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Old 11-10-2014, 04:45   #16
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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FTR, I have a 10' portabote and a 4-stroke 3.5hp engine. It planes with one person in it, and I've even had it up with two adults on flat calm days. But this engine moves us plenty fast with a full load, and so far, no wet-undies syndrome. I can easily lift the engine off and on without a crane. Seems to sip gas. Best of all it rows well, is very tough, and stores well on the mothership.
I like the concept of the porta bote a lot but I took it out of the running due to the stated max weight capacity of 585 lbs. for the 10 footer being right on the edge for our needs. Going to a 12 footer I think would be a lot to handle for a tender and doesn't increase the payload capacity much (670 lbs). If the 10 foot PB had a capacity more in the 800 - 1000 lb. neighborhood this thread might not exist.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:38   #17
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

You've gotten lots of good advice. It really depends on where you are cruising and what your specific needs are. Many people are completely happy with 5 hp.

90% of my dinghy use is in harbors and rivers with a 6 knot or even 4 knot speed limit. My mooring is several miles up the Hamble River, so from here I would have to go for miles before I could use more than 3 horsepower of my 25 horsepower outboard.

Yet, when you need it, you really need it. Cruising in the Baltic, we were often anchored miles from anything, and it was terrific to be able to get the dinghy up on a plane and fly to wherever we were going -- greatly increases your reach. One mile at 25 knots is about 2 1/2 minutes -- at 4 (non-planing speed of many small RIBs) it's 15 minutes.

I toyed with downsizing my engine to a 15 to get the weight down. But after much thought, I decided not to change it, and here's yet another thing to think about -- what if you lose your main engine, and you have to tow the mother ship with the dinghy? Having enough power to do it might conceivably save your boat some day.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:54   #18
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

Once you start cruising you will find the dink to be the second most important piece of gear after your anchor. You will use it for exploring, fishing and diving, as well as schlepping god knows what. It is also a spare auxiliary engine, bow thruster and a work float. The best rule of thumb is the largest dink you can manage!
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:13   #19
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

I just did a Google image search for "dinghy dock". I suggest you do it and have a look at the dinghies in he docks.
Very rare to find a Portaboat. WHY???
Rare to fine a teeny-weeny outboard. WHY???




If the vast majority of cruisers are buying a similar style of item is it because its better? Or because you who hasn't yet gone cruising knows better?




PS the photo off Google is pretty damn well known its the first "real" cruising destination for many north Americans... And probably one of he best dinghy docks in the world, opposite a fuel station, free fresh water on the dinghy dock and the land end of thedock has the towns biggest supermarket! Bliss!!! BUT its a MILE over rough water to get there!
Name it


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Old 11-10-2014, 06:16   #20
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

We cruised RTW the first time with just a rowing dinghy (trinka) and no motor. I loved it. Can only remember two places around the world where the row was at all difficult. We were young then.

The second time we took a high pressure floor inflatable with a 6hp motor. We can plane with two, but usually don't. It's more motor than we truely need.

We have never desired the big rib/hp combo that so many people find "necessary". And we love being able to completely put the whole thing away when we go to sea and having nothing on deck.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:45   #21
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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I like the concept of the porta bote a lot but I took it out of the running due to the stated max weight capacity of 585 lbs. for the 10 footer being right on the edge for our needs. Going to a 12 footer I think would be a lot to handle for a tender and doesn't increase the payload capacity much (670 lbs). If the 10 foot PB had a capacity more in the 800 - 1000 lb. neighborhood this thread might not exist.
The 10-footer is good for two people, three for short runs, but more than that and I would want bigger. I'd say it's not the max. weight that's the limiting factor, it's the volume. I don't think the portabote is for everyone, but for our needs it has been a great dink. It's fairly light, so doesn't need a big engine. It's very tough, so we don't worry about running up on rocks. It rows well, so we don't need to use the engine a lot. And it stores on our deck, safely out of the way.

We just came back from over 80 days out cruising. I'm sure that doesn't mean much to some of you, but we've been out there, living on the boat, and using the dink for to get to shore, to explore and to have fun. Yup, with our 3.5 hp engine it takes longer to get places. So? Again, I'm befuddled by those who travel by sail, only to insist that a big zippy dink is necessary when they get close to land. Guess it depends on who you are, and what you want/need.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:08   #22
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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Again, I'm befuddled by those who travel by sail, only to insist that a big zippy dink is necessary when they get close to land.
There is a great reef 4-5 miles offshore in open water. You want to scuba dive or spearfish on that reef with two of your friends. This is a regular day in the dinghy for some of us.

Try that in your portabote with 3.5hp. I can give dozens of examples of how we use our 12' RIB with 20hp, where a row boat or portabote with 3hp just isn't going to do the job, and could be downright unsafe.

It isn't all about zipping around small harbors visiting others - or even being close to land with it...

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Old 11-10-2014, 07:08   #23
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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. . . And we love being able to completely put the whole thing away when we go to sea and having nothing on deck. . .
That's the key tradeoff. There is no good solution for dinghy storage on boats of less than about 65 feet.

