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Old 10-06-2008, 08:51   #1
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Who carries a hard dinghy while cruising?

I'm wondering who out there is using a hard, planing dinghy? My last time cruising I suffered the pains and indignities of deflatables and I vowed I would have a hard dinghy next time. I know of the Livingstons, Twin vee, Carolina skiff, and Whalers (which are way too heavy for my use); are there any other planing solid dinghy hulls out there? I would be carrying it on davits most of the time. If all you've ever used is deflatables, don't try to sell me on them. If you've carried a hard, Planing dinghy but then went back to a deflatable I would be interested in hearing why.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:09   #2
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Actually, I carry a hard dinghy - but it isn't a "planing" dinghy - it is a sailing dinghy. I can row it, sail it, or motor it. I carry it on the foredeck.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:23   #3
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I got the hard dingy for the weekend trips and now just pull it behind for island exploring or shallow water fishing. We did carry it on deck a few times for some longer trips but on a 30' boat it was not fun taking it on or off the boat. We got a 9' Caribe hard bottom now for the long trips and it is a little easier to get up and off the boat..... the wife like it better also.

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Old 10-06-2008, 10:22   #4
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Fishspearit, I used an 8 1/2 foot Sabot sailing/rowing dinghy which I just gave away. No, it was not a dinghy designed to plane under power. I found that the following deficits outweighed all advantages:

1. It cannot be stowed below decks, it interfered with visibility/movement if stowed on deck (and of course, like any other dinghy it should not be stowed on davits offshore, or in heavy conditions);
2. It is much less stable to get into and out of than an inflatable.
3. It is less stable under power than an inflatable.
3. It had a tendancy to 'bang' into the transom or topsides when reversing, anchoring. or just while drifting when under anchor. This not only creates an annoying below deck noise when sleeping, it tends, even with a decent rubrail, to scrape/abrade the topsides of the mothership.

A good quality, hypalon inflatable eliminates all of those problems and has, in my experience, proven to be anything but a 'deflatable', as you call it. No, it does not row as well as a hard-dinghy (nor does it sail), but having used both, I returned to the inflatable for the reasons cited.

If your principal concern is durability and the ability to plane readily under power, why not go with a hypalon RIB? You need not worry about damage to the bottom anymore than on a Boston Whaler, etc., but you will have more stability and it won't go 'bump' in the night. In addition, it will also likely be lighter than an all frp dinghy designed for planing under power (and additional weight aft on davits will affect your trim and sailing performance). Finally, in a pinch, many inflatable RIB's are small enough once deflated to be temporarily stowed below when conditions get truly awful (for example, on the v-berth).

If your only experience with an inflatable was one made of PVC rather than Hypalon, then you may want to reconsider your options, or at least your opinions about all of them being undesireable as 'deflatables'.

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Old 10-06-2008, 10:35   #5
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I carry a hard planning dingy. It is 8' with a 9.9 hp. Great for two people. The dinghy is called a Boss Boat. It looks like a RIB except it is all glass. The top of what would be the inflated part is flattened and has non-skip molded in to it. You sit on it just like you would a inflatable. It has the buoyancy and stability of an inflatable with all the benefits of a hard. I have stood on the back corner next to the engine without tipping or sinking. I do keep it on davits but donít think it would be too big of a problem to move on deck with the engine removed.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:41   #6
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ZolaSail, Thanks, the boss boat is one that I was not familiar with. It looks good, but is a lot more expensive than most of the other hard dinghys. It costs as much as a RIB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
1. It cannot be stowed below decks, it interfered with visibility/movement if stowed on deck (and of course, like any other dinghy it should not be stowed on davits offshore, or in heavy conditions);
2. It is much less stable to get into and out of than an inflatable.
3. It is less stable under power than an inflatable.
3. It had a tendancy to 'bang' into the transom or topsides when reversing, anchoring. or just while drifting when under anchor. This not only creates an annoying below deck noise when sleeping, it tends, even with a decent rubrail, to scrape/abrade the topsides of the mothership.
I've had a hard sailing/rowing dinghy, and I agree it's a poor choice compared to the RIB for cruising.
It seems the catamaran dinghys like Livingston and Twin-vee overcome the first 3 of your points. They are not much heavier than a 'flatable, just as stable, and far more durable and longer lasting, as well as being easier to fix. They also cost less. The banging against the side of the hull is a more valid point and something I would have to deal with using small fenders and good white rubrail.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:50   #7
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I am sitting in the bar in Colon, Panama and JB has a hard dinghy and he says its because he does a lot of fishing and barracuda have sharp teeth.

