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Old 23-04-2013, 18:36   #1
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Dinghy - Hard or Soft?

Hello,

Another question, imagine that. I am inclined toward a hard dinghy. Preferably one with a sailing rig. Does anyone have advice regarding hard dinghies and inflatables?

Luigi
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Old 23-04-2013, 18:48   #2
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

My advice is: get one. Sailing a dinghy is wonderful fun, rowing it keeps you in shape, and it's not heir to all the failings of inflatables. There are endless threads on this forum about this very topic; please do a search and read them, though I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinions on this thread too.
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Old 23-04-2013, 19:04   #3
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

For most cruisers the dink is an all-around utility vehicle, not a toy. It's how you get the groceries home, how you visit the port captain's office, and how you visit the neighbors. This is why the great majority of all cruisers use an inflatable.
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Old 23-04-2013, 19:17   #4
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I've found advantages and disadvantages to both, so I have one of each. Never quite sure which one to bring along. ;D
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Old 23-04-2013, 19:23   #5
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Theres nothing like a hard dink! ya can sail it or row it and they will take a outboard ! At least in most states ya can use it without a motor and not have to pay seperate Lic. for it ! and out of the country ya can use a motor with no problems ! at least the most places Ive been ! Of course if ya can't or don't wish to row or sail then I guess an inflateable, even with there problems, is the way to go !! I prefer the stable hard dink myself! We currently have a 14 ft hard sailing, rowing dink and love it ! as folks say different strokes !!
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Old 24-04-2013, 07:04   #6
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Lugi

It al depends on what you want to use the dinghy for... Dual purpose dinghys, like Walker Bay are OK sailing and OK motoring, but not great at either.

If you are going cruising there will be times that you will have to travel miles in your dinghy. Doing long distances in a hard dinghy tends to be slow (10 kts of less), mostly because they are not designed for speed and will not normally carry the cargo load a RIB will. This can be frustrating at times.

Also Cargo loads for most hard dinghys are much lower than RIBs.

For example, a Walker Bay 10 with inflatable collar will carry about 450lbs, a RIB of the same size will carry twice that amount. The same Walker Bay is rated for 6 hp and a similar RIB is rated at 15 hp.

Take some time to think about what you are going to use the dinghy for.. Once you do that it will be much easier to choose.
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Old 24-04-2013, 11:29   #7
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Tom,

Thanks for the response. The load information is an important consideration. Do you happen to know the lifespan on an inflatable?

Brad
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Old 24-04-2013, 15:09   #8
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

You should be able to get a hypalon inflatable with a 10 year warranty.
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Old 24-04-2013, 15:20   #9
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyBard View Post
I've found advantages and disadvantages to both, so I have one of each. Never quite sure which one to bring along. ;D
I also have one of each, but never any question which one to take along -- the inflatable, of course, always.

Hard dinghies row much better, and are prettier, but as Bash said, the dink is a utility vehicle, not a toy, for most cruisers. The hard dinghy is extremely tippy compared to the soft one, carries much less of a load with reasonable stability, requires care to avoid scratching topsides with. The soft dinghy is vastly more useful, even if it rows like carp, and doesn't sail.
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Old 24-04-2013, 15:43   #10
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

The hard dinghy we had and the stupid little 2hp Suzuki engine we had for it, were a total waste of money. In my mind nothing but a RIB is worth your dough unless you just have to fold it up then one of the others with a keel will work. However we met a couple in Panama who were looking for a new hard sailing and rowing dinghy. We made a deal and they sailed off, sans engine, back to their boat probably 5 miles away with their new to them dinghy, I lost $300 and good riddence but they were very happy.
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:53   #11
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

With five people aboard my boat, I probably carry more people and cargo than most other cruisers, since our laundry and grocery needs are more, and yet my hard rowing dinghy is sufficient. It is foolishness to call a hardworking rowing dinghy a toy, when it's affordability and lifespan and usefulness is so much greater than an inflatable's. If a hard dinghy calls your name, by all means give it a try. They are truly a joy to cruise with.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:07   #12
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

I purchased an 8' Walker Bay and although it is rated for 360lbs my 190 plus the motor's 30 bury the stern and put the bow towards the sky- that is with the inflatable tubes- the 2.5 Suzuki is fairly lite and below the 4hp rating for the boat. any suggestions- thanks- Doug
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:37   #13
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pirate Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

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Originally Posted by aerovest1 View Post
I purchased an 8' Walker Bay and although it is rated for 360lbs my 190 plus the motor's 30 bury the stern and put the bow towards the sky- that is with the inflatable tubes- the 2.5 Suzuki is fairly lite and below the 4hp rating for the boat. any suggestions- thanks- Doug
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:45   #14
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pirate Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luigi3188 View Post
Hello,

Another question, imagine that. I am inclined toward a hard dinghy. Preferably one with a sailing rig. Does anyone have advice regarding hard dinghies and inflatables?

Luigi
The type of dinghy very much depends on the size of your boat... under 30ft and your better of with an inflatable roll and stow or a 'nester'...
Another bit of info that would help enormously is your planned budget..
Without those two your likely to get little informed advice.. just random likes dislikes and fantasy's...
Where will you keep it.. max weight you are able to cope with.. you and boat..
Throw a better bone Bud...
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:50   #15
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Re: DINGHY - HARD OR SOFT?

Both in our case one for checking out rivers bays and exploring along way from the boat we use a "Zego sports boat" 20 hp motor also use this on a rocky or when transporting a lot of supplies Zego - The Ultimate 3 Meter Boat - Versatile, Safe, Fun!

The getting to and from a beach or dock we use a takacat inflatable 2 hp motor it is easily carried up a beach or locked to a tree if leaving for the day HOME - Takacat.com

Both of these are in a catamaran format we chose these for stability in rough seas, ease of use and weight and never really found a single craft that could do every thing we required although we did consider a Whaly but discounted as not light enough to carry up a beach.

Allan
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