Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-11-2015, 12:05   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO
Boat: Amel Super Maramu 53'
Posts: 178
How big of a Dinghy?

I was curious what the Liveaboards felt was a minimum dinghy size. We're moving aboard and we have a small inflatable that stores in a lazarette. We'll keep that as a spare. It will be just the two of us most of the time. If it weren't for the limited storage space on deck (it's a big boat but still...) I'd get a ten footer or larger. I'm wondering if something in the 8 or 9 foot range would work for bringing groceries, jerrycans, etc.

Duane
__________________

__________________
carlylelk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:19   #2
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,045
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

I'll let the more experienced comment, but in my case I couldn't put much of anything on deck, so I went with Davits.
I think a lot is determined by you, what does live a board mean to you? To a great many it means a Marina. My slip neighbor who lives a board a 38 Lagoon doesn't really have much of a dinghy, doesn't really need one, they bought a Hobie Adventure Island I think it's called for fun instead.
__________________

__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:24   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

I'd go with something just over 10 feet. I like AB lites. 10'06"

__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:26   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Just remembered, many of the smaller dinks don't have a flat floor. This really reduces the cargo carrying area. Difficult to stow jerry jugs and supplies. Get a RIB with a flat floor.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:37   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO
Boat: Amel Super Maramu 53'
Posts: 178
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I'll let the more experienced comment, but in my case I couldn't put much of anything on deck, so I went with Davits.
I think a lot is determined by you, what does live a board mean to you? To a great many it means a Marina. My slip neighbor who lives a board a 38 Lagoon doesn't really have much of a dinghy, doesn't really need one, they bought a Hobie Adventure Island I think it's called for fun instead.
We're planning on anchoring most of the time. The boat is self-sufficient enough to make that comfortable. We'll be in the Caribbean for five years, then maybe the Med.

Duane
__________________
carlylelk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:39   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO
Boat: Amel Super Maramu 53'
Posts: 178
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I'd go with something just over 10 feet. I like AB lites. 10'06"

I was looking at the AB "Lumina" (aluminum hulls). They're light, and I would think durable for beaching. Have you had any experience with them?

Duane
__________________
carlylelk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:44   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
I was looking at the AB "Lumina" (aluminum hulls). They're light, and I would think durable for beaching. Have you had any experience with them?

Duane

They are excellent dinks. I would have one except for the price. Have seen kids water skiing behind one with a 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:54   #8
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,673
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
I was curious what the Liveaboards felt was a minimum dinghy size. We're moving aboard and we have a small inflatable that stores in a lazarette. We'll keep that as a spare. It will be just the two of us most of the time. If it weren't for the limited storage space on deck (it's a big boat but still...) I'd get a ten footer or larger. I'm wondering if something in the 8 or 9 foot range would work for bringing groceries, jerrycans, etc.

Duane
Hi, Duane,

Sorry to be equivocal, but it really depends on what your plans are. We knew we were going to places where we wanted to anchor the big boat where it would be safe and go spear fishing and snorkeling at longer distances. For that usage, we wanted a large, stable, competent dinghy and o/b.

If you're not swimmers, or if you mostly stay in marinas, you can get by with quite a small dinghy, and there are many from which to choose. The smaller it is , the less jerry jugs you will carry per trip. We used to have 6 five gallon water jugs. We could plane with them full in in our dinghy. This required a 15 hp o/b. [which also had to be stored.] If you have a watermaker, or large enough water capacity to only have to water up 3 or 4 times a year, you'll be able to find places to do it and not have to jerry jug water. If you will be jerry jugging water, then you will want a pretty competent dinghy.

So, IMO it all depends on what you think you want to do with the dinghy. Long exploratory trips up mangrove creeks appeal? Trips to offshore dive spots? Jerry jugging fuel and/or water?

Do bear in mind, people can buy new stuff after they've tried getting along with what they have. Your experiences and also what you notice what you're left out on will then dictate a new purchase.

Once you find out what you think you'd like, why not pick up one used, and try it out? [An elderly 13 ft. Zodiac came with our 36 foot first Insatiable. We trialed it, discovered that fast was fun, and wore it out after about 6 yrs--but it had been 10 yrs. in Mexico before we had it!] We had been advised to get the biggest, most capable dinghy we could handle, and we made that work. For passages, we dis-inflated it, and stored the bits that made up the floor boards and rails below, and rolled up the skin, lashed it down on deck in front of the dodger.

Today, we have a RIB, and it is also lashed on deck for passages, deflated. Jim made removable chocks for the transom, that fit in guides he bonded to the deck, and the bow lashes down where the baby stay attaches. Laterally, there are two pad eyes through bolted, with backing plates, and we strap it down between them. It covers the forehatch.

