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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 29-11-2006, 02:13   #76
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I've had a few dinghies and my latest is a 10' Porta Bote. This is what I like about it: high gunwales; very easy to row - very directional; plans with a 4hp outboard; indestructible; carries 4 persons easily (ten foot inflatables can't do that); carries a fair amount of gear; lightweight; unsinkable; very stable and now more so with the outriggers; and it stows flat to the size of a ten foot surf board on deck (no crashing wave will dislodge it)! What I'm not so pleased about: kind of a pain to "assemble" alone but it's doable and getting easier each time.
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Old 29-11-2006, 11:51   #77
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Inflatable vs. rigid

I know there are pros and contras in any design, but in my experience, with a 28' boat, the rigid one is a mess and you have to work more than the advantages. So, I decide to pass on inflatables and have 2 to avoid discussions in the family.
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Old 29-11-2006, 17:38   #78
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i'm planning on ditching our "watertender" and going with a porta-bote, after playing around with one it's a hell of a lot more stable then our tippy lil tender. Seeing the damage done to the inflatables in the florida sun and rubbing on the dinghy dock on the rough days I can't bring myself to drop the cash on one.
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Old 29-11-2006, 20:01   #79
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We have an inflatable and a nesting (swanson) dinghy. The nesting one is a PITA to assemble, and you cant tow it over about 4 kts because it sinks. (It floods via the centreboard case, even with the board in, it just takes a bit longer). The inflatable has been excellent except that it needs much more power than our 6 hp to get it planing. The nesting dinghy is now pretty much relegated to serving as a shade over a hatch, and as a back - up if needed.
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Old 01-01-2007, 19:03   #80
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I didn't see the "Spindrift" nesting dinghy listed. You can see it at spindrift
The plans are easily available and easy to build.
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Old 28-02-2007, 18:22   #81
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An question about the porta bote. Can it be carried in davits? Is the polypropaline strong enough to bolt eye bolts through (perhaps with some type of backing plate). Can the motor be left on?
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Old 28-02-2007, 19:34   #82
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Can it be carried in davits?
Given that it folds I don't see the issue.
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Old 28-02-2007, 21:09   #83
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It is difficult to keep the motor attached when folded!
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Old 01-03-2007, 22:28   #84
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I wouldn't try that with my portaboat. I think that it is too flexible to carry the weight of the motor out of the water on a bumpy sea.
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Old 12-03-2007, 15:16   #85
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I didn't read all of the posts, but I saw very little discussion of the advantages of rowing, and the curse of carrying yet another problem (outboard motor). Environmentally, the two-stroke is a disaster, and the four stroke rather pricey for budget cruisers. The inflatables cost more for a given size, and take a larger engine if you must have one.
A good hard dinghy, with proper oars (long enough, strong enough, feathering), can be rowed all day long. The oars will cost $100 or more, but the engine will cost 5 to 30 times that. We all need the exercise, and if we're in a hurry, why are we cruising? Why go sailing, and pull a stinkboat with us?
Regards, Bligh
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Old 12-03-2007, 18:13   #86
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I didn't read all of the posts, but I saw very little discussion of the advantages of rowing, and the curse of carrying yet another problem (outboard motor).
Speed and distance is the issue. Some times you are out there maybe a few miles. On a nice calm day rowing when you are already where you always wanted to be seems great (or at least should feel that way).

When it's dark and a little bit blustery rowing 3 miles with a load of groceries and the Admiral in a hurry may not be so appealing at the time. But such are the choices. If you read through you'll see all the ins and outs. Personally, I like to row and find it calming. It doesn't work for us. The bottom line is it has to work for you and the Admiral.

It's an easy argument to make that a 10 ft inflatable with an 8 HP Plus engine is the basic pickup truck for a Cruiser. It works but there is that blasted extra engine (there always is a down side). All of Cruising is about the plus and the minus and seeking the perfect harmony between the two or at least something you can accept. You get to choose but you can't eliminate all the downsides. Best to make your choices with the idea that there really is no win/win all the time and you are doing the best you can - and it has to work!
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Old 13-03-2007, 01:18   #87
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When the wind picks up and a swell along with it, and because of this it takes longer to get back to your boat and the current changes, I am happy to have a go fast dinghy with a reliable motor.

At the end of a long day on the water, we can anchor further upstream for better protection, and in almost freezing rain pile us and a dog who needs to go ashore in the dink and head for a landing a mile or so off, do the dog thing and be back in time for hot soup on board before our fingers are blue.

We can choose secluded anchorages away from the maddening crowd, such as Red Shanks in the Bahamas, and be in town in 15 minutes.

Now the inevitable discussion of "there is no reliable motor" will follow, but ours has been plucked out of the sea upside down, and lived to run the next day and has outlived two dinghies.

I am awed by the beauty of a rower coming out of a mist or skimming over a coral outcrop in aqua clear water, and I agree that we probably should row more, but I am happy to have the security of an engine.

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Old 13-03-2007, 20:11   #88
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Originally Posted by joshea
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.
I talked to the guy at the Portabote booth at the boat show. He said put a bow eye on the boat. Just drill a hole in the bow down low like you would on any dink you want to tow through the hull. (not in the middle rib.) Get a bow eye with a good plate on it and put a big backing plate on it. I think he said use 5200 on it to seal it. I think it's because nothing bonds all that well to polypropylene. (I have not done this yet.) Call them to verify.

I have the 12' version, because that's what I found on Craigs list. I think I would have preferred the 10' version. I can rig it on my deck. It helps to have a second person though. I made a lifting bridle that just loops under the ends of the thwarts. I just use a halyard, and shove it over the side. The 2 hp pushes it fine in displacement, if I'm alone on the boat it goes beyond hull speed, not quite a plane. It rows better than an inflatable. It is flat bottomed enough that it doesn't carry like a rowboat, but I can place most of my weight to the side, it is very stable. I have stored it outboard of the spin pole inside the lifelines, that's how little room it takes up. The thwarts are a pain because of all the room they take up. I haven't used it enough to give much of an opinion, but it has worked fine so far.

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Old 15-03-2007, 06:17   #89
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Old 17-04-2007, 18:35   #90
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My brother uses an electric motor to power his inflatable. Charges the battery with either the solar panal or the engine. Enough oomph to get where we need to go and no hassel with gasoline.

Works well for our Alaskan cruising.

Charlie
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