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Old 26-07-2013, 12:10   #31
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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You have not made that clear, at no point have you said what your budget is.

Also the original question was poorly defined. Your inflatable already is a dinghy. I think you meant that you want to use it as a sailboat tender. You also didn't say whether you want to row it, or sail it.

So I'm going to assume that you want to use it as a rowable sailboat tender.

Inflatables, like fibreglass and steel boats, encompass a vast range of qualities. The inflatables that you normally see being used as sailboat tenders are of much thicker and stronger construction. They have points attached to the hull for the rowlocks. They often have some features in the bottom of the hull (my Achilles has an inflatable keel) that give them a little directional stability.

I say a little, because they really still row poorly. If your main purpose is rowing, a hard hull is much better.

So sure you can use your inflatable as a tender, but it'll be a really poor one. You'll spend as much on adapting it to rowing, badly, as it would cost to sell it and buy a used inflatable tender that's already rowable and made much better.

It seems like you already know the answer you want, and aren't interested in dissenting opinions, anyway.
Mark, I have made it clear that I'm budget limited.
I also accepted that the original idea was not likely going to work sure to the flat bottom of the boat.
I'm not resistant to any viewpoint when I ask a question.
I just expect some information to back a position up.
Which is why I searched for an alternative.
Hence the question about the Intex 4 with the keel, which is often referred to as a follow up question.

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Old 26-07-2013, 12:54   #32
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

Hey, guys,

Please let's cool it here. The OP lacks experience, and seems extremely defensive, so is hard to help. Consider it a challenge.

I'm outta here; he didn't like my input either.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 26-07-2013, 13:41   #33
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

Oblivionboyj, You might gain the best answer to your question by taking on some first hand experience with your inflatable. Simply take your dinghy to the shore of the Chesapeake on a day of moderate weather and row it about 100 yards away and back. You might be able to alter the dinghy some to make minor improvements, but be sure to know what baseline you're starting with. It seems as though you are going to be the best judge of what lack of performance you will be willing to endure.
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:07   #34
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

Use it until there are too many holes to patch or you are not liking it's performance then move up a notch to a West Marine inflatable until you have too many holes in it and you are not liking it's performance.

Hard dinghies are my preference because they row well. You may not be into rowing so a nice RIB could do for you but use what you have for now.

kind regards,
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:28   #35
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

From the photo it seems you have a Sevylor Colussus.

Colossus 3 Person Boat | Inflatable Boats | Sevylor Inflatable Boats

I have a similarly specced Sevylor Caravelle that I store onboard and use as a spare tender in case I have no other way to get to shore. It's OK for my purpose as it's light and doesn't take up much space, but it falls way short of a reasonable tender. I have used it once and that was just to test it out.

The PVC is so lightweight it stretches a lot, and there is insufficient structural strength so it flexes a lot. If you need to put any grunt into rowing, the attachments bend and the flotation chambers twist. The specs say it's rated for 270kg (600 lbs) but I find that hard to imagine. The material feels so thin and soft it would puncture easily, so you would need to be really careful when grounding coming to shore.

With these limitations can you imagine what it would be like if a strong blow came up and you needed to row your partner and gear back to your boat, heading into the waves after negotiating a shore break?

In my opinion it's good for a toy in the shallows and that's about its limits.
Currently cruising Queensland coast
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Old 27-07-2013, 05:44   #36
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

Our previous 9'6" dinghy was an inflatable West Marine model made of PVC by Zodiac. It had an inflatable keel. Didn't row easily, partly because the keel wasn't deep enough to improve tracking, and partly because the tubes flex during pressure on the oarlocks. IOW, much of the rowing energy went into fighting the tubes, only some of that energy translated to forward motion at the oars.

It lasted several seasons for us, maybe 10 or so?, partly because we kept it out of the sunlight... either deflated and in its bag, or covered while inflated. And it didn't get lots of use, anyway. It was a little sloppy in some of the Chesapeake chop (or in high wind or wave situations in an anchorage), but we could control that slightly better when underway under power, not as well under oars.

Our current 10'2" hypalon RIB rows much better, partly because the oarlock/tube design is better, partly because it's a RIB and the hull form works better. But it was also a $4K product...

Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
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Old 27-07-2013, 11:24   #37
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy?

Originally Posted by oblivionboyj View Post
I'm looking at an Intex 4 inflatable.
It has an inflatable keel and comes with a motor mount.
Would this be an acceptable dinghy?
Why and or why not?

It should be okay,
For fair weather and with your limited budget this raft will work for a while.


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