Originally Posted by svHyLyte
For what its worth, the best inflatable
we ever had was a 9'8" West Marine
with a 3-section plywood
floor and an inflatable keel
. It was light enough to handle easily, the floors made it rigid enough to take a 6hp outboard
with which it would plane and the inflatable keel
gave it reasonably good directional stability. One could also row it reasonably well.
Not knowing any better but following the "bigger is better" dictum, when our old boat
gave up the ghost after 15 years I bought a 310 Zodiac
High Pressure Floor dinghy
. It has proven much larger than we need (for 3 people and a 35# dog), it needs a larger/heavier/more costly engine
, doesn't plane worth a darn (even with a 15hp engine
with dole fins), despite an inflatable keel has poor directional stability; and, can't be rowed worth a darn even with longer two part oars than those included with the boat. Bigger than one actually really needs isn't better, just a pain in the neck. Think about it...
What he/she said.
We cruised for years with a roll up aluminum
floor 8' west marine
and then later an air floor Avon
and loved them both. The air floor was easier to store the aluminum
floor was separate and took up more room but not hard by any means. We never felt that we wanted more dinghy
because we didn't want the larger motor
that had to go with it.
That said we don't have an SUV on land either so small cars are what we are used to. Since your dinghy is basically your car when cruising your expectations in that regard could be the most important thing.