Originally Posted by SkiprJohn
Walker Bay 8 will do you just fine. I prefer a pram the same size with hard chine if it is going to be a tender but the 8 will take care of you and is nearly indestructible. (It will gouge and scratch up on coral
Weight distribution while rowing and motoring is critical. Heavy person in the center. Lighter person steering
the outboard. Dog in the bow with the beer. Don't tow it in heavy weather. I lost a dinghy that way.
Thanks SkiprJohn, for this opinion. I agree with you on all the points made. I did, this morning, make a purchase
of the WB8, sans flotation collar, because of the overriding need to be able to carry it inside of my Dodge Grand Caravan, and it does just fit. Here in Canada
it costs 1020 dollars with taxes
I sail only on inland protected waters and never in what you would call heavy weather, such as in the Pacific Ocean
. The freshwater seas hereabouts are never bigger than 6 feet, but even so, can get into a nasty cross-chop and confused state when the wind
is in conflict with tide and current
. In such cases we beat into a secluded and sheltered anchorage and drop the hook until it blows over.
I intend to have my local upholsterer make up a heavy synthetic fabric
tube, of sufficient diameter to accomodate an 18-foot long bundle of 4 swimming pool noodles, in a more or less circular-cross sectional configuration (noodles are very flexible closed-cell vinyl foam rolls about 3" in diameter and four feet long, and they cost a dollar each, retail) and to make this contraption long enough to completely surround the exterior perimeter of the dinghy, just below the sheer chine of the WB8 Dinghy gunwhale, something like the existing hypalon collar made by WB. It will be about 18 cubic feet in displacement
size, overall. Theoretical increase in bouyancy is about 1000 lbs., in fresh water. That oughta do it. Will save the gelcoat
on my sailboat too. Yes, I will have to tow it, asmy sailboat is 23 LOA
and 7'11" beam. I will use a floating towline and trail a small drogue
behind the dinghy, which will carry a 2.5 hp Merc O/B.
This floatation gadget will be attached somewhat differently than the Hypalon collar that WB sells here, (for 1200 dollars
!), in that it will have a quick-disconnect feature (using a type of hard nylon quick-release push-to-click harness buckles common on heavy duty back packs, one end rivetted to the dinghy hull
and sewn into the float tube on the other end). This will allow easy removal
of the flotation collar for transport inside my van, while being secure in the water. It will cost me 175 dollars to have made. It will not suffer from punctures. In my estimation it will increase both the stability and the cargo capacity of the dinghy by a large margin.
Necessity is the mother of invention.