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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, 12:29   #1
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Dinghy Wars: Hard, Soft, Nesting, Folding...

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
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:42   #2
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While I believe that each has it's advantages, my preference has been toward a hard dinghy (although I do have two inflatables as emergency backup). My hard dinghy is a sailing Boston Whaler. Since I'm kinda into sailing, this seemed a natural for me. I have yet to see a sailing inflatable. When rowing, this boat tracks really well. I seldom use my outboard. I'll leave the 'pros' for an inflatable to others.

P.S. And I too am a single-handed sailor.
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Old 01-05-2006, 13:17   #3
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I think it is fair to say that there are equal advantages and disadvantages of all designs. It depends on what suits. I use an inflatable with an inflatable keel. For me, it fits into several plus factors. I can run it onto a beach and know the hard strip under neath is protecting the soft floor. It planes well with the keel. A hard alloy floor would be harder wearing and plane better, but it's weight would mean I could not haul it clear of the water on my Davits. The soft walls of the inflatable mean I can come hard alongside with out fear of scratching paint. And finaly, it takes a lot of weight without the fear of sinking or capsizeing and tends to sit a little more stable when getting in or out.
Disadvantage is, being lighter, it can get picked up by the wind easily and tossed over, endagering the outboard. So you have to make it fast at an earlier stage of wind.
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Old 01-05-2006, 13:22   #4
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Rick - oye :::biting tongue::: don't MAKE me go there.
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Old 01-05-2006, 15:16   #5
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> I don't know where I'd put a dingy on a 25' express cruiser.

We towed a rigid dinghy behind our Catalina 22 when on multi-day trips and plan to do the same with our Alberg 30 unless we get/build a nesting dinghy, a folding one, or a vary small one. For conditions here in the Chesapeake bay a Rigid dinghy w/o a motor make good sense for us. If we sailed somewhere else maybe I would feel differently.

I would like to have the advantage of being able to stow a dinghy in a locker, but otherwise like a rigid dinghy that rows well. A sail rig is a nice extra.

When single-handing in warm weather a sit on top kayak is fun to have and suffices as a dinghy.

Pete
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Old 01-05-2006, 15:30   #6
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The Admiral

> The Admiral won't let me have either!! *sigh*

My wife says she wants to know her secret. She claims she can't get me to do or not do anything.

BTW: Do any of you guys actually have a ship's cannon? I am thinking about a potato cannon

Pete
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Old 01-05-2006, 15:31   #7
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I was thinking about getting one of the inflatable Canoe's. 4 foot beam, 14 feet long, can take a 4 hp motor. This will fit it between the mast and the sanctions.
Here is one of them http://www.soar1.com/soar_14.htm
another http://www.seaeagle.com/paddleski/395ps.asp

Still - soft bottom.

Per my understanding the folding boats are a little hard getting into in deep water. No experience on my part.
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Old 01-05-2006, 18:08   #8
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Oh, yeah! A swivel gun loaded with grapeshot, chainshot or simply loose nails. Now, that would put a dent in a pirate's day! I think we would need something a bit stronger than a lifeline stanchion for a mount, though.

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Old 01-05-2006, 19:01   #9
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We started out with an 8' fatty knees. My wife had a particular hatred of the dinghy, as is took on water whenever she was aboard. We purchased a 9' inflateable. When in use, it has been a Cadillac. I have had to watch some of the landings for broken bottles and rocks, but so far so good. It is bulky, and a PITA to store and deal with on short hops if you do not want to tow it. As for a dinghy for a 25" boat, West marine has been increasing their selection, and has a small inflatable for about $100 when it is on sale. It is not a pool toy, and holds 2 people and enough stuff for a beach BBQ. It will stow in a locker. I am planning on selling the inflatable with the Challenger, and buying a hard dinghy for the trimaran. I am a fan of dinghys that can be left at the dinghy dock without being stolen. An ugly hard dinghy with lots of small fenders tied around the gunwhale makes for a poor target tied up next to a new inflatable, and stands out enough that a thief would be likely to get caught.
Elusive, they do make a sailing rig for inflatables now. About $650. The Tinker is another sailing inflatable. I would really like to get one, as they are also a fully equipped lifeboat, but the $5000+ price tag is a little more value than I would put on a dinghy.
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Old 01-05-2006, 19:43   #10
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For the 20 years that I have had my 22 foot monohull we have used an inflatable kayak. For small boats I can't think of a better dinghy. They will row faster than any other type and we did not miss not having a motor that often. They are a little tippy getting in and out but I have never flipped it except for the time we used it to run some rapids in Bad River on Lake Huron. It may not be the best for a full time liveaboard due to limited load carrying ability but for weekending and multiweek vacation cruises it works good.
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Old 01-05-2006, 22:20   #11
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Rick & the Admiral - You don't wanna tow your dinghy ... see my web site ... June of 2003? ::sigh:: I was very lucky to find another.

Kai - 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.
--- Oh .. and Kai ... What were Susan's TRUE feelings about that fatty knees? And don't EVEN think about trying to say that you only had a COUPLE of inches of water in it.

... really .. the devil made me do it!!
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Old 01-05-2006, 22:34   #12
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Well Elusive, as you well know, when the subject of that dinghy comes up, my lovely wife proves she is a sailor at heart Oh, and when I showed her this she sent 3(!) your way
As for the sailing inflatables, I have not tried them, but the concept makes sense. Not much in the water, and the kit has boards that drop over the side for a keel. The stability would be close to that of a multihull in theory (but I am sure you could not relate)
And YES, I sunk it a cople of times. Once due to too much wind, once on purpose to get under the bridge into the slough (Low bridge), and once with her in it due to too much wind, and too many crew. The third, you are very familiar with, but the need for rescue was debatable. When we sailed it, swamped, onto the beach, and dumped the water out, it was no problem. The only issue was the mutiny
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Old 01-05-2006, 22:38   #13
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Hell hath no fury like a wet woman!
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Old 01-05-2006, 22:47   #14
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An infaltable Sail boat?? now that would be called a Lilo. Many a kid has sailed unintentionaly out to see in a wind while paddling on a Lilo.
What the heck is a "fatty knees"

Now as for Cannon's, mate, have I got some stories. But I could get arrested.
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Old 01-05-2006, 22:49   #15
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YIKES! That did it. Now we are both in trouble In all fairness. the dinghy did leak, but the leak was at just the right level so it only leaked when both of us were in the boat. When it was just me, the boat stayed relatively dry.
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