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Old 12-02-2004, 05:54   #1
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Hard Dinghies

Not sure many out there are still using hard dinghies anymore but I am considering the purchase of a Walker Bay 8 Classic. Does anyone have any opinions on this dinghy?

Interested in handling under oar, capacity, durability, handling under outboard and sailing ability, in that order, with the first three items of substantial import and the last item of very minor import.

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Old 12-02-2004, 07:55   #2
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sjs, We cruised with a hard dinghy for about a month and then got a RIB. The hard dinghy beat up the hull, swamped with more than two people in it. Would not hold the weight of a suitable outboard for serious cruisers, was very heavy and awkward to store on deck. Impossible to dive or snorkel from, and filled with water anytime we towed it in any kind of chop. Other than that it was fine. Guess it depends on how you plan to use it. If only from the boat to shore and only in calm conditions then go for it. We have seen very very few long distance cruisers with hard dinghy's and for good reasons.

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Old 12-02-2004, 23:30   #3
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In a recent Cruising World they compared several hard dinghies. The Walker Bay seemed to compare well and it has an unbeatable price. I carry both a hard dinghy and an Achilles sport boat on my trimaran. I built the hard dinghy myself out of vacum bagged veneer, it is 11 feet and weighs about 80 lbs. It has a sailing rig (big plus) and gets the most use as I enjoy rowing. I very seldom tow it and then only for short distances. The sportboat is mainly used if we need or want to travel a greater distance or get somewhere fast. It spends alot of time stashed in it's bag in a wing locker. I don't usually feel the need to dash around in an outboard fueled rush all the time.

I think the biggest drawback of a RIB or sportboat with larger outboards is the theft problem. I know it is no fun to row a sportboat any distance if the motor fails. Never had a RIB so I don't know about how well they row.
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Old 13-02-2004, 04:51   #4
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portland pudgy

check out portland pudgy's website- i found them doing a google search. Hard plastic dinghy like walker Bay but foam filled hull= great buoyancy and higher carrying capacity. Also comes with numerous compartment, sailing rig, etc and weighs 88 lbs. BTW I have no affiiation with them- just the latest toy I'm lusting after
Happy searching
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Old 13-02-2004, 05:10   #5
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Yeah, it's the rowing thing that interests me most about a hard dinghy. Thanks guys for the input.
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Old 13-02-2004, 07:01   #6
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Lived aboard for 3 yearts with a hard dink and loved it.
A Dyer Dhow, 9 feet with sailing rig and rudder.

USed it for water taxi as we were too young and boat poor to by an outboard....Just rowed and sailed....It was great.
That dink came with my boat, otherwise Icould not have been able to affrod it...They still make 'em and the price is over 3K meh thinks.
Easy to row, light enough to lift...Etc.

The Walker Bay dinks got good reports in "Practical Sailor" magazine...I would consider one if Iwas going for hard again.

Now I have an Avon Redcrest soft bottom....Good enough for my use...Which is to get moa, the wife and picnic/beer cooler in to the beach at some Bahamian Island...Or to snorke the reefs..
Soft bottom, very slow..4 knots with a 4 HP Evinrude...Still happy with the setup...Still thinking occasionally about that handsome Dyer Dhow I had 20 years ago....In my youth.....Hmm, time for a mid-life crises again....Last time I had one, bought a Harley and got a young girlfriend....This time...Hmm, cut loose and go sailing again...Aye, keep on dreaming..

Oops, off topic, sorry.....Go for either type of dink, they botk work, just 2 different animals.
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Old 08-05-2004, 19:03   #7
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I know this is an old old thread, but you might find the following article helpful.

It's a review of four sailing dinghies, including the Walker 8.

(The formatting somehow got screwed up on the first paragraph, but the rest of the article is okay, so don't let that dissuade you)

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