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Old 27-01-2015, 08:08   #16
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It depends on your cruising lifestyle. If you anchor close to town, never go exploring, snorkeling etc rowing is fine. OTOH, you are missing much of what I like about cruising... a good stable dink with a good motor to get a load of groceries back to the boat in 25 knots of wind is a godsend. You wont row back a mile or two in that.
Or, you could simply do your best to avoid making your grocery runs when it's blowing 25... :-)

I've been anchored in Georgetown among the hundreds of other boats there in the wake of a frontal passage, with the breeze honking... Funny, but it doesn't seem like even many of those folks with their Cadillac Escalade dinghies are heading out across Elizabeth Harbor for a run to Exuma Market on those mornings, they tend to wait a bit until things start to settle down...

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Also, if you don't have a watermaker, you will need to carry several 5 gal jugs in the dink in the same conditions at times. With a fast good dingy I've commonly explored 5 miles away from the mothership.
Yup, having that sort of range can certainly be nice... however, if you had a real problem, would you be capable of rowing your dink the 5 miles back to the boat?

When cruising in an area where assistance might be just a cell phone call away, no problem... But my basic rule of thumb when on my own in a remote area where one can't count on the possibility of any outside help, is to think very carefully about venturing further afield than one might care to have to row back home... :-)

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Your choice. To me it's a bit like asking, "Do I really need a car to drive to work and back? Why not a Bike?" Some do it... in the right situation...
Certainly, one's choice of a tender is highly personal, and circumstantial, relative to the type and size of boat one sails, and the sort of cruising one primarily does... But in my observation, many cruisers I see appear to be a bit 'over-boated' in their choice, and somewhat burdened by the size engines they're using, simply to be able to scoot around at a faster rate... Of course, SUV-style dinghies can come in very handy, but I seem to manage to somehow get to many of the same places in my slowpoke, as well, it just takes me a bit longer...:-)

But cruising without a powered tender certainly is possible, and many of those folks who are REALLY getting out there have been proving it for years...


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Old 27-01-2015, 08:59   #17
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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Or, you could simply do your best to avoid making your grocery runs when it's blowing 25... :-)
That would mean one would need to stock up for a month or more during times in much of the Caribe.

I don't understand the denigration of people who chose to use inflatables with engines. Seems more like sour apples to me.

There is no wrong choice here - it is all a personal decision centered around how one uses a dinghy.

I use ours regularly to go 4-6 miles offshore, in somewhat rough waters, to spearfish. Besides getting there and back, I need to be able to hoist a 30lb grouper into it from the water - as well as take 2-3 other people along.

I'll bet you a dollar you would be unsuccessful with your rowing dinghy for this type of use. You would be irresponsible even considering using it for such.

Now try to hip-tow your boat with your rowing dinghy. Sometimes this is necessary. A few of us just had to help a boat into an anchorage this way because they lost their engine and ripped out their sail.

And I wouldn't, and won't, cast any aspirations just because you like to row a hard dinghy. I just don't understand why anyone would either way.

Mark

BTW, would this even FIT in your rowing dinghy?
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Old 27-01-2015, 09:16   #18
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

We use a 12' hard dinghy and find it works well for us. We row the majority of the time but have a 2hp Honda for long trips or when I am too damn lazy to row. We also have a sailing rig which is a blast for sailing around the anchorage or long distance exploring when the wind is right.
We have done the big dingy with outboard thing in the past and loved it, but find that the rowing dink fits our cruising style best at this point.
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:11   #19
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

I rowed my dingy for the first two years of my sailing experience. It felt good and it was good for me. It was a lot of work to row from the Island over to George town to get Ice Or washing clothes. Eventually, I got stuck a couple miles from the boat by small storms, or once I broke an oar by prying with it. Ever try to row a couple miles with one oar? The video above was almost a comedy. I have only seen one boat with a 1500 lb dingy, And the people that had it were way overboard with rich exuberance. I eventually got the small outboard and then I could explore all those little side waterways that are so attractive to me. So it's pretty easy to have the best of both worlds with the right choices for your pocketbook. Even then you will find yourself up that proverbial creek without that paddle. Mac
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:32   #20
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

SNeuman: I have cruised for thousands of miles these past 16 years using Watertender 8.8, I have never had a dingy engine and never needed it. If you're ok with rowing and in good shape why hassle with the extra baggage of an outboard?

