at through-hulls before EVERY voyage, don't you? And every few days on a voyage? And you DO have appropriate tapered plugs by the through hulls, don't you? So that's that outta the way.

Is your boat stick-built or is she made of frozen snot? If the latter, you can drive her into a floating log at hull speed or into a ferral cargo container that's floating about, and you you won't breach the hull. But why would you do that? If you do it, you and you crew will be thrown about, but you won't get an "uncontrolable" leak. In fact you are unlikely to get any kinda leak at all. Cracks maybe, but "uncontrollable" leak, no.

If she's old enuff to be stick-built perhaps going to sea in 'er should be deferred till after she's been refastened? One of the joys of stick-built boats is the hood-end of a plank popping out of the rabbet in the stem.

Do your maintenance and voyage prep conscientiously, and do a good job of looking out while under way, and you won't need a "lifeboat". A "commuter dinghy", yes, but a "lifeboat" no.

Good luck. On second thought - don't rely on luck ;-)!

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Old 09-02-2018, 09:14   #14
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreblePlink View Post
I'll be sailing the Gulf of Mexico, Keys, and maybe Bahamas on a 28 x 8.5 foot boat, single-handed and with my wife. My boat, although equipped with 2 bilge pumps, faced with an uncontrollable leak, does not have enough flotation to prevent sinking.

I just don't see any way to have both an inflatable liferaft and separate dingy because storage is a real problem. I will have the Inreach sat text device, and possibly an Epirb. Inflatables are impossible to row, and slow to assemble and inflate when urgently needed.

About the only thing I've seen is this 36" wide plastic kayak, which would overwhelm one side of the deck, or have to be towed.

https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Tand...%3A35000-80000

What do others do on a small boat?
I had a Hunter 28.5 that we sailed much of the gulf coast of Miss., Ala., & FLa. We carried an 8' hard dinghy on the foredeck or towed if the weather allowed. It was crowded but doable.

I often considered buying a RIB and just partially deflating it and putting it on the foredeck. Immediate flotation and Not to hard to finish inflating in an emergency.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:36   #15
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Re: Dingy for 28 footer

I tote a 8’ Porta-Bote. Light and foldable if you don’t want to tow or lash to the fore deck. Usually can find them used on CL but I bought the Gen 4 model with boat show pricing a few years ago. Good investment.
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