My original reply to JohnL's comment where he didn't fancy an ocean crossing
in a Tinker was meant as a preference
, not as an alternative. It was my suggestion that he would
be happy to find himself crossing an ocean in a Tinker set up as mine if he had no alternative ie this is a very seaworthy
little boat. I guess my wording has caused some confusion.
The Tinker used to be sold (Henshaws
no longer sell the survival canopy) as a craft that would do it all - lifeboat, sailing dinghy
etc but like most all in one
gimmicks (mobile phones for example) it falls down badly outside of its primary function of an inflatable
dinghy. For instance, the preferred deployment for the sea anchor
, as per the manual, is over the side tube, as this presents maximum buoyancy to oncoming waves. Great in theory or the test tank, but it doesn't work in anger! I've sat overnight like that in a force five with waves breaking aboard about twice an hour filling the cockpit
As a lifeboat with the standard rig and inflatable
canopy it is useless, and to my knowledge the only time a Tinker has saved life the crew might as well have been in a standard liferaft
. It is a huge effort to attach and inflate the canopy unless it had been set up already together with the Co2 inflation. You can forget that as an option, especially in survival conditions with a terrified wife and two kids
in tow. And with regard to even trying to find somewhere to put a 6' x 1' lump of sailing gear
... well, I understand your scepticism.
The volume inside the tubes and bulkhead (on my old model) is minute - about half a square metre, which is just about big enough for a grab bag.
My boat, which I do
put my life in, I love. It is set up for long sea crossings with me
as crew. There is no such animal as the ideal boat and like most cruising folk and their boats I am well aware of its shortcomings and work with them!
So, what would I choose if I had to abandon ship?
A large liferaft
and 2 x GPS