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Old 24-07-2022, 11:39   #1
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Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

Hello, my wife and I are looking at cruising the Bahamas and T&C this fall (Nov, Dec, Jan) on a new boat (2020 Riviera 545 SUV) we are bringing down from the great lakes. Eventually we will bring the boat back to our home port in Newport, CA after a stop in Baja.


In CA we typically have a larger, heavier, tender with a center console and larger, 20hp+ outboard (350lb or more). Since it is heavier if we want to go to a beach we have to anchor it and swim to shore.



Since this new boat does not currently have a tender I'm wondering if we should get a light tender and motor (less than 200lb) for our time in the Bahamas and Mexico so we can pull it up on beaches rather than being required to anchor it offshore. I have no idea if pulling up on beaches in the Bahamas and T&C is a standard practice or not.


What I'm thinking of is getting a Highfield 340 with a 9.9hp and then once I get to CA I can add their console and a larger motor. This way I can still use the same hull and not need a completely new setup.


Let me know if you suggest a light tender and motor (9.9hp) for the Bahamas and T&C or if I should just go with the heavier version from the get go.


Thanks!
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Old 24-07-2022, 11:49   #2
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Tranquilo2 View Post
Hello, my wife and I are looking at cruising the Bahamas and T&C this fall (Nov, Dec, Jan) on a new boat (2020 Riviera 545 SUV) we are bringing down from the great lakes. Eventually we will bring the boat back to our home port in Newport, CA after a stop in Baja.


In CA we typically have a larger, heavier, tender with a center console and larger, 20hp+ outboard (350lb or more). Since it is heavier if we want to go to a beach we have to anchor it and swim to shore.



Since this new boat does not currently have a tender I'm wondering if we should get a light tender and motor (less than 200lb) for our time in the Bahamas and Mexico so we can pull it up on beaches rather than being required to anchor it offshore. I have no idea if pulling up on beaches in the Bahamas and T&C is a standard practice or not.


What I'm thinking of is getting a Highfield 340 with a 9.9hp and then once I get to CA I can add their console and a larger motor. This way I can still use the same hull and not need a completely new setup.


Let me know if you suggest a light tender and motor (9.9hp) for the Bahamas and T&C or if I should just go with the heavier version from the get go.


Thanks!
Part of a right answer depends on how you’re carrying a dinghy on your new boat. If it’s up high, I’d definitely go with your plan for something lighter. Lots of weight up high can increase rolling momentum. (Although, potentially your boat is big enough to absorb the weight?) It’s a long beat up the west coast. You also need to consider the hassle of getting a dinghy up and down for daily use around the east coast & islands. From what you’ve described, I’d lean towards your plan of going light now and upgrade later where a heavier dinghy at your home base makes more sense.
That’s my 2c!
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Old 24-07-2022, 11:49   #3
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

A 9.9hp on the Highfield might be a bit underpowered. It will get you there but don't expect much planing.

I have a Highfield 310 and Honda 20hp. Could and maybe should have picked the 15hp as its a little lighter. I am a solo sailor and can just about manage this on my own.
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Old 24-07-2022, 12:00   #4
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

Thank you. The big boat has a hydraulic swimstep and dinghy mount so it’s very easy getting it in and out of the water.
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Old 24-07-2022, 12:02   #5
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

I have a 310 with 20hp Tohatsu now but it has the console which is an additional 80lbs. I agree the 9.9 would only be for to/from the dock and wouldn’t really work for exploring.
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Old 24-07-2022, 12:46   #6
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

I think this depends on what you are planning to do with the big boat. If anchoring and going ashore on beaches is in your plan then a light dingy makes that much easier.

The idea that anchoring the dingy and swimming ashore could be a regular occurrence for you seems unlikely. I've done it once or twice where the beach landing would be difficult due to surf or the nature of the beach itself, but in my travels I have rarely seen this done by anyone else. I might say, never.

There are all kinds of reasons, water temperature, water cleanliness, the need for dry clothing ashore, etc.

So I have always preferred a very light dingy and a tiller steered motor, and equipped the dingy with wheels. My wife and I have enough trouble pulling that sort of dingy up a beach and with a heavier four stroke motor, a tank of gas, and a heavy rib, I even think that we would always be looking around for some help to do it.

I know it is nice to have a big, fast, center console dingy with electric start, radio depth sounder, and all the luxury, but that type will be best used when you are visiting docks, not beaches.

