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Old 29-10-2020, 11:02   #46
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

My first dink was a 6' homemade plywood dink, a pram....yep, seriously, I was broke...with oars, a centerboard, and sail...no engine....it did the job, but required a lot of dexterity to get on and off, 2 people required one sitting on the bow and one on the stern. It also leaked. If you are older than 22, this quickly becomes a chore. Forget about diving from it.

My next dink was an 8' fiberglass dink, the only way it fit on my boat, was angled across the cabin top. it had a 2 hp engine. You could dive from it, but getting on and off required a lot of acrobatics. Plus it ate up a lot of deck space.

Finally....thank goodness....I latched onto an 11' Achilles dink, with removable plywood floors. It can be dismantled and folded up into a very small package, about the size of suitcase. it came with a 15 hp Suzuki, a bit too much power, which I swapped out for a 8 hp Yamaha. Together, this is, in my opinion, the way to go.
A rigid fiberglass or wood dinghy will have you shopping for an inflatable in no time.

Why buy two dinks ?

Several inflatable roll up versions exist. Do yourself a big favor and get one of these.
Like others have said, you can tow it, if you want.

Here's a tip .....I rigged an additional towing bridle on the inside of the fiberglass stern. This was a much stronger connection than the glued on eyes up front. To both front and back bridle, I attached a towing rope. When towing, I used both towing ropes, but tied the bow tow rope to the rear boat cleat about 3/4-1" shorter than the stern tow rope. The front tow rope kept the dink pointed straight, but the rear tow rope did all the towing. It worked like a champ, and I could tow that dink all over the place, without fear of breaking.
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Old 29-10-2020, 11:06   #47
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

On our Bristol 29.9 we use an eight foot Walkerbay with the inflatable tubes. We tow it a lot, even when using our Monitor steering vane, or we put it on the fore deck on passages, it’s light, holds the two of us and groceries etc, it rows well also, we use a Honda 2.3 hp air cooled outboard, it too is light, we keep in on the push pit rail. We have owned five dinghys, this one has been the most useful and easiest to handle. You can easily drag it onto a sandy or rocky beach with no worries about punctures, again easy to handle, provides a dry ride as compared to our previous inflatables of the same length.

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Old 29-10-2020, 11:08   #48
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Another good point.

I want to believe a 8-8.5’ solid removable floor boards (not a roll up) with inflatable high pressure keel and 17-18” tubes will provide me a more or less similar motoring experience of a RIB (not the on rocks/corals scratching protection...).

The rating of at least two of these even allows me to use my 15HP two stroke Yamaha (~~same weight as the max recommended 8HP 4 stroke), although my plan is to go with 3.5 HP.

Anyone experienced with this option?
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Old 29-10-2020, 12:27   #49
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
Anyone experienced with this option?
I had an 11’ high pressure floor model with 15 hp Yamaha. It planed very well with me and two 14 y.o. boys in 4 foot waves. We had to slow down in more rough conditions. Often used it to go to the coral reefs from Florida Keys. It is about 5 miles ride and the waves are usually 4-6 feet there in a winter.

I have a 9’6” high pressure floor Achilles with a 6 hp Tohatsu now. It almost planes with two adults. Did not try to plane with just myself, but I think it will.
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Old 29-10-2020, 12:41   #50
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
Another good point.

I want to believe a 8-8.5’ solid removable floor boards (not a roll up) with inflatable high pressure keel and 17-18” tubes will provide me a more or less similar motoring experience of a RIB (not the on rocks/corals scratching protection...).

The rating of at least two of these even allows me to use my 15HP two stroke Yamaha (~~same weight as the max recommended 8HP 4 stroke), although my plan is to go with 3.5 HP.

Anyone experienced with this option?
Not the same as a RIB but pretty good.
Here's the down side to the ply floors from experience:
-Getting the ply floors in is a PITA. You only can do it in one order, you need a flat work area like a dock to do it on,
-the floors are big to store between use.
- maybe the aluminum sandwich looking floors some have now days are easier? Not sure, they look a bit thinner which would help.
Procedure:
-Getting the ply in between the tubes and floor can be difficult.
-So you put the bow piece in, then the center, then you try to get the aft piece in and it wont go.
-So you remove the center and try to get the bow piece shoved in the gap further. Repeat until successful!
On an unlevel surface like a boat cabin top, it's nearly impossible.

That's why I thought of the rollup (not air floor) but with slats like the Avon with vinyl slats.
But the ply or rigid floor do work decent.
PS: I had a 15 hp on my 10+ double floor RIB and it was great. I bought a new, single floor 9 ft RIB and that 15 was very squirrely on it. Never did like it.
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Old 29-10-2020, 13:45   #51
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
Another good point.

I want to believe a 8-8.5’ solid removable floor boards (not a roll up) with inflatable high pressure keel and 17-18” tubes will provide me a more or less similar motoring experience of a RIB (not the on rocks/corals scratching protection...).

