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Old 19-06-2010, 20:05   #1
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Walker Bay Rigid 8' Dinghy - Experiences ?

I need a new dinghy. However, I wanted something I could hopefully store on the foredeck (under the staysail boom... um, right), row very well, be reasonably bullet-proof (my stomping grounds are shells and rocks that would turn an inflatable floor into ribbons in short order), be light enough that I could man-handle onto the boat single-handed, and not cost a fortune. RIBs would stow, but good ones are muchos spendy and also require an outboard which would add more $$ and another system to my life. And they row like an inner-tube. Inflatable deck? Would last one trip ashore (maybe 5 if I was careful) before I was madly rowing back to the mother ship in an increasingly flacid three-day-old party balloon. Porta-bote? Maybe, but I'm a believer in simple-is-better and this just seems like a level of complexity that I don't need. Kayak?

Anyway, after torturing myself for weeks (okay, months), I *think* I have a decision - a Walker Bay 8'4" rigid dinghy. Reasonably cheap, can take a beating, light (<75 lb.), and evidently rows pretty well. With some on-deck contortions, I think I can just bring her aboard myself and stow for passages or just to keep her from the hands of ne'er do wells...

I've looked at the Minto, the Fatty Knees,the Whitehall and I think every other rigid dink out there. The only complaint I've found about the WB8 is that the oar locks wear to ovals with a lot of use, so I'm thinking I can find a way to replace with something more robust. While it is not "cheap", compared to 5k+ for RIB+motor, or (gasp) 11k for a whitehall, it's practically disposable.

A long post for a reasonably simple question, but... does anyone have any direct experience with this dinghy? Pros or cons? I will be rowing everywhere, so its rowing efficiency is extremely important to me - thoughts? Recommendations as to oar lengths or other mods I should be thinking about to make my life easier?

Now, what will become my new obsession...? Hmm... I've never researched windlasses...
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Old 19-06-2010, 21:38   #2
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It is a pretty durable little dink. Mine has a few bumps and bruises on the bottom to prove it. As you can see, I'm not a big guy but can get it up on deck without too much bother. I have a 2 1/2 hp Mariner on mine, but have never rowed it. However a dock neighbor rows his everywhere. For the money it's a good dink if you don't need to go fast.

It is a wee bit tippy. I met a guy in Cartagena, Colombia last mont that had one of the RID 275's. This one. RID 275 | Rigid Inflatable Dinghy | Features

It weighs 89 lbs, but much more stable, can still be rowed or sailed and carries a larger motor. He has been diving from it for 2 1/2 years and loves it.

Hope this helps.
Ralph
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Old 19-06-2010, 21:53   #3
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You're talking about my favorite toy. I realy enjoy sailing mine, where it sounds like you're more into rowing. Since they are pretty rugged, you can pick up a used one in great shap relatively cheap. I made a 3 point harness so I could pick it up with a halyard by myself. But I don't need to because my boarding ladder doubles as a davits for it.
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Old 20-06-2010, 11:33   #4
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They row and sail ok but they are heavy. If it is roto mold process check out how easy or difficult it is to fix. It was difficult for me anyways.

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Old 20-06-2010, 13:43   #5
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I have one, I added the add-on hypalon floats. While the floats work quite well, they are extremely expensive and mine seem to always leak. Haven't done too much rowing but a 2 HP Honda 4 stroke works pretty well. I've sailed it some and my only complaint there is that the sail fits over the mast with a sock. You either have full main or none. If the wind started to pick up I suppose I would have to scandalize the main by tying the boom up to the mast.

A bit heavier, very stable, but without sail option would be a Livingston cathedral hull. The 7.5 footer is around 90-100 lbs. New, they are around $1,000, a friend just bought a used one for around $200-300. His motors well and rows well. Just a thought.

Rich
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Old 20-06-2010, 14:03   #6
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At last someone's got the same tender ideas

Willkommen bei Doering-Boot

Just bought a used one of these with sails, should row nicely, not a bit fan of outboards although I may get a 2.5 for the longer distances..
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Old 21-06-2010, 06:29   #7
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bought a new 8 ft walker bay for my last delivery,rowed well even into 20 knots of wind with one person,hard work with 3,and difficult with 2 unless you loaded up the front.
would reccomend having a 2 hp out board and the floats for stability,also an alloy strip on the keel as would wear throngh very fast on coral landings.

but all in all a good dingy and very light.

<LI class=g>British sailor saves Kanton islanders from starvation | World news ...

10 May 2010 ... Alex Bond sailor Alex Bond, from Cornwall, helped to rescue a group of "desperate and starving" residents from Kanton Island - an atoll ...
www.guardian.co.uk/world/.../british-yachtsman-kanton-island-resue - Cached
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Old 21-06-2010, 19:35   #8
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flotation, keel protection, sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I have one, I added the add-on hypalon floats. While the floats work quite well, they are extremely expensive and mine seem to always leak. Haven't done too much rowing but a 2 HP Honda 4 stroke works pretty well. I've sailed it some and my only complaint there is that the sail fits over the mast with a sock. You either have full main or none. If the wind started to pick up I suppose I would have to scandalize the main by tying the boom up to the mast.