You've heard all the arguments for "big, zippy" dinghies. Here is the overwhelming argument against them. Take your choice.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:13   #24
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

Rigid bottom and Davits... you will never regret it!
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:13   #25
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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That's the key tradeoff. There is no good solution for dinghy storage on boats of less than about 65 feet.

You've heard all the arguments for "big, zippy" dinghies. Here is the overwhelming argument against them. Take your choice.
I fully agree that the dinghy package should be fit to the boat for safety purposes above all other needs.

However, there are boats <65ft that can carry a larger dinghy package safely. Our 40' catamaran has an arch/davit that can safely lift and hold >1,000lbs, and the dinghy (300lbs) is rock steady on it 6' above the water. The sterns extend 7' past the dinghy, so there is plenty buoyancy - it would take a very extreme storm to get waves into the dinghy, at which point we would be swimming in the cockpit.

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Old 11-10-2014, 07:24   #26
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

We have a 10.5' rib with a 15 hp on davits. I have a lifting Crain for the engine, easy to put on and off. I do it by myself. This year on vacation the 25 kts is great to get to the other end of the lake we anchored in. This setup is a major improvement over the air floor 4 hp setup no davits we had before. The rib is a boat you can use and be comfortable in.

However, I am considering adding the 4 hp I already have to the rail in order to provide a smaller easier to start option for slow trip up to the river when put-put is the speed limit.


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Old 11-10-2014, 07:43   #27
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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There is a great reef 4-5 miles offshore in open water. You want to scuba dive or spearfish on that reef with two of your friends. This is a regular day in the dinghy for some of us.

Try that in your portabote with 3.5hp. I can give dozens of examples of how we use our 12' RIB with 20hp, where a row boat or portabote with 3hp just isn't going to do the job, and could be downright unsafe.

It isn't all about zipping around small harbors visiting others - or even being close to land with it...
Hmmm, so it would take me an hour or two to get out there. If I wanted to go that bad, then I would go. But it's absolutely true that a small dink and engine means I can't do some things. So? Same goes with any choice. Your dink and engine would be inadequate compared to a coast guard zodiac with double 80 hp engines. All choices come with limits. It's just a question of what you want/need.

I'm not trying to pick a fight. If you need to get out to the reef quickly, then get the bigger dink/engine. I'll be happily putting along at my own pace .
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:54   #28
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

i love the freedom my ROWBOAT gives me-- i can sleep at night with it in the water..is safer for bubba daboatkat, as when he fell in, he swam to the side tied dinghy and i could easily scoop his cold wet self into boat.....
it is not on the to be stolen list as it has no engine and is not reflatable....i can land on a beach without problems..try that in a inflatable many times.....
i do not suffer problems from ethanol in gasoline nor do i store any gas on boat--i do not have to rebuild my fuel system in engine on back of dink ever
funny how rowing keeps me able to eat what i WANT to eat not what some trendy bunch if nuts preaches...no special diet, no added fat on my body...roflmffao..
.LOTS of exercise...
oh yes--propulsion system is over 10 yrs old and still flawlessly functional.. try that with an outboard...
so what if it takes a buncha time to get places--i am not on a schedule.
this lifestyle really has no use for schedules, as schedules kill sailors......

if i want to explore, i do have a torqueedo t1003s to add to dinghy if i choose to do so. or i will kayak.....
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:01   #29
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

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If you need to get out to the reef quickly, then get the bigger dink/engine. I'll be happily putting along at my own pace .
You missed my point - it is not the quickness at issue here, it is the safety of being out in rougher, more open water, and the ability to safely board with diving gear or fish. I don't think you would be doing either more than once before you realized that you did not have the correct setup.

Yes, it is all relative, and a CG 300HP RIB would let one do many other things. However, those things are not in the normal cruiser's activities. Diving and fishing and exploring long distances are.

If your dinghy package fits your activities, that is great. I was responding to your comments that you are baffled why others don't have your small, slow setup. The answer is because some of us use ours in ways you do not - it really isn't very baffling.

Others just plain prefer the comfort, convenience and speed of a larger dinghy package even if they do not use it for what it is worth. That isn't baffling at all either.

What is baffling is why anyone would be baffled.

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Old 11-10-2014, 08:10   #30
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Re: Why is Planing Ability Important in a Dinghy?

without the "correct set up" as some call it, one merely times departure and reboarding better. makes all the difference.
so ye have to climb on board in rough stuff... so ye has to row a lil farther when those with huge engines on their planing dinks feel the NEED to anchor really really close to the dinghy dock, after splaining how awesome their dink is to go far distances----i watch them anchor and deploy their stuff...lol they so proud of it all....
then the thieves mark em for .......
while, in the mean time, i am finding better places to find foods at a better price than is found really really close to the dinghy docks.
i aso have better balance, as that is required for rough anchorages.
turista rates prevail in close proximity of boat anchorages. go figger...
those of us who row do not mind the distance we row to get to shore.
we also do not mind saving money on dinghy locks and gasoline.
rowing dinghies also are used with better manners than planing dinghies, a si have watched many plane thru an anchorage, where speed should be kept under 5 kts.. ohmy what a concept.....
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