The rating of at least two of these even allows me to use my 15HP two stroke Yamaha (~~same weight as the max recommended 8HP 4 stroke), although my plan is to go with 3.5 HP.

Anyone experienced with this option?
I had an inflatable floor with inflatable keel(separate chambers). Performance was excellent, with one person it easily planed with a 5hp and really moved and steered well. The inflatable floor wouldn't hold air for very long though, and I considered making a plywood floor for it. But, it was otherwise a cheap PVC dingy and fell apart before I was able to.
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Old 29-10-2020, 14:14   #52
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Not cruising yet but thought i'd add. I use a small plastic shop vac to inflate and deflate my dingy. Works great both ways, deflating with power is faster and you can get a better tighter roll with it. And the extra added advantage you have a "plastic" shop vac for all those issues aboard. Works well off a 300 watt inverter when needed.
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Old 30-10-2020, 05:07   #53
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

I've seen some crazy things in my time...

a) you can always swim ashore pulling a sealed plastic bag behind you for your dry clothes and stuff you might buy ashore.
b) you can use a surfboard as your dink.
c) you can use a waveski....a surfboard you can paddle...
d) as above, but with a paddle board, always having a waterproof rug-sack on your back.
d) I've seen homemade plastic pontoon boats, you assemble this on deck.

last, but not least, you can always tie up to a dock or marina...
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:27   #54
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Your plan sounds fine. Like others have said, a hard dinghy has advantages, but it takes up serious room on deck. You would be fine with the smallest OB you can get, like a 2.5 hp, but you want to have some type of OB. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:57   #55
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

I have made 12 trips to the Bahamas at first with a 8' fiberglass with 2 HP and later with an 10', AL RIB with a 3.3 and a 15 HP 2 stroke engine. The 8' with a 2 HP engine was slow and wet. The 2 HP 2 cycle was only 19 lbs and I never left it on the dingy at night or towing. I agree with the other comments that light weight is important. I could not get into the 8' dinghy from the water without my wife holding the opposite side down.

The 10' RIB with the 3.3 HP was also slow and wet in rough weather. But, I used it most of the time for short distances.
I used the 10' "RIB with 15 HP for long trips. It was dry once on a plane. It was a blast and would go over 25 k.
On many morning you could hear on the cruisers net that someone had lost their dingy at night. I never left my RIB dinghy tied behind the boat with the motor on while anchored over night. I recommend at least 2 lines. I have seen too many inflatables upside down in the morning. I also recommend a motor that you can lift with 1 hand with the other hand holding the boat.
My ultimate solution was a custom arch that incorporated davits, a crane for the motors and solar panels on the top. I felt hoisting the dinghy at night made it very hard to steal and not in the way for a middle of the night re-anchoring drill.

This investment will let you sleep better and handle a bigger engine for fast and dry exploring. Your dinghy will be your car while cruising.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:52   #56
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Whats a timber dink?
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:33   #57
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Just been deliberating a similar question now that I have a 37ft motor boat with hydraulic boarding passarelle blocking off the stern section.

Previously I had a 3.1m fibreglass bottom rib with an 8hp Yamaha two stroke. We had a cat with davits. Great for liveaboard, but if I had my time again I would have a lighter aluminium bottom rib, slightly longer with a 15hp motor. On our 39ft yacht we had a 2.4m aluminium rib with a 2.5hp 4 stroke. Fitted across the transom with weaver clips. Good for three passengers but not brilliant for longer trips due to sluggish performance.

So on new boat.. with no room to mount a rib on the stern and no visibility if I put it on the foredeck, I have gone with a 3m inflatable floor Takacat with a 10hp (27kg) mercury two stroke. Will take 4 people and planes well, but also very light and packs into a locker. The key to making it acceptable for me was to buy an electrical inflation pump, I got an 18v Dewalt cordless pump. Too early to say whether it will tick all my boxes but at least solves the storage problem.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:33   #58
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

Wow, thats a tough question. So much depends on personal preference and intended use. For example my wife and I are avid Scuba divers so a fairly capable dingy is critical to us, to you? I buddy boated for awhile with a couple on a 32 foot Ericsson. He had a small inflateable with a 3.5 on it and over a seasons time in the Bahamas. He capsized it twice. Once on a reef outside, probably no more than an average 1-2+ foot seas. But one caught him wrong. Another time going into a beach in semi-protected waters. They have their limitations. But you have to do what works for you. Get a small dingy, its is pretty important to stay in protected waters. And out ot bad weather. I had a friend in the Sea of Cortez that he and his wife had two inflateable kayaks (the good kind) not toys. And they loved them. Went out in all kinds of weather. Got wet but quite capable. And of course a great way to stay in shape.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:40   #59
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

One comment on a small IC