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Old 20-12-2017, 12:25   #1
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Tenders What do you like?

We used to prefer inflatables for our tenders, but we went through three of them in ten years -- and we weren't buying PVC crap. Two Avons -- a 10-ft sport boat and a 12 foot cruisers tender -- and an Achilles sport boat.
We just killed those boats. Hard daily use and the 'Rob treatment' meant that we spent ten grand on rubber boats. These are good boats that usually last decades.My wife's Dad has had an Avon for over 30 years. We also carried an 8-ft sailing pram as our 'second car'.
So eleven years ago we were house sitting one winter in Gig Harbor Wa. for some folks who had mooring ball outside and a wood shop in the basement. I asked Gerry if I could build a boat and he said as long as it would fit through the shop's doors (to get it out), I could build whatever I wanted.
Our friend Jon Eisberg, had built a 9-ft Spindrift nesting dinghy that turned out beautifully. It looked like it had come off a showroom floor! I was inspired, but wanted something bigger. I settled on the 11-ft version because, when nested, it would fit perfectly under our boats boom.
Spindrift | B&B Yacht Designs
After four months and $2500 in materials (I overbuilt it because of how hard I am on things), we had a beautiful finished boat...that I now had to cut in half with a $10 saw! I had to ask my wife's Dad to start the cutting because I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Over a decade of hard use -- from 'big sand' up in Alaska to San Diego, countless beach landings, hard sailing, and more capsizes than I care to admit -- we've replaced the sail once, the mast twice and the rudder three times. Last week, I finished Blue Moon's third 'refit' -- repairing some spots and painting. Now she's ready for another 11 years of the 'Rob treatment'!
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Old 20-12-2017, 13:01   #2
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

Beautiful little boat, but I gotta ask...what in the world do you do to a good quality inflatable to get only 3 years out of it?
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Old 20-12-2017, 13:40   #3
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

Beautiful tender Rob. Iím not nearly as talented as you, but I love it.

Iíve been using a 10í portabote for over a decade now. Prior to this I had couple of good quality inflatables (Avon and Zodiac).



I chose the portabote for a number of reasons, mostly to do with carrying it on the mothership, but I love the near-indestructible nature of these botes. I have zero concerns when bashing onto a rough beach and dragging it up above the tide line.

I use a small outboard when travelling far or when carrying passengers/large loads. I also have the lateen sailing rig, which is pretty rinky-dinky, but is kinda fun to play around with.
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Old 20-12-2017, 13:48   #4
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

10 Ft Rigid fiber glass bottom - easy to repair with epoxy or polyester, sunbrella chaps on the tubes keeps UV away from the glued bits, Tiller steer 20Hp electric start and tilt, great for long quick trips to the dock, can carry 4 adults on the plane, good for Scuba (for 2), can tow water toys and have an observer, only downside is weight and cost. Our Caribe has lasted 4 years so far and as per above it gets a good work out all year round. An alloy bottom would be lighter but might not be as durable and harder to repair nicely without a welder. I wish it could sail though.
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Old 20-12-2017, 14:04   #5
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

While I like your tender, I am in need of an inflatable tender... 9.5 to 11 ft range and would appreciate suggested makes/models.
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Old 20-12-2017, 14:15   #6
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

Rob, looks fantastic.
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Old 20-12-2017, 14:15   #7
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

I built a B&B spindrift 10 about a decade ago. Sailed it hard, then sold it. Now I am shopping for a dinghy for my new catamaran and wishing I had the Spindrift still.

I like the stability of the inflatable RIB, and I am on the prowl for an AB 9 RIB now...

I think I might take a look at the portaboat.
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Old 20-12-2017, 14:23   #8
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

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Originally Posted by DeepCut View Post
While I like your tender, I am in need of an inflatable tender... 9.5 to 11 ft range and would appreciate suggested makes/models.
Highfields are very popular now. They make both PVC and Hypolon so make sure you get the hypolon one. I've had Achilles, Brig and AB RIBs, (all hypolon). All a bit bigger than ten feet. Now I've got the 10'03" aluminum Highfield. Only two seasons so far but very pleased. Nice little touches like good lifting rings, bow locker and good seat. The seat on my AB broke the first time I came off a small wave. It only had one lifting ring in the bow, had to install another two. The Brig's transom was only solid down to the outboard clamps. I found this out when drilling to install low lifting rings. I had to use aluminum spacers. It was a very wet dink.My Achilles might still be floating but it'd be in Greenland by now. I used to tow the dink in those days and had to cut it free in a blow.
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Old 20-12-2017, 20:44   #9
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

That's a great looking Spindrift. I have a 10N that I bought fully built from the guy who cut my replacement bowsprit in to shape. I had already decided that I liked the design and he had just built one.

