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Old 08-09-2014, 07:01   #16
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bud.
Thank you GordMay. I've been around a while but most of the threads I've been reading are so old that I haven't bothered to post anything before.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:58   #17
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

Many of the dinghy boats that are intended for children are 8' long, but IMO that is too small for a tender that will be used by adults.

A dual-purpose dinghy should be 10' or longer to be appropriate for adults.
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Old 08-09-2014, 15:00   #18
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

IMO, one important factor in a kid's dinghy is that it be EASY to self-rescue after a capsize. Boats like Optis and El Toros are very popular, but are quite difficult for a smaller kid to get upright and bailed out after capsizing... and they will capsize. Many years ago I was involved in sail training for youngsters, and the boats used were El toros (very popular in the SF area). Having watched the students struggle for long periods trying to right and bail them, I think that there are better uses for precious training time... to say nothing of safety and the chance of so discouraging the student that he/she gives up sailing.

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Old 08-09-2014, 15:06   #19
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

We never had a seperate "kid Dinghy" but it was a welcomed event to send the kids solo to the beach and say "don't come back for at least 30 minutes". My wife would then look at me and laugh and say... "more like 7 minutes kids". Ha ha ha....

Adding a second dinghy is pretty hard for most boats, but letting them drive and get familiar with the "family dinghy" also made us and them more comfortable taking the dinghy to the beach solo, since they had plenty of good experiecne under our watchful eye.

Be sure to teach them the seriousness of the damage a dinghy propeller can do to an arm...leg....etc. Wearing the kill lanyard needs be done by the parents for the kids to do it also. If you tell them to wear it but you don't....well....
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Old 08-09-2014, 15:35   #20
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

There are so many reasons (my opinion) to have a hard, very row-able dinghy in addition to a soft/inflatable/outboard driven tender. But I'll let the kid in me answer. My younger brother and I grew up at the ages your kids are now on a cruising boat and we had an Optimist/El Toro/Sabot sailing hard dinghy. I wouldn't give that up for anything. It was a great way to learn sailing, to get away from the parents, to go gunkholing in really shallow water, and to meet the locals. Never had any righting problems. Learned several different ways to reef (and it wasn't designed for that). If you have the room and the $ strongly encourage you carrying one for the kids.
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Old 08-09-2014, 15:55   #21
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????



Jim, back when I was sailing Optis we were taught to just pull the mast to allow the boat to right it self and then wait for the committee boat to rescue us. Today the boats have so much floatation that they must float with several inches of freeboard even flooded. Should be pretty easy to self rescue.
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Old 08-09-2014, 16:03   #22
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

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Don't leave home without it. Its independence too. Must be primarily a sailing dink, with an optional 2hp outboard. If its a motor dink with a set of sails, it won't sail well, and they will get bored with it very quickly, it must really sail well, so they can explore their competitive side. Plenty of photos of our Liz sailing her dink on our web page...She was 9 when we left...
Janice, very good advise here and his daughter Liz is now a Master on mega yachts for the rich folks.

This is how friends of mine dealt with the two dinghies on their Nordhavn.

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Old 26-09-2014, 20:16   #23
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Re: A Dinghy for the Kids?????

wow the knees protection, that is posh!

seriously, and I am biased because I learned sailing on an Optimist, get them an Optimist. Very funny and technical dingy, even if it has a funny shape.
...and if there is no wind they can always "paddle" with the rudder hmm no that only bad boys do :-)
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