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Old 18-02-2016, 12:49   #16
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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Originally Posted by dailytrek View Post
Thank you all for sharing your various experience and suggestions. I like the idea of an inflatable kayak as we are kayakers and could use it for visitors. The cold water is certainly a concern here so stability and re-entry will be key in whatever we choose. I have plenty to research for now so thanks again for advise.
When I delivered my boat back to the U.S. from the BVIs, I used an inflatable kayak. The boat didn't have davits and there was nowhere to store a larger dinghy on deck. I also didn't want to deal with buying and/or transporting an outboard and having to get that on and off a dingy myself. (I flew down with the dingy in a backpack as one of my checked pieces of luggage)

It's much faster to paddle a kayak than row a dingy, something that is especially important where there are currents, and it's much easier to get it aboard. If you don't plan to use a motor, I think a kayak makes much more sense. Most inflatable kayaks however will not work well with an outboard should you want to make that upgrade at some point in time. (I have seen a very good inflatable canoe/kayak that had a good outboard bracket system for a small outboard)

I've also owned a couple 8 foot inflatable dinks. Ones with floor boards that form a bit of a keel row much better. (I made a floorboard with keel under for one, which also kept water under the floor board) Ones with tubes extending beyond the transom will support a motor much better than the old donut dingy style Another thing to look at is the oar lock system. My favorite had a thorough bolted system so there was no way the oar would pop out. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to row against a current only to have oars that pop out whenever you really lean into it.

An 8-foot dinghy with a 2.5 or 3.5 horsepower outboard won't likely ever plane, (though I've done it) but it's fairly manageable by hand.
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Old 18-02-2016, 12:57   #17
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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Another thing to look at is the oar lock system. My favorite had a thorough bolted system so there was no way the oar would pop out. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to row against a current only to have oars that pop out whenever you really lean into it.
So very, very, true.
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Old 18-02-2016, 13:10   #18
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

Since you are considering a kayak, you might want to consider a folding kayak.

A German Doctor back in the 50's actually crossed the Atlantic in a Klepper Folding Kayak. Klepper though is one of the best and is expensive. It has a wooden frame.

Aerius Classic I SL 490

I have a red 16'6" Folbot Cooper Kayak on my 27' Bristol that is 5 years old now. I've gotten a bit lazy and leave it assembled on deck. Disassembled it will fit into a larger backpack. (so you can store it below decks) I think mine weighs around 40 lbs. It has an aluminum tube frame. I have rowed this one 4 miles out into the bay to the first Island. It can handle some pretty good size waves. It takes waves as if you were in the breakers on the beach on your raft as a kid. Rides right over them. I have the cockpit cover that fits around your waist for when it's rough....

https://www.google.com/search?q=red+...3kE8CYLxODM%3A

Cooper - Folbot

Then there's Feathercraft. Their folding kayaks used to go for $5,000 or so but they are very nice quality kayaks. They are also very light. The Wisper 15'7" Kayak weighs 37.5 lbs

http://www.foldingkayak.com/wisper.htm

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Old 18-02-2016, 14:43   #19
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

Most hard dinghies are a lot more stable than people give them credit for. It's their lesser initial stability (read stepping into/out of) which is what most dislike.
Though I had a 9' Dory'ish design, that'd row @ 3kts easy. And a 250lb guy could stand on the gunwale, sans shipping water into the dink. That & she was Easy to row in 50kts, with 3'-5' breakers.
Even launching her though the surf, off of the beach was stupid easy (ditto with my other hard dink).

You might look into a nesting dink via Russell Brown's shop, over in PT. PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page There are a good number of vid's of it on YouTube, & it does a lot of things well.

A couple of others are; "Nester" by Dave Gerr, & "Chameleon" by Danny Greene. Also, Paul Butler (in Port Angeles I think) has a bunch of designs Butler Projects - Boat Plans That, & of course, there are many, many more.
And most designers would likely tweak a boat a little, in order to make it fit you or your boat better.
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Old 18-02-2016, 15:24   #20
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

If you go with an inflatable whatever, it's not a question of IF it will leak air, just a question of when. think of punctures. Varying air pressure in sunlight changes. Limited room. Weight.

And I actually like inflatable boats. Have owned two inflatable kayaks, both Hobie i14Ts with the Mirage Drives, and have owned Zodiac, Avon and now a West Marine RIB.

My next dink is definitely going to be a Porta Bote. No question.
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Old 18-02-2016, 15:55   #21
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

I like small inflatables that we store on the foredeck and tie them down. They are less than USD500 and about 50 pounds weight, they last long enough to justify the price. Great stability and easy to handle on deck and ashore.

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Old 18-02-2016, 16:14   #22
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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Most hard dinghies are a lot more stable than people give them credit for. It's their lesser initial stability (read stepping into/out of) which is what most dislike.
Though I had a 9' Dory'ish design, that'd row @ 3kts easy. And a 250lb guy could stand on the gunwale, sans shipping water into the dink. That & she was Easy to row in 50kts, with 3'-5' breakers.
Even launching her though the surf, off of the beach was stupid easy (ditto with my other hard dink).

You might look into a nesting dink via Russell Brown's shop, over in PT. PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page There are a good number of vid's of it on YouTube, & it does a lot of things well.

