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Old 18-08-2016, 14:16   #31
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

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It is all semantics. To me a dinghy is a blunt bowed plywood 6 -8 ft boat with oar locks.
I guess I'm wrong. The definition seem to be a small towed tender.
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Old 18-08-2016, 14:28   #32
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

inflatable yacht tender with inflatable floor/store upside down on fore deck or deflate and roll up and store in a valance /bought a second hand sevy marine hypalon tender at lizard in2006 has had a few glue ups and a mother of a hiding but still motors or paddles to shore and back with heavy load /much more stable than hard shell options/also have a hydrofield type fiberglass yacht tender that tows well for the river and local rock hopping/would fit on the fore deck of a larger yacht and light to handle
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Old 18-08-2016, 18:01   #33
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

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I need a dinghy ... or at the least something that will "easily", fit the deck of a Bristol 30, and/or trail nicely behind the boat.

I'm looking at the stand-up boards and wonder how stable they are and if a small, removable container might be attachable ... anyone using unique alternatives?
For what it is worth, we/I have messed about in dinghies for well over 50 years (and now I am in shock !). Nothing beats a hard dinghy for rowing, but then again, nothing beats an inflatable for tendering (one big fender, and so amazingly stable - that's why most of us use them).

If you are fixed on rowing rather than using an outboard, then borrow someone's hard tender (nesting, folding or otherwise), and give it a try. Observe the stability, see how it rows, and - if applicable, see how it motors. Then think about stowage - between ports/bays, and long-term.

Now try an inflatable - not a RIB, a full inflatable with hard air floor (Zodiac started the idea, but there are a number of others out there). See how it rows (and motors if applicable), see how stable it is, and think about stowage again.
For me, if I was looking for a rowing boat to get some exercise and have a bit of fun, I would go for hard, but for our application of a tender that can be rowed reasonably well to get to shore etc, that can carry large loads, that motors very well, that does not bash the sides of our boat when we are getting on or off in any sort of a sea, we have gone for a full inflatable (for us a Zodiac Fastroller 340).
If we are bay hopping, it gets towed or sits in the davits. For bigger trips it gets lashed down on the foredeck, or gets rolled up. For long-term stowage, it goes into the spare cabin, fully rolled up in it's bag (something a RIB or hard tender cannot do).
I have installed a 12v outlet at the stern, and in the foc'sle. With a Bravo HVLP/LVHP electric pump, the tubes and floor are pumped hard in a couple of minutes.
Everyone has different ideas and preferences (thankfully), but that's my perspective, so hopefully it helps.
David
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Old 18-08-2016, 20:00   #34
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

I have a portabote and it is EXCELLENT! Best dinghy in 30 years of sailing. It's EXTREMELY light, folds up quickly and easily and stores (in my case) on top of the house lashed, on edge (it's only 4" thick!) across the lower shrouds - totally out of the way. I can open it fairly easily (although I had to invent an "opener". It's really stiff in cold weather) on deck although that might not be so easy on a smaller boat. That's the one thing I would watch out for: Can you open it on your deck.
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Old 19-08-2016, 00:52   #35
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

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I have a portabote and it is EXCELLENT! Best dinghy in 30 years of sailing. It's EXTREMELY light ...............
Porta Botes are light, but just for clarity, here are the weights for the four sizes:

The 8'6" Porta Bote weighs 68 pounds.
The 10'8" = 78 lbs; 12'6" = 87 lbs and the 14' Porta Bote weighs 108 lbs.
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Old 19-08-2016, 01:29   #36
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

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Porta Botes are light, but just for clarity, here are the weights for the four sizes:

The 8'6" Porta Bote weighs 68 pounds.
The 10'8" = 78 lbs; 12'6" = 87 lbs and the 14' Porta Bote weighs 108 lbs.
I am surprised at that weight - I thought Porta Botes were lighter. Just checked and a Zodiac Fastroller 340 (11' 2") is 36kg/79lbs, so actually a little lighter length for weight than a Porta Bote.
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Old 19-08-2016, 03:12   #37
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

I had a porta-bote. Loved it. Very stable, and could haul a ton. Also tough as nails. You have to have some room to set it up and tear it down, though. I both rowed and used a 2hp outboard with it. One big problem. Forget rowing if there is wind. They have a lot of windage with that free-board. That's my experience with the Porta-boat. Currently have an Avon inflatable on the bow of my 30' Dufour Arpege, but it takes up the whole bow from mast to bow stem. I have to fold it up for long passages, but tow for short ones. Advantages, light weight, you can scuba dive or snorkel from it, meaning getting in and out from the water without swamping it. I also like the idea of the nesting dinghies, but haven't tried one.
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Old 19-08-2016, 07:23   #38
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

This kayaky looking thing interests me

I found the thing in the thread above. I have no experience with it, though.

