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Old 17-06-2020, 14:25   #31
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

Just grabbed a 7 foot Achilles soft stern inflatable on craigslist for $75 with oars and a pump. Holds air and floor is dry. Very light and I bet packs small. Probably not my final solution but may make a good replacement for the Sevylor backup I have crammed away somewhere.
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Old 17-06-2020, 14:56   #32
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
Just grabbed a 7 foot Achilles soft stern inflatable on craigslist for $75 with oars and a pump. Holds air and floor is dry. Very light and I bet packs small. Probably not my final solution but may make a good replacement for the Sevylor backup I have crammed away somewhere.
Yup, I'm using just a Sevylor 2 person for now after the last dinghy finally died. Building something like the pic I posted soon hopefully.
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Old 17-06-2020, 16:00   #33
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

First, a comment, I think Sanibel Sailor's first post here was one of the best I've ever read about the dilemmas of dinghy choice.

I realize that some of you don't get the appeal of big, competent dinghies, but as it happened, we inherited the old tender when we got our first Insatiable, a Palmer Johnson Standfast 36, a similar size vessel to the OP's. The dinghy was 8 or 10 yrs. old and had lived in the sun, it was 13 ft. long, and hypalon with 3 floorboards, and channels to lock them together. It definitely was a pain to inflate on the foredeck, it almost didn't fit! (although, we did get a 12 volt pump for inflating it, which considerably reduced the time involved--and are still using it many yrs. later). We did as the poster above, put a bracket for the o/b on the pushpit.

But, we decided to try it out [on a trip SF to Channel Is., and return] before selling it on. It had a 2 stroke 15 hp Johnson o/b of similar age. Disinflated, we rolled it up tight, and stowed it, lashed down, forward of the dodger, where we could see over it. The boards and channels, we stowed below. After we got anchored, we put the pieces to the big dinghy into the 8 ft. Achilles, and rowed it ashore, for its first assembly, rowed it back to the big boat, and put the motor on it. ....And basically never looked back. And the reason was that we discovered it was FUN for us to go zooming around in it. Much later, we also learned to appreciate it in hot places, it was cooling, as well.

However, if you use it for transporting fuel, water, food and laundry, two of the benefits of the larger dinghy are due to having tube diameters of 18 to 20 inches: the ride back to the boat is always dryer! And it all fits inside at the same time, without dangerously overloading it. If you're going to have 3 crew, you're going to want to transport twice as much food as we did. I think that the extra distances that such dinghies can safely take people is a very difficult virtue for people without them to take in. We've been places where the dive site was not located in places safe to anchor the mother boat. Places we wouldn't have gone to to dive at if we hadn't had the seaworthy dinghy. It made long river explorations possible. Rivers without suitable depth for the draft of the mother boat. The other thing is that the larger, heavier, very stable inflatable is more suitable to use to rescue the sailing dinghy that can't get back to the boat when the wind shifts and increases. That only happened once, but we've since gone to help out people whose dinghies went walkabout, or whose mother boat was in trouble, where you just wouldn't risk it with a light weight tiny wet dinghy. And those are cases of "doing it because we can." None of that would have happened had it not been FUN to zoom around on the first Zodiac trial. Because our whole cruising history would have been different without big dinghies. I think our love of snorkeling helped drive it as well. If you sail somewhere you don't want to get in the water, it's different, but we spent hours in the water many, many days. Our cruise began, SF south to Mexico, then out across the Pacific. There's lots of swimming to do in the South Pacific, and many beautiful places to explore.

Sanibel sailor, we just suck up the inconveniences, but if we hadn't, I'd think someone could be very happy with a nesting dinghy where the two halves can be used as an independent boat, or put together into a long, easily rowed boat. They take up less room on the foredeck, and there times and places where having a second dinghy is really nice! A 3hp motor (much easier to handle, will drive one in its long shape quite well.

When our new hypalon RIB was stolen and set on fire, we bought a 2nd hand air floor Zodiac. The air floor took up a lot of room in the bottom of the dinghy, and we felt sort of perched on the tubes, rather than sitting more "in" the dinghy, and it developed a hernia. With less freeboard, it offered less protection to cargos. The air floors are vulnerable to induced deterioration from fuel spills. ONce we had new tubes on the RIB, we donated the Zodiac to a sailing club for a chase boat, and they put a timber floor in it. Just my 2 cents, but I'd rather have one of the nesting dinghies than put up with the things I don't like about the air floor.

Good luck with your choice, and may it serve you well.

Ann

PS. For steep beaches, we use a fender as a roller, and haul it up, using the fender like ancient Egyptians--which is suitable, as to the ancient part, anyway.
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Old 17-06-2020, 16:41   #34
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

thanks for the long and thoughtful reply.

