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Old 04-03-2011, 18:38   #1
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Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Hey Guys, I'm sure this has been gone over ad-nauseum but I guess I could unearth this discussion again: who makes the best fiberglass dinghies?
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Old 04-03-2011, 18:52   #2
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

There was a company called "Mariposa Custom Crafts" that made the absolute best hand-laid fiberglass dinghies ever conceived. There was the six-foot 'Pocket Pram', the 9-foot 'Oberon' and the flagship model, the Humbug 7. I'm no longer in business, so my dinghies are getting hard to find, but if you have a chance to snap one up, don't let it pass by.
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Old 04-03-2011, 18:52   #3
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

I think the best fiberglass dinks aren't made of fiberglass, they are made of some softer kind of plastic. Gelcoat banging against gelcoat is bad for the dink and the boat.
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Old 04-03-2011, 19:04   #4
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Any decent cruising tender has a rubrail so that gelcoats don't bump each other. The Mariposa Custom Crafts dinghies have amazingly good bumpers. The boats foamcore is talking about are the rotomolded polyethylene ones (walker bay, watertender), which are not fiberglass but the sort of plastic that water jugs are made of. Cheap to make; impossible to repair.
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Old 04-03-2011, 19:06   #5
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Polyethylene can be repaired by "welding" on a new strip. Kayakers do it all the time.

I think the best fiberglass dinks are glass over doorskins. They are nice and light, and last fine if you treat them right.
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Old 05-03-2011, 18:05   #6
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

The best one I've had is a Sabot. Sailed ok, rowed well and motored great. An El Tory would be good too but a bit more expensive. Boath are about 8'.
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Old 05-03-2011, 18:11   #7
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Any decent cruising tender has a rubrail so that gelcoats don't bump each other. The Mariposa Custom Crafts dinghies have amazingly good bumpers. The boats foamcore is talking about are the rotomolded polyethylene ones (walker bay, watertender), which are not fiberglass but the sort of plastic that water jugs are made of. Cheap to make; impossible to repair.
If only they would put a good non-skid floor surface in them. We have one named Flo'--in you get, and out you go.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:10   #8
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

BEN:
Do you still have the (last) Humbug 7 for sale?
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:29   #9
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pirate Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Best I ever had was A Boston Whaler Squall. Big dink, very well made. Still out there used. With fins on and weighing 160# I could board from the water over the bow.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:52   #10
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

i have a 7'4" by 4' fiberglass lapstrake rowing dink of unknown origins (craigslist special) i should post some pictures in hopes of id-ing it...
it is very similar looking to a fatty knees but carries its beam all the way aft more so then a FK...

anyways it is not difficult to put the rail in the water and take water over the rail, but i can still get from the water into the dink on the side, it is not a graceful maneuver but it works, also about 160lbs...
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:09   #11
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

I like rowing boats like these:

Row Boats, Sculling Boats, and Sailing Rowboats from Whitehall

Easy to row in wind and chop. Can be sailed too. Their rotomolded thing looks equally good to me.

Unfortunately, they do not fit on our deck ;-(

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:13   #12
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

Lots of cruisers swear by Livingston Boats tenders. See the link:
Livingston Boats - Model 10

George
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:15   #13
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

the livingstons are very cool, appreciate the stability, but how do they row?
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:45   #14
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

We finally switched to a fiberglass dink after about twenty years with an inflatable. We chose the Livingston and posted it on our website here.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:38   #15
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Re: Best Fiberglass Dinghies

I'll second the Livingston but haven't seen one sailed. They row and motor well and are very stable. One I mentioned earlier should be El Toro not El Tory.
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