So, I am sure that a larger dinghy is doable for you. After that, it is a question of desire, your use, your intentions.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 12:57   #9
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

I got what I consider good advice on this years ago. Dinghy & motor should be big enough to get your boat out of trouble in a pinch. This means towing to deep water if the engine fails.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 13:23   #10
Registered User
 
Travis McGee's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Jax, FL
Boat: 48' steel cutter
Posts: 291
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I'd go with something just over 10 feet. I like AB lites. 10'06"

AB 10.5 aluminum RIB: best dink I ever had.
Plenty fast with a 15hp 2 stroke Evinrude from the 1980s.
__________________
Travis McGee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 13:27   #11
Registered User
 
Travis McGee's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Jax, FL
Boat: 48' steel cutter
Posts: 291
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I got what I consider good advice on this years ago. Dinghy & motor should be big enough to get your boat out of trouble in a pinch. This means towing to deep water if the engine fails.
Also important is the ability to wrestle a motor on and off of a dink in the water, getting it from transom to transom without going overboard or busting you or your boats. For me, that's a 15hp 2 stroke at about 80#. And that is a reach, even with "help" from pulleys etc. Sometimes the trick davits might not work, or for one reason or another, you just have to move that damn motor, and in that case, lighter is better. Some folks even keep 2 engines for one boat, using a little 6hp or so most of the time for routine work and less gasoline usage. But don't forget to factor in your physical ability to swap motors around from boat to dink.
__________________
Travis McGee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 15:00   #12
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,744
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
We're planning on anchoring most of the time. The boat is self-sufficient enough to make that comfortable. We'll be in the Caribbean for five years, then maybe the Med.

Duane
If you plan to anchor most of the time, then you will use the dinghy intensively.

Choice of dinghy (like so many things on board) is a hard tradeoff between different considerations. Only you can decide what's more, and what's less important. And there are many, many choices.

You could stick to your roll-up and maximize stowability. Then you won't have to worry about the dinghy when you're on passage. No windage, no problem of it being in the way, no risk of having it washed away or breaking loose, etc., etc.

This is a choice which a lot of long distance sailors make. I spent some time on a Swan 90, in fact, which had a roughly 9' roll-up. Because the owner just did not want to mar the lines of the boat with ugly davits, or inhibit the performance in any way. Although a boat that size could easily ship a RIB on deck some where.

If you use your dinghy intensively, especially in the Caribbean where you will often have long dinghy rides, then choosing, on the contrary, a RIB has huge advantages. Now you have a hard floor which makes it much easier to carry loads, plus you can plane and make good speed when you're trying to make miles. Much more stable in rougher weather. No risk of rubbing a hole in it by running it up a beach.

A RIB is the choice of most cruisers, probably, other than those with very small boats. But to HAVE a RIB, you have to pay the price. Namely -- you can't roll it up, so it has to live either on deck, or in davits.

A good sized (say 3.4 meters) RIB in davits is a completely viable, and common solution for a boat your size. If you rig it right it will be ok even in rough weather. Upside: Dinghy always ready and can be launched or retrieved with minimal effort and in seconds, and takes up no deck space. Those are pretty strong arguments. Downside -- windage, ugly, adds to length. Some risk of getting pooped in a really extreme storm. Davits may work loose or crack with repeated stress.

If you go for a RIB but don't want davits, then you have to find space on deck. Do you have it? I couldn't find it on my somewhat larger boat than yours (54' on deck and 16' beam). I might have had space on the afterdeck but for the location of the backstay. Maybe your boat is different.

OR, you can go with a RIB with a folding transom, and store that on deck. There are 10' RIBS (like the Avon Lite) which fold up to about the size of a surfboard. You won't be able to get that into a lazarette, but most boats of 50' + can find space on deck somewhere.

I've been through all of this myself recently. When I bought my boat, it had an 11' Avon RIB with 25 horsepower Mariner outboard. It was wheel steered with center console. This heavy RIB lived in heavy, electric davits. I used it like this for six years. Upside: This dinghy was a proper little motorboat, capable of carrying a load of more than half a ton, and planing with five people on board. It could pull a waterskier. And could be used for delightful excursions. With the electric davits, it could be lifted or launched in moments.

Downside: the davits malfunctioned frequently and I spent an inordinate amount of time fixing them. I started to do a lot of long distance passage making, and in rough weather the davits would work lose, and cracked once or twice. Looked like total s***t, spoiling the lines of the boat, creating windage, and weight hung out over the transom. I eventually go tired of it (after the fourth North Sea crossing), and ditched both the davits, and, reluctantly, the dinghy.

