We're now on dinghy #4.
#1 We started with a very leaky, beat up 9' aluminium (De Haviland Cub - about 25kg). Not going to be stolen, very nice for 2 adults (rated for 3) but it was never going to survive with an outboard on the back. My wife hated it.
First set of oars stolen.
#2 We then brought a 8' Achilles air floor inflatable
(25kg). Went real well with the 5hp Tohatsu that we got with it. Wife liked it.
#3 Then we moved to a commercial
mooring with secure dinghy storage
. The Achilles was never going to survive a few summers in the Aussie sun and the dinghy had to be dragged onto the rack each trip so I brought a new 7' fibreglass pram (20kg). Rows OK. Very unstable with 2 onboard. Wife hated it. About as heavy as I ever want to manage on a regular basis.
#4 So we brought another 9' De Haviland Cub aluminium, this time in excellent condition, off Ebay. Put in an expensive rubbing strip. Goes well with the 5hp Tohatsu, not flash looking, stores on the dinghy rack. Easily handled by two. Wife likes it.
You need a dinghy that will take the number of adults plus one. i.e. For two adults you need a three person dinghy.
Light weight is wonderful.
Inflatables don't row, like being stored in the sun and may puncture. They are more likely to be stolen. Pain in the neck to blow up.
Good oars on a rigid dinghy are worth the trouble. Some of the commercial
ones could be better.
A small light outboard (say 2hp) is a good idea if you need to carry it round. Outboards are a thief's favorite target.
A length of chain and a padlock might stop the dinghy from being "borrowed". In Sydney
it has been recommended that a hole be drilled in the blade so that the oars can be locked to the dinghy and something solid.
Having the dinghy in bright, distinctive colours improves safety
Permanent black marker pen may permanently mark fibreglass and can assist in security
. A distinctive dinghy name may keep the cops sufficiently amused that they remember to look for it.