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Old 06-03-2016, 11:41   #1
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New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

Hey Friends-

I'm Mike Saltzman, new to the forum. I just purchased a gorgeous Sabre 34, Blue Wren. She's going to live at my house in Sag Harbor, New York, and will be used both for fun daysailing and also some longer cruises out to Nantucket and Maine.

I've never had the need for a motorized dinghy, so I'm looking for some guidance. Blue Wren has dinghy davits rated for 150lbs, but the previous owner is an engineer and says he likes to stay under 100 for wear and tear in pounding seas. She also has a motor mount and crane on the rails to store the motor off the boat.

I'm very active and like to do a lot of activities away from the boat when at anchor. I've baisically narrowed my chocie of dinghy down to this one:
Achilles HB-270FX Rigid Hull Inflatable (RIB) 8' 10", Gray Hypalon, 2016

It's the Achilles 8'10" rib. Manufacturer recomends 6hp, max is 8. I like the rib so I can go up on beaches, try to get on plane and ride through some chop. What do people think for a motor? If I'm with 2 or 3 people, will the 6 get the boat up on step? What is the prevailing wisdom for matching the motor size to the rib? Dont want to get something so heavy I can't haul it up etc.
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Old 06-03-2016, 13:06   #2
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

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Originally Posted by msaltzman View Post
...stay under 100...
Why do you choose to ignore this advice? I presume he knows the boat well.

When you are with 3 people, that will make 4 people total in a less than 9' dink. It isn't going to plane with 6 hp.
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Old 06-03-2016, 13:44   #3
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

10'6 is my preference for length any thing smaller gets very crowded with passengers. Longer hulls plan easer with smaller motors. I went with hypalon, hard floor, soft bottom (110lbs) for winter easier winter storage and below deck off shore storage. You must get what suits you rigid bottoms are nice.


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Old 06-03-2016, 14:43   #4
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

Yes, definitely not going to ignore his advice, I should have clarified. I am going to remove the motor from the dinghy when I hoist it on the davits, which is why a lighter motor would be great, as it would be easier to handle.
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Old 06-03-2016, 14:56   #5
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

First I'd look at motors, often motors that are that close in HP are the same motor and weigh the same of course, so there is no additional weight.
If you can get more HP for the same weight, well then I'd go that route.
Weight was the biggest reason I got the motor I did, turned out so far to be a good motor.
I'm going to assume your not going to the Bahamas anytime soon, so a four stroke is your only option.
So start looking at who makes a 6, 8 or even 9.9 that is the lightest. Just because it's over the rating, doesn't mean you have to run it wide open, often times excess HP is nice to get on plane, then back off once on plane, besides I believe a 9.9 run at 6 HP will out last a 6 HP run wide open, and I think even burn less fuel.

Just an opinion of course


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Old 06-03-2016, 14:57   #6
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

Good idea. Does anyone have opinions on the Rib floor vs an air floor?
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:07   #7
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

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Originally Posted by msaltzman View Post
Good idea. Does anyone have opinions on the Rib floor vs an air floor?
I have had two air floor dingy's, one was a "high pressure" floor west marine model made by zodiac. The air floors are nice for storage and weight. They are not great for planing as the floor will flex some and create cavitation in the prop when planing. My experience is a 6HP can plane around 300 lbs of people/gear in the dingy, but no more. The RIB is a much better ride, but a real small rib is hard to handle and wet. 10.6 foot ribs's are much bigger and stable, but weigh more than 110 lbs.
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:12   #8
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

As noted, RIBs are much more comfortable, plane far better, and handle better than a similar air floor. But they are heavier and don't store as easily. But storage only matters if you plan on storing it somewhere that will not take the full length of the dink. If you go with a RIB go for a aluminum bottom instead of fiberglass.
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:24   #9
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pirate Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

My favourite was a slat floor inflatable with inflated keel and a 6hp long shaft.. planed great and no cavitation..
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:49   #10
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

I have a 10ft length RIB with 5HP outboard. With two on board, we are always last in the dinghy races. Still, I can single handedly lift and lower a 5HP and that is near my limits. I would recommend RIB's to you for their stability and sturdiness. If you can afford it, the advice about an aluminum bottom instead of fiberglass is good for weight. Fiberglass is not difficult to repair so I count that a plus. I think PVC won't hold up well in much UV exposure so you might want to consider another material. I can single handedly wrestle my dinghy onto a dock from the water and launching even easier, but this awkward bulkiness is near my single handed limits (there are no problems with one other person helping). My dinghy is crowded with three people since you need life preservers, fuel, and a small dinghy kit. You indicate you have a crane. Do mean you have a motor davit? If so, I think weight is less important a factor and you can go with a heavier outboard (that presumably is more powerful). You will need to consider how to keep your dinghy from rocking and swaying and torqueing or else it can damage your boat, the dinghy davit, and your dinghy. If you're offshore in any kind of seas you will want to store your dinghy on your deck. This might be the factor limiting the size of dinghy you should buy.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:51   #11
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

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Originally Posted by msaltzman View Post
Yes, definitely not going to ignore his advice, I should have clarified. I am going to remove the motor from the dinghy when I hoist it on the davits...
The dink you've chosen weighs 130 lbs without the motor, far exceeding the PO's recommendation.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:51   #12
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

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Old 07-03-2016, 09:27   #13
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

10 foot aluminium RIB and 15hp 2stroke for lightness. Used Merc 74lbs and have a dealer recondition it. Or buy in Bahamas, cheap.
Use best 2-stoke oil and do not use more than recommended. They do pollute a trifle more.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:41   #14
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

For what its worth - For my last 2 boats over the past 25 years, I've used 10' AVON RIB's (with fiberglass bottom) powered by 9.9 Yamaha bought from Paul Bowden at Bowden Marine, Bar Harbor, ME. Great prices and excellent service. Never had a problem with boats or motor.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:07   #15
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Re: New boat- need advice on my Dinghy Choice!!

I have the HB-270FX dink with a 6HP Yamaha, been using it in the Caribbean for the past 5 months. Adequate for what I need, does not plane with 2 adults and all the gear, planes with one. Would an 11' aluminum rib with 18HP be nice? Sure, if ya got the room to stow it and lift the OB. The advantage of the 270FX, for me, is the low 86# weight (no OB or gear) and that it stows very nicely on my foredeck when I'm offshore. I can also muscle the 6HP into the lazarette and get that weight off the stern rail. What to do with the dink when you're not using it is as important as when you are.
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