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View Poll Results: What kind of dinghy/tender do you cruise with?
Inflatable. (Rigid bottom, inflatable bottom, etc.) 161 54.58%
Hard Dinghy. (Fiberglass, plastic, etc.) 86 29.15%
Folding dinghy. 29 9.83%
Nesting dinghy. 19 6.44%
Voters: 295. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2006, 23:35   #16
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A fatty knees is an 8' fiberglass lapstrake style dinghy. Very high quality. It is what the "Walker Bay" dinghy is fashioned after.
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Old 01-05-2006, 23:53   #17
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Originally Posted by S/V Elusive
have you ever attempted to sail an inflatable - even if they do cost $5,000?? I just can't imagine it being any good - but, perhaps better than an inflatable without a sail.
I have a Tinker Traveller with the sailing rig. I'm happy with how it sails.

It takes a bit of effort to rig it. You inflate the boat (4 chambers), stack up 3 sections of tubing to make the mast, step the mast, insert the dagger board, attach the rudder, raise the sails -- once I get it rigged, I'm ready for a rest, not to go sailing. That could be true of any sailing dinghy, though. Once I put the rig up, I usually leave it up for several days.

I've never capsized it. I make that a goal of any boat that I use. It takes more effort than a keel boat, but you just let the sails out if you feel it start to heel too much. If you're one of those people who likes capsizing, you can probably make it do that.

It does go upwind, but I'm not good at judging how well without instruments. If you're a racer, I wouldn't expect you to be happy with it, but then if you're a racer I wouldn't expect you to be happy with anything.

I've sailed it with 2 people and a few bags of stuff. You have to duck when you tack/jibe. You could fit more people if you didn't have to duck under the boom, etc. The spec says the payload is something over 500 kg.

My perception is that it rows pretty well (even without the daggerboard), though I don't have a lot of experience rowing other types of boats. People always say inflatables don't row well, so either this one is a lot better or I don't know what they are complaining about.

It goes forward just fine with an outboard, but it does not handle well when reversing long distances. To be fair, I only noticed this yesterday when I had engine trouble and I had to go about a quarter mile in reverse to get back to the dock. I haven't noticed a problem reversing short distances while docking.

I've never mounted the outboard and the sailing rig at the same time, though I did use it with the outboard, daggerboard, and rudder a few times. I much prefer the rudder to the directional thrust on the outboard, but if you use the rudder, the outboard is off-center. You have to put the tiller over a little to go straight.

I was surprised to see the price as $5000, but I see the non-EU list price is now 2680 UK pounds for the 12 foot boat with sailing rig. This does not include the life-raft option, which is a whole different issue.

I use it without the sailing rig a lot, but I'm still glad I can sail it. The only regret I have is that I bought the 12 foot model instead of 10 foot. It doesn't fit well on deck on my boat, so launching/retreiving while at anchor is a real pain. A couple feet shorter and a couple kilos lighter would be just fine with me.

The manufacturer's web site is www.tinker.co.uk
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Old 02-05-2006, 00:02   #18
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THey had it at Stricktly Sail in Oakland 2 years ago. THe $5000 was the whole package. Sail rig, and liferaft package. I was very impressed. That was for the 10' version. As for rowing an inflatable, it is no problem as long as there is no wind, and a light load. My 9' Zodiac is a pig to row with 4 adults. and with wind, it is an interesting experiance.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:22   #19
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Tinker rows very well indeed for an inflatable. It also planes much faster than most inflatables. The reason for this is the weight and hull design.

My old zodiac with a slatted floor was a real pig to row. I now have the 260 Fast Roller- which has a deep V, high pressure inflated floor and directional vains underneath the hull. This rows very well and is soooooo much better in waves under power than the old slatted floor version.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:35   #20
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Dingky

I think that one of the most important functions of a dinky is to be able to pull it on board while under sail when the weather gets nasty, and from there stow it safely. If that means it will not perform as good as another model I will accept that. If it is just for rowing short distances the slatted floor Zodiac / Bombard works fine. Also this model is much easier to assemble on deck. No question the larger units with the more rigid floors perform better especially at planing speeds, but they weigh a lot more, are more difficult to assemble on deck and they can not be pulled on board while under way unless you have a very big boat with lifting gear.
Hard dinghies bash the side of mother ship and are not as easy to step on board. I have owned and or used one of each. The inflatable kayak is a good option for a small boat.
Good luck.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:53   #21
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I agree about the hauling aboard of an inflatable vs. a hard dinghy (especially mine)! My dink weighs about a 140 pounds - which sorta explains why I was towing my previous one. I have since figured out a better way to get it aboard and do not expect to tow it again except for very short hops.

It takes me about ten minutes to rig the dinghy for sailing: no stays or shrounds, just a "cat" marconi rig, built-in centerboard, easy drop-in rudder/tiller, and the sail is a slip-on over the mast.
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Old 02-05-2006, 17:23   #22
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I'm currently using a 10 year old Avon roll up. It does a good job and performs well. But it is a pain to inflate, keep inflated...

Years ago I was in Georgetown, Bahamas and chanced upon the nesting Chameleon Dingy designed by Danny Greene and fell in love with it. I was thinking of building a rowing shell next but I guess I need to pull out the Chameleon plans and start cutting plywood.

