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Old 21-08-2015, 08:19   #16
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

I have not tried, but believe I could not right my RIB if it flipped, I feel sure I would have to be in water shallow enough to stand up to right the thing, and I bet with a four stroke being under water for a considerable time, I'd have possibly some real problems there too.
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Old 21-08-2015, 08:48   #17
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

It's not something I'd like to try even in shallow water. As for paddling an inflatable anywhere....

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Old 21-08-2015, 09:02   #18
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

We got rid of our air leaking Walker Bay 10' RIB that came with our boat we purchased back in 2010. The dinghy was up on the aft cabin of our 42' GB and we had to use the boom to put it up and down. No good for two pleasantly aging folks. We bit the bullet, and had a set of hydraulic (electric) Davits (Lester Davits out of Tampa, FL) installed on the transom (uses a key fob to raise and drop), and bought a 10' Bull Frog rigid tender with aluminum hull. We have a 15 HP 4-stroke Tohatsu on it. Yes it is heavier, but those who know it consider it the Sherman tank of dinghys. It will do about 20 to 21 mph with two people at top speed but cruises nicely and economically at around 15 to 16 mph. And... I never have to add air... The bottom can take any rocky or sandy beach you can throw at it.

Company is located in Washington State. They shipped it to us here in Mobile with some other boats coming this way by truck.
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Old 21-08-2015, 09:06   #19
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Without knowing more about your exact situation, I think these are the attributes I would look for:

1. RIB design, either with double fiberglass hull (heavy), single fiberglass hull (wet feet) or alloy. All other choices involve a lot of work to install, maintain, and replace the floor.

2. 3.4m (11') is a wonderful compromise. Holds much more than a 3.1m (10') model, planes more easily, and is not too much more money.

3. Glued hypalon fabric construction by a reputable manufacturer. Hypalon is not actually used as a brand name anymore, from what I remember, so it may be called something else. Pennel Orca fabric from France and Haku fabric from Germany are the modern versions. Glue varies due to the environment in which it was applied, so look for a vendor with a reputation in the tropics, not the boat show or sales room.

4. While I hate the exhaust, a two-stroke engine will give you more overall performance. Some of the smallest 15HP four-stroke engines would be quieter and more fuel efficient, though.

Chuck Hawley
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Old 21-08-2015, 09:19   #20
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

The first thing I consider is:would I want to end up in this dinghy in the middle of the ocean? The second consideration I consider irrelevant. I've used Achilles for the past 30 plus years. They pioneered hypalon,captive oars, scoop blades. I bought my current 10' in 2003 and no dinghy on earth has been more brutalized. I bought a spare set of oars years ago and still haven't had to break them out. The blades will eventually break at the blades. In 1986 my sportfisher, Ruby II sank off Panama 12 miles off of Isla Grande, and we took to the Achilles 8'.I rowed 16 miles into the gulf trying to make Porto Bello,but sunset and fatigue forced me ashore a few miles short of Starbucks place. I,my parrot and a Dane owe our lives to that little Achilles. I use a small outboard that pushes my dink a lot faster than I can row. I don't care about getting up on a plane and the captive scoop oars will power through any wind and sea.
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Old 21-08-2015, 10:04   #21
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

After trying several cheaper brands, I bought a (used) Avon Rover 2.81 (hypalon) and I've been very happy with it. Inflatable floor is a big improvement over wood sections that are difficult to setup.

Of course I'd like a bigger dinghy, but this one deflates and stows without too much trouble on my P30. I don't think I could handle a bigger one all alone.

Same goes for the outboard. I've got a Yamaha 4 stroke 4 horse. I can setup and stow...moving it from the rail to the dinghy, all on my own, provided the waves are small. Wouldn't want anything heavier. Of course I'd love more power, I can't get it to plane, but it would if I weren't so "big". My kids can get it planing, no trouble.

The hypalon means no destruction due to sunlight...but I keep it stowed, deflated, below, most of the time anyway. I like to row, and the solid wood oars and substantial oarlocks are nice. I broke both the oarlocks and the oars on my previous zodiac cadet. They were made for show, not for use.

My second favorite is called SATURN:
SATURN BOATS | saturninflatableboats.ca

I owned one for a short time...very well made, comfortable, and some nice features like pressure release safety valves and extra reinforcement tape on the bottom of the tubes). Very good prices in canadian dollars. With the canadian dollar really low, the prices are very attractive.