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Old 19-08-2016, 10:24   #39
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

A Chameleon by Danny Greene. Nesting dinghy. Check it out. I have one, 10ft so it's big enough for a good sized chop. 3 people in calm conditions. Take you 140 hours to build and last a lifetime because you can repair it seeing as how you built it in the first place.
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Old 20-08-2016, 03:59   #40
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

In my last 2 summers in the Med, I have seen and used a wide variety of tenders.
The most popular among small boats is the 6' to 8' hard transom inflatable. Very entertaining to watch as 4 adults putsy to the dock, but its very stowable, reasonably stable, and with a 2hp, capable for longer explorations. Towing your tender is always a risk, even at anchor, but if you must, empty it, keep it 2' from the transom, use a dock snubber and dockline to absorb the shock. Keep a line tied to a side handle so you can right it when it flips without having to get off your boat mid ocean.
Hard tenders, while classics, are rarely found except on mega yachts where a 24' Riva or 2 can be found in the tender garage.

Myself, I prefer the inflatable SUP to small inflatables for solo trips, although some practice is required. Ours is 10'6"x 32". Its very stable and my wife and I have paddled kayak style to shore and back with groceries and computers (dry bag). Me sitting, wife on her knees. Case of beer on the poopdeck.
It paddles as fast as a 2 hp dingy, very quiet, at 25lbs easy to haul aboard or onto a dock. Some even have a center board and windsurf base.
In a breeze you need to paddle like a kayak with a kayak paddle. It outperforms a kayak in every way, at half the weight.
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Old 21-08-2016, 08:07   #41
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

We use a portabote with an electric motor (torqeedo). Folds flat on the rail of our Hunter 28 in a kayak rack. Added bonus we can always spot our dink at the dingy dock.
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Old 21-08-2016, 11:08   #42
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

I had to research the meaning of a "inflatable SUP" to discover that it's a stand up paddle board. These look like great fun and we would probably use them for play and exploring like we use our little kayaks, but they don't seem to be a capable dinghy.

I suppose I think of the dinghy as more utilitarian. We need a dinghy that can carry groceries, laundry, bicycles or dash to shore and back in stormy weather.

For our best choice this is the common RIB (rigid inflatable boat). This suits us as we have a pair of very strong davits and our RIB is a light model at about 110 lbs. with the outboard stored on deck.

If I had less space I would probably choose the Port-A-Bote.
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Old 21-08-2016, 11:25   #43
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

This would make a unique dinghy.

This is only 17 feet long so it would only take up a little more than half the space of your entire boat. I suggest hanging it from davits though. Think of how much solar you could put up.

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Old 21-08-2016, 11:38   #44
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

Another happy portabote owner here. I've had our 10' for the last two boats, so over 10 years now. Stores on the side deck with seats in a dedicated bag against the cabin on the peak. Lots of deck room on my current boat so no issues, but smaller boat owners should consider where they will store the bote AND seats.

Also important is that you can assemble/disassemble on deck. Otherwise you end up dragging it, which is (IMO) a bad idea. Too light, too easily tossed in an unexpected blow.

The bote rows well, is fairly light, neigh indestructible, and carries a large load. It even has a sail rig (a lateen) which can be fun to play with. And Mark, don't worry; it's soft, so won't hurt your delicate and fragile Beneteau

I use a 3.5 hp outboard on ours. With that I can easily get it to plane with one person; two will plane in flat calm. If I go at 1/4 throttle the fuel efficiency is incredible b/c it takes so little effort to move through the water ... not like a non-planing inflatable where you're dragging half the waterway with you as you go.

A portabote does have a fair bit of windage, which added to its lightness and hull shape, means it is affected more by wind than most inflatables. And you can't stand on the gunwales the way you can do with an inflatable. But as long as you can store the bote and seats efficiently, there's not much downside to this option.
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Old 21-08-2016, 11:50   #45
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Re: Dinghy ... Unique Alternatives

Right on. I have an inflatable 11' x 3 3/4" SUP that is bigger than most dinghy's and I can carry 400 lbs on it. I am thinking about an attachable motor for long distances.
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