The Takacat looked like a good choice, but it is definitely a sit-on rather than sit-in arrangement, combined with the liabilities of an airfloor
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Old 17-06-2020, 16:56   #35
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

Our first dingy for Wings, our 43' sloop, was a used Zodiac Mark II. It had plywood floors and aluminum channels that were all a real bitch to assemble on the deck of our boat. And it had problems with the seams coming unglued, but with a 25hp Merc it was a blast to drive and would plane easily with four very large men in it. But we wanted to keep it below deck on passages and the assembly issue was a deal breaker.

So we bought a Avon 341 with inflatable floor and sold the zodiac (kept the Merc). What a wild ride, that 11' 70lb dingy with 25hp! But we could carry everything in one trip and it served us well for 13 years. We even acquired a 4hp Merc so we had his and hers motors. Eventually we sold the 25 hp and the 4 hp and bought a 15hp 2 stroke Merc, which we still have and love.

For all these years the dingy was deflated for passages and inflated when we arrived at an anchorage. Other than maintenance issues with the air floor this was still a good dingy when we sold it in 2009.

Then we bought a Zodiac FR 360 with air floor and an integral keel. The boat and floor are PVC. This dingy is huge and goes very well with the 15HPMerc and can carry everything and still cruise 11 knots at low throttle but it is light weight. It is easy to haul up the beach (we also have wheels). We still deflate it for passages and the dingy and the motor are stored below deck when we are going sailing, although we can lift it all onto the foredeck, even with the motor on, and sail that way. We don't do that much. We've had this Zodiac for 11 years and it is doing fine but there have been problems with quality of build and design of some aspects. the inflation/deflation process is a pain, but the ability to stow it below makes it worth it for us. It is never on deck or on davits in a storm, we are always ready for heavy weather. We might look for a better designed and built dingy next time, maybe an Achilles but the general solution is perfect for us: Big inflatable dingy with inflatable floor and a good motor and store it all below deck on passages.

photos: Zodiac FR360 2009, Zodiac FR360 2020
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Old 17-06-2020, 16:57   #36
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

The Best compromise is buy a10' Porta-boat folds like a surf board shape. It will still need to be stored on deck but folded will take up far less room. Or buy a bigger sail boat.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
Considering a different dinghy solution.
Hoping to go to the South Pacific next year if the world stabilizes. . Anticipate 2, occasionally 3 crew
I currently use a 10 foot panel floor PVC inflatable. It is heavy and bulky for storage, inconvenient to assemble on limited deck space, and PVC makes me concerned about lifespan. I am concerned about inflatable durability being pulled up on beaches. I also own a rigid dink that doesn't fit on deck well, takes up the entire foredeck limiting access to ground tackle, etc. The rigid dink is FG, heavy and needs repair.
In the past, I've used an Avon Redcrest donut as well as several prams, always with oars or a 2HP outboard. This restricts practical range which impacts anchoring location choices and exploration opportunities.
I have always envied those with planing inflatables and anticipate wanting to go farther distances in the dinghy than I have in the past. However, due to past problems with crappy old outboards, I doubt I will ever completely trust them. Currently have a HP Nissan 2 stroke. I have looked into buying an 8HP Yamaha Enduro once I leave the US.

On my 35 footer, storage is a key part of the puzzle.
Just say no to davits.
I dislike on-deck storage.
No room in cockpit locker or lazarette.
Weight and bulk for storage below are an issue- quarterberth would be home below.

Options that seem unsuitable-
Donut or rollup inflatable- slow and still inconvenient to inflate.
Kayak or Porta-Bote- bulky on deck storage seems like a potential problem on long offshore passages.
Traditional full size rigid dink- storage not solved and slow.

More appealing-
Smaller high pressure floor inflatable. Lighter, less bulky, easier to store, somewhat easier assembly/inflation. Floor durability a concern as these seem trouble prone. Still need to be careful on rocks, beaches, etc.

A smaller panel floor would marginally improve storage and assembly a bit. Other issues unchanged.

A very small RIB would solve durability/beaching issues and provide speed, but require on deck storage. With tubes deflated, it might fit better on the foredeck than a rigid dink.

Final thing I have considered is a nesting dink designed to fit the available deck space. I've designed and built several prams and one custom fitted nester before. Would solve durability issues. Potentially more easily rowed which would mitigate my outboard mistrust issues. Without yet doing much detailed design work, looks like I could fit a 9-1/2 foot blunt nose rigid dinghy on the foredeck without restricting access too much. A shallow V hull with flat run might allow planing speeds. I could build it much cheaper than buying a new inflatable. It doesn't solve my dislike of on-deck storage but neither does a small RIB. It would free up the quarterberth for other storage.

I am still in the throes of trying to pick my least objectionable alternative. Any choices I may have overlooked? I know that RIBs are probably the most common choice, although most cruising boats currently are larger than mine, I seem to be in that awkward in-between size where boats a bit smaller must abandon hopes of a planing dink and not much bigger makes storage much easier.
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Old 17-06-2020, 17:52   #37
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

I always found the PortaBote's very uncomfortable to get in and out of for snorkeling and swimming. We have been in a few of them.