A couple of others are; "Nester" by Dave Gerr, & "Chameleon" by Danny Greene. Also, Paul Butler (in Port Angeles I think) has a bunch of designs Butler Projects - Boat Plans That, & of course, there are many, many more.
And most designers would likely tweak a boat a little, in order to make it fit you or your boat better.
I have DEFINITELY considered a nice little dory to tow behind my boat, even one half the length of my boat, because they are so great as a dinghy and for making miles when you want to go exploring. Sometimes the sea conditions near here don't really lend themselves to towing anything so I have put it off. But for the PNW I think it'd be great.
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Old 18-02-2016, 16:18   #23
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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You might look into a nesting dink via Russell Brown's shop, over in PT. PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page There are a good number of vid's of it on YouTube, & it does a lot of things well.
I believe that is the coolest dinghy I ever saw!

Paul
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Old 18-02-2016, 16:22   #24
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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I believe that is the coolest dinghy I ever saw!

Paul
I'll second that! A little pricey though.
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Old 18-02-2016, 17:04   #25
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

My las two inflatables were both acquired used. Both hypalon.
The last one was a blue Hypalon Achilles from the 90's. The floor boards needed repainted and the rope around the front replaced. No leaks at all. Still held air after sitting all winter when I sold it in the spring.
As noted when cold you need to add some air, but more seasonal.
The other was another quality hypalon that came with my catamaran. A discolored old AB RIB. Not sure how old. It was 3 years in the Caribe for me with no issues.

Buy a good quality one and they are great. Buy a west marine or budget Zodiac etc... and consider it disable after a season or two.


I cruised with a couple short hard dingy's, one a highly touted Dyer Dhow. I wouldn't do it unless it was at least 10 ft personally. I find an 8 ft hard dingy on the verge of unsafe. Water slopping over the sides in a chop, even a good one like the Dyer is fairly easy to tip.
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Old 18-02-2016, 23:00   #26
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

There are some perks to hard dinks, which perhaps aren't commonly considered, unless you've owned one.
- They easy to fix, & or modify: on the beach, on your foredeck, pretty much anywhere.
I installed new oak gunwales on mine on the beach. Ditto on a rub rail. Also, I retaped the seams, added a new rub strip on the keel (glass, & metal). etc., etc.

- Building a custom one, to best suit your needs & cruising style is pretty easy. Including putting together one which will handle a good sized OB, so as to plane.

- They're cheap & easy to come by.

- You can "Ugly them up" (if they're not already). Thus making them less attractive to being stolen.

- They're fairly tough. You can drop an anchor, or other metal items into them with no worries. Unlike an inflatable.
And once, a 500lb Seal decided to use one of mine to take a nap in. And it came away sans damage.

- Plus, any decent design will row circles around any inflatable. Even when heavily loaded. And Especially when the wind & seas are up.
Dorys ROCK for that.

- Also, many sail pretty well. So are fun for; guests, kids... Or for just exploring thin water type places.


PS: Here's some more stuff on the PT11 https://www.youtube.com/results?q=pt+11+dinghy
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Old 19-02-2016, 09:38   #27
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED
PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page There are a good number of vid's of it on YouTube, & it does a lot of things well.
The Eleven is too much money? If you are handy and can source the materials yourself there is the 10 foot Chameleon nesting dinghy
Forum Link: Danny green chameleon nesting dinghy

And, one scaled down to 8.5 feet
Link: Gecko

I am building one as a replacement for my deflatable.
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Old 19-02-2016, 17:06   #28
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

Looks like the guy is sailing to a place nearby and just wants a good way to get ashore.

His choice of a kayak is probably the correct one.

The folding kayaks though are quite remarkable in that you can have a 16' kayak which when broken down will fit into a backpack and can be stored below on a small sailboat.

On top of that, you do not need an engine, and the hassle that comes with it. (not to mention the smells and noise)

You can also actually keep you body in some sort of decent shape

Feathercraft┬*┬╗┬*

Folbot Folding Kayaks - Unfold New Adventures

http://www.klepperamerica.com/
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Old 21-02-2016, 18:01   #29
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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Looks like the guy is sailing to a place nearby and just wants a good way to get ashore.

His choice of a kayak is probably the correct one.

The folding kayaks though are quite remarkable in that you can have a 16' kayak which when broken down will fit into a backpack and can be stored below on a small sailboat.

On top of that, you do not need an engine, and the hassle that comes with it. (not to mention the smells and noise)

You can also actually keep you body in some sort of decent shape

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Folbot Folding Kayaks - Unfold New Adventures

:: Klepper America :: Klepper Folding Kayaks, Klepper Collapsible Kayaks, Folding Kayaks, Klepper Parts Repairs Service, Klepper Parts, Klepper Accessories, Sea Kayaks, Folding Boats Kayaks Canoes, Kayak Sailing, Klepper Service Center, Portable Fold
That's funny, as the used Folbot which I picked up actually came with an OB mount.
But the rowing thing, & working on one's health, to me, is a big part of having a hard dinghy.
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Old 21-02-2016, 20:22   #30
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Re: Dinghy recommendations

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I saw these at the Dusseldorf boatshow 2 weeks ago and im waiting to purchase one..
They are a folding rib and the quality was exceptional. They take a maximum 15hp for a 2.75 mtr rib.
They were solid and fold in half.
I have looked at the Portabotes and other folding or options and this patent is ingenious.
F-RIB | Revolutionary new Foldable RIBs (F-RIBs)

Also comes in a sailing option where you have a rig installed etc.
They are PVC so will turn to goo after a year or two in tropical sun. Will last longer in Northern Europe/New England but not my choice for 24/7 use for the Med, Caribbean, SoPac, etc. Would be nice if they were made from UV durable Hypalon.
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