Let me toss a laughter grenade into this mess...
Go get your
I purchased an inflatable for our sailboat prior to our departure from Daytona to enable us to anchor
in the ICW
on the way home and not be stranded should anything happen (running aground, etc.) in a less traveled section (we were moving this boat
in a stormy condition, and there were not that many other boaters out there, largely because we were more stupid at the time than most and had a timeline but no weather window for moving a sailboat that had no installed running rigging
, but did have two rather large tarps and some crappy Harbor Freight rope
to hold them tied to the forestay and main boom, and the same used for halyards over the spreaders to make a couple half sized storm sails
in case we got a dead motor
(we did) and outboard failed (it did not, great thing that outboard!!)).
The first time I actually inflated this dingy, I thought it was sufficiently stiff and tossed it into the drink, back in Palatka. I then proceeded to climb in from the boarding ladder off Equinox'
Have you ever seen a human taco?
The fore and aft halves folded over my head
, and I was stuck inside it like a pearl in an oyster! My brother in law was on the pier, and laughing so hard he could not use his cell to take pics or video, hence I have no photos to prove the lunacy. At no time did my 300 lb weight sink the "vessel", but a 4 person dingy with one person in it should not do that (fold up OR sink), in my opinion. That is why I bought the four person unit. I wanted it to haul up to say 700 pounds, and not do, well, THIS!
Now, the floor of this thing was NOT solid, it was inflatable, and its tubes were inflated separately than those of each side, a selling point in my opinion at the time. I think there are something like 3 or 4 different tube inflator valves, one for each subsection.
I know that it was a severe pain in the butt to row this sucker too, due to the fact that I had to lie down to keep it flat on the water. The pic on the box showed three people in the thing with big smiles on their faces. I was smiling, but not sitting upright like they were. I was almost stranded in the river on this dingy. Floating just fine, but wadded up inside it. Even when I finally managed to get lying flat, peeking over the side for navigation
, the resistance was like stated by Uncivilized, excessive and difficult to overcome.
I could have used longer oars, but they only would have made real difference if I could have sat upright, preferably on a bench of some sort because part of the problem was that there was no solid floor and I could not sit upright because there was nothing to keep me that way while this thing kept taco-ing on me...
It does not help that I am 6'2" tall and 300 lbs, either.
I think if I made a 3/4" ply skin with epoxy
on both sides and some sort of padding under and around it to protect the dingy, I can use it to make a hard floor, and then this thing becomes potentially usable. Until then, however, it will stay folded up for use as a means to entertain us on a boring day with recall
of those events
and the telling of them to the Admiral (who thankfully was NOT in attendance on that day!), take up excess space until I run out of that, and hopefully I will find something better.
My Jonboat is NOT better, either, because it is so unstable laterally and sits so low in the water (only a couple to three inches of freeboard) that it worries me.
Anyway, there it is, imagery of ol' SailingFan, floundering in a rubber clamshell, attempting to get a look at where he is rowing to using those crappy screw together oars, while getting thoroughly soaked and worried about the alligators and miscellaneous parasitic critters that inhabit the tannic waters of the St. John's River....