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Old 09-07-2010, 18:10   #1
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Sailing Dinghy as Tender ?

I noticed on another link that 6.43% of voters' dinks are sailed: Cruisers & Sailing Forums - View Poll Results

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?


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Old 09-07-2010, 18:17   #2
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An opti is a great little boat, but it was designed to be singlehanded by a child. You might want to look for something that can handle a bit more weight.
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Old 09-07-2010, 18:24   #3
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It's a good idea. It will be pooh-poohed by the gasoline/air conditioner/genset/RIB crowd here. Sailing/rowing dinghys are common among the 'cooler' cruisers everywhere. You need a good seaworthy way to store the hull on deck...not davits...in my opinion. I'm cruising full time and almost never use the RIB that came with the boat. I hate it and it's stinky engine. Those cruisers that say a powerful RIB is a requirement are incorrect. Throughout Mexico and now SE Asia I either use a inflatable kayak or paddle the inflatable dink.
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Old 09-07-2010, 18:32   #4
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It depends totally on what you require the dink for. If you just want something for a short jaunt ashore the opti will do fine. If you want to explore, go miles for water or groceries or fuel then I think a good RIB is what you need. If you have to anchor in less than ideal anchorages a RIB is your best bet. It all depends on what your view of "cruising" is.
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Old 09-07-2010, 18:43   #5
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Also depends (a lot) on how fat you are.

We have a small sailing dingy on the Murray 33. But with the wife and I in it we were looking up at the wavelets. We total out about 400 pounds.

Got a 10' porta bote (585 capacity), then got a 12' porta bote (670 capacity) for our bigger boat. They do have a sail rig but not a clue how good it is.
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Old 09-07-2010, 18:58   #6
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...but an Opti is probably too small to be useful. Try something slightly bigger. Something more traditional...
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Old 09-07-2010, 18:59   #7
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I just walked down the dock and looked at an Optimus. It's not fitted with oar locks. If you like that catboat style, you may want to consider an El Toro, which can be rowed as well as sailed, and handles a larger payload. Or you might want to look at infatables that give you the option to sail or row, such as the Tinker or the Walker Bay.

I can't imagine being on a beach at sunset in light air and having to bring an opti through the surf without oars.
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Old 09-07-2010, 19:59   #8
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What about a fatty knees they are great sailing and rowing dingy's
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Old 09-07-2010, 21:09   #9
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We love our little New England Cat Boat. We can put one adult plus kids or both adults plus some of the kids in it and either sail it or row it. But it is bigger than an Opti. Heavier and can be hard to manage by one person getting it on deck.
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Old 09-07-2010, 22:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clausont View Post
We love our little New England Cat Boat. We can put one adult plus kids or both adults plus some of the kids in it and either sail it or row it. But it is bigger than an Opti. Heavier and can be hard to manage by one person getting it on deck.
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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.
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Old 10-07-2010, 00:09   #11
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Small and heavy...

A quick search suggests that the Optimist is 7'9" long with a beam of 3'8". That'll make it too small for two average adults and unstable in service, as when you stand up to get out onto the boat or beach.

35 Kg is on the heavy side for a dinghy that size. My tinnie is 30Kg and needs two adults to carry it. A RIB of the same size would have much greater stability and carrying capacity.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:53   #12
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A quick search suggests that the Optimist is 7'9" long with a beam of 3'8". That'll make it too small for two average adults and unstable in service, as when you stand up to get out onto the boat or beach.

35 Kg is on the heavy side for a dinghy that size. My tinnie is 30Kg and needs two adults to carry it. A RIB of the same size would have much greater stability and carrying capacity.
Thank you for your advice which is backed up by facts and reasons, as well as opinion!!!

Clausont - nice looking dinghy! How do you stow it?

Everyone else - a major reason for us perhaps adopting an opi, is that we already have two, and might as well take one with us, if practical!!! Yes, I can see that it might be heavy to lift, but it isn't as heavy as the hard-floored RIB that we use as a rescue boat. I forgot to mention, since the mast folds it will be easier to stow the rigging.

Hpeer - Your portaboat looks interesting, I looked at their homepage. It is cool to see a dinghy which is actually designed for either motoring or siling. If it doesn't work out with the opi, we might look at getting one.

And I think if you can put a 4hp engine on an 8' (or 10' or 12') collapsible boat and get positive results, then we should be able to do it with an 8' solid hull.

As for being heavy to handle - all dinghies are heavy, surely? But with correctly rigged davits one person should be able to handle it anyway, surely?
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:37   #13
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Hello, Ive got an opti sized dingy by a german company, it rows 2 adults, they row much better than inflatables of course, one adult can sail it with a bit of wind.

Ive had a 4 hp on an opti before (I put some bricks in the bow to keep it down )
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:44   #14
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Hello, Ive got an opti sized dingy by a german company, it rows 2 adults, they row much better than inflatables of course, one adult can sail it with a bit of wind.

Ive had a 4 hp on an opti before (I put some bricks in the bow to keep it down )
Aha - this sounds promising!! Were you on a yacht, and if so, how did you stow it? And how much shopping could you carry?


I am worried it will be too small considering it's designed to be sailed by a child singlehanded!
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:00   #15
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We have a swifgig (now unobtainable I believe) hich sails, rows and copeswith a small outboard. This has done us very well for lots of cruising, but is undenisably slower if the anchorage is a long way than a big RIB. We put her on the davits for small trips and on deck for anything more than a flat sea day sail. Without engine/anchor etc she's just under 100lbs, and one of uys can get her on the davits. On to the deck (using spinnaker halyard) takes two just for the manouevering, rather than weight.

We like having a hard dinghy for the rowing, the space and the additional safety/lifeboar help. There are times it's less convenient, eg coming up to a sugarscoop stern, as you need to come alongside rather than climb over the bows.

We do not sail it that often, out of laziness for putting it all together, though she does sail well. We row her a lot. All shopping, washing etc frequently done using her.

We are very struck by the chameleon dinghy, which you build yourself, as an alternative or the Fatty Knees.
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