Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2011, 12:19   #1
Registered User
Sabbatical II's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lake Macquarie
Boat: Bluewater 420 CC
Posts: 756
Images: 1
Will I Regret Buying a Rowing Dinghy ?

I've read most of the other threads & almost all seem to prefer a RIB with a high powered outboard on a cruising boat. I am used to a rowing dingy and don't even carry an outboard on my current boat which mostly stays close to home on Lake Macquarie. My new 42' which is taking forever to build will go far from home and I am agonising over the dingy choice. If I hadn't read so much about RIBs here I would have just bought a 10' Walker Bay rowing dingy and put a small outboard on the stern rail for occasional use. Also, being a centre cockpit with a permanent inner forestay, there is no logical place on deck to put the dingy when underway so both a RIB and a hard dingy would have to stay on the davits when underway. The davits are better than most in that they pull the dingy well off the water and 50% of the beam of the dingy ends up over the sugar scoop anyway, so it would take an absolute monster to clobber the dingy from astern.

If I did buy the rowing dingy with the occasional outboard, when am I going to regret it?


Sabbatical II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 12:22   #2
Moderator Emeritus
hummingway's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gabriola Island & Victoria, British Columbia
Boat: Cooper 416 Honeysuckle
Posts: 6,932
Images: 5
I row when ever I'm going a short distance or not facing a strong current. I've an Avon RIB so not a good row boat. I use the motor to cover distance mostly.

“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

hummingway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 12:31   #3
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 18,343
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61

Yup.... your gonna really regret it when all those ribs leave you rocking in their wake...
But a small rowing dinghy's fine... I mostly row nowadays.... does it have flotation chambers..??
“I do not exist to impress the world.
I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy. ”

boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 12:42   #4
Registered User
rover88's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Panhandle of Florida USA
Boat: Bristol 34
Posts: 328
Images: 4
I think the Pardleys had good advice on this. For a short trem cruise the inflatable/outboard option is preferable, but if going off for long term voyages a hard dink is best. Nice thing about the hard dink is you have the option of mounting a motor, whereas rowing an inflatable is frustrating to impossible in some conditions.
rover88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 12:59   #5
Registered User
GorillaToast's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ohio
Boat: Catalina 22
Posts: 147
I would think rowing would be a better upper body workout than turning the speed control or pushing and pulling the motor tiller, and wouldn't be bad for your heart either. Do you plan an exercise regimine while cruising?
GorillaToast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 13:12   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Boat: Saugeen Witch, Colvin design vessel name: Witchcraft
Posts: 383
Images: 14
There is a case to made for both, much is personal preference. There were areas that I would have considered difficult and perhaps impossible without an engine. Timing would cure that problem in tidal currents, the trade off being timing being a consideration.
If one does not suit after trying it out you are allowed to change your mind.
witchcraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 13:38   #7
Sponsoring Vendor
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 2,892
Originally Posted by GorillaToast View Post
I would think rowing would be a better upper body workout than turning the speed control or pushing and pulling the motor tiller, and wouldn't be bad for your heart either. Do you plan an exercise regimine while cruising?

Oh Yeah. I guess you've never been in a current heading towards the rocks and had a small outboard flood before!
Tellie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 13:59   #8
Registered User
PamlicoTraveler's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Depends
Boat: SB 43' Cutter
Posts: 677
Images: 13
If this guy can paddle, so can you!
The next best thing to playing and winning
is playing and losing ...
PamlicoTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 14:00   #9
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Please dont laugh...

I row out to Boracay almost every day using a 2m fibreglass dinghy, and when my SO comes we use a 9' aluminium dinghy, also rowing (made 2m oars, commercial ones too short).

We've tried an airfloor with a 5hp outboard. Just too heavy, cumbersome, desirable and fragile round Sydney.

So as I row out each day I dream of the perfect dinghy. So far it must be:-
* 20 Kg or less
* stable (at least 1.2m beam)
* row well
* be durable
* have noticeable untheif properties
* take a small outboard (2hp) with integral tank.
* have highly social fenders.
* be boardable from the water (like an inflatable).