Rich
The factory flotation looks great, but I've seen them go bad and it just seems a sad waste of money. I fabricated flotation by having some 9 ft long Phifertex (sp) mesh tubes made up that I fill with Stowaway fenders. These lash to the gunnels and work really well. The flotation makes a huge diff not only in stability but also in the silence of no hull bumping against my mothership hull. And I can remove them easily, where the factory tubes are not so easily removed. So for long term storage, I have a real positive there.

As far as the alloy strip on the keel goes, sounds good, but I would rather just take care not to cut the keel on coral than have the thru bolts for the strip. Maybe a rubber strip? But adhereing to the hull material might be a challenge. But really, hull the material is pretty tough.

And sailing it is great. Of course there are times when it kicks up too much, but I sail mine every chance I get and it just helps me to know what I can and can't do with the big boat as well as the little one.

I stow the whole sailing rig by cleanly rolling the sail around the boom and mast and putting it all in one long canvas sock I made. I then stow that in the liflelines. Works slick. As with anything, you simply sort out what works for you as you go along.

Someone once said that learning to sail on a big boat is a little like learning to drive in an 18 wheeler.

I do have a 2.5 hp engine for mine. Don't use it much because I don't use my Walker Bay as the "get there and back" dink. I carry 2 dinks on my 36 ft boat. My "go fast" dink is an inflatable. I sold my last one, so I am between inflatables at the moment because I'm in Asia and my boat is in Mexico. I plan to pick up a folding transome RIB when I'm ready to buy again.
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Old 21-06-2010, 20:09   #9
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I picked up a WB with sail rig and even the flotation bag for under the seat. $300 off craigs list! For once I scored a deal! I've yet to row or sail it and plan on using a trolling motor instead of gas.
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Old 21-06-2010, 21:02   #10
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I have the 8 footer, a great little dinghy, row's very nicely with one but a bit of a dog with two. Also have an old 4 hp evinrude for it and I find it motors extremely well on very little throttle. Also tows nicely behind my Fisher.
Rob.
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Old 21-06-2010, 21:26   #11
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I picked up a WB with sail rig and even the flotation bag for under the seat. $300 off craigs list! For once I scored a deal!.
Yep. That's what I was trying to say earlier. But to get it at that price with the sail kit is a killer deal. Not everybody loves them so they can be picked up 2nd hand in great condition. I wouldn't get too excited about the flotation bag though. Somebody out there must think they are a great asset. But the seats are already flotation.
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Old 21-06-2010, 22:49   #12
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Yep. That's what I was trying to say earlier. But to get it at that price with the sail kit is a killer deal. Not everybody loves them so they can be picked up 2nd hand in great condition. I wouldn't get too excited about the flotation bag though. Somebody out there must think they are a great asset. But the seats are already flotation.
I own a 10' WB with the bag, can't upset it, built my own sailing rig cost $99. for the used and self modified sail, can push it as hard as I want. Hypalon bag an absolute as the PVC bag is garbage. The wood mast, rudder & dagger board look great and get lots of lookers.
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Old 21-06-2010, 23:50   #13
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I own a 10' WB with the bag, can't upset it, built my own sailing rig cost $99. for the used and self modified sail, can push it as hard as I want. Hypalon bag an absolute as the PVC bag is garbage. The wood mast, rudder & dagger board look great and get lots of lookers.
The bag that Denise030 is talking about and the Hypalon "bag" you're talking about are 2 different animals. The yellow-under the seat- bag is...... While you're talking about the flotation tubes. Agreed. That flotation is worthwhile.
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Old 22-06-2010, 07:34   #14
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Yes, the bag. for under the seats. As in canoe sailing, I plan to get out there and get wet sometime in the next week or so. Just to see what it takes to knock her down! the little Centerboard looks like it wont hold up to any kind of abuse, but I guess it would just bend. Oh mine has a alum mast and boom, wood oars but I have a pair of Alum oars from west marine too.
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Old 22-06-2010, 08:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I have one, I added the add-on hypalon floats. While the floats work quite well, they are extremely expensive and mine seem to always leak. Haven't done too much rowing but a 2 HP Honda 4 stroke works pretty well. I've sailed it some and my only complaint there is that the sail fits over the mast with a sock. You either have full main or none. If the wind started to pick up I suppose I would have to scandalize the main by tying the boom up to the mast.

A bit heavier, very stable, but without sail option would be a Livingston cathedral hull. The 7.5 footer is around 90-100 lbs. New, they are around $1,000, a friend just bought a used one for around $200-300. His motors well and rows well. Just a thought.

Rich
Hi! The PVC floats on my 10'WB did not leak (surprise!) but the sun pretty well ate up the upper layer to the weave. Looked horrible. Before the WB had 10' Zodiac PVC for 15 years but then needed a spruce up. Found a product made in Vancouver BC "TUFF" 2-part coating for inflatables
<tuff-corp.com> worked really good so I coated the WB floats. Looks good now. Bit of labor to get it right but it's worth it. Put it on correctly and it will seal up pin holes. Must let it cure fully before re-inflating.
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