And finally, I keep a small extending boathook in the dinghy. I find its invaluable when approaching a dock or another boat. It means I only need to get within about 10' of my target, and can shut off the engine...then grab on with the boathook. That last 10' used to be the source of much frustration and sometimes embarrasment. No more.
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Old 21-08-2015, 10:06   #22
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

I enjoy the dinghy comments here. My dinghy, after suffering many liveaboard years with inflatables, I finally saw the light and got a kimple catch 400 aluminium hard dinghy. i know not most stable on high seas, but then who really uses their dinghy for hig sea. this dinghy weighs 89kg and planes with a 5hp if not too loaded, I have 15hp as well and on long trips I take both, you neve know when one will pack up. This dinghy I pull up with simple lift on back of my 34 foot cat, I keep it lifted up and in horizontal position for everyday use, I titl it and secure it against my stern chair when at sea. It is not the most beautiful sigt, but oh so convenient.
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Old 21-08-2015, 10:36   #23
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Interesting discussion. Good timing for me. I am looking at an 8 foot Fatty Knees dinghy that will fit updide down between my main mast and inner forestay. The dink is fiberglass with sweeps and a sail option. Does anyone have experience with fatty knees?
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Old 21-08-2015, 11:24   #24
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
When we are in a cruising ground where we do not sail too far each day we put the dinghy in davits behind the boat. Obviously weight is an issue but we also sail long passages where I do not like the dinghy to be in davits so it needs to be on the deck secure and out of the way. For us a inflatable works.
It sounds like you have it under control for your needs. Budget that's your call. I haven't got the slightest how aluminum and wood got into the inflatable discussion? Good luck.
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Old 21-08-2015, 12:01   #25
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

What ever you do,,Dont purchase a
HIGHFIELD dinghy,,,unless you enjoy
Getting wet,,,,dont know who designed
Them but unless you tack across the
Harbor,,you are going to get wet wet wet..
If you still want to buy one,,you can have
My ,like new , 11 footer,,,i'm going back to
AB or CARIBE..
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Old 21-08-2015, 12:17   #26
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Over the years I have found trying to save money in the end just cost me more money. I think once I went thru 3 lessor dingies before buying what I should have in the first place. Storing a dingy isnt so much the weight but the size. (in a reasonable size anyway) Buy a RIB with hypalon from a known manufacturer. Or an alternative boat like a folboat or non air boat.


I once a great, highly touted, 8 ft fiberglass dingy. But it didn't take long to realize that a boat that small without air tubes was down right dangerous at times... a 1 ft+ chop trying to go to shore could easily swamp the dingy with 2 people. You will not go anywhere exploring a distance away etc. and your groceries and you will be soaked when you get back.


My second option if I just couldn't deal with a RIB would be like the Avon with vynil rollup floor or Achilles with plywood floor board. The latter being a pain to assemble though.
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Old 21-08-2015, 13:40   #27
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Does anyone like or use a portaboat? I like the concept but I have not heard any testimonials from the cruisers.
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Old 21-08-2015, 13:46   #28
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by usafdream View Post
Does anyone like or use a portaboat? I like the concept but I have not heard any testimonials from the cruisers.
WARD, That's because you haven't been looking. Really.

Type Portaboat or any of its hundreds of different spellings into any boating forum search engine and you could read for weeks.

These folks have one and like it, they sometimes show up here, too: Raw | Sundowner Sails Again

You really need to do some homework. I know, I gave up doing homework in high school, but...

Good luck, happy reading.

Gee, you could use Google and ask: P-boat reviews. Just sayin'...
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Old 21-08-2015, 13:49   #29
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Everyone has different needs and boats. We have a dog that needs to go ashore twice a day. We use the dinghy a lot often without a dinghy dock.

We have a had a couple of inflatables with airdecks. They were ok but the bottoms took a beating. We bought an AB UL9 last year, aluminum bottom, hypalon tubes. Only weighs 75 lbs. it can plane with one large adult and a 6 hp 4 stroke.

The little AB rides well, seems dryer than others we have owned. It is a deep step into it without the double floor or airdeck.

We bought a Forespar Motormate lift and up sized to a Mercury 9.9, 2 stroke (75lbs). They are on davits virtually all the time, even at anchor. It is so light its easy to lift up each night, the bottom stays clean. The davits are rated for 250 lbs.

The dinghy is high enough we can still access the swim platform. Cruising with the dinghy on davits provides handy storage for boat hooks or other light items. It fits well on the foredeck in bad weather.

Bob
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Old 21-08-2015, 13:55   #30
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Re: How to choose the right dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by usafdream View Post
Does anyone like or use a portaboat? I like the concept but I have not heard any testimonials from the cruisers.
I hadn't but saw someone with one. Accommodated his wife and two young kids on flat water outings on a river. I don't think it is an option for cruising,. It stored well and was fine for protected waters. JMHO
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