My design for the perfect dinghy, all in my head so far, is a catamaran, prototyped using stitch and epoxy glue using strips of 7 mm pine ply (no knots, "A" bond) and covered with light fibreglass cloth. I'd glue on that blue gym mat foam for fendering.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fantasy Dinghy001.jpg
Views:	280
Size:	359.6 KB
ID:	23515  
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 14:00   #10
Senior Cruiser
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,196
I don't think you have to look at it as something you will be required to live with forever. If you design your choices to give you options later, you can decide what works best for you and move on. By that I mean, get something that will sell. I'm a "horse trading" sort of guy and that philosophy just works for me. But I also fall into the trap of winding up with all the toys. (those of you who know me personally, please stop laughing)

If you want to hit the ignore button now, I understand.

One important point that makes it work. I don't buy new very often. New instantly turns into old as far as value goes. But "old" can be in new condition.

I will mention here that I'm on a 36 ft boat and I carry one of each. And each has it's own outoard. It took a bunch of head scratching, but in the end they both live on the boat in very conventional ways... sort of. (My boarding ladder and stern arch do double duty and act as davits for my Walker Bay 8. Very slick). Point is, your new boat is 6 ft longer than mine, and while I realize it's a center cockpit, there are dinks that make surprisingly small but effective packages. More on that below.

Walker Bay 10. Very good boat. Not easy to resell. I've only had one pass thru my life. The 8 ft is more popular (IMHO) because the 10 ft is a monster compared to the 8 ft. The 8 ft just fits more people lives.

There have been some RIBs come on the market that have folding transomes. They go by the "lite" designation. Besides being able to deflate into small packages, people actually do it!! Buy that I mean that with other inflatables, even air floors, people rarely stow them deflated for passages. Too much pain to make the ready to launch otherwise.

I seriously enjoy my Walker Bay. That's because I sail it. Of course I can row it as well. There was a time when I was living in a slip that I even used it's outboard motor alot.

While I do seriously enjoy my WB, my "Go Fast" gets more useful miles on it.

So I vote, pick up a second hand Walker Bay (you won't find too many 10 footers, but if you do and that's what you want, get it. Just don't buy it new, and remember that it will not likely sell as easily as the 8 ft).

Get the sail kit, have fun and don't beat yourself up for not choosing an RIB. You can get one of those too. Many important advantages to having 2 dinks. That's a whole other thread.

Do get external flotation for the WB. Big plus. My flotation is not factory.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Jame alias Boston Blacky.jpg
Views:	320
Size:	426.3 KB
ID:	23516  
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 14:21   #11
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 16,510
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
when you are looking hot and every one else is not-- you will be soo glad you keep tellin yerself that--i have to tell me that-- i use kayak and a row dink.. 8'walker bay--i also have a roll up with small outboard-- we will see how long it takes me to get another rib and big engine..or whine about not having one......
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 14:24   #12
Armchair Bucketeer
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Not directly relevant - but a 9 foot Avon inflatable can get onto a plane........under oars

Admittedly only one onboard. and not for great distances but once you are up the effort required drops considerably.

.....of course those rubber Avon rowlocks always brought things to an end
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 14:49   #13
Registered User
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 1,398
Dinghies are a very personal choice so you need to think hard about what fits you. I started with an 8' Fatty Knees sailing dinghy. It sailed very well, it rowed well, and putted along nicely with a 2hp outboard. A lot of the rowing performance was down to some nice 8' spruce spoon tips. I landed on a lot of beaches (and more importantly, got off those beaches) with the oars. The downside is that it was just not rugged enough and I was having to repair the hull too often. In the beginning I dragged the dinghy up the beaches (above high tide) but that took a toll on the keel - so I got some large wheels. I rarely sailed her after the first year - I get plenty of sailing in as it is. Motoring was fine for modest distances.

While in Venezuela I bought a 2.60m (8.5') AB fiberglass RIB with a 15hp Mercury 2-stroke. The increase in useful range is dramatic, not to mention the speed. Obviously it is more stable for boarding, and has great carrying capacity. It makes anchoring further out, away from the noise and swimmers, a practical possibility. And I have used it as a towboat on a number of occasions. I kept the spoon tips, which help, but ultimately a RIB is not a very satisfactory rowboat. And it is a lot harder to get off a beach without a dunking in an inflatable, at least for me. Although I bought a really nice wheel kit, the extra weight of the RIB makes it difficult to roll up a beach.

I am still considering what to get as a replacement. Weight is a big concern, for taking up a beach more than hoisting aboard. I am unwilling to go back to a 2hp slowpoke but miss the nice rowing, and don't have room for both types aboard my 31'. If I had room for both to be conveniently stored and used then I would have both.

