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Old 10-01-2019, 21:40   #1
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Nesting dinghys

I've received a couple of recommendations in other threads and via pm to take a closer look at nesting dinghys. I am moving towards a hard dink of some kind because I want something that can be rowed and, ideally, sailed. The mother ships I am looking at after we're ready to move on from the Morgan 250 are cutter rigged vessels, about 42' LOA, many with staysail booms that limit the amount of useful foredeck storage.


My main concern about nesting dinghies is structural due to the point loads posed by the clamping mechanism that attaches the two halves of the hull. It is difficult for me to believe that some of the designs I've seen will hold up to frequent hard use. Other concerns are the quality of the designs and build advice available. I am unaware of any commercially built nesting dinghies -- there's no nesting equivalent to Walker Bay, Fatty Knees, or Trinka.


Do you have a nesting dinghy? Do you like it? Which design is it? How good is the boat itself -- is it stable, capacious, good under oar, motor, and sail? How confident are you of its structural integrity? How well does it nest? How long does it take to assemble and take apart?



Are there lightweight designs of cedar strips, kevlar, or both?
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Old 10-01-2019, 22:57   #2
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Re: Nesting dinghys

The super-light ones I'm suspicious of.

I like the look of this: https://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/...lboat-kit.html
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Old 10-01-2019, 22:59   #3
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Re: Nesting dinghys

I have no experience with nesting boats but I really like the looks of the one sold by PT Watercraft. The connecting hardware looks very strong to me.
All about Nesting
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Old 10-01-2019, 23:36   #4
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Re: Nesting dinghys

If you're interested in building one yourself, I can vouch for the Chameleon, designed by Danny Greene.

We built one in 2012, have some photos of the construction here:
New dinghy! – SV Sonrisa

It rows beautifully, tows and nests like a champ. One of these days I will do the next step and install the sailing rig. Reportedly that works pretty well too.

I was also skeptical about the attachments. Just 3 bolts holds it together. After years of use I no longer have any concerns. It's a tested design, others have taken them all over the world.

Takes us around 10 minutes to launch or stow, with 2 adults.

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2019, 00:19   #5
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Re: Nesting dinghys

Slightly relevant

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2799076
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:55   #6
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Re: Nesting dinghys

So we have:
* the Chesapeake Light Craft Passagemaker "Take Apart" - sold as a kit, made of precut plywood pieces held together with fiberglass and epoxy
* the PT watercraft PT-11, also sold as a kit, also plywood with fiberglass and epoxy (article)

* The Chameleon, blog, designer, available as plans, similar construction to others


A web search adds to these:
* A fiberglass nesting dinghy manufactured in England

* Bateau.com has one available as plans or a kit. Plywood/fiberglass

* B&B has a nesting version of the Cat'spaw dinghy as a kit, though they say it is intended for rowing and sailing only, and not motoring. Plywood/fiberglass
* The Abaco nesting dinghy, made of epoxy and plastic panels, free plans Nesting Dinghy!

* The Stasha, with ultralight fabric construction, probably not suitable for frequent use
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:05   #7
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Re: Nesting dinghys

We have had a 10' Spindrift nester for a few years and like it. We upgraded it to be an expedition dinghy w/a depth sounder and some nice connector brackets as shown on this site.

I do like the Cameleon dinghy and there is another version of this dink called a Gecko that discusses upgrades to the original design.

Liked the PT watercraft's ability to take apart in the water, but filling in the forward half of the dink w/a high deck wouldn't work for our needs. We haul up to 4 people w/gear and need the space.

The Abaco design was interesting for carrying larger amounts of dive gear and people. Would wonder how it handles/feels in heavy chop/waves w/the flatter bottom and also how it rows.

As all boats, there are trade offs to their design. It really comes down to intended use. I do like the Spindrift, but if I had to do it again I would increase the freeboard for higher oarlock placement/better rowing and construct using Coosa blue board due to high strength and lighter weight.

The Gecko design fits most of our needs for a rowing dinghy, but the Abaco looks like a good possibility for a utility vehicle.


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Old 11-01-2019, 08:34   #8
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Re: Nesting dinghys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post

My main concern about nesting dinghies is structural due to the point loads posed by the clamping mechanism that attaches the two halves of the hull. It is difficult for me to believe that some of the designs I've seen will hold up to frequent hard use. Other concerns are the quality of the designs and build advice available.
I don't think you'll find a more carefully designed nester than Russell Brown's PT-11. The CNC machined gussets that reinforce the bulkheads adjacent to the "clamping mechanisms" are very well engineered, and the "clamping mechanism" itself is very robust, right down to the carbon fiber alignment clips.

And as far as tech support is concerned, you can simply call or email Russell - he and his wife are incredibly helpful.