Would have liked to have built myself, but at the time had too many projects on the big boat.

I really like the Spindrift. Only complaint is the low freeboard. If I were to build one, I'd look in to adding 1-2" more, although this would increase the height when stored on deck.

I have made a few small changes. I added a rope rub rail several years ago. Mostly for looks but it is handy for not marking up Argyle when she bumps in to her. I also re-cut the sail to allow for a higher boom height. I found that with the sail sheeted in, the boom was very low, making tacking very difficult. Before, the best way to sail her was to sit damp-assed on the deck. That's fine for racing, but not what I wanted, so I cut about 6" off the bottom of the sail. Still plenty of sail area. I also added Perrel bead hanks and removed the mast sleeve that the sail from B&B came with. Now I can strike the sail down all the way and flake it on the boom like a normal boat.

I also reinforced the bottom with some fiberglass cloth on the leading edge and the transom base, a few layers of epoxy on the whole bottom and a stainless steel rub rail along the length of the keel.







In nested configuration, she also fits nicely on the foredeck.



We generally row our use a Minn Kota 50 lb trolling motor, but if we need to go a long way, we also have a Tohatsu 2.5.

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Old 20-12-2017, 21:02   #10
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

I have had AB's and a couple of Avons; I like the Avons although they are spendy and -- no longer made!

We have this "which tender?" discussions every few months. Different people have different preferences.

I personally prefer inflatable for seaworthiness and load capacity and no need for fenders. I prefer RIBs for planing ability and directional stability. I sometimes use the tender to land on beaches in non-calm weather, and for that you really don't want something which can be swamped and sunk. YMMV.

Inflatables can also be deflated which helps a lot with stowage, which is a serious problem on any boat under 90' I think. My latest RIB, an Avon Lite 310, has a folding transom, so it deflates and folds up into an incredibly compact package and stows in a bag, which easily and neatly fits on my foredeck. It is really light and easy to handle and stow, so I find myself rarely using the davits, which means the boat is clean and free of the huge windage you get from carrying a dinghy in davits, and also free of worries of the dinghy shifting around in the davits in rough weather. This dinghy is not as fast or seaworthy as the previous big heavy wheel steered Avon 340, and no more do I use the dinghy for open sea trips or even across the Solent, but I can live with that. It is light years better than an air floor and planes nicely with two people, and holds plenty of groceries. It's my favorite dinghy so far out of 25 years of different ones.

That's just my preferences; others will have different ones, and every choice of tender brings a different set of compromises.
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Old 20-12-2017, 21:31   #11
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepCut View Post
While I like your tender, I am in need of an inflatable tender... 9.5 to 11 ft range and would appreciate suggested makes/models.
for $1150 at Defender the Zodiac 10-2 'WAVE" is great! 4 years not any air or water leaky
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Old 21-12-2017, 01:50   #12
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

If stowage isn't an issue, a hard dink makes total sense because yeah, inflatables are disposable.
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Old 21-12-2017, 02:57   #13
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

The latest version of my cruising tender is a 9-foot carbon/kevlar/epoxy rowing dinghy I built last winter, using the original vinylester/glass dinghy I had built years ago as a plug to pull a mold from. Weighs less than 1/3 of the original, which was what the wife wanted. Lots of posts about it, with photos, on my blog, if you care to scroll down a few posts.
Though the latest post is a good read too, if I do say so myself...
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Old 21-12-2017, 03:24   #14
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Re: Tenders What do you like?

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Weighs less than 1/3 of the original, which was what the wife wanted. Lots of posts about it, with photos, on my blog, if you care to scroll down a few posts.
Very interesting, whats the complete (incl. oars) weight of the boat in the end? I always wondered why there are not more carbon fiber dinghys. Compared to what a standard hypalon RIB costs the price increase of using carbon fiber instead of glass fiber is totally acceptable.
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Old 21-12-2017, 03:30   #15
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pirate Re: Tenders What do you like?

I like inflateables.. slat floored and capable of running a 5hp ob.. the ECO 230/260 fit my needs nicely and at £300 suit my pocket as well. Gets on a plane nicely with just me on board.
Have owned a couple over the years.. Nice
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