Cruisers Forum

View Poll Results: What Type of Dinghy / Tender do you use?
Rigid Wood 18 5.14%
Rigid Plastic (Fibreglass, PVC, etc) 82 23.43%
Inflatable 106 30.29%
Rigid Inflatable (RIB) 139 39.71%
Other ... 19 5.43%
Rowed 58 16.57%
Sailed 26 7.43%
Outboard Powered 125 35.71%
Combination powered (specify in text) 15 4.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 350. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28-07-2005, 16:35   #16
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Hi, thanks for the comments. Yes, it's fairly large for a dinghy, but one thing i firmly believe in after traveling the Bahamas and Carribbean is that a boat should have the largest dinghy that can be managed. That is, if you like to dive, fish and explore. If your boat is under, say, 38 feet you will have most likely have to tow the Bluewater Baby. Obviously not a good choice for ocean voyaging, although a friend once towed a 16 ft boat to the Virgin Islands.
The Bluewater Baby is as light as a boat like this can be because we use coring and high-tech construction methods and US labor. Just like a high quality yacht. Same building methods. With a fuly molded deck, what you get are, in effect, two hulls.
Three things everyone wants in a boat are 1) light, 2)strong, and 3) inexpensive. Unfortunately you can only have two out of the three. We chose light and strong. We chose to use the best hardware and fittings without exception. Even so, the boat is priced well under a comparable RIB with center console. And does not weigh significantly more, either.
At 520 lbs the Bluewater Baby with engine is heavier than the lightest dinghies. We chose to conserve weight in other areas of the big boat. I would imagine that heavier displacement boats will not notice the extra poundage. Any other questions, I would be happy to answer.
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Old 28-07-2005, 16:40   #17
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Hi watercats or is it catman

I just got a little confused as I remenbered some one making there first post on another forum that sounded so similar.

I fgured that i help you out and provide the link for anyone who is interested.


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Old 28-07-2005, 16:42   #18
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Sorry about that statement about "US labor". I just meant that the labor rates in the US are higher than in some other areas. Other countries have excellent workers, too.
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Old 02-08-2005, 19:55   #19
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opinion on dinks

seems all the dinks at my marina were purchased at west marine which explains why they all have mercs. i was one of the many burned by zodiac in the 80's so, although both now sell thru west, i will buy avon. any opinion between the "lite" version with fold down transom vs standard avon rib ? also, as to length, my boat is only 31 feet, equipped with davits, so i thought shorter was better, but this dink should go south in 3 years, so i want to get it right. i also looked at dyer, since we like to row and the sail option would be occasional fun, but stability for snorkel and such seems more important than abraison and uv issues. what you think ? capt. lar
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Old 17-08-2005, 11:47   #20
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As funny as this may seem, I currently use a nearly 40 year old (that I bought used some 25 years ago for something like 35 bucks) 'Sportyak II', which is a goofy little vacuum formed dinghy, that looks like a frog colored, old style rowing inflatable dinghy rendered in rigid plastic.

Every time I look at the sportyak I think, 'Geez Halpern, you need to get a decent dinghy.' but it only weights something like 30 lbs, stows on the cabin top, has good stability, and rows half way decent with anything less than about 280 lbs in it and quite well with only my 170 lbs in it. Launching, retrieving, lashing down is quick and easy. To launch it I literally pick it up and toss it off the deck horizontally. I retreive it by pulling it up over the lifelines. No one would think of stealing such an ugly duckling. I can carry it for 100's of feet on my shoulders. All and all it works far better than I could of imagined.

I want to build a small very light weight plywood sailing pram to replace the sportyak someday, but I suspect that 'someday' is several years off.

