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Old 16-01-2011, 19:59   #1
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When Is Your Dinghy Too Big ?

Currently have a 7.5' livingston cat type dinghy /3.5 merc. Its nice.... in smooth water but wet and just feels unsafe in any real chop. How big is too big? I draft almost 6' and the dink is my way of getting around and actually having fun . Does anybody tow a considerable size dink behind or even a smaller boston whaler type ? Say 12-14 ft or so ? Im heading to carib and am aware of dinghy theft but the dink seems pretty important item to be comfortable on
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:14   #2
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Towing a dink, even in "mild" weather and short passages is not a good idea. Just get the biggest dink you can fit on the boat.
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:21   #3
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I think a dinghy is too big if it exceeds your beam.
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:25   #4
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We are cruising on a 25' boat, and towing a 10' dink. It is a nesting model though. It fills up the foredeck when nested, but it does fit.
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:37   #5
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the 8 -10 ft carib ribs with a15hp is a real work horse,and light enough to lift at night on a halyard.very popular in the windies.
we use a 13ft zodiac with a 25hp,will plane with5 in it at a push hav had 13 people,also have an 8ft hard rowing dingy which if in doubt we leave on the beach,so some one can go and get the bigger dingy to ferry crew back and forth in areas known for dingy theft.
both dingys we lift at night if nesscary.
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:43   #6
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cruising mexico we have a 8' inflatable with hard bottom and 8 hp engine. seems to me this is pretty typical. If I had to give my 2 cents, get a 8 to 10' inflatable with the aluminum (light weight) deep v bottom. Ours has practically a flat bottom and it is next to impossible to get it to plane with 3 adults but the same size dink with same engine and a deep v will plane almost instantly.
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Old 16-01-2011, 22:45   #7
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G'day, mate. Ditto on limmer's advice (and get the biggest tube diameter you can for the length) and keep your 3.5 merc for just getting to the beach and short trips, if you have the room. BTW, still on same PVC tubes, 13 years on. Cheers.
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Old 17-01-2011, 05:52   #8
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It really depends on the size of your sail boat and how you store the tender. If its on the foredeck or on davits. On davits you arent overly restricted, although the beam of the boat is a good max. otherwise you may have to dunk the tender everytime you pull alongside something. If you store on the foredeck, you need to consider work space around it. ie getting to the forestay etc. Perhaps the best way is to answer those questions then grab a tape measure

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Old 17-01-2011, 06:20   #9
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How big is too big?
When you trail your boat behind your dingy
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Old 17-01-2011, 07:23   #10
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35' L 11' beam--- I do have davits but only really use them to haul out at night. When underway I pull the dink up on board in back. ( Im a center cockpit)
I like the idea of a rib but also like the idea of a hi sided aluminum fishing skiff say 12' in length that I can run around the islands in. Kinda a Cadillac of run-abouts

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Old 17-01-2011, 07:39   #11
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Personally I'd stick with a RIB. I use my RIB for more than just getting to shore. I dive and explore, a lot, I have a 10.5 Avon with a 15hp which just barely fits between the hulls. I re-inforced my davits to carry the extra weight on crossings. A 10hp motor is the smallest I would consider though many, if not most, have smaller lighter outboards. I have a 5hp merc that has seen maybe 20 hours total in the three years I have owned it. It's great for the light weight but just lacks speed and doesn't have the power in strong currents. I just don't see many skiffs on smaller sail boats. Dingies is an area I wouldn't try to be smarter than the rest and re-invent the wheel.
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Old 17-01-2011, 07:50   #12
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We use a West Marine 350 RIB Hypalon and really like it, it's big and sturdy, about $2700. We also carry a 14 ft Jonboat for flat water, bigger, sturdier. Use a 4 hp motor and just put put along. I think West Marine sells their RIBs at cost just to get their name out there.
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Old 17-01-2011, 07:54   #13
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We use a West Marine 350 RIB Hypalon and really like it, it's big and sturdy, about $2700. We also carry a 14 ft Jonboat for flat water, bigger, sturdier. Use a 4 hp motor and just put put along. I think West Marine sells their RIBs at cost just to get their name out there.
A jon boat type was what I was thinking of just higher sides and pointy front. They're pretty light now.
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Old 17-01-2011, 08:05   #14
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The problem with Jonboats is that they are not self bailing, and if you get caught in rough seas you will swamp. An RIB will always sit high in the water and keep running.
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Old 17-01-2011, 09:03   #15
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Towing a dink, even in "mild" weather and short passages is not a good idea. Just get the biggest dink you can fit on the boat.
To each their own of course. I tow a 10.5 AB RIB with a 15hp tilted up wherever I go. Adjust the painter to sit safely in the wake and life is good. It can also set upside down forward of the mast when use is not imminent, with the engine on a mount on the stern pulpit.
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