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Old 27-01-2015, 18:51   #21
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
An engineless dinghy is splendid until the day you have to haul a passenger and load of groceries a couple of cables (never mind a couple of miles) into a 15 knot headwind (never mind 25 knots).
A decent dinghy with a half capable rower should have no problems getting 400 meters into a 15 knot headwind loaded. Agree 25 knots is no fun, but it should be doable if you are fit.
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Old 27-01-2015, 19:03   #22
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
A decent dinghy with a half capable rower should have no problems getting 400 meters into a 15 knot headwind loaded. Agree 25 knots is no fun, but it should be doable if you are fit.
Snowpetrel,

We are heading your way and hope to be there around Christmas. I enjoy your website and hope maybe we can have a dinghy race or two around the harbour.

Cheers.

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Old 27-01-2015, 19:03   #23
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't understand the denigration of people who chose to use inflatables with engines. Seems more like sour apples to me.
Perhaps you're confusing me with someone else… I'm not "denigrating" those who use inflatables w/engines, I do so myself, after all :-) And in my first response, I was in agreement with you, and suggested to the OP that he seriously consider picking up at least a small outboard to supplement his oars...






Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post

There is no wrong choice here - it is all a personal decision centered around how one uses a dinghy.
I agree completely… And I'll bet if you were cruising on my boat, you'd be using a tender/engine combo a bit more like mine… If I were cruising on your Manta, on the other hand, I'd most likely switch to something closer to yours…

I'm simply trying to counter the widespread notion that inflatables and RIBs cannot be rowed effectively… Tom and Nancy Zydler would seem to prove otherwise… And if one can cruise to places like Greenland and often rely upon oar power alone, I think it's probably possible to do so in the Bahamas/Caribbean as well…






In addition, I'm expressing my opinion that some cruisers out there have gone a bit overboard in thinking what they really need in a yacht tender, and many I see appear to be more than slightly out of proportion size-wise, relative to the mother ship…

Here are a couple of examples from boats I've delivered recently… Again, perhaps it's just me :-)






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Old 27-01-2015, 19:15   #24
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

I prefer a hard dinghy, and designed and built a 9-footer which can carry our family of five. We have no engine for it, and have only thought on rare occasions that one would be nice. Once you get good rowing technique, you'll be amazed at the conditions you can row in, and get back to your boat less wet than the folk who drive inflatables. I've been in very few inflatables with engiines that didn't ship a good deal of water over the bows in a heavy chop. Perhaps it's heavy-handedness on the throttle, maybe they needed a bigger inflatable. Either way, having used both, I far prefer a rowing dink. We lived aboard full time for five years and cruised CA to New England and around the Canadian Maritimes with only the rowing dinghy, and found it perfectly met out needs. If you don't really care about exploring more than a mile or so away, I think you'll find a hard rowing dinghy a wonderful, durable, economical, and not thief-magnet solution.
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Old 27-01-2015, 19:49   #25
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

You can row as often and as far as you would like. But you will handicap your dinghy if you insist on not having along a reliable, lightweight outboard. Even if only for use by crew and guests, or for emergencies, such as when you are too injured to row.

Small, lightweight 2-stroke outboards can be purchased for ~$200.
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Old 27-01-2015, 20:11   #26
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

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A very good point, but optimizing the dinghy for rowing means un-optimizing it for just about all other dinghy purposes. A really good-rowing hard dinghy will be narrow and long, so hard to store (if not impossible), will have very little load carrying capacity, and will be subject to be swamped in rough seas. Will also scratch your topsides.


The PT11 is a pretty good allrounder that will fit on deck nicely. Its not optimised for rowing gently, the stern is too wide and flat increasing wetted surface, but that makes it sail very well, take a small outboard motor if wanted, and helps it row very fast, a useful tradeoff. For maximum load carrying and dryness a tiny bit more freeboard would help, as would a narrower stern to prevent transom drag, but these would hurt her in other ways. A very nice dinghy all up that I would love to own. See some more videos of righting and swamping tests and surviving rapids here

I guess it all depends how you cruise. With just a couple, load carrying is not really an issue, a half decent 8 footer can carry 2 people and a heap of gear safety in all reasonable conditions. Unsinkability is easy to add with buoyancy tanks and fenders, and the banging the topsides is cured with a good fender strip.