And, I would also consider the practicality of carrying a big heavy dingy on the swim step in rough conditions, such as coming up the Baja.
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Old 24-07-2022, 12:47   #7
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

In regard to beaches in the bahamas, many are easily accessible with typical outboard depths and shallowing up over the last 5 feet or so. So any dingy is easy to anchor close with decent depths. However there are quite a few locations where it shallows to a foot or less a few hundred yards out.
Tides are not huge, typically 3', but enough to strand a dingy if you don't plan well.
We just upgraded our dingy and went light weight for that reason. We went with the achilles 3.1m light, with a Yamaha 15hp. My wife and I are able to drag it out on those occasions of poor planning.
It does make for a Wetter ride than the heavier center console ribs, but the water is pretty warm.
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Old 24-07-2022, 12:47   #8
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Tranquilo2 View Post
I have a 310 with 20hp Tohatsu now but it has the console which is an additional 80lbs. I agree the 9.9 would only be for to/from the dock and wouldn’t really work for exploring.
I have electric davits so getting it onto the boat is easy - the main problem is hauling it up and off a beach. I sometimes anchor off with a slip line to the shore so I can haul it out and in to the beach. That way you don't have to get too wet.
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Old 24-07-2022, 13:37   #9
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

Either get the 310 high field or upgrade to the 15 hp Yamaha.
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Old 25-07-2022, 09:25   #10
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

In the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, where there is almost no tide, a center console RIB is a great option, everywhere else in the world they are a pain in TA. When we bought our 60 ft Clipper motor yacht (Australian like your Riv) it came with a Briggs on the hydraulic boarding platform. Having to anchor it off the beaches and swim ashore was not acceptable. We sold it and bought an Ocean Tender 350 with wheels and a 15hp motor and it was the best thing I ever did for my marriage and boating pleasure. [URL="https://octenders.co.nz/products-oc350/"]
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Old 25-07-2022, 10:25   #11
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

For the Bahamas and Caribbean a rib 320 to 350 with a 15 hp works very well for us. If you can find ( or wait until you get to the Bahamas and buy new ) a 2 stroke Yamaha Enduro the weight saving makes quite a difference,
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Old 07-08-2022, 06:52   #12
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

Agree with choice being purpose driven. Our OC Tender with 8hp 2-Stroke Yamaha Enduro is a lightweight rig that is perfect for us. It gets us and guests to the beach or dinghy dock, but is underpowered for extensive exploring with any more than (2) occupants.

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I think this depends on what you are planning to do with the big boat. If anchoring and going ashore on beaches is in your plan then a light dingy makes that much easier.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:07   #13
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

Your thoughts about pulling a tender up on the beach are spot on. If you are really going exploring in the Bahamas, there are many places you will be far away from anything remotely resembling a dinghy dock. You'll need to pull up on the beach, and then pull it off again.

If you have a dinghy too big and heavy to beach, your only good alternative is to anchor it off the beach in waist deep water. Certainly doable, but not always desirable.

Despite what some people have suggested, you can not beach a large boat and leave it there. A change in tide of a foot (common) will float it off, or leave it high and dry. If it is too heavy to move you'll be waiting for the tide to come back to float you off.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:19   #14
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Funkydrum View Post
Agree with choice being purpose driven. Our OC Tender with 8hp 2-Stroke Yamaha Enduro is a lightweight rig that is perfect for us. It gets us and guests to the beach or dinghy dock, but is underpowered for extensive exploring with any more than (2) occupants.
About the OC tender? (I've seen one buzzing around a harbor this summer and there is one hanging on a cat near me, so I know what they are)
  • It looks like a very flat bottom. Isn't this rough riding?
  • What is the purpose of the big bags hanging around the OC dingy? Wouldn't a rub rail suffice?
  • I see side decks which intrude into the interior. Looks good for sitting but don't they take up useable space?
  • It weighs 119 lbs. Isn't that heavy? (my zodiac 360 weight 77lbs)
  • The wheels (extra cost) look small for sand
  • What about the price? The web page quotes NZD$14,500 which is USD$9000 plus tax if applicable, plus accessories (carbon hull) plus shipping. WOW
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:32   #15
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Re: Tender Suggestions for Bahamas

As with all boats there are compromises. Our goals were lighter weight and durability.
  • The flatter hull planes easily. If you were transiting very rough sea conditions on a regular basis, perhaps a deeper V hull might be more suitable. However, we're hopping to the beach, dinghy dock or exploring and it works well.
  • The foam panels do a fantastic job of protecting both the dink and our boat when boarding, a small rub rail would be insufficient. The RIB has this protection in spades, but the OC foam panel works perfectly.
  • The storage under the gunnels is a huge win over a RIB; (4) large mesh storage bags and full-size, REAL wooden oars.
  • The fiberglass 330 weighs 105lb. The Highfield Classic 340 is 157lb.
  • The wheels are useful on hard surfaces, rocky beaches. Not necessary if you only are on sandy beaches. Use them if needed, skip them if not.
  • This is nearly a 'forever' dinghy. It won't deflate, it floats if swamped, is repairable if damaged.

Bottom line for us, with a lightweight 8hp 2-stroke OB, it's light enough for my 120lb spouse to pull it on to the beach by herself and is nearly indistructible.




Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
About the OC tender? (I've seen one buzzing around a harbor this summer and there is one hanging on a cat near me, so I know what they are)
  • It looks like a very flat bottom. Isn't this rough riding?
  • What is the purpose of the big bags hanging around the OC dingy? Wouldn't a rub rail suffice?
  • I see side decks which intrude into the interior. Looks good for sitting but don't they take up useable space?
  • It weighs 119 lbs. Isn't that heavy? (my zodiac 360 weight 77lbs)
  • The wheels (extra cost) look small for sand
  • What about the price? The web page quotes NZD$14,500 which is USD$9000 plus tax if applicable, plus accessories (carbon hull) plus shipping. WOW
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