I replaced it with an Avon Lite 310 folding RIB, with an 8hp motor. I installed lighter, non-powered davits, but on passage, the RIB lives on the foredeck in its surfboard mode. I have to remove the outboard in any case, which adds to launch/retrieval time. Downsides: much less comfortable without wheel steering, not as fast, less load carrying capacity (but still nearly half a ton), much less seaworthy. Longer time to launch or retrieve -- especially if inflating or deflating is involved. But upside - nothing hanging over the transom on passage; no more torture with constant davit repairs.


So there you are -- two different compromises, out of my actual real experience. Only you can decide what the right compromise is for you. But I'm happy, so far, with the last compromise. Mostly because dealing with my old electric davits and being dependent on them was a real torture. If they had been reliable, I might not have minded the other compromises so much. So far I don't mind the extra launch/retrieve time, because I am no longer dependent (whee!) on the davits. So far I'm feeling liberated. YMMV!
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2015, 08:52   #13
Registered User
 
CaptTom's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Boat: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Posts: 975
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Just remembered, many of the smaller dinks don't have a flat floor. This really reduces the cargo carrying area. Difficult to stow jerry jugs and supplies. Get a RIB with a flat floor.
Agreed! Mine has a deep V and stowing any gear, or just stepping in and out, is problematic. Everything ends up in a jumble at the lowest point, in the water if there is any. If you try to stand up, your foot slides down on top of the jumble, crushing everything.

I was thinking of cutting a piece of Starboard to make a bit of a sole. Has anyone here tried that?
__________________
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2015, 08:52   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,282
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

We bought an Australian made 3.3m OceanCraft. You sail the same boat as 'S/V Delos' who also have a 3.3m OceanCraft. Look them up on YouTube and you'll see how they use their boat and how they store it aboard. The dinghy itself is pretty incredible - very sea worthy and massively strong and very spacious whilst being super quick. We actually have two of these dinghies (the smaller version is 2.6m) as the kids have their own. We also have two motors for each dinghy - a 'big' one and a little puttering around one. The big engine is 25hp and the small engine is a 5hp. The kids use a 15hp & a 3hp. All our engines are Yamaha two strokes as they are so easy to maintain and very reliable. The big engines get used for distant trips, towing, water sports etc whilst the small engines get used in confined waters, within harbours or pottering between boats etc. If being used for long off-shore trips we usually take a small engine along with us for safety. Both dinghies are rated to 30hp. These are not cheap but they are quality.
__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2015, 09:58   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
seasick's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bend, OR
Boat: Brewer designed Pacific 43 in fiberglass. Center cockpit set up for long-distance single handing.
Posts: 430
Re: How big of a Dinghy?

My first consideration for dinghy sizing is what will I feel ok about jumping into, in the middle of a gale, at night to run out another anchor? Will I have to take all the chain and rode with me or will the dink be able to drag the chain and rode through the waves and wind as its paid out of the locker?

Next in consideration, is this a boat I want my kids or grandkids to be able to learn boating skills in?

I've had every kind of inflatable and hard dinghy combo you can imagine. All are in some manner a compromise.

I currently have a fiberglass lap strake design built by my brother's old company, Vashon Boat Works. It is a ten footer with full length flotation chambers. It is easily driven with a two horse, easily sailed, rowed and skulled. All things I want my grandkids to master. It is fun for everything but getting back into when diving and snorkeling. It can be done easily enough but it takes practice.

If the mother ship goes down, I can cross an ocean in this dink like Bligh.

Best of all when you get back from that shore excursion and the tides gone out a half mile like in Darwin or the British Channel Islands (A) your dinks still there because they stole the fancy inflatable next to yours and (B) you can easily drag it to the water.

We keep it on davits when near shore and upside down on the foredeck when at sea. We seldom leave the cockpit so getting around it isn't an issue.
__________________

__________________
seasick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dinghy

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going Solo - How Big Is Too Big? hoppy Monohull Sailboats 42 23-08-2016 17:16
How Big Is Too Big to Singlehand ? kcmarcet General Sailing Forum 29 01-06-2014 18:24
How Big Is Big Enough for Anchoring on the Bay of Fundy? OrangeCrush Monohull Sailboats 9 17-09-2009 10:43
How big is too big? Capnlindy General Sailing Forum 98 04-06-2007 08:14
my big, big, plan faithful Meets & Greets 1 17-10-2004 15:28



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.