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Old 11-12-2013, 12:17   #1
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Need New Dinghy...Rigid or Inflatable?

My old Zodiac (18 yrs old) is finally calling it quits. As I consider a replacement, I am considering a small Boston Whaler. I understand the Whaler is heavier, but I am wondering what other disadvantages there are to a fiberglass dinghy. Over the years, I have patched my Zodiac numerous times and had to re-glue a number of the factory joints as they aged. It seems to me that a good Whaler is only getting broken in when it's 18 yrs old, while my Zodiac is falling apart.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:27   #2
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

You say nothing about your intended use, your cruising area, your age/ability to handle the weight or your method of propulsion (oars or motor). So it's hard to advise you.

I have a 41 foot steel boat with davits and a 10' 2" Zodiac RIB with a 9.9 motor. Now I have no davits, a 10' 2" nesting dinghy with sail rig, oars and a 2HP Honda OB, and a 10 foot Portabote that takes the Honda or a nice pair of oars.

The Zodiac was in the end too heavy and too inflexible for our intended use. Your situation may differ, of course.

I've rowed Whalers without a lot of joy. I consider them more workboats. If I had my druthers and needed a rowing or small OB tender, I'd pick something dryer and deeper.
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Old 11-12-2013, 13:15   #3
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

I made the jump from RIB inflatable to hard dinghy last year.
What a difference. They row so much nicer.
Not all mushy soft in the morning until the sun heats them up again.
My 10 foot Cat dinghy is only 85 lbs, so it's easy on the davits.
Goes to windward in a 20 knot chop with four people onboard and it’s a nice dry ride.
Gets four people on Plans with a 6 hp.
It a real sports car, as its fast and turns on a dime at any speed.
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Old 11-12-2013, 13:35   #4
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Do you have any offsets available for the cat dinghy? I recall you said you would at some point.
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Old 11-12-2013, 13:47   #5
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

I traded my inflatable for an 11 foot Boston Whaler and I've been very happy.

It literally is, indestructible. The only disadvantage is that you can't make it smaller and it is heavy (280 pounds). But, it tows easy when that's a good idea, and it goes up on the foredeck pretty easy, when that's a good idea.

I took the 25 off and put a 2.5 on it because I got tired of taking the 25 off. But, it did run with the 25, on. On a flat day, with my nerve up, it would do about 30 knots. But, with the 25, it would plane with 4 adults in it. It won't do that with the 2.5, even with one person in it. And, it rows well enough that it's not a big deal to row it if you don't feel like mounting the motor.

The only other caveat is not to get caught towing it with big seas that it can surf down. I've been caught a couple of times, and it's not fun to see it whizzing by.

I tow it with two independent lines from each stern cleat for security if one breaks or comes loose and to get it to track straight.



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Old 11-12-2013, 14:30   #6
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Do you have any offsets available for the cat dinghy? I recall you said you would at some point.
What's an offset?
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Old 11-12-2013, 14:54   #7
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Dimensions from a line drawing. IE waterline width, height of chine, etc
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Old 11-12-2013, 15:31   #8
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

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Dimensions from a line drawing. IE waterline width, height of chine, etc
I do my design work in 3D CAD, so my design terms are a bit different.
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Old 11-12-2013, 15:54   #9
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Oh, no, we've managed to drag the cat-mono debate into dinghies...

Who's the babe?
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:02   #10
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

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Oh, no, we've managed to drag the cat-mono debate into dinghies...

Who's the babe?
We got tired of bringing our guest into town in a 20 knot chop with everyone getting soaked in our inflatable.

A Cat Dinghy keeps the splash in the tunnel.

Try planning an inflatable with four adults and a 6hp. It just will not happen.
Our Cat dinghy does it no problem.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:17   #11
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Can you send me some drawings. Any chance you have a video of performance with 4 onboard?
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:23   #12
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Re: Need New Dinghy...Rigid or Inflatable?

Whalers are great but as you say, pretty heavy for their length. Any hard dingy will beat heck out of the sides of your boat. been there done that.... and spent a lot of time trying things to prevent it.... after the initial damage...
Zodiacs aren't known for their trouble free service.... You might like a more reliable brand in a RIB.... best of both worlds.
RIB's are easy to get out of into the water, comfortable to ride in and very stable.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:28   #13
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
I made the jump from inflatable to hard dinghy last year.
What a difference. They row so much nicer.
Not all mushy soft in the morning until the sun heats them up again.
My hard dingy is only 85 lbs, so it's easy on the davits.
Goes to windward in a 20 knot chop with four people onboard and itís a nice dry ride.
Get four people on Plans with a 6 hp.
It a real sports car, as its fast and turns on a dime at any speed.
Have to agree with Cotemar that a foam sandwich cat dingy is the way to go. The Boston Whaler is very heavy.

Check out the Spirited Ripple tender range.

Spirited Designs - Home of the Spirited 380 by Craig Schionning

Are available in Kit form or you can buy plans and infuse your own flat panels. The 2 m model weighs only 25kg for instance.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:34   #14
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Re: Need New Dinghy...Rigid or Inflatable?

Other than weight, a real disadvantage to a hard dinghy is the inability to completely stow it below when making a crossing.
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Old 11-12-2013, 16:58   #15
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Re: Need new dinghy...rigid or inflatable?

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Can you send me some drawings. Any chance you have a video of performance with 4 onboard?


I too would like to see video of the dink planing with four adults on board in a twenty knot chop with a 6 HP outboard.
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