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Old 21-11-2013, 10:23   #1
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Minimalist dinghy ?

As I mentioned in another thread here, we want to get rid of our RU-260 dinghy to get something smaller and easier to stow. The RU has actually been outstanding for almost 9 years which surprised us a great deal, but we want something small enough to not make it a hassle to rig or stow.

We're looking at the smallest Achilles like Achilles Inflatable Crafts but wonder where the second person sits when you row it ? We only use a Minn Kota 55 when we aren't rowing so the engine mount will be fine. We do tend to row a lot and unless the beach is a mile away we probably won't even bring out the electric, but that assumes that the second person can actually sit somewhere while the first is rowing.

The Zodiac is another option Zodiac Marine - Boats - Cadet 200 Roll Up that we're looking at.

Any experiences with either, especially while rowing with two on board ?

Alternative small, stowable, inflatables ?

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Old 25-11-2013, 14:36   #2
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

I've owned two LT-2 and one LT-4 dinghy.

The first LT-2 was a 1985 birthday present for our then 5 year old daughter. We carried it on our Tanzer 22 where it fit in one of the cockpit lockers. We used it to row ashore from the anchored boat or to put out an anchor when we ran aground. That dinghy is still in use on our daughter's Compac 26 on the Gulf coast of Mississippi..

When we bought our Pacific Seacraft 34 in 2004, we bought another LT-2 and put a 3.5hp Tohatsu 2 stroke on it. The engine mount was too flimsey to open the throttle up, and we rowed it much of the time. The dinghy would only plane in exceptional circumstances, so under power it was slow compared to other dinghies. The tubes were small and we were frequently wet when others were dry. My wife perched on either the bow or stern when I rowed.

For our first trip to the Bahamas we bought a LT-4 delivered to Florida. It gave us the ability to carry four people and had a better motor mount. (But, the mount was made of plastic coated steel tubing. The steel rusted under the plastic swelling the tubing diameter and made the mount difficult to slip into its mounting holes.) We made a total of four 5 month trips to the Bahamas with that dinghy. Its larger tubes made the dinghy drier, but it was not a planing dinghy. Wherever we went we almost always had the most minimal dinghy at the dinghy dock.

We now have a LSI-290 which we have taken on two more trips to the Bahamas. It is drier and faster than the LT-2 or LT-4, but it weighs more and takes longer to inflate and launch or deflate and store. We are using a 8 hp Nissan 2-stroke motor with it. The plywood transom fixes the engine mount problems.

www.irish-eyes-to-the-bahamas.blogspot.com
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:45   #3
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Hard to imagine much smaller than a 260... and isnt that a rollup? maybe a Foldboat or an air floor... although an airfloor maybe be more work to store than a rollup.
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Old 27-11-2013, 17:10   #4
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
I've owned two LT-2 and one LT-4 dinghy.
Thanks, that's what I was looking for. If one person can indeed perch on the transom while the other rows (without shoving the transom percher over the transom) then that's probably the ticket for us. We're not supersized and the RU-260 is certainly bigger than we need or want.

Planing is a non-issue as far as we are concerned, I can't row that fast and the Minn Kota is probably about the same speed

We ony use the Minn Kota when we want to quietly troll around in a large bay, like strolling in a park. If we want to get ashore we row.

Did you always use the plywood floor or only when motoring ?

Thanks again.



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Old 27-11-2013, 19:22   #5
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

The first LT-2 did not come with either plywood floors or an engine mount. The second LT-2 and the LT-4 both had plywood floors. We usually put the floors in because they made it easier to stand in the boat and to carry heavy things in the boat. But, they made the boat heavier and harder to launch and retreive, and it was an additonal and sometimes inconvient task to install and remove them.

An additonal problem with these 'doughnut' boats is that they do not have a drain plug. If towed in poor conditions or if left unattended during a prolonged heavy rain they will fill with water.

You might want to take a look at
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They toured the Pacific with an Avon Redcrest with 6.5 ft. wooden oars.
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Old 27-11-2013, 19:46   #6
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

10' or 8' Portebote

We've been using one for 14 years - it is the perfect dinghy. We cruised for 6 years with one in Puget Sound and up and down the west coast of Vancouver Island with a 12' Portebote - surfed with it at Cape Scott in 6' swell.

