Ours is the usual Australian cruising catamaran tender
setup of an aluminium "tinnie" with flotation under the seats, room for 4 and it used to plane easily even with a load thanks to the 15HP Yamaha outboard
. I say used to plane, because some lowlife stole our motor
only a few weeks ago, as the tinnie sat on the lawn at the slipway.... New motor
(thanks to our wonderful insurance
company) will be lighter but I wouldn't change anything else about the setup, even though there is a potential for swamping with dinghies carried on davits
. I guess we'll be inside the reef for the next couple of years and the gunwales of the dinghy
do ride over 2m above the wet stuff... between our sterns, so we have more stern flotation to counter the dinghy-on-davits than an equivalent length monohull
. The gunwales have holes for bolts that go through their support chocks on the davits
, so it's fixed solid with no pendulum motion to increase the loading in a seaway.
As for fun: maybe one day (when we're not so busy cruising) we'll build a cold-moulded sailing dinghy
. Meanwhile kayaks are a lot of fun in non-crocodile areas!
Interesting that the Americans tend to have inflatables/RIBs - we have to dodge coral
and crocodiles here in Oz so solid tenders seem to be the preferred way to go. Ours has wheels which help as long as the sand and mud isn't too soft.
As for anchoring
in a tide range - continuous rode
from bow to stern with an anchor
and a couple of metres of chain which slides along the rode
thanks to a ring at the rode end of the chain. If the tide is coming in just anchor
near shore and take the loop of rode to a post or rock to secure it, if it's going out then anchor deep and row in, pull it out to the anchor and tie off the loop. So simple yet so few people seem to use this method. When I lived on the Hawkesbury River, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e did it this way and it helped the commuters avoid getting their work clothes muddy :-)