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Old 10-07-2010, 07:36   #16
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When I searched for new england cat boat I came up with this Beetle Cat Boat Shop, traditional wooden boat builders, gaff rigged, one-design sailboats which isn't your boat though very cool. Who makes your model? It looks very nice.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about the manufacturer of this catboat. I bought it used from someone a couple of years ago and I don't even really remember just who it was. It is a fantastic little boat but as I mentioned, a bit big and heavy for one person to get on deck alone. It is nearly 10' long and has a small swing keel, but tows (with the keel up) well, holds a bunch of weight, quite stable and the kids absolutely love sailing it around the marina
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:59   #17
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I recently built an Eastport Pram from Chesapeake Light Craft (which is a few inches bigger then the optimist) and have not outfitted it for sailing yet but it is perfect for two when rowing or with a little electric motor but would be too cramped with the sailing rig up as it would take up the front seat and the weight would need to be lower which means most people sail it sitting on the floor.

We are still going to rig it just for entertainment value but would not consider it as a tender with the sailing rig up for the reasons above. I couldn't tell from your bullet points if you intended to use it that way but would caution you that it will seem smaller with the sailing rig then you might think. We love the hard dinghy though in all other aspects.

But then we don't mind going slow.

Jim
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:32   #18
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I used a Trinka 8 with sailing rig as dinghy for a couple of years. With care we could put 2 adults and 2 pre-teens (just under 500 lbs total) in for rowing. With the sail it was strictly a one person boat, although I could jug water or move groceries under sail.

It was tippy and the kids needed a couple of dumpings to understand why sitting still was important. Getting everyone in and out was a challenge.

My wife took the Trinka when we got divorced. I still miss the fun of sailing around an anchorage in the afternoon but appreciate my 9' RIB and 9.9HP outboard as the station wagon.

Now if I could just figure out how to rig a dodger on the RIB I'd be thrilled.
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Old 10-07-2010, 14:21   #19
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Thank you all. I'm gonna go to hubby now and admit that (for once) he was right, and setting up the opi as a dink is gonna be do-able!!!

I imagine we'll be using oars or a small motor mostly, since I have already had my doubts about it's capacity to sail an adult with shopping - but it'll be fun to rig her up sometimes for a fun sail!
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Old 10-07-2010, 17:22   #20
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Chameleon Plans

I found an internet listing for the Chameleon dinghy here. I does look to be a good design.

For long term use building in foam/carbon fibre to get the weight right down could make it quite practical.
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:40   #21
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The answer is a Portland Pudgy - next on our list of to buy. We know a couple of cruising couples that have them and a gent in the marina has one. They are very stable, a great dink and very fun to sail. Played around with it over the July 4th holiday.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:10   #22
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Now then, hubby would like to adopt an optimist dinghy as our tender. He sees the following benefits:

1 - Sailing is easier than rowing
2 - We could fit an engine
3 - We could fit oarloacks
4 - We can have fun sailing on it
5 - There's lots of space in it for lugging people/groceries
6 - It's small
7 - It's less stealable than a RIB
8 - It's durable

He has me convinced. I now think it's a brilliant idea - even tho I've been trying to think of ways to discourage it - but I can't think of any. Help?


Please let us know how you make out. I am in the market for a dinghy. We want to go places (coastal cruising) but realistically anything bigger than 8 feet is stupid for us and there is no way I am gonna pay in the thousands for something to get us a hundred meters to the beach.

I have been offered (almost free) an opti hull more than once and have considered it to tide me over. I haven't considered sailing it but your post kinda gets me thinking that I should buy one with a rig and then I could - if desired fart around with it.

Sure it doesn't hold much and as a "station wagon" for a serious cruiser it's not the right choice. But to get to shore and back...

And for those that think the opti is "only" for 80-pound 10 year olds on calm lakes, think again -






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Old 13-07-2010, 02:24   #23
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I have been offered (almost free) an opti hull more than once and have considered it to tide me over. I haven't considered sailing it but your post kinda gets me thinking that I should buy one with a rig and then I could - if desired fart around with it.
Thanks for the pics - they are inspirational!! We were given ours for free. Well, they were actually given to the club, but they went into hubby's name, and no-one else uses them, so I'm guessing no-one will worry too much when we pinch it!!!

It did occur to me yesterday that I should take one out for a sail, as I've never actually rigged it or been in it!! Well, if I can't be bothered rigging the cat, I tend to take a laser or a kayak... This Friday for sure, I rig it up and see if it holds my fat ass up!
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Old 13-07-2010, 02:32   #24
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The answer is a Portland Pudgy - next on our list of to buy. We know a couple of cruising couples that have them and a gent in the marina has one. They are very stable, a great dink and very fun to sail. Played around with it over the July 4th holiday.
I cjecked it out: Portland Pudgy Safety Dinghy
It looks beautiful!!

At 7'8", it is exactly the same length as an opti. Given the cost of buying it, then shipping it here versus cost of a tiny engine and a set of oarlocks for the opti... I'll add it to the wish list!

It does raise an interesting issue, though, of being able to use it as a liferaft. Now we have a liferaft anyway, but I wonder if one could save a bit of space here.... Probably not.

Oh, and the chameleon dinghy was well-worth checking out! I'm thinking about that one - can locally source the materials, and have a carpenter to hand.....
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Old 13-07-2010, 02:47   #25
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36 ft sloop with 1 go fast dink, & 1 sailing, rowing, motorized dink (each dinks has it's own motor). Sailing dink has plenty of flotation, so while a bit of an exposed liferaft, it could be done. Even if it's only a back up.

This is the toy that makes the mothership fun.
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Old 13-07-2010, 02:50   #26
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This is the toy that makes the mothership fun.
LOL!!! I like that attitude!!! I think we might have to take it anyway, regardless of convenience!
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:37   #27
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So we gave it a go, and this is what we came up with....

Is that a perfect fit or what? And with the pulley system, I can lift it onto the davits by myself!
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:25   #28
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We have a row/sail dinghy -- a homebuilt Jim Michalak "Vole." It's 7'6" long and 5' beam, with a design displacement of 600 lbs. (We built this after our family outgrew our Bolger Elegant Punt.") Anyway -- it carries heavy loads, tows easily, carries all 4 of us rowing, or sailing slowly -- and if it has just one or two of us on board, it RIPS around the harbor. Loads of fun. You can build one for a couple hundred bucks.

In general, having a sailing dinghy is a huge bonus. There are many times you've finished your longer passage and it's not practical or desirable to sail the big boat at the moment . . . but tearing around in sheltered waters in a little cockleshell is just the thing.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:12   #29
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We have a walker bay 8 with the sail kit. The only thing that slightly sucks is storing the mast sections and boom; haven't really found a "great" place to put those yet. As a rowable dinghy it's great, and it sails really nice as well but it's really a one person sailer (or one big person and one small person).

Hard dinghies are where it's at, and oars are good exercise that work quite well with a non-inlatable. At every crowded anchorage, I see at least one outboard+inflatable drifting away as the owners curse and scream trying to start it. They certainly can carry more load and are much easier to enter, and faster too when the outboard works, but hard dinghies have great aspects none the less.

As someone said above it's great to sail the dinghie around an anchorage.

On the subject, if you have two or more adults consider a folding kayak as well. It's nice to have two "cars" so that while you're zipping around sailing the dinghie someone else can still go to shore.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:30   #30
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The Tinker Tramps were quite popular in the UK a few years back.... and not just as a tender... for some folks it was their mini cruiser/camper.... sail a bit then beach and set up the tent for the night...
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