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Old 17-02-2016, 10:22   #1
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Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Chatting with a buddy that has been to the Exumas several time, he mentioned that I might need to upgrade my dink to handle the currents down there.

We have an 8' Mercury Inflatable (soft bottom) Dink with a Suzuki 2.3HP 4 Stroke engine.

Anyone know if that's toooo small. Do I need to upgrade to a hard bottom and / or a larger engine?

Thanks.

Paul

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Old 17-02-2016, 10:53   #2
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

How do you carry your current dinghy? Do you have provisions to carry a RIB?
How big a dinghy do you think your boat can reasonably carry?
Those may be as important as how big a dinghy, I think.
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Old 17-02-2016, 11:11   #3
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Both.

Dinghy wet-bum is the fastest way to get your wife to look at other men who live on terra-firma.

Good news is you can buy new 2 stroke outboard in Nassau.

The faster your dinghy goes the dryer, safer ride you will have.

Choice anchorage maybe quite some distance from the shops.
Exploring becomes a factor of inherent safety. The bigger engine, the further you can go.

Of course, dinghy size is kept in check by boat size. What fits and what doesn't.

But you really need a good dink and the largest possible outboard.

Mine is 9.5ft with 18HP. A little overkill but good for my life.

Remember 4 stroke weighs double what a 2 stroke does.
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Old 17-02-2016, 11:12   #4
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

A planing dinghy will give you a lot more flexibility and allow you to do more exploring. Having a smallish sailboat, we bought an 8.5 foot rib with a 9.9hp 2-stroke – worked great for us. It couldn’t plane when we were loaded down with water jugs or big loads of provisions, but worked great otherwise.
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Old 17-02-2016, 11:13   #5
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Good points.
We have a 1987 Catalina 34.

We normally keep the dink on top of the V-Berth in front of the mast.
I raise and lower it using a spare halyard.

Pretty sure we could carry a 9' dink.

The engine is normally on an outboard rail mount (port side)

Paul
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Old 17-02-2016, 21:14   #6
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

MarkJ and WaterwayGuide have the right of it. One of the things I love about a fast rib is the greater distance you can explore from your anchorage.
Don't forget to equip yourself with the appropriate safety equipment - anchor, handheld vhf, lights, water, adequate fuel, etc.
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Old 17-02-2016, 21:31   #7
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

We were fine with a 9' rib and a 3.3hp engine. We also carried a 9.9hp on the stern rail, but only used it in the Bahamas twice .... we sold the 9.9 in Guatemala since we never used it.

We only felt limited by the low hp in Belize. The good diving was far from the anchorage, unlike the Bahamas where you can dive just about anywhere.

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Old 18-02-2016, 05:43   #8
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Paul.
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Old 18-02-2016, 08:22   #9
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

We have done two 2-month cruises in the Bahamas with a 8ft air floor Walker Bay and a 2hp Mariner (yamaha) 2 stroke motor.

Pro - the light weight 2hp is GREAT. Super easy to store. I can easily lift it up to the rail for storage myself, or even store below in the deep lazarette. It sips the fuel. Always always always runs & starts. Simple mechanics: no transmission and gears - if you want to go backwards the motor swivels 180 degrees. a replacement plastic prop costs $30. Easy/simple to maintain.

Con - it's slow. You just putter putter through the water. Most days, that's fine, but occasionally, it's very very difficult. For example, the run from the anchorage at Monument Bay (Georgetown) to the dingy dock takes 30 to 40 minutes (instead of 5). One time near Stanial Cay we ALMOST couldn't make any forward progress against the strong ebb tide. Going offshore to dive/fish>>forget about it.

For us, we're fine with the 2hp, but we've got our eye open for a killer deal on a 4-6hp 2 stroke used somewhere. If we find that, we'll probably upgrade someday.

But really, the 2hp is perfectly functional and serviceable. Key words: Simple is good!

~markb
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:41   #10
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Couldn't say it better. 2 stroke and biggest you vessel can manage. I have a 10' caribe light version and Yamaha 15 2 stroke. I can plane with 3 on board and I have a simple rule for managing the 50:1 mix. Gas on the mother ship is straight and can feed the Honda generator and it only gets mixed as it goes into the dinghy tank. I love it
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:55   #11
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Our first time we did it with an 8'6"ll up and 2.5 hp. We managed. Our first purchase when we got back was a new dink and engine. Now have a 11'6" with air floor and keel with bigger tubes and a 8hp two stroke 59lbs and does 18knots on good day. Like Mark J said dry booty happy wife.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:28   #12
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Dry booty? Buy a power boat and go to marinas. Soggy bottoms is the price we pay for exceptional freedom and adventure. On the plus side, at the back of an anchorage
there's no need to keep the damp clothes on too long.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:32   #13
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Nothing wrong with your dink. No you wont travel fast and far... and many prefer that. One time trip to Exumas? use what you have. Doing some long term cruising? Get the 9' RIB and 10 HP motor if that fits your foredeck.
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Old 18-02-2016, 16:57   #14
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Here we are in Black Point, Exuma ----- blowin 20+ and I would NOT venture to shore with less than a 9,5.
Seriously, the smaller engines MIGHT get by , but you are skimping on your safety.
The inflated bottom could be ok, but as I look around tonight the ONLY people that were in town with us today (blowin near 20) were driving rib s with engines of 9.5 or greater.
My reccomendation after many years in the Exumas is buy the rib that you can put on your foredeck (get that stateside from anyone)and then stop in Nassau and buy a 2 stroke 9.5. (we just bought a new 15 Yamaha there [Lightborne Marine] for $2300.)
Stay away from the 4 stroke small engines, they are constant trouble and truly have a short life span.
Keep your wife dry and happy -- Most of them do NOT want to rough it with salty wet panties
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Old 18-02-2016, 17:19   #15
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Re: Dink & Engine for Exhumas

Really? 20kts at Black Point and you think a small outboard is unsafe? Have you owned a small outboard/inflatable before?

Never once did we feel unsafe.

Matt
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