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Old 17-08-2005, 15:06   #21
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I used to have a wall poster of a heavy muscular guy rowing a Sportyak through rapids down a large river. Wonder if Sportyak is still in business.
My current thinking on a new inflatable is the Bombard AX 2, cost $1195- in BC Canada. The AX 1 seems just a bit too small.
My 10 1/2 foot Zodiac is too big for use as a true tender.
John Welsfords Tender Behind looks like a good design for a home built boat. I would need to cut it in half for stoorage.
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Old 18-08-2005, 11:05   #22
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I had to check it out, because I wasn't exactly sure what Jeff was describing. I've seen people using fat and short roto-molded plastic kayaks as their dinghy, but the sportyak is something else.

My father-in-law has a small Dyer that we row around in a lot, and we really like it.

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Old 18-08-2005, 20:44   #23
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Water Tender 9.4

Though I have brought this dinghy up before I feel it is an over looked gem. We used one from the Bay to Venezuela. It was light, dry, unsinkable, rows well, and most of all only $350 new from West marine.

Many comment about how great the Walker Bay is, except that it is wet, not all that stable without the inflatable tubes, and most of all it is expensive. Add the tubes (should have just bought a RIB in the first place) and you are getting to the price of a decent RIB.

We only sold it ($200) because we need more load capacity (diving gear) and longer legs which required a bigger engine the WT could carry. While in the outislands we will travel 30-45 minutes with all of our gear with a 15 hP, the 5hp max on the Tender limited us a bit.
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
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Old 04-10-2005, 05:42   #24

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Achilles 10' with 9.9HP

New toy as of 2005 - 10' Achilles with 9.9HP Johnson. Being that I never spend money on a tender before and just used whatever rotting piece of junk came with my previous boats.... this thing is a whole lot of fun!

Why so large? We'll be living at anchor and ferrying a lot of stuff.
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Old 04-11-2005, 19:28   #25
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9' Avon. 6HP 4 stroke Merc.
The merc has not been as reliable as advertised.
Sure miss midnight sails in my old fatty knees, but it was useless trying to bring fuel and water out. Not enough capacity.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:50   #26
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11.5' ABInflatable RIB with aluminum hull, weighs 130lbs.

Outboard is 27hp Yanmar, weighs 220lbs.
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Old 05-11-2005, 13:08   #27
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is any part of the dink in the water when you're WFO?
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 15-11-2005, 19:06   #28
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Livingston Dinghy

We have been using a 10' fiberglass Livingston dinghy for the last 2 yrs and have been very happy with it. With a 15hp Yamaha 2-stroke, it planes with 2 adults, groceries and laundry. In addition to durability, it has many advantages over inflatables. It has a catamaran hull (similar to Twin Vee, but lighter) which gives a dry ride in a chop and is very stable. I can stand on the gunnel without dumping it and it works good for getting in and out when snorkeling. The weight is 135lb so it is a little heavier than some inflatables, but it doesn't get soft when it's cold and the sun doesn't destroy it.
Greg, SV Cat Tales
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Old 28-06-2006, 08:38   #29
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Hard Dinghys

Originally Posted by watercats
Hi, This is my first post and I wanted to tell everyone about our new dinghy, the Bluewater Baby. My wife and I cruised and lived aboard for over 20 years and in that time used probably 10 different dinghies. After we built our new boat, a 46' catamaran, I wanted to find a dinghy that was better than the others we used over the years. I just couldn't find one that was just right, so we built one. It turned out so well that we started making and selling it last year. I don't mean to turn this into a commercial post, but I'm so proud of the boat that I just wanted to tell everyone about it.
I'm considering 5 hard dinghys for my wife and I. I'm looking at the

Twin Vee 10 footer

The Whaler TD110

The Carolina Skiff ss1450

Porta Boat

and the Bluewater Baby

I see posts by the creator of the Bluewater Baby and would like to know why I should buy it instead of one of these others.
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Old 28-06-2006, 15:22   #30
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been gone for a year now gord and have put about 2000 miles on the hull. purchased a used 12 ft Nava Matazlan panga to replace the inflatable. a little on the heavy side but will land anywhere i want. I have 9.8 hp merc on her and it really moves. it's a good stable platform to transport from the boat and back again.
first time to write a message on the board in quite some time holed up for the hurriscane season in Mexico waiting to go further south to panama
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