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Old 05-07-2013, 16:50   #1
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Inflatable Dinghy ?

My wife bought me a Coleman 4 man inflatable raft a few years ago.
It's a nice little raft.
Well, my wife says I get an idea in my head that for a few years its all I think about until I'm established in it.
Sailing is now it.
So I was reading the demo copy of Cruising World, and there is an article about hacking an inflatable raft to use as a dinghy.
This got me thinking about using this Coleman Colossus my wife bought me.
Has anybody used this style raft for a dinghy?
Has anybody done any useful hacks to this kind of raft?
Am I going to be the test hacker here? LoL

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Old 05-07-2013, 17:01   #2
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

donate it to a girl scout summer camp that is located on a small lake.
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Old 05-07-2013, 17:05   #3
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That's one way to go, but...
While I'm far from poor, I'm not rich.
I need to maximize my outcomes while minimizing my expenditures.
It seems that I need something to use as a dinghy, and have something that may suffice (at least in the short term).

So my thinking is to find a way to use what I have whenever possible to make the purchase of equipment I don't have happen more quickly.
I can't be the only one who equips with this mindset.
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:01   #4
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

Thanks for handling my unrefined comment so well.
Its just that I have been doing this for a long time and I said the first thing that came to mind.
Perhaps your anchorage is calm and your boat is close to shore.
Here in my anchorage it would be impossible to use that coleman raft even if being towed by another motorized dinghy. I'm actually being serious.
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:16   #5
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Where is your anchorage?
If the weather is calm up here (Upper Chesapeake) then the water is pretty calm.
I'm not sure I have the confidence in my abilities (yet) to be out on my boat in weather other than calm.
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:41   #6
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

Pulled many a soul to shore and back with ill conceived dingy's over the years.Go get a real one.
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:54   #7
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

Causual is correct.
If your not that experienced then you especially need a real dinghy.
A canoe, a kayak, a rhinocerous, a crocodille...anything but that raft.
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Old 05-07-2013, 19:49   #8
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

Well, you can use it, BUT be sure you wear your life vests at all times your in it! and be sure to carry patch kits so you can maybe get back to your boat !! Just sayin, the give it to the girl scouts sounds like a great Idea to us !!LOL
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Old 05-07-2013, 20:30   #9
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I'm getting the idea that you guys are thinking this is a cheap Walmart boat.
It's not.
It branded Coleman, but its made by Seylor.
It is a very heavy vinyl/rubber.
I used this boat to shoot rapids on the Susquehanna river, and it was a champ.

The three things I'm considering doing are putting in a solid wood floor, bonding a plank bench in the center, and modifying the oar stays like the article I mentioned discussed.
Did anyone read this article?

Patch kits seem like the kind of thing you'd want on hand even if you had a top of the line Zodiac
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oblivionboyj View Post
I'm getting the idea that you guys are thinking this is a cheap Walmart boat.
It's not.
It branded Coleman, but its made by Seylor.
It is a very heavy vinyl/rubber.
I used this boat to shoot rapids on the Susquehanna river, and it was a champ.

The three things I'm considering doing are putting in a solid wood floor, bonding a plank bench in the center, and modifying the oar stays like the article I mentioned discussed.
Did anyone read this article?

Patch kits seem like the kind of thing you'd want on hand even if you had a top of the line Zodiac
Can this be done? Yes, I know a guy who did a 300 miles around the LP in a seylor with a plywood floor and a sail he added. He threw the boat out at the end of the trip.

So--- Can it be done? Yes! How long will the boat hold up? That is a different question.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post

Can this be done? Yes, I know a guy who did a 300 miles around the LP in a seylor with a plywood floor and a sail he added. He threw the boat out at the end of the trip.

So--- Can it be done? Yes! How long will the boat hold up? That is a different question.
But that's just it...
How many miles can I expect to travel in my dinghy?
It takes a long time to get to 300 miles traveling a 1/4 mile at a time.
By that time I'd think I'd be pretty well equipped, and would be able to focus resources on a proper dinghy.

What is the LP?
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:56   #12
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But that's just it...
How many miles can I expect to travel in my dinghy?
It takes a long time to get to 300 miles traveling a 1/4 mile at a time.
By that time I'd think I'd be pretty well equipped, and would be able to focus resources on a proper dinghy.

What is the LP?
He went around the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in 5-6 days in a race.

How long it will last you depends on a plethora of factors... A classic case of "your mileage may vary". As I am looking at inflatables also, not sure what to do... $2-300 sound better than a boat buck. But if it will not last....
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:09   #13
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He went around the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in 5-6 days in a race.

How long it will last you depends on a plethora of factors... A classic case of "your mileage may vary". As I am looking at inflatables also, not sure what to do... $2-300 sound better than a boat buck. But if it will not last....
I thought you might be talking about MI, but wasn't sure.
Thanks for clarifying

I agree that $200 to $300 sounds better than a buck boat.
My wife spent $90 on this one, several years back.
It's a quality boat.
My thinking is that for $30 or $40 more (and some ingenuity) can get some mileage out of what I have
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:54   #14
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

I used to keep one like that on my boat. We would blow it up at anchor and let the kids play on it. That's what it's made for. Sorry, but true.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:36   #15
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Re: Inflatable dinghey?

Oblivionboyj,

The problem here seems to me to be that water toys are not competent dinghies, which can actually be pretty good boats. Your Coleman one has a flat bottom, and will be very difficult to steer straight and row upwind. Try to think about and imagine why inflatable dinghies have bows designed differently from your raft. Some inflatable dinghies also have flat bottoms, skitter sideways a lot, and as a result, outboard motors for them are popular. Early efforts at mounting o/bs on round transom dinghies showed that strong transoms are needed to allow the transfer of power to propel the boat.

Maybe you could talk someone with a proper rowing dinghy to let you try rowing it, especially upwind in a breeze, it to experience the differences for yourself. But for the purpose of setting out a second anchor in a blow, you'll really need a good "pulling boat" or a good engine, or you'll try to figure out another way to do it.

If you're happy to try to use your Coleman for a while and let it prove to you its incompetence as a boat [even though you enjoyed it as a river raft], as long as you're careful, you should learn from the experience. Do not expect it to be as stable as a dinghy that is designed as such.

When you get around to choosing a dinghy for your "big boat", here's something to consider: will it still float if one chamber empties? If you have only one fill/empty valve, all the air can go away from valve failure (not uncommon), and of course, puncture can be a problem, too--mind those oyster shells, they cut up pvc, and even hypalon. Another thing to consider is whether the freeboard will be adequate for two people at the same time. Dinghies carry people and goods to and from their "big boats", and reserve buoyancy is important.

Some people prefer large, competent dinghies so they can leave the big boat safely anchored and explore by dinghy.

Just a little food for thought....

Ann
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