we're away, we left Vancouver Canada
in September and now we're in San Francisco
and headed south from here.
Currently we have two dinghies, both in need of major assistance. Our 'Porta-Bote' folding 11' rowing dinghy
has served well, but all three seats are now broken and the transom board is rotting. It's a couple of days of work to rebuild
it all, but I won't have access to plywood
for another month or so yet.
Our other dinghy
is a 10' hard-bottom Zodiac RIB
, about 12 years old, made of PVC. As I'm betting you can guess, it's starting to fall apart at the seams! I can probably repair it to the point where it will last another year or so, but I'm starting to think it's a lost
cause, the transom is starting to fall out...
The only *strong* link in our dinghy chain is our motor
- a nearly-new 8hp Yamaha two-stroke that has been well maintained and runs like a top.
As I see it, we have three options:
- let the Zodiac
die. the Porta-Bote can be repaired and upgraded for pretty cheap
, just the investment in time and space to do so. She'll need new oars, but she rows well and stows well for offshore
passages. Downside is that she has a max motor
rating of 2hp, so the Yamaha would remain useless.
- replace the zodiac with a new or nearly-new hypalon inflatable
, something that will last the next ten years without (much) worry. the question then becomes - Zodiac? AB? Achilles? Avon
? who makes the best-handling small rigid hull
dinghy? I've been leaning towards the AB Ultralight aluminum
hulls, but they're awfully expensive, and at that price
I sure don't want to have it stolen overnight!
- replace the zodiac with a small fiberglass
dinghy of some type - something that will support an 8hp motor, big enough for groceries and a bike, good handling, lightweight, etc etc. I don't know very much about fiberglass
dinghies - what models are you using, and what do you like or dislike about them?
Thanks in advance, any opinions help!