Stability is the next issue people seem concerned about, but, really with a small amount of practice even something like a very tippy light dory is easy enough to get into, (OK standing on the sides is not a great idea unless you like swimming). I guess if you are very clumsy it might be awkward at times, but most small dinghies have tons more stability than a light dory. The problem is people get used to very stable dinghies like an inflatable and then expect a small hard to dinghy to be the same. For diving and swimming though I agree, it's hard to beat an inflatable, though with care a hard dinghy will work using a foot stirrup over the stern. A row of fenders as a buoyancy tube will give more stability and load carrying, but will hurt rowing in strong winds.

The 8.5 footer I designed is perfectly stable enough to stand up in (not right out on the gunwale of course) and still rows exceedingly well for a short dinghy, and will carry 4 people at a pinch in flat water, and 3 in most normal anchorage conditions. If you have a bunch of people aboard then a big inflatable and outboard starts to make a lot of sense. In our case we had a big 12 footer with 3 sets of rowing positions that carried 2 adults, 3 teenagers and 2 kids happily and fast, with 5 of us on oars and 2 across the back. lots of fun

At the moment I have both, a nice 12 foot hard dinghy and a 12 foot roll up inflatable. I have a 2 hp outboard and an electric that can be used on both, but in the future I might add a 8 hp for the big inflatable, but since I mostly use the hard dinghy at the moment, there's no real need for another outboard, except as a backup for towing Snowpetrel II if I have any engine problems.
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Old 27-01-2015, 20:46   #27
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

Lots of strong opinions have been expressed so far, and I guess that each responder has worked out what is best for themselves. Ann and I have been cruising for a long time now, and have always been dedicated anchor-outers. FWIW, I would not consider continuing our cruising without a reasonable size RIB and outboard. We find the overall utility of this combination to be best for us. We enjoy rowing, and would be quite happy to have a good pulling boat in addition to the RIB... just for the pleasure of rowing. But for the nuts and bolts utility required in long term cruising, the RIB just works well for us... and for all the reasons that others have already posted.

One poster asked if one could be comfortable motoring away further than one would be able to row back, and that is a reasonable query*. When going such distances, we carry basic tools, a spare plug or two, and in previous times a spare prop (don't have one for the current Yamaha... gotta do something about that!). Modern two stroke o/b are very reliable if maintained at all well, and honestly, it isn't much of a worry to us. We did once have an issue with some old fuel (likely alcohol type, purchased unknowingly) and that was a bother until we finally got the carb cleaned out really well. But we did have oars and never felt that we were at risk of more than inconvenience. BTW, we often row our RIB just for exercise and quiet. Not very efficient, but do-able.

Our choice is from experience, works for us, YMMV.

Jim

* I reckon one could ask the same question about driving an automobile further than you would be willing to walk back!
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Old 27-01-2015, 21:17   #28
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Engineless dinghy?

We've got a hard dink (nesting Gig Harbor Navigator) and added dinghy dogs + a 2.3 Honda outboard.

1. She rows like a champ (80% we just row - depending on our Catalina mooring timing...lol )
2. Has a great sailing setup with dagger boards (can easily manage if no access to fuel, + long hauls to shore)
3. Can add flotation with Dinghy Dogs (like a RIB)
4. Easily handles a ~2hp motor for those times when a long distance or headwind would matter or simply hauling supplies

Note: We had a aluminum floor RIB and a 6HP outboard - just realized it was too much to deal with (bulky + heavy) and a PIA to inflate/deflate. Once offshore she would be a burden...it's just us two (Wife + Me).

FWIW: get what you like, and do yourself a favor >> test out what your dockmates or friends have before you decide on opinion vs experience.

We love our Gig Harbor Navigator and would buy her initially if we knew!

Check out: http://svcerulean.com/2013/01/04/goo...or-10-nesting/

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Old 27-01-2015, 21:19   #29
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

Except that one doesn't have to worry about being blown out to sea while walking back from a car trip...
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Old 27-01-2015, 21:26   #30
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Re: Engineless dinghy?

I have an 11 foot Boston Whaler which rows great, and that I row a lot, even with the engine on it, for exercise and fun. Biggest problem: all of the people who think the engine must be broken, (or why would I be rowing), who come by and want to tow me.

Best exercise in the world. But, when I get older, yeah, I'll probably use the motor more.
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