Has anyone tried the towing system for inflatables that pulls the back of the inflatable out of the water against the stern? I think it is called DingyTow.
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:59   #23
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Dinghy-Tow: http://www.davits.com/

... Has anyone tried the towing system for inflatables that pulls the back of the inflatable out of the water against the stern? I think it is called DingyTow.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:01   #24
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Dinghy tow

You can suck the rubber ducky up against the stern and let it run on the two stern knobbies. It may get exhaust soot on it if motoring, and it may get air under it on a breezy day and go round and round like a propellor.
For me it does not answer the ultimate question. " What do you do with the dinghy when it is too rough to tow it? " Many may chose to ignore that question, and later blame someone or something else when trouble strikes. There are many hard dinghys that tow fine, but I would caution again about ultimately nasty weather. John Welsfords " Tender Behind " is a well designed dinky for towing.
The rubber duckies with the protruding stern knobbies, row and motor better than the other types.
Michael
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:26   #25
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Even davits dont answer when the weather really turns nasty, and IMHO if you are heading off-shore, the dinghy should be deflated and stowed away.

Richard Woods didnt onboard eclipse, and had to cut it to pieces to avoid real problems in the bad weather just before he had to abandon ship.
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Old 06-05-2006, 14:23   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/vAngel
Hello all dinghy/tender owners out there! Would love your opinions and experiences with various types of dinghies, especially interested in people's experiences with folding dinghies. I wonder about getting one of those and have been turned off inflatables (deflatables) despite how convenient and nice those little rubber things can be. Angel is on her second inflatable and she tries to dominate the thing by trying to sit on it- seriously though, my cruising grounds are too rugged for rubber boats. Hard dinghies are great, but they don't fit up on my small boat's deck and they tow like monsters, then they ding up the cruiser's hull.
Does anyone use a nesting hard dinghy and are they practical for heavy-duty rugged use? Are those newfangled folding boats any good? Right now, my poor, beat-up RIB 10' inflatable can support a 15hp motor, which I simply use Angel's boom as a helping hand to hold and steady the 79-pound motor so I can gently heave it aboard. I like powerful motors and their weight is no big deal, but that's way beyond the rating of a folding boat. So am just fishing around for other people's experiences and views and will use my current inflatable/motor combo until I can't do anymore with the rubber boat's stylish "caved in" look. I singlehand, so I don't really need something big for lots of passengers- just powerful and rugged that can carry anchors, jugs, etc. What do other singlehanders use that works best for them? Anything else out there that's new and innovative?
Thanks ahead for the input!
Rebecca
Hi,
As a former owner of a Fold a bote which we used for a dinghy, I vote against it. The thing was not made strong enough for sea duty, too heavy to hoist at 12', and the bow split open, fixable, but a nuisance at a marina taking a day to repair with s/s wire stiches. The transom was not strong enough for even the 5 HP Daihatsu we had, but it sure did 'plane' as advertised, giving amazing speed for the T/T "Amazing Grace" that we used it for.

Perhaps a smaller one that would go up on davits. It was always bumping the boat, getting under the transom etc. Generally not a good experience from our humble point of view.

regards
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Old 06-05-2006, 16:00   #27
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Having had a nesting dinghy and hard ones, various inflatables and lots of conditions for using them I have loved the aluminum bottom inflatable the most. For the reason that Wheels points out, the lightest soft-bottom inflatables are too easily tossed by the wind to leave an outboard on without concern about dunking it. Yeah, that's happened to me and it ruined the outboard.

The smallest aluminum hardbottom Aquapro (there are others) can be one-handed over the safety lines into and out of the water. The keel, balance, and freeboard makes for a reasonably dry ride and it will fly with a 9.9 two-stroke (the 9.9 4-strokes are just too bulky and heavy for the small Aquapro). These babys will row as well...haven't tried to sail one yet I'll bet that they can be rigged to do O.K. with a sideboard (forgot what they are correctly called).

A Metzler inflatable (with inflatable bottom) is most easily rowed and driven by a small 2-3.5 hp two-stroke and really stows away well in a locker as a back-up.

The nesting dinghies are just to much hassel and do not do well in unsettled sea conditions for assembly, launch, retreival, diving, etc. and you need two people to deal easily with one of decent size.

I loved my old hypalon Zodiac with wood floorboards and inflatable keel yet, again, it takes two to easily deal with one and they are no longer available in that wonderful material.

This subject is like discussing politics amongst the boaters and you will not likely find an unbiased opinion as there just isn't one to be had by anyone with experience.
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Old 06-05-2006, 17:55   #28
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As an aside - I had heard that the fold-a-bote was also a major pain to assemble on deck, unless you had lots of unencumbered deck space and a couple of hands to help?? OTG - comments?
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Old 07-05-2006, 13:16   #29
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The 8' porta bote can be assembled on the cabin top in front of the mast by one person but it is easier with two. Our boat is 35' with a staysail. We move the boom out to the lifelines on one side. The seats and transom require storage so it is something to think about also.
It is powered by a 3.5hp 2 stroke and planes with two people. Some have said they don't tow well but that is not our experience, It is a matter of adjusting the position and then it has very little drag or wandering. It fit our style and budget well.
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Old 08-05-2006, 23:00   #30
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Thanks Josh - very informative
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