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Old 24-06-2015, 13:43   #1
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Dinghy dive dreams

I currently sale in 30 foot monohull sailboat with a hard shell fiberglass dinghy it's almost impossible to dive out of and I am considering a small inflatable maybe 8 or 9 feet or the tandem SOT kayak and would be curious to know if anybody dives out of either of those off of a sailboat and how it works for them.

I have done plenty of diving from sot kayaks and inflatables so i am more concerned with issues, plusses and minusses with their suitability as a dinghy.

Some points that concern me are getting from the sailboat into the dinghy and back into the sailboat from the dinghy. My sailboat has a fair bit of freeboard and an undercut transome it is a bit of a climb from my glass dinghy and requires good balance to not dump it. I know the inflatable will be rock solid and i could practically just jump down into it. But i never did try standing up in a SOT kayack. How much of a circus will it be entering and exiting the kayak from/to the sailboat.

With the kayak i will basically be limited to paddling. The bonus being not having to bring gas onboard (sailboat is diesel) and no engine to breakdown. The downside beingdealing with wind waves and current.

The inflatable with outboard is louder and needs gas and engine maintenance but has the power to deal with more current and wind and could push the sailboat in the event of engine failure

Right now i am a weekend/extended weekend cruiser with sailboat living on a mooring and adedicated dinghy dry dock. Whilie i am away. I use my dinghy for boat access with almost ahalf mile row between dinghy storage and mooring.

I am wondering about beach launching and beaching in light surf. I have launched inflatables but no yacks through the surf yet.

Wondering on storage aboard. I like the idea to be able to deflate the dinghy to take up less space but how much of a pain in the butt is it to mess with, vs an always ready but always in the way 15' kayak on the deck of a 30' sailboat

Very interested to hear from folks that are willing to share their thoughts and opinions on kayaks and inflatables as dinghys. Also if there is another dinghy option that can also be a decent dive platform i would love to hear about it.


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Old 24-06-2015, 14:15   #2
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Re: Dinghy dive dreams

The first boat I coastal cruised and then crossed from SF to HI and back in was a Yankee 30, an S & S design. Jim had purchased an 8 ft. soft bottom hypalon Achilles inflatable. It disinflated and went in its bag below decks underway. Once at a destination, we inflated it on deck and chucked it over to paddle ashore. If what you get has a motor, it will be more useful for errand running, such as top-up shopping, or doing washing, it that becomes a need on your longer trips. IMO, a kayak would be a poor dinghy, due to lack of carrying capacity, although a lovely toy for exploring. It also, if you spear fish, would be more difficult to deal with the caught fish in.

You may want to put a removable boarding step about amidships, by the shrouds, for boarding when it's a bit choppy, it will help a lot, as the pitching is less. We did heaps of snorkeling from the Achilles, never with dive gear. That came later, and in a bigger inflatable.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 24-06-2015, 15:52   #3
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Re: Dinghy dive dreams

Go on YouTube and use the key words "inflatable boat surf". Here's my favorite:

Don't be a fool. If you flip in the surf, it will be an expensive lesson in excessive risk taking. Overhauling an outboard engine, soaked with seawater, is time-consuming and costly. Did I say dangerous, as well?

My inflatable, a 10'6" RIB with 15 HP propane outboard, mounts on my port wing deck of my trimaran. It can be launched and retrieved by one person, using both a halyard and a sheet winch, both lines led through snatch blocks fed to an outboard cleat.

OOOOPS! I don't have any current shots of the installation, I'm still completing little details. I'll correct that in the next couple days, sorry for the tease. It will be worth it, though.
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Old 24-06-2015, 16:08   #4
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Re: Dinghy dive dreams

an inflatable dingy is perfect to snorkel or dive out of.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 25-06-2015, 16:13   #5
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Re: Dinghy dive dreams

Takacat Lite - perfect tender for the yacht, the motor home or the beach

You could swim in to this just about at the front. Inflatable cat. Bit expensive though but stores neat.

Takacat Lite - perfect tender for the yacht, the motor home or the beach
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