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Old 19-01-2010, 18:47   #1
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Dinghy Suggestions

I'm heading down to Key Largo this weekend to stay on a 30' O'day courtesy of Hideaway on this forum. Apparently the dinghy was damaged so I'm looking for thinking I should buy something up in the DC area to use while I'm in Key Largo.

Is an inflatable best, aluminum, fiberglass? Any suggestions? I found this boat, motor is 9.9 HP and the boat is about 15 years old. Everything is supposed to be in good condition so the price seems right. My only issue is that it seems a bit large.

14' dilks Rowboat w/ Motor
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Old 19-01-2010, 20:33   #2
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Heavy fibreglass, untitled trailer...

The dinghy looks heavy. This can be a real issue as the swell bangs the dinghy against the mothership unless the fenders are really good, even more of an issue if a hand or foot gets in the way.

This, together with towing, launching and title hassles, does not look like a fun way to have a holiday.

I have an Achilles inflatable with a 5hp 2 stroke, a nice combination. The 2 stroke looks to be no longer available in the USA, but the 2hp Honda and the 3.5hp Tohatsu 4 strokes look to be good engines for about the $800 mark.

The small hypalon 7' 7" air floor Achilles looks to be about $1600 at Defender, and West Marine offer a 2.6m PVC Inflatable for about $800.

Add a good outboard lock and tie up cable and dinghy hassles could be minimal.

I would not expect major problems with transporting these boats and with minor use a good sale price may be achievable if you don't want to keep them.

Good small dinghies are highly prized so the premium buying new over reasonable secondhand is, in reality, much less than one might expect.
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Old 19-01-2010, 22:42   #3
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I see a whole bunch of inflatables on craigslist for $600-800 with no motor and $1000-1200 with a 4-8 HP motor. What size boat would I need to carry 4-5 people around to shore or snorkelling area?
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Old 19-01-2010, 23:08   #4
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I haven't posted much here, though I've been lurking for a long time. But I'll take a crack at answering anyway.

Our 10' inflatable would do that no problem. We have a 6 HP Mercury we bought used for like $600, and we bought the Avon Hypalon dinghy used for $400. So $1000 all-in, and I believe it would do what you're asking it to do. Also, it can be stowed on deck, either inflated upside down, or deflated and rolled up. Downside to an inflatable (non-RIB) is that you have to watch the rocks on the beaches. But my wife and I an lift the dinghy and carry it (instead of dragging). Something to think about anyway...
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Old 19-01-2010, 23:15   #5
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How fast can you go with the 6 HP motor? The snorkelling area is 6-7 miles from where I'm going to be at anchor and I'd like to be able to get there in a half hour so 15+ MPH would be nice.
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Old 19-01-2010, 23:28   #6
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Fair enough question. I don't think we've ever pushed it, but it does get up and move. If you're trying to go that far with 4 - 5 people, you'd want a bigger outboard. Ours will accomodate up to a 10 HP, but the 6HP is easier to deal with on our 34' boat. Also, an inflatable might not get you the performance you're looking for (unless it's a RIB), because with 4 - 5 people on board you likely won't be able to plane without a hard bottom. Inflatable V-bottoms can get skiddish at higher speeds. The downside of the RIB is that it's much more expensive. If you go with a hard dinghy that can hold 4 - 5 people, then you have the same issues mentioned by others already--hard to stow safely if the weather gets bad. A RIB is more spendy, you can put it on the foredeck, even partially deflated (if you need to), it'll go fast, and will hold the people you want it to. But of course there's a price tag for that. Sorry I'm not more help!
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:47   #7
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We used to have a 10' RIB with a 15HP. It would plane nicely with 2 people fairly easily with 3, but with four adults it was very tough to get it to plane. So I would suggest for the speed your looking for and the number of people you may need larger than 10' RIB and/or more power than 15HP.
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:53   #8
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I'm looking for something in between a 10' RIB with 15HP and a 12' RIB with 25HP. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get the job done.
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Old 20-01-2010, 10:41   #9
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I have a 15hp with a 11ft Hp floor and no way will it plane 5 people and I dont think it will plane 4 people unless they are woman-
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Old 20-01-2010, 16:34   #10
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A RIB unless it is very rocky, then a hard dinghy. A hard one also if you mainly row or sail.

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