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Old 23-08-2017, 15:49   #31
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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Working on your navigating skills might be a good idea.
If you haven't run aground in the ditch, you have been damned lucky and your luck WILL run out.
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Old 23-08-2017, 16:09   #32
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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Bibster,

We used to have a roll up dinghy with floorboards. Underway, the floorboards were stored vertically next to the engine box, strapped there, and the dinghy was rolled up then squashed oval and lashed in front of the dodger. It was an about 8 ft. Achilles, and did not much interfere with the view forward.


You won't be trapped on your boat because you have your kayak. If you're using MRE's you will only be buying fresh stuff, and for one person, you can probably carry enough in your kayak and/or backpack. So, make the experiment, and leave it at home.

The worst thing that is likely to happen is you suddenly decide you want a dinghy and buy a used one along the way. Two dinghies allows you to have one for a decoy, and could give you a place off the boat to store the other one while you tow it. If you tow it, use (a) floating line, and (b) rig a drogue for it, so it can't overtake you at speed. Remember to shorten up the line before anchoring or docking.

If you go up on a sand bank, well I guess you'll have to use the kayak for taking out the kedge anchor, if you can't get it off using the engine, or use insurance. What you give up is being in charge of the situation, for being at the mercy of others, who may be too busy just then (so you are harder aground when they get to you).

Myself, I'd find a way to bring the existing dinghy AND it's little motor. I won't cost much, and it'll be where you want it, comes the time, and it's there for backup in the event you might want it, or might want it to help someone else.

Ann
We were at anchor in a small harbour in Corfu, the wind and the chop was entering the the anchorage. Perhaps 30 yachts were rolling about in the bay. We were tucked in as far as our 5ft draft allowed. About 60ft away from us was an oldish German power cruiser. We were all rolling very badly, the elderly owner of the German boat arrived back in his dinghy and tried to board his boat. He grabbed the davit lines but found him self hanging between his boat and the dinghy. Before thinking I jumped into my dingy, rowed over and hitched him on board.That is were a dingy comes into it's own. You never know when you need it. Tow it, stow it whatever, it is a very very important part of cruising boat.
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Old 23-08-2017, 19:11   #33
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

Something I just remembered about getting a kedge out... I swam one out once. My big heavy inflatable was stowed on deck. I was alone. Just didn't want to bother hoisting it off and back on. unlashing and relashing, etc.

How to you "swim" an anchor out? Lash it to a fender! Put your mask, fins, and snorkel on and push it out there! You'll get wet. And you'll get off. (don't say it
Just don't try it with an all chain rode!

Everybody here is right; from their prospective, on their boat and considering their cruising style.
If you do take it, you'll probably find an excuse to use it. If you don't take it, there will likely be a time you wish you had it. But is it absolutely indispensable? Nope.
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Old 24-08-2017, 05:07   #34
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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I recently bought a house in Punta Gorda, so I am actually taking my boat to the new place and parking it on the boat lift when I am not using it. A dinghy will definitely be useful for exploring the canals around there, but if I don't take it with me on the boat, I can always stick it in the trunk of my car and drive it down later.
Easier to take on the boat than in the back of the car and I definitely see you wanting the car space for something else!
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Old 24-08-2017, 05:11   #35
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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If you haven't run aground in the ditch, you have been damned lucky and your luck WILL run out.
I have hit the bottom a time or two but each time I've been able to back out.

I have my depth sounder alarm set to a couple feet deeper than my draft and when the alarm sounds, I slow to idle speed and figure out what is going on.
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Old 24-08-2017, 05:58   #36
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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With the number of times we ran aground, a dinghy is a necessity unless you like swimming an anchor out to kedge off.
Given his boat, it's more like walk to the bow in waist deep water and push it off.

Maybe we just got lucky. Spent 2 yrs wandering up and down the ICW and never got stuck.