Towed it all over the Sea of Cortez while we cruised there for 4 years.

- dirt cheap when purchased used
- indestructible
- very easily driven (my 1994 2 HP Tohatsu moves it a 7 knots)
- very easy to row
- huge load carrying capacity
- easy to stow
- very easy to tow
- very stable
- nothing attaches to the bottom that can't be removed with a putty knife in 5 minutes
- crossed 5 miles of open water in 5' waves with six big bags of groceries while on a full plane with a 9.9HP Nissan

and... best of all

NO ONE in their right mind would steal it!

Previous dinghies that I have used a lot:
8'6' inflatable
10' RIB
12' whitehall rowing dinghy
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Old 27-11-2013, 21:24   #7
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Take a look at these designs.
Link: Dinghy plans for the spatially challenged
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Old 28-11-2013, 00:58   #8
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

To begin with...inflatables usually don't row worth a damn. If you really expect to do lots of rowing you should get something that you can actually row. Yes of course you can row real short distances but even that might be tough if there is any wind or current against you. So many better choices for a rowing dink out there.
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Old 28-11-2013, 09:07   #9
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Take a look at these designs.
Link: Dinghy plans for the spatially challenged
Really pretty designs in an artsy way. If we weren't cruising I'd certainly look at them !

Thanks.



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Old 28-11-2013, 09:11   #10
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
To begin with...inflatables usually don't row worth a damn. If you really expect to do lots of rowing you should get something that you can actually row. Yes of course you can row real short distances but even that might be tough if there is any wind or current against you. So many better choices for a rowing dink out there.
While wind is an issue, if you grew up rowing you can row an innertube straight and true for a mile or two. Motoring an innertube, that's another kettle of fish unless it has some kind of keel. Current has the same effect on inflatables as on other dinghies.


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Old 28-11-2013, 09:22   #11
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

Have you considered a folding or inflatable kayak? Easier to paddle than than a dinghy, fols up smaller, and motor mounts are available. On your 34 you even have space to carry a hardshell 2 person kayak along the stanchions, and it'll paddle infinitely better than any inflatable.
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Old 28-11-2013, 09:30   #12
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

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Have you considered a folding or inflatable kayak?
Yes, we had a beautiful SeaEagle 385 (?) that was wonderful. Unfortunately we lost the fin in a hard beach launch. We gave that away to some good friends as an engagement present as we didn't have room for the RU-260, much less the RU-260 and the kayak. Since they were going back to the US they could pick up a new fin.

We've considered going that route instead and just getting rid of the RU and the Minn Kota. If you haven't looked at the SeaEagle you should. With the dropstitch floor you can stand in it and paddle, that's not just an advertising claim, we've done it.

The jury is still deliberating.

Thanks,



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Old 28-11-2013, 09:42   #13
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

my question is what are going to do with it??
your profile says you are headed south from mexico - i don't know if you are on the east side or west side -
i know on the east side as you head south you will want a dingy to explore islands, distance reefs, ect
that becomes very difficult to do in a small dink that you row --
we have a 9' roll up dink with a wood floor and 5hp motor on a 40' boat - we stow the dink upside down on the foredeck when we have passages of a day or two not exceeding 3 days -- over that we deflate it store it below

we like to explore in the dink and not just go ashore and back
but each to his own
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Old 28-11-2013, 09:46   #14
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

I hear ya Sven but inflatables are just not that great a row boat and like you I can row a boat. The oars are short and the rowing position is compromised because it was never designed to row. Years ago Walker Bay made an inflatable that you could get somewhere with oars and there were a couple of other brands as well but I haven't seen/heard about them in some time. I remember reading one of Larry Pardeys books years ago when he rowed their hard dink to kedge an anchor in 30 knots of wind. You wouldn't be able to able to do the same thing in an inflatable in much more than 15 knots, big difference in performance in different row boats no matter how well you think you can row.
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Old 28-11-2013, 10:24   #15
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Re: Minimalist dinghy ?

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I hear ya Sven but inflatables are just not that great a row boat and like you I can row a boat.
Ok, I thought you were one of those "how come your dinghy rows straight ?" folks

Agree with you in general but every boat decision is a compromise and as long each of us is 'happy' with our choice that's all we can ask for.

Thanks for the replies.



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