We don't go fishing and have an inflatable with a soft bottom that rolls up into a small ball in the lazarrette. I like ours



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Old 10-06-2008, 11:59   #8
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I am sitting in the bar in Colon, Panama and JB has a hard dinghy and he says its because he does a lot of fishing and barracuda have sharp teeth.
What kind of dinghy does JB have? I like to spearfish so I often have lots of sharp objects that I'm carrying around and throwing into the dinghy, hence another reason for the fiberglass style.
I imagine most of what you see in Colon are inflatable, if I were a globe trotting ocean crosser I would be thinking along different lines, but I just plan on coastal cruising through the Caribbean.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:01   #9
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I have a hard dinghy it is a Walker bay 8 foot. I carry it on the davit.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:50   #10
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we carried one for about two weeks and that was all we could stand. It went by-by real fast and we went to inflatable and never looked back.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:55   #11
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We don't go fishing and have an inflatable with a soft bottom that rolls up into a small ball in the lazarrette. I like ours
Hey Mark - what soft bottom model do you have? We're looking for an affordable RIB but in the meantime might get a softy. There are two of us aboard so it makes sense to have two options to get ashore in the long term and I like idea of redundancy.
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:00   #12
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Adding to the thread...

I, too, am interested in a hard dinghy because I'd like to row or sail it sometimes, in addition to planing.

Is all of that mutually exclusive?

Is there a dinghy somewhere in the world that will:

1) Be stable to board like a RIB
2) Take beaching like a RIB/Hard glass dingy
3) Not deflate (sick of pumping up my leaky Caribe every time I use it)
4) Plane with the 265lbs that make up my wife and I, plus some gear
5) Row efficiently
6) Possibly be used to sail as well (not very important)

Does anyone know of a dinghy like this in production?
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Old 10-06-2008, 13:19   #13
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Sean, you can get a sailing dinghy with inflatable tube (now available in Hypalon, if I recall correctly) from Walker Bay that will be stable and will also row well, but I suspect that it won't get up on a plane. If you just want an RIB for motoring and rowing, I suspect that any with hypalon tubes will do the trick. On the other hand, if you buy one with PVC tubes, you can guarantee a very short life-expectancy.

As to rigid hulls without surrounding tubes that are as stable as RIB's or inflatables, I have zero personal experience. On the other hand, if you really only need to carry the two of you (and some supplies), the Boss Boat does sound pretty decent.

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Old 10-06-2008, 13:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
we carried one for about two weeks and that was all we could stand. It went by-by real fast and we went to inflatable and never looked back.
Can we get any more info Chuck, like what kind did you have and what didn't you like about it?

Sean, check out the Livingston Livingston Boats - Home and the twin-vee Twin Vee Catamarans - Home
I wonder how they would sail if you hung a lee board off the side? Kanani hasn't been on the forum for a while, but I've read quite a few posts by him about how much he loves his Livingston, which is what got me interested in that one.

I remember when I was out cruising quite a few years ago I ran across a guy on a J-30 who had a twin vee dinghy and loved it. I wish I could remember how he carried it, but I know he was a regular on the ICW and Bahamas. I also met a guy in Puerto Rico who swore up and down how his 12' Carolina skiff was the greatest cruising dinghy in the world. He was carrying his on davits on a Morgan OI 41.
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Old 10-06-2008, 14:39   #15
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we had a beautiful fiberglass dinghy that had sails, rowed great and looked like a small dory. It was so tippy we almost went in the drink I don't know how many times. It would not carry any weight and with two people you only had about 10" of freeboard, scary in any chop. It banged the heck out of the hull and anything else it collided with and our friends hauled out all of their fenders when we pulled along side. And there were a few other things too. Then there was the issue of stowing it.
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