What'll happen here, is Sanibel sailor will pick what he thinks will meet his needs, and will learn to live with its eccentricities, just as we did.

Ann
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Old 17-06-2020, 18:09   #38
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

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I always found the PortaBote's very uncomfortable to get in and out of for snorkeling and swimming. We have been in a few of them.

What'll happen here, is Sanibel sailor will pick what he thinks will meet his needs, and will learn to live with its eccentricities, just as we did.

Ann
Ann, there was a good thread on getting in and out of dinghies a while back, and the OP listed some interesting ideas and alternatives. Although the OP is a SCUBA fan, you may find some helpful ideas. Good luck.
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...=Yahoo%21+Mail

In case the link is broken, it was posted on 22 Jul 2019 at 14:17
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Old 17-06-2020, 19:12   #39
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

The old line about yacht design, "fast/comfortable/cheap, pick two."
I am just having a hard time mentally adjusting to the idea that I cannot have everything I want all at once, even for money.
And maybe the hardest time figuring out which of my conflicting demands will have to be sacrificed.
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Old 17-06-2020, 19:14   #40
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

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The old line about yacht design, "fast/comfortable/cheap, pick two."
I am just having a hard time mentally adjusting to the idea that I cannot have everything I want all at once, even for money.
And maybe the hardest time figuring out which of my conflicting demands will have to be sacrificed.
You don't have to sacrifice any demands. Just get a larger yacht. One that can carry five or six different dinghies, skiffs, etc.
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Old 17-06-2020, 19:37   #41
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

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You don't have to sacrifice any demands. Just get a larger yacht. One that can carry five or six different dinghies, skiffs, etc.
Or a boat like Paul Allen's where mine could be the tender
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Old 17-06-2020, 20:18   #42
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

I feel your pain. The great dinghy compromise is an ongoing search - my current balance is a Achilles high pressure floor with a very light EP Carry electric outboard. Also a Advanced elements high pressure floor kayak. My saving grace is a great little 12v inflation pump with an integral battery ... makes inflation on the foredeck a breeze for either tender.

I tow when Iím on shorter hops, no issues and can even l have the very light 14lb motor attached due to the unique design.

Iím slower with the electric, but no gas and no maintainability issues

As many have said, the major issue with my chosen poison is the ďdeflatableĒ factor- I lust after some of the small, Light and durable skin on frame designs. Especially with flotation collars. Unfortunately, it seems no one sells one😢. Therefore, I am considering building one for my next winter project,.
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Old 17-06-2020, 21:53   #43
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

I've chimed in a few times with my own solution if not using an outboard. The inflatable whitewater kayak with the rigid inflatable floor is really versatile, easy to get into and out of, (from water or to boat,) no sharp edges, rolls up easily, fast to paddle, stable, holds a good deal of weight, self-bailing option and other options like sail, rowing seat or off-the-side little motor mount if you want them. I didn't. I just wanted to keep it light and simple. If you need (or want) to plane, and you want to roll it up, then you'll need to mount an engine on the pushpit, have gas storage, and a roll-up with a hard transom of course. It is FUN to be able to zip around but only you will know if the extra stuff is worth it for the speed. There are some interesting roll-ups that may ALSO work well being paddled or rowed, but typically a boat designed for an engine does poorly if the engine quits. I like the look of this one but I have no experience with it.
https://www.boatstogo.com/kayaks-sk4...yABEgLiNPD_BwE
The longer, narrower, design will be faster to paddle or row, especially when you get a headwind.
There may be something here to help too.
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...at-234978.html
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Old 17-06-2020, 22:18   #44
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Ann, there was a good thread on getting in and out of dinghies a while back, and the OP listed some interesting ideas and alternatives. Although the OP is a SCUBA fan, you may find some helpful ideas. Good luck.
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...=Yahoo%21+Mail

In case the link is broken, it was posted on 22 Jul 2019 at 14:17
I expect that's the one with the woman who kind of does a backwards somersault into a small inflatable from in the water. I'd like to see one of someone doing that into a PortaBote! consider the feel of the top rail cutting into your shoulders! But, you might get used to it and not find it such a bother? Don't know till you've tried. It was really only coincidence that we got hooked on big competent dinghies.

Ann
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Old 18-06-2020, 00:31   #45
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Re: Trying to pick my dinghy poison

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
I expect that's the one with the woman who kind of does a backwards somersault into a small inflatable from in the water. I'd like to see one of someone doing that into a PortaBote! consider the feel of the top rail cutting into your shoulders! But, you might get used to it and not find it such a bother? Don't know till you've tried. It was really only coincidence that we got hooked on big competent dinghies.

Ann
This is a good point. I don't have scuba gear, but I free dive and spearfish, so the ability of the craft to haul yourself back into without capsizing it is also an important factor.
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