So I'm a little late to this party, but we picked up a 12' aluminum Starcraft as a dinghy this summer. Hasn't seen a lot of use yet, but so far we're happy with it. It's well built and has held up well for being over 50 years old (build plate says it's a 1968 12' Super Star). After some digging, I found specs indicating it's 12'1" LOA
, 4'9" beam. 150 lbs empty, rated to carry 600 lbs (specs list that as "passenger capacity", so I'm not sure if that's total cargo weight including an engine, but I assume it is).
Stability-wise, it's at least good enough. With nothing else in the dinghy, I can sit all the way to one edge of the center seat (~170 lbs). It's starting to feel a bit tippy at that point and the opposite chine is coming out of the water
, but there's still a reasonable amount of freeboard left on the low side and it's not at the point of going over. Definitely stable enough that it doesn't require undue caution when getting in and out of it (stepping into it from the swim platform isn't sketchy).
Impressively enough, it rows pretty decently (better than I expected). Actually quite well with just me in it and a little bit of stuff (maybe 200 lbs total). Tracks well when rowing and with just 1 person the transom is barely in the water
, so not much drag. Rowing effort definitely increases with 2 people, but it's still not bad.
We haven't put an outboard
on it yet, but it's rated for a 15hp (which is probably scary with 1 person in it), but we may at some point. Oh, and the best part, a bit of craigslist hunting led to me finding it for under $500. Just needs some sealant
on the seams and rivets (has a few minor seeps) and could use some fresh paint
. Even came with nicely re-done mahogany seats.
As far as the leaks
, it doesn't look like anyone has reasealed the thing in 50+ years. And after all that time, the leaks
are minor enough that after ~24 hours in the water it reaches equilibrium (water is evaporating as fast as it's leaking), so even before I get to resealing it, I'd only need to bail it after rain, not just from sitting. The total amount of water in the thing before it spreads out enough to reach equilibrium is less than a quart. Based on that, I wouldn't be concerned about a good quality riveted build.
Pictures are included below. Davits
are in our future, but for now, we've just flipped it onto the swim platform for transport.