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Old 12-10-2023, 04:47   #1
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Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

What's a good compromise dingy and motor for the Caribbean and east coast USA. We're on a 40ft Najad, no davits. Max available length on foredeck, 2.9m.



We're currently thinking a 2.9m PVC Highfield with a 9.9hp 2 stroke Merc.
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Old 12-10-2023, 04:51   #2
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

We currently have a 2.9 Highfield Ultralite and really like it (prefer it over the "classic") and a 9.9 Yamaha. Its a good combo but with 2 it only just planes. I'd get a 15 if I could do it again! Neighbour has a 15 on his and it really really moves! a 2 stroke Merc is a decent engine, though as you know, you'll only ind it as a used motor no more 2-strokes available as new purchases in the U.S. I like the integrated shifting and throttle, but my wife doesn't like it, she has a hard time translating the motion if she has to switch sides of the dinghy she's steering from.
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Old 12-10-2023, 05:03   #3
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

There are a lot of threads on dinghies, kinda like anchors!

If your budget allows, a carbon fiber dinghy like the OC Tender 300 is real light and will plane easily with a 9.9 2 stroke with 4 people aboard. The weight of the carbon fiber 300 is just 75lbs/34KG and the smaller 270 model is a mere 64lbs/29KG.
These are fun boats and very stable, I've had mine for just under two years now and am amazed at how well thought out it is. The only downside is the price and the time to get one, but it should be the last dinghy you'll buy as it will outlast the inflatables.

OCT 300:https://octenders.co.nz/wp-content/u...C300-Specs.pdf

OCT 270: https://octenders.co.nz/wp-content/u...C270-Specs.pdf
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Old 12-10-2023, 06:27   #4
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

Go with hypalon, it will stand up much better to the UV.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:04   #5
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

Highfields come highly recommended by owners. The forward locker will get used a lot. As AiniA said, hypalon is superior to PVC for UV protection. If you don't have dinghy chaps, then apply the 303 Aerospace "dinghy sunshade" product periodically.

Based on our East Coast experience, I wouldn't go with less than the 9.9HP (ref. Ft Pierce inlet, Cape Fear River). If your boat can handle it, a 15HP would be better. In the Caribbean, as long as you stay in the bays and harbors, there's an awful lot of even 5HP outboards, and they work fine.
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Old 12-06-2024, 08:25   #6
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

Older thread, but should you still be looking for a lightweight dinghy I can recommend the UP Boats carbon fiber tenders.

Very well build and the better option compared to OC or AST.

I own the the UP300 and loving it.
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Old 12-06-2024, 09:00   #7
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesauvage View Post
Older thread, but should you still be looking for a lightweight dinghy I can recommend the UP Boats carbon fiber tenders.

Very well build and the better option compared to OC or AST.

I own the the UP300 and loving it.
How is it a better option compared to the OCT or AST? What specifically makes it different? It looks like a direct copy of the OCT.
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Old 12-06-2024, 09:36   #8
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

I compared all options extensively.
Some is personal preference and everyone has different priorities:

- The rounder bow shape deflects spray very efficient and makes it a lot easier to hop on and off.

- UP Boats has an optional double floor on the inside that makes it easier for me to get around inside the boat. Maybe not that important when you're young.

- I rode on OC and they were quite rough in even light chop. I'm an older guy and I guess my back would have screamed after a longer ride on a flat bottom tender. :-/

- I ordered mine on the US East Coast and all other manufacturers would have been significant more expensive with a longer lead time to get it delivered.

- I prefer the modern, clean & angular looks of the UP Boats.

For me UP Boats was the best 'bang for the buck'. But as mentioned, everyone has different preferences. :-)
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Old 12-06-2024, 10:18   #9
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesauvage View Post
I compared all options extensively.
Some is personal preference and everyone has different priorities:

- The rounder bow shape deflects spray very efficient and makes it a lot easier to hop on and off.

- UP Boats has an optional double floor on the inside that makes it easier for me to get around inside the boat. Maybe not that important when you're young.

- I rode on OC and they were quite rough in even light chop. I'm an older guy and I guess my back would have screamed after a longer ride on a flat bottom tender. :-/

- I ordered mine on the US East Coast and all other manufacturers would have been significant more expensive with a longer lead time to get it delivered.

- I prefer the modern, clean & angular looks of the UP Boats.

For me UP Boats was the best 'bang for the buck'. But as mentioned, everyone has different preferences. :-)
Thanks for your feedback, sounds like you found your match!
I looked at the UP Tender price structure online and it falls very close to what my carbon fiber OCT 300 was, of course I bought mine a few years ago, so my price may not be accurate today. The UPT 300 carbon is listed at 90 lbs, the OCT 300 Carbon is 75, not significant but I wonder if it's the wider bow or thicker laminate.
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Old 12-06-2024, 12:57   #10
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Re: Best tender for Caribb & East USA?

#1. After struggling with inverted on deck dinghy storage for four years we had custom davits made in Trinidad. A game changer we should have done long ago.

#2. You will motor long distances on some harbors. Larger diameter tubes and a square rather than pointed bow will help. We have AB 10-1/2 foot aluminum double floor RIB with a bow locker.

#3. Your motor needs to be big enough to plane with groceries and two people or with two divers and equipment. Also critical- big enough to save your yacht. Ours is 15 Hp 2-stroke Mercury. We jumped at an opportunity to acquire a spare engine. Improve the performance with a Whale Tail or equivalent and a Solas SS prop. Most outboards are propped too high. Typical 15 horse is 9-1/2”. Go shallower pitch, say 8 to 8-1/2.

#4. Add an in line fuel filter with water separation. Note the starboard transom.

#5. The Caribbean has no ethanol in the fuel. Your motor will perform better there and the rubber bits won’t disintegrate. If you plan to run in the US replace all fuel lines with NAPA or other automotive sourced ethanol tolerant hose.

#6. Security: we use a three point bridle to lift the dinghy at night. We use a spinnaker halyard. You could also use davits. Chain the dinghy to the yacht. Lock the motor to the dinghy. Lock the gas can to the dinghy. Our bow locker and triangular gas can make this easy. Keeping your dinghy bottom dry prevents having to clean it.

#7. Note the nav light on a stalk. This stores in the bow locker and is solar charged.
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