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Old 11-01-2019, 20:47   #9
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Re: Nesting dinghys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkyDorado View Post
I don't think you'll find a more carefully designed nester than Russell Brown's PT-11. The CNC machined gussets that reinforce the bulkheads adjacent to the "clamping mechanisms" are very well engineered, and the "clamping mechanism" itself is very robust, right down to the carbon fiber alignment clips.

And as far as tech support is concerned, you can simply call or email Russell - he and his wife are incredibly helpful.
Agreed. Russell has designed a great little boat, quality throughout.

I built the larger skiff from his kit, and everything is top notch. The manual gives you good suggestions on how to build stitch and glue efficiently, with less mess to sand.

Regarding the dinghy, a Norwegian woman recently rowed from Tacoma to Port Townsend WA (70 miles) in just under 20 hours straight.

But 4 passengers is probably more than what it is designed for.
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Old Yesterday, 05:28   #10
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Re: Nesting dinghys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I've received a couple of recommendations in other threads and via pm to take a closer look at nesting dinghys. I am moving towards a hard dink of some kind because I want something that can be rowed and, ideally, sailed. The mother ships I am looking at after we're ready to move on from the Morgan 250 are cutter rigged vessels, about 42' LOA, many with staysail booms that limit the amount of useful foredeck storage.


My main concern about nesting dinghies is structural due to the point loads posed by the clamping mechanism that attaches the two halves of the hull. It is difficult for me to believe that some of the designs I've seen will hold up to frequent hard use. Other concerns are the quality of the designs and build advice available. I am unaware of any commercially built nesting dinghies -- there's no nesting equivalent to Walker Bay, Fatty Knees, or Trinka.


Do you have a nesting dinghy? Do you like it? Which design is it? How good is the boat itself -- is it stable, capacious, good under oar, motor, and sail? How confident are you of its structural integrity? How well does it nest? How long does it take to assemble and take apart?



Are there lightweight designs of cedar strips, kevlar, or both?
Jammer, I built the Danny Green Chameleon nesting dinghy and I am thoroughly satisfied with it. It's very tough, rows like a rocket, carries a lot of weight and tows well. In all, a great design that Danny Green perfected over a number of iterations of the design.

I find it very stable for a hard dink (due to the hull shape) and it has a decent internal volume for carrying people and stuff. It's very solid and the mating of the two parts is reinforced and have never given me a reason to worry. Once assembled, it's really like a solid one-piece dinghy.

It nests in a very compact footprint, but like most nesting dinghies, it is rather tall when nested. Mine nests between the mast and the hard dodger. It does limit visibility, but I can look around it and it hasn't been an issue so far.

I always assemble mine in the water. It takes just a few minutes. Each half weighs under 20 kilos, so I can manhandle each half by myself to get them on and off the boat. I don't use any mechanical aids- just my arms.

I don't have a motor because the dinghy rows so well. I often go off exploring under oar power and cover miles easily. Also, it's good exercise!

Some of the features I like about the Chameleon are:

- Floatation compartments in the stern and a large watertight compartment in the bow (where you can keep things dry and store an anchor and stuff). This makes it unsinkable - a very important feature to look for in hard dink. Without positive floatation, you will be wary of leaving it in the water at night in case it fills with rain (or you'll be waking up to bail).

- Repairability. The dinghy can literally last forever with a minimum of maintenance. Basically, it just needs repainting every once in a while. In the event of damage, it can be fixed easily with fiberglass.

Some suggestions if you decide to build the Chameleon: use slightly thinner and higher quality ply to reduce weight and not compromise strength. I went with 4mm ply if I remember correctly. Make a watertight hatch for the forward compartment to ensure positive floatation and dry storage (not hard to do). Glass a vey thick line of tape along the centerline of the hull bottom. This is the area that will be in contact with the sand and rocks when you drag it up on a beach. Buy the full-size plans from Danny Green if you don't feel confident about lofting. Finally, I think if I were to build another, I would paint it with either an oil-based paint or a one-part poly paint. This makes touchups and repainting much easier.

I hope this helps!
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Old Yesterday, 13:02   #11
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Re: Nesting dinghys

I'm hoping to be able to provide a monochrome, low definition illustration for a nesting dinghy built by two different couples of our acquaintance. These dinghies have both been used for years, by people who could have built something different. The thing I like best about them is that each half is its own functioning, small dinghy; put together, it's a longish, easily driven dinghy with lots of room for provisions, laundry, etc. Our friend (who may send me a file to post here) enjoys rowing his. It also can take a small motor and move along briskly. This dinghy is open inside, which allows more room for feet in the center of the boat when getting in and when rowing.


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Old Yesterday, 17:00   #12
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Re: Nesting dinghys

look forward
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Old Yesterday, 18:36   #13
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Re: Nesting dinghys

^^ what he said
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