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Old 31-03-2015, 17:53   #61
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Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
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Re: Buy outboard or buy better-rowing dinghy?

Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
I just checked out a very solid little hard dinghy, 6' long and 4' wide that would fit well on my bow. However, when I rowed it, it was quick, but very squirrelly, and loved to spin out in circles. It has about a half inch deep skeg along the centerline, so maybe this is not enough?
Or is it instead a problem of weight distribution? It seemed my weight in the row position forward was lifting the stern clear of the water which is where the majority of the boat's tracking would come from, I believe. Is this common with hard dinghies? Or does this one just row poorly?

I would guess rowing position/weight distribution from your description. Generally I've seen two sets of oar locks on dinghies.

One set is positioned for a single person sitting at or slightly aft of midpoint of boat. This trims the boat level or slightly down by the stern. Just in front of you belly button is a good estimate of the rower's longitudinal center of mass. This is also the position used when ther are 3 people aboard.

When there are two people aboard then the rower usually sits in a forward position with a different set of oar locks. When both folks are of similar weight the boat should trim appropriately. By having the rower forward communication is easier because the people face each other so the forward facing person on can offer steering guidance or just chat with the rower.

I could go on but the boy wants to play games on my phone.

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Old 31-03-2015, 22:00   #62
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Location: Round Bay, Severn River
Boat: Formerly Pearson 28-1, now just a sailing dinghy
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Re: Buy outboard or buy better-rowing dinghy?

Thanks Adelie, that makes sense. Unfortunately this dinghy is too small for more than the one position; but I can put some weight in the back to ballast her.
It was also very tender so I'll have to change a lot of my procedures. For instance, I always just lift the 7 gallon water jugs into the boat from the current inflatable, but it's clear I'd quickly swamp this dinghy trying to do that! Block and tackle would have to be the new method.

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:25   #63
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Location: Palatka, Florida
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Re: Buy outboard or buy better-rowing dinghy?

I think "rowing quality" is more a factor of length and width than of weight distribution. The longer and narrower the better. I can see where rowing a 6' x 4' dinghy would be frustrating at best. Might be a good candidate for a little trolling motor, though.

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dinghy, outboard

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