A dingy is nice but not needed. Having towed a couple of times...NOT THANK YOU. Going straight ahead in a narrow channel with a no wake zone is OK but open water, when there are 4-6' wakes or worse when trying to maneuver into a slip, it's just a huge pain in the rear.
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Old 24-08-2017, 15:26   #37
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

Never been in the ICW, but a general comment:

One of the big reasons that I go cruising is the independence that it affords us. Freedom from dependence upon others for doing what I want to do, at the time I want to do it. Not always achievable, but a goal...

Thus for me, needing to find a free dock or going into a marina in order to have shore access would be a real negative, and hence I'd surely opt to take the dinghy. And additionally, we enjoy socializing with fellow cruisers. One way of stimulating this is to get into the dink and wander about an anchorage, chatting with other folks. This often leads to more protracted interactions... sundowners, meals, coffees, all parts of the cruising life.

So, for me, a dink is an essential part of our kit... all the time!

Jim
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Old 24-08-2017, 16:36   #38
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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TowBoatUS $150 per year. Don't leave the dock without it.
Concur on a towing plan. I understand that BoatUS has more locations along the AICW
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Old 25-08-2017, 05:47   #39
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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No doubt a dinghy would prove useful, but on the other hand it would take up a lot of room on my foredeck and the dinghy and its 3.5 hp outboard would add a significant amount of weight for a boat of this size.

And what is your foredeck doing that would make that space more useful for something else? What difference would the extra weight (I'd have thought trivial) make to your travel speed?

FWIW, we never used ours for transport on the ICW -- when we were anchored, we stayed aboard a chilled on purpose -- but we did have to use the dinghy to deploy a kedge once...

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Old 25-08-2017, 06:06   #40
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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Concur on a towing plan. I understand that BoatUS has more locations along the AICW
Yep and they are great. Buy the unlimited towing during the US Boat show and it's $99. They use to give you the boat show price without having to go there. The insurance is good for any boat you're on, any even a friend's. We all need help soon or later.

If you need anything while in Norfolk or Portsmouth give me a PM. Some excellent free docks in P-town.

Going down the ditch and cruising really are two different things. One you're making time and one you're wasting time. Leave it.
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Old 25-08-2017, 06:57   #41
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

It's funny: Ask a simple question and you get a bunch of completely opposite answers.

1) You don't need a dinghy to travel on the AICW.

2) You must have a dinghy to travel the AICW. It's critical.

So now what does the OP know that he didn't know before? The best he can do is read all the posts and then try to answer his own question. Maybe some of the posters have swayed him one way or the other or maybe he's more confused than before he posted.

Lots of luck whichever you choose.
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Old 25-08-2017, 07:34   #42
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

Without a dinghy, how will you get your bicycle to shore??
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Old 25-08-2017, 08:25   #43
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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So now what does the OP know that he didn't know before? The best he can do is read all the posts and then try to answer his own question. Maybe some of the posters have swayed him one way or the other or maybe he's more confused than before he posted.

Lots of luck whichever you choose.
Isn't that the way it is in all of these forums, Ron? You have much more experience than I. We give our opinion based on our experiences and risk tolerance. Hopefully, we all answer more than yes/no and give reasons so that the OP (and anyone else reading this five-years from now) can see which situation he is closest to, or which risks he is not comfortable with. For me, who is planning such a trip in the somewhat distant future, I learned from the contributors, so thanks to all.
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:04   #44
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

Maybe the problem with making the decision is you need to determine which ICW you are going down. The one that the 3-4' draft boats go down and which which they say they go aground regularly. Or the one that the 6.5' draft boats go down that don't seem to go aground. Near as I've been able to tell these must be different ICWs.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:06   #45
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Re: Is a dinghy a necessity for the ICW?

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Maybe the problem with making the decision is you need to determine which ICW you are going down. The one that the 3-4' draft boats go down and which which they say they go aground regularly. Or the one that the 6.5' draft boats go down that don't seem to go aground. Near as I've been able to tell these must be different ICWs.
I've always said the guys with a 4ft draft dive like they draw 3ft and the guys with 6ft draft dive like they draw 8ft. I'm in the first group, LOL
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