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Old 11-01-2018, 16:42   #1
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What dinghy to buy

Looking at dinghies for trip down from Oxnard to Panama. Recommendations??? Was thinking of Coastal type since will be close to shore most of time.
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Old 11-01-2018, 17:48   #2
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Re: What dinghy to buy

Are you asking about a dinghy or a liferaft?
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Old 11-01-2018, 18:25   #3
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Re: What dinghy to buy

I would choose an offshore 6 person because you may end up 1500 miles offshore like a couple of MX fishermen.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:19   #4
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Re: What dinghy to buy

I have a coastal life raft. Was wondering about hard or soft dinghy?
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Old 12-01-2018, 17:41   #5
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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I have a coastal life raft. Was wondering about hard or soft dinghy?
You need to start with looking at where you will store it while offshore. Most of the cruising boats you'll see in Mexico will have inflatables. If you are not doing a roll up, then I like an aluminium RIB. They are lighter than the fiberglass ones. Having good dinghy wheels is really helpful in the surf landings in western Mex.and Central America.
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Old 12-01-2018, 18:05   #6
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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Looking at dinghies for trip down from Oxnard to Panama. Recommendations??? Was thinking of Coastal type since will be close to shore most of time.


Iím not sure what a ďcoastal typeĒ is. However as has already been posted you need to size your dinghy to your offshore storage location.

For us that morphed from an inflatable floor roll-up to a folding transom rib that fits between the mast and the dodger.
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:11   #7
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Re: What dinghy to buy

G2Sail,

What matters is, as stated above, how much space and where is it on your boat? For our rib, which we carry on the foredeck, with the air mostly out of the tubes, we measured the available space and wrote it down, before we even went looking at dinghies.

Until you tell us how much room you have, I don't think we can make a reasonable recommendation.

If you choose a larger dinghy, also consider where and how you want to store the outboard motor.

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Old 12-01-2018, 20:31   #8
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Re: What dinghy to buy

Jim is correct. You will have it on the foredeck most of the time unless you have davits. I enter our boat through the stern so donít want davits. The best material is hypalon, not PVC. Then itís a tossup between Air Floor or Fiberglass/Aluminum rib. I have an air Floor Avon, not made anymore, going on season 16. Itís a little rough, but still ok. I think I will replace it with a fiberglass rib when it finally bites the dust, but itís hard to beat the air floor for weight and a lack of damage bringing it on-board with the spinnaker halyard. I store the motor on an Edson stern rail mount and use an Ocean Marine Systems crane that I can handle the 5HP Lehr with one hand. I generally tow when cruising to increase my visibility forward from the cockpit, motor not on the dinghy. In rough conditions and when not cruising, itís between the mast and the anchor windlass on the foredeck, upside down and lashed down with straps. Iíve towed across nW Gulf of Mexico passage for 50hours, but had great conditions with seas generally 2 feet or less.

I have ridden some in a fiberglass rib and liked the ride and it seemed a little bit more stable to stand in. It will however, beat up your hull more getting it on board. If you are going ashore on rocky shore, then air floor not a good choice. My use is sand, mud, small rounded river stones.

I know in a year or two Iím going to have to replace mine and I like the idea of the fiberglass rib, but at 70 years old, I know an air floor will run out my sailing days and it has been great so far. I think I should be able to find one as well made as the Avon, but havenít looked yet. Hard to say what I will actually do at this point, but it will be hypalon for sure.
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:46   #9
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Re: What dinghy to buy

What size boat do you have? How many people need to use it? Are you planning to have an outboard for it? If you are going to have an outboard then and you don't have davits, then that is a raft that is light enough to haul up on the foredeck, or you have a way to host it with the boom and put it on the cabin top inflated. If you are like me, small boat, no davits, no engine and a family of four and I WANT to be able to paddle fast and into a headwind then I can recommend what I have. It rolls up and goes in the cockpit or on the foredeck. Holds 850 lbs. and very stable. I don't own stock in the company but maybe I should.https://www.seaeagle.com/ExplorerKayaks/420X
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:58   #10
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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What size boat do you have? How many people need to use it? Are you planning to have an outboard for it? If you are going to have an outboard then and you don't have davits, then that is a raft that is light enough to haul up on the foredeck, or you have a way to host it with the boom and put it on the cabin top inflated. If you are like me, small boat, no davits, no engine and a family of four and I WANT to be able to paddle fast and into a headwind then I can recommend what I have. It rolls up and goes in the cockpit or on the foredeck. Holds 850 lbs. and very stable. I don't own stock in the company but maybe I should.https://www.seaeagle.com/ExplorerKayaks/420X
That looks like a good choice for a small boat or a no outboard setup. Do you think they are built strong enough to last 5+ years in heavy use?
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Old 12-01-2018, 21:09   #11
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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That looks like a good choice for a small boat or a no outboard setup. Do you think they are built strong enough to last 5+ years in heavy use?
Mine seems pretty tough, but I don't abuse it. What would you call "heavy use?" Would it survive kids dragging it around on a beach a lot? Yeah. Would it survive smooth beach rocks, yeah. If sand gets in the valves, they are not bad for cleaning out. In 4 years of relatively mild use (only trips to the beach and summer trips to the islands) I have had no leaks yet, no problems at all. I drag mine over rocks and all the floor gets is some scratches but not deep. The floor and inflatable floor are separate. BTW you can stand on the inflatable floor when it is fully inflated...pretty rigid. I have seen SIMILARLY built kayaks get heavy use on river trips for 5 years (which included leaving them in the sun inflated.) I don't leave mine fully inflated in the sun, and I don't drag it over barnacles and mussels (though I think it could survive that) but that seems a small price to pay for its advantages for me. With those points of care and daily use I'd bet it would be good for 5 years.
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Old 12-01-2018, 21:13   #12
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Re: What dinghy to buy

Don
Heavy use to me is using it as full-time cruiser, aka the family car. In and out to beaches and dock almost everyday. Left out in the midday tropical sun. That kind of use. A decent RIB will make 5+ years of that, maybe longer with chaps.
Either way, it looks like a good rowing setup.
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Old 18-01-2018, 17:36   #13
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Re: What dinghy to buy

It might struggle to carry a full run of provisions out to my anchorage!
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Old 18-01-2018, 22:18   #14
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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It might struggle to carry a full run of provisions out to my anchorage!
It can carry 855 lbs. That's not a bad load of tri-tip and grog I'd say And it is pretty stable with a load too.
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Old 18-01-2018, 23:46   #15
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Re: What dinghy to buy

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It might struggle to carry a full run of provisions out to my anchorage!
I saw "full rum provisions" before re-reading this.
My brain was picturing too many 750ml bottles in a dinghy.
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