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Old 19-02-2011, 09:11   #1
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Rowing Dink

Would like to hear opinions on a good rowing dink. Have an inflatable rubber ducky which, of course, is not really made to row very far. Don't want to get into outboard/gas/registration, etc. and have avoided it thus far. Trying to keep it simple as possible. A hard rowing dink would have to be light and easy to get aboard, seaworthy, and easily fastened down aft of the mast where there is not really much room, maybe 8' MAX. Been thinking w/w kayak that I have which is extremely seaworthy, short, and would go just about anywhere safely(I can do a roll) but don't know how the heck I'd get ever in or out while bobbing alongside. Also has little storage to cart groceries, fuel, etc. Maybe some sort of system to stabilize the kayak? Hmmm. Keep the inflatable stowed until needed....? Suggestions?
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:02   #2
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I have had the best luck with carrying capacity and stability with a hard chined 8' dinghy. They row and sail well if you rig it for sail.

The examples I'll mention are Naples Sabot, Optimist and El Toro. I've used Walker Bay 8s and 10s but they are not as stable.

I used a friend's El Toro as a sample to build my current 9' and it does very well. You can build them as light as you wish depending on which thickness of ply you use and how many layers of glass.

kind regards,
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:06   #3
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Thanks, SkipprJohn. Yes, built an 8' pram to get to and from boat here on Lake Champlain where I moor when not cruising. Although liftable single-handed and car-topable It's really too heavy to be lifting on and off the deck on a regular basis. Probably weighs 70#. Maybe laying another one up with a foam core and kevlar would solve the problem. It IS fairly seaworthy and will carry a lot of gear. Would build one like the Adirondack Guideboat I built a couple of years ago (3/16" cedar grant lap) but don't think that would be rugged enough to take the sea environment. Want something that can be hauled up over the rail easily without a major rigging project every day. Maybe no such critter exists.
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:40   #4
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Been there, done that.




Hard dinghy, low-buck style

"Chirp" came in on target at 50 lbs. without motor or oars. PM me if you want the plans.
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:54   #5
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I use a kayak. I can store aboard as many groceries as I can hand carry from the market. Entering and exiting takes some balance. Chop isn't really a factor. Kayaks go thru the surf way better than rowboats. But I have an Avon and outboard too, for other times and needs.
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Old 20-02-2011, 09:14   #6
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Thanks Daddle. I have a rugged steep creek boat that is designed for big water, is easy to roll, has a lot of buoyancy, and is very short/light. There's even a LITTLE room behind the seat to stuff groceries! Gonna give it a try. Will also be really neat to be able to get into shallows.
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Old 20-02-2011, 09:27   #7
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Find yourself a mid sized break that is not too steep and that creek boat will become your favorite toy on the boat.... Happy surfing.
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Old 20-02-2011, 18:47   #8
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I think Chirp would be a good plan. If you think it might not take the sea well you could add a few more stringers and gussets and it would still weigh less than most production dinghies.
I used to take my Naples Sabot off the cabin top, put the bow on the lifeline while it was still upside down and then flip it off straight into the water. Always kept the bow painter tied somewhere before doing it so it wouldn't stray but it took my beatings very well. To get it aboard if I didn't have friend I'd rig up a couple fenders on the side of the big boat and just haul it up with the boom. If you can imagine an eye at the bow of your dinghy about half way between the bottom and the top of your stem and one at the stern about halfway up the transom then imagine a line from the boom of your big boat to each of the eyes. Once you've lifted the dinghy clear of the lifelines (you might rig the lifelines to be taken down quickly) you can swing the dinghy over the cabin top right side up, then spin it upside down easily with the pivot point at the eyes on bow and transom being about the center of the weight.
kind regards,
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Old 21-02-2011, 15:23   #9
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Re: Rowing Dink

A 10' river kayak served great as a solo-tender. My 8' pram is pretty heavy and awkward as a tender on my 26'. My 18' sea kayak is not heavy, but it is definitely the most awkward of all tenders I have tried. Methinks something like a small fat unsinkable canoe would be the ideal rowing tender.
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Old 21-02-2011, 15:24   #10
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Re: Rowing Dink

As far as actual usability goes, the 18' kayak wins hands down, followed by the other two in no particular order. If you aren't solo, a real dinghy becomes pretty important if you don't marina hop.
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Old 21-02-2011, 16:34   #11
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Re: Rowing Dink

I have a walker bay 8' and overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's an alright rowing dinghy (especially with one person, but decent with two) and I have the sail kit so it's fun to zip around protected waters as well.

I'm a big fan of rowing dinghies. Great exercise (something everyone could use more and hard to do on a boat), you can go onto a beach easily, and they're really durable.

Inflatables and a big outboard are nice too. Different strokes (one is an oar stroke, the other a two or four stroke!).
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Old 21-02-2011, 17:20   #12
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Re: Rowing Dink

I have a 10 foot rowing, nesting, sailing dinghy I have now sailed in 15 knots...whee!

I have a 10 foot Portabote I power with a 2 HP Honda...or I row it. Both boats row well, but the nesting dinghy is arguably safer (being blessed with flotation chambers), so it's the people mover, and the Portabote (also a stable people mover) is arguably more durable in terms of dropping heavy things, getting diesel sloshed in it, etc., and so is becoming the "cargo tender".

I think, for instance, I would take the Portabote on shore sooner than the nesting dinghy, but I would feel better in the nesting dinghy for rowing out a kedge anchor or tying a line to shore.

So we are bringing both. One day I'll retube the old Zodiac, but I prefer the exercise and the "less attractive to thieves" aspects.
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Old 21-02-2011, 17:54   #13
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Re: Rowing Dink

I have an inflatable Kayak that I take cruising, but in general they make terrible dinghys because they are hard to board from the boat, and hard to maneuver at a crowded dinghy dock. And where do you put your groceries? (This, coming from a guy who's first dinghy was a set of really long freediving fins.)

The nicest rowing dinghys, like the beautiful Whitehall, tend to be long, narrow, light, and quite tippy. These features are what make them so fast. Not so easy to store on deck, or board...

I prefer RIBs myself, because I live for the diving more than anything else, and that's where they shine.

For a reasonably good rowing dinghy, of practical size and shape, those Walker Bay polyethylene jobs from West Marine might do the trick. They are butt ugly, and the material totally lacks aesthetics, but it is REALLY tough stuff, and less likely to be stolen.

I have built many dinghies, and with "stitch n glue" plans they are dirt easy. You might look at what plans are available. This pram rowed great, and was as light as a feather, but the flat nose made for a bit of a wet ride in a chop. Until then, it rowed great!

Good luck, Mark
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Old 21-02-2011, 18:57   #14
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Re: Rowing Dink

Here is a cute little Portuguse Style Dinghy that I found on the web and built it works great. I added an electiric trolling motor so I dont have to row. Portuguse Style Dinghy at koti.kapsi.hartial/dinghy1/simboii.htm It cost me about $200 to build, I did fiberglass the whole outside bottom to ad a little extra strength. It weighs less than 70 pounds. I can carry it over my head with ease. My wife and I use it quite a lot.
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Old 21-02-2011, 20:47   #15
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Re: Rowing Dink

If you would share the plans. I would love to build one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Been there, done that.




Hard dinghy, low-buck style

"Chirp" came in on target at 50 lbs. without motor or oars. PM me if you want the plans.
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