So, back to your question: will you regret buying a rowboat? If you enjoy rowing as I do then the answer is "no". But you may regret not getting a RIB as well. Whatever you do make sure the boat is ruggedly built, can be repaired in a distant location, and weighs as little as possible. And consider a wheel kit - but not the silly 5" wheels that dig furrows in the sand...
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 15:00   #14
Registered User
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,229
Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post

If I did buy the rowing dingy with the occasional outboard, when am I going to regret it?

So far, we haven't. We left the RIB (already owed but in need of a retubing) on shore and switched to a nesting dinghy capable of sailing, rowing and motoring (my 9 year old loves the sailing part), and a Portabote capable of motoring and rowing. We bought a Honda 2 HP, which my smallish wife can one-arm.

So far, so good. We have yet to be in a rolly anchorage, however, but I can't see "going up on the plane" in such conditions, anyway.

You may find my blog posts interesting:
The World Encompassed: Tender moments

The World Encompassed: More tender moments
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 15:19   #15
Senior Cruiser
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 9,155
Send a message via Skype™ to Jim Cate
G'Day Greg,

This subject has been thrashed about endlessly, and it all boils down to what your use will be. If you are gonna go long-term foreign cruising, and live away from marinas much or all of the time, the rowing option becomes less desirable IMO.

Consider Heidi going shopping, say in Noumea... on her own (you're busy fixing the inevitable broken something or other). She sets out from your anchorage in Baie de Orphelinat (the spot you have chosen to get out of the throngs around Marina Moselle) and starts rowing towards town and the shops. It's about 2 klicks (+/-) but what the hey, it's a nice morning. Finally gets there 30 minutes later, ties up at the free dinghy wharf and hits the shops. Returns a while later, laden with provisions. Hmm, the sea breeze has picked up and we now have twenty plus knots on the nose, with attendant chop and it looks like a long row back. Even with a good rowing dinghy, heavily laden, two kilometers upwind isn't a good prospect. She finally gets back to the boat two hours later, sweaty and pissed off and with 8 rolls of wet, soggy bog paper in the bag. The next day you are at the local inflatable dealer buying a RIB and an outboard big enough to get it on a plane... at Noumea prices!

So, OK, this is hyperbole, but really, for the realities of cruising and living away from the ease of marina life, the biggest and fastest and driest dinghy you can afford and manage will become your fondest possession. I haven't seen the deck layout of your new boat, so can't make specific suggestions, but here's what we do on I-2: Our RIB (Gemini alloy hull, 47 kg empty, 3.5 M nominal LOA) is carried on deck, upside down, deflated and between the mast and the baby stay. We arrived at this dink by measuring the DEFLATED size of a lot of different models, and choosing the biggest one that would fit in this spot. Interestingly, not a single dealer knew how big the deflated dinghy he was flogging was... we hadda measure them all! We lift it up bow first with the spinny halyard, lower it on deck to about 45 degrees, let the air out and then suck the remnants out with an electric in/deflater, drop it down the rest of the way and lash it down. Takes about twenty minutes, ain't all that hard to do. The motor (a Yamaha 15 2-stroke) has a home made harness and is lifted off and on with the main halyard and stored on a bracket on the stern rail. Takes about 2-3 minutes, no sweat at all. Can even do all of these things single handed if required. We do tow the thing around in protected waters with the engine off, don't find that a problem -- RIBs tow very well.

I know that the traditionalists will disagree with this approach, but after 24 years of cruising, I'm quite convinced that this is a good tradeoff. We'd be happy to discuss it further next time we're on the lake!

Cheers, and give the builders a kick up the bum... it's time to launch her!

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Towlers Bay, NSW, Oz

Jim and Ann
s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote

buying, dinghy

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Serious Rowing Dinghy sjs General Sailing Forum 6 29-01-2012 20:39
Rowing a Small Cruiser ? Ben M-P Monohull Sailboats 9 02-11-2010 10:13
Portabote Rowing hpeer Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 1 06-02-2010 14:13
Rowing accross the Pacific Delezynski Cruising News & Events 3 30-08-2008 16:03
Anyone Regret NOT going cruising? Wilverine Off Topic Forum 75 06-07-2007 12:58

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:28.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.