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Old 07-12-2011, 21:08   #61
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

On the hook down Baja into the Sea of Cortez for about 5 months. 11' Achilles RIB with 25hp 2stroke short shaft. Amazingly good for carrying a boatload of people and gear while planing. We anchored far away, and still could get anywhere quickly, we stayed dryer than most other dinghies, as we planed even in the rough stuff. The biggest drawback was the difficulty in pulling the dinghy up the beach, even with wheels attached. 350 pounds of boat, motor, and fuel was heavy! Launching and retrieving to the foredeck was a pain. We became complacent with the great people in Mexico, and left the dinghy tied to a long painter, behind the boat so as to not bang into the side at night. Someone came out at night in Altata, Sinaloa and untied us. We found the dinghy minus the outboard two days later, two miles up a mangrove estuary. Now we raise the dinghy with a halyard at night. The people in Altata were great, except for the thief. Got another 25hp motor, but it doesn't have the power of the old one, don't know if it's the prop or what. I think the ideal situation is to have more than one dinghy, one for travelling fast, and one for shorter distances and beach landings. We also have an inflatable 2 man kayak. It's ok for short distances, neither one rows very well.
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Old 08-12-2011, 00:02   #62
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

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Is there a big need for a dingy to go fast? Or is it just like a jet ski where it is fun to go fast? Some of these motors have more horsepower than the main outboard on sailboats I've been looking at.

If you don't want to go far, then slow is fine. But if you're going way up a river to set crab traps, or out to a reef to fish, ie. if you want to get to the places less people go to, then faster is better.
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Old 08-12-2011, 00:15   #63
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If you don't want to go far, then slow is fine. But if you're going way up a river to set crab traps, or out to a reef to fish, ie. if you want to get to the places less people go to, then faster is better.
Colemj speaks the truth in his first post.

Your boat is your house and your dink is your truck. Bigger and powerful is better.

We grounded a 50k pound boat gently in mud. We had an 8ft X 9hp rigid dink. A couple of fellahs came along in a 12 foot X 15hp RIB.

They nosed up against tthe bow let her rip while we backedd and damned if they didn't shove the bow around 120 degrees where we then powered off.

Yup, we couldda waited 6 hours for tide but we didn't have to.

But darned if these things aren't expensive...
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Old 10-12-2011, 20:15   #64
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

I didn't notice anyone talking about the sheer fun of having a sailing dinghy to use as a tender. That, plus the quiet and pleasure of rowing a nice hard dinghy, the longevity and easy to keep dry seats are among the reasons we have never chosen to have an inflatable. Instant launchability in case of a grounding (i.e. we could get an anchor out within seconds instead of having to take the time to get an inflatable inflated, then put the outboard in place) that's another plus for a hard dinghy. Ours, a Fatty Knees 8 powers along quite nicely when both of us are in it plus a couple hundred pounds of provisions using a 2.5 outboard. But, and it's only speculative - if we had room, we'd consider having a second tender - so we could have an inflatable for easier skin diving and so we didn't have to do the dinghy shuffle when either of us wanted to go off on our separate ways.

There is a lot to this discussion - in fact we wrote a whole chapter on the pros and cons of inflatable vs hard tenders and how to make inflatables last in Capable Cruiser and I think if you have read that you'll agree, personalities often determine the final choice. To add one more item that is on our pro list - aesthetics definitely influence our choices and inflatables are not that attractive.
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Old 10-12-2011, 20:47   #65
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

There is no arguing your vast experience and time out cruising but, like I mentioned in an earlier post, your choice is not a common one with others out cruising. This shouldn't be a surprise to you, as building one's own wooden boat, cruising without an engine and several other choices you have made are also not common ones. I applaud your adventures and reading about them is one of the primary reasons we guided our lives toward getting a boat and going cruising.

I certainly would love a sailing dinghy and would have immense fun with it in an anchorage, but I would not find its use as a daily workhorse fun at all. I don't get the point about dry seats - almost every small rowing dinghy I have been on is much wetter than our inflatable. And much heavier. And much more tippy and generally much less utilitarian.

We do have a kayak for peaceful and quiet exploration, exercise and going our separate ways. Our big inflatable dinghy can be in the water ready to go in under 30 seconds (and I've seen your dinghy stowed on your deck - no way is that in the water "within seconds"). The dinghy is 13 yrs old and spent the first 12yrs of its life continually exposed to the weather without a cover of any type. We drag it on beaches, across bars and reefs and it still has many years of life in it. It ultimately won't last as long as a Fatty Knees, but it will cost the same or less as one to replace.

We have a catamaran - we gave up the aesthetics argument already!

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Old 10-12-2011, 21:19   #66
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

I've come to learn that, as with most of these sailing/cruising questions, there is no single right answer. There is only the answer that is right for you. Every choice comes with consequenses. Every option has benefits and limitations. The trick is understanding these consequences, and to know what you need to achieve the life you want.

I choose a hard dingy (semi-hard actually), which rows quite well most of the time, can take a small outboard, is easily stowable and launchable, and even has a fun sailing rig. It means I can't go as far, nor as fast, as some -- that's OK. It does what I need it to do (so far), and there's always plenty to explore right where I am.

Those who make a different choice, that's OK too.
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Old 10-12-2011, 22:22   #67
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

2.4m Zodiac rib with a 2.3hp Honda 4 stroke. Both small and light enough to mount and dismount on the rear platform and the outboard is secured to the transom of the rib by a sturdy steel cycle cable lock. The boats name and number is printed on the dingy.
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Old 10-12-2011, 22:56   #68
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

For the people who have a security problem with putting your boats name on the motor or digny, would putting your name or telephone number accomplish the same thing?

I have a kayak, but I'm not sure how I could transport a foldable bike using a kayak, unless it was towed behind in an innertube tube raft.

This is one of those areas that I have to give more thought to.
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Old 10-12-2011, 23:18   #69
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

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The problem with name on dinghy,when left ashore,is the thieves know who's boat to rob.
I've heard that line a lot, but I don't know a single person who can really prove that's a significant reason for robberies.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:01   #70
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

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This is getting interesting. Looking at the responses so far, there is a strong correlation between mothership size and tender/motor size. Big sailboat, big tender. The reverse also seems true; small yacht, small tender/motor.

If this relationship holds, I wonder what it is due to:
  • Cruising ground?
  • Experience (wisdom)?
  • Age of crew?
  • Size of crew?
  • Affluence?
  • Philosophy?
  • Other?
Cultural.

Come from a country with cheap fuel and big engined cars - more likely to have a 15h yamaha at 20kn to happy hour. And need to be anchored with access to somewhere close to buy more fuel for it. Not everyone is in such a rush.

Lin is right, sailing is fun. And it's usual downwind on the way home .
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:12   #71
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

+1 on colemj's posts.

We started with a small AquaDutch with 6hp. After the first winter in Bahamas where we mis-timed the tides and nearly sunk the dinghy (together with other half's parents)coming back from spearfishing in one of the cuts we upgraded to Zodiac Cadet 3.2 m with 18hp Tohatsu 2-stroke. That's on a 35' Jeanneau.

We have a dinghy engine lift that works brilliantly and the dinghy is lifted using spinnaker hallyard to roll it up for passages. Will not consider a smaller dinghy again, but for a bigger boat an upgrade to a RIB would be good.

With our current dinghy we plane with 4 adults and 2 kids, we go spearfishing to spots where anchoring is not feasible and we know that we can always get back to the boat very quickly. Having a bigger engine when we want to get over the surf is essential. If we need provisions, it also becomes possible to anchor in a nice, secure spot (instead of tangling anchors with the rest of the fleet at town dock), then go to town 3-4 nm away, shop, and get back all within 1.5 hours with some sightseeing on the way.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:17   #72
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Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

For most Bahamas cruisers dinks are your lifeline and a great part of the fun. Exploring for miles, going to far off reefs to fish, provisioning, lugging water, dinghy drifts, group outings. That's why the vast majority of us have the largest RIB we can deal with on the mothership and a hefty motor, usually a 15 hp two stroke.



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Old 11-12-2011, 06:19   #73
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

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Cultural.

Come from a country with cheap fuel and big engined cars - more likely to have a 15h yamaha at 20kn to happy hour. And need to be anchored with access to somewhere close to buy more fuel for it. Not everyone is in such a rush.

Lin is right, sailing is fun. And it's usual downwind on the way home .
Or, if you come from a country with Lucas engine parts - more likely to start whimpering and crying at the thought of relying on an engine for transportation

I don't think the cultural argument cuts it. Even if one was used to cheap fuel and big engine automobiles in their home grounds, they are quickly disabused of it when cruising in other grounds. Since I haven't seen a lot of inflatables and engines for sale, nor a robust market for small hard dinghies, I am led to believe that the availability and cost of fuel isn't a factor.

And one doesn't need to stay anchored in major cities to get fuel. EVERYONE uses fuel and it is available pretty much everywhere. Hard put to find anywhere where the locals don't have 15hp Yamaha's. Even lost in the San Blas islands, where there is no electricity or running water, there is always someone selling fuel out of a drum on a beach.

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Old 11-12-2011, 06:23   #74
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Re: On the hook cruisers, what kind of dingy do you use..

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Of course by that logic, a smaller tender would be even easier on a big boat. So it can't be just that . Maybe people get a big yacht b/c they want a big tender. Hmmmm...
I think the logic is that many experienced cruisers want the largest fastest dink they can reasonably accommodate.
Hence bigger boat, bigger dink.
Those of us with smaller boats, dont choose smaller dinks; were forced into them.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:30   #75
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pirate Re: On-the-Hook Cruisers . . . What Kind of Dinghy Do You Use ?

Seen more folks doing this lately... one guy was paddling into Poole harbour during rush hour and against a stiff spring tide... good sense of balance in the waves and wake of power boats hammering in...
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