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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 13-09-2006, 00:33   #46
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We have a cheap "watertender" from west marine and I can't wait to get rid of it, the thing sucks, I plan on going with an inflatable with a wood floor.
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Old 13-09-2006, 05:52   #47
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We've, also, used a cheap "WaterTender"; as well as Zodiac(s), Avon, Livingston (Cat'), and Boston Whaler(s). Maggie loved the WaterTender for local commuting. It possibly represented the best value & utility (at under $600 new), and compared roughly equal to the better (of 2) Zodiac (about $2,000 new) on overall performance.
Any of the "hard" dinks will present problematic stowage on all but the largest yachts.
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Old 13-09-2006, 17:50   #48
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Here's a question for ya, we have anywhere from 2 to 4 people using the dinghy, usually 2 and gear, trying to decide between a 9.5 foot and an 11 foot.
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Old 13-09-2006, 18:16   #49
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We had an 8' fold-up Bombard, with a 2.5 hp engine. It was good for the trip down to Trinidad, but on the way back, esp since we were travelling through the Bahamas, we gave it up and got a 9.5 AB with an aluminum bottom. We powered it with a 9.8 Tohatsu. The Tohatsu line uses the same head and drive train from the 4 hp to the 9.8, making our engine lighter than any other 10 hp. I think it is ~25 lb lighter, but I forget. Also, it comes with a 3 gallon tank, not the 6, saving more weight. These allow us to put the dinghy in the davits each night, allowing no bottom growth, and higher security. It planes fine with two.
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Old 14-09-2006, 11:46   #50
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Aloha Latitude,
I'd go with the smaller. Easier to store and easier to carry.
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JohnL
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Old 22-09-2006, 18:41   #51
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Quote:
trying to decide between a 9.5 foot and an 11 foot.
If it fits go bigger. 4 people and some gear is a lot of stuff OR two trips. How far is the the trip? I think that is what it comes down to two trips or one? It's a mathematical exercise.

You really couldn't overload the boat to save a trip. So how many times would it really be two trips?
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Old 22-09-2006, 20:22   #52
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We bought a 12' Porta-Bote not too long ago.
Things I like about it:
  • I can open and deploy it over the side of our Tartan-40 by myself, retrieving is more problematic but it can be done. Piece of cake with two people and a halyard assist.
  • Goes like a bat out of H--- with a 5 HP Tohatsu.
  • Rows like a dream.
  • Folds flat - Can store it inside the Tartan if need be.
  • Seems almost indestructible.
Things I don't like about it.
  • Transom is too low, it will ship water if you back up too fast. It also needs a little more buoyancy back there.
  • While it does fold flat, the seats and transom do require a bit of storage area.
  • The seat pins do seem a bit flimsy, but no problem with them so far.
  • It hunts while towing. I think rigging a different bridle will fix that.
The vote is still out on how it will work out in the long run.
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Old 22-09-2006, 21:05   #53
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Greg, This year we have been experimenting with towing our Porta bote using two lines (one from each bow grommet)rather than a bridle Gives us redundancy and we adjust the length depending on our speed(ride the top of the stern wave). If it gets rougher we pull it close to the stern.
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Old 23-09-2006, 08:53   #54
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I sail single-handed, with crew and with charter guests - depends on what's going on at the moment.
I had a 10.5 foot AB hard-bottomed inflatable which finally succumbed to the sheer weight of the patches!
I replaced it last season with a new 10.5 foot AB inflatable with an ALUMINUM HULL! It is the best handling dink I have ever seen and I love it. I power it with a 15 HP Yamaha 2-stroke. It will plane with 4 passengers, and if I'm alone and open it up it is downright hairy! Beaching is no problem. All lift points, etc. are welded on. AND ... the tubes can be replaced if needed.
I carry it, complete with the motor if I'm not going far, on davits. I remove the motor and carry it on a rail mount in longer/rougher conditions and deflate the dink and lash it on the aft deck for a serious passage.
I've seen all the other kinds of tender in use and definitely decided to stay with a winner. Of course, as others have said, other types of tender for different sized boats and for different uses might be better for those applications, but for my rough-and-tumble every day use as a taxi, SUV, fishing platform, grocery hauler, SCUBA/snorkel tender, etc., etc., etc., ... well, you see what I had and what I bought as a replacement. 'Nuff said!
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Old 23-09-2006, 20:49   #55
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When we cruised Mexico on our Lord Nelson 35 we used an Avon 3.10 RIB with a 15 hp motor. It was a great choice. We had a crane built into our solar panel arch on the stern for lifting the motor off and on, and we used the electric anchor windlass and a halyard to lift it out at night. We strapped the dinghy deflated on the foredeck for passages. It was such a generally all purpose boat, we kept it when we sold our LN35.

Nowadays for dinghies, we use a couple of inflatable one man kayaks on our Dragonfly 33' multihull. They are relatively light weight and can be stored easily in a locker, keeping the decks and trampolines clear for sailing. In the Pacific Northwest we don't go thru surf. In addition we don't travel long distances with them because they're slow, but we knew that before the purchase.
They're perfect for messing about in an anchorage as long as you don't want to go for long distances.
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Old 23-09-2006, 21:00   #56
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Any options that aren't so darn expensive?
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Old 28-09-2006, 17:18   #57
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Hi exranger, I too am looking for a dinghy that doesn't cost a mint. Reckon i'll be making one again. Specifically what i'm looking for is an 11 ft cat to flat hulled that a large fella can stand on the gunnal of. Should'nt be too hard, achieved that wth my 8ft flatty that I built for the last boat.

Unlike the last one I want about 600 mm sides as we felt a bit intimidated by crocadiles in the last one. Saw one that almost fits the bill, a Bluewater Baby,doesnt help in Aus though.

Anyone know where i can get a set of plans for a similar style of craft, I've looked nearly everywhere thats easy on the net.

Definetly don't want a Deflatable as they dont like rocks and reef, I know just get out before you hit the beach, but i've seen those swamp dogs waiting before, so like doin' a Capt'n Cook and stepping of the front onto dry land. Also they seem to be the first to get stolen.

We have plenty of room to carry, check the boat out in the Gallery

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Old 28-09-2006, 18:13   #58
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Apropos of nothing, I just unpacked my new Saturn 9'6" air-floor inflatable cheapo ($850 +59 shipping) and couldn't be happier with it. In many respects it is better built than my old faithful Achilles air-floor same size, much more $. I am almost sure the new PVC material will hold up as long as the old hypalon did,(about 5 years), especially since I plan to keep it protected from the sun.
I have no connection with boatstogo.com except as a happy customer.
Best,
Mike
PS, we use a Yamaha 6hp 2stroke and it (the old Achilles) planes with as much as 300# of people and gear. I'm sure this one will too.
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Old 28-09-2006, 22:10   #59
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
What the heck is a "fatty knees"
Take a look here: http://www.fattyknees.com/
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Old 28-09-2006, 22:16   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latitude9.5
Here's a question for ya, we have anywhere from 2 to 4 people using the dinghy, usually 2 and gear, trying to decide between a 9.5 foot and an 11 foot.
Can you stow the 11 footer?

If so, and you buy the smaller one, it won't be long before you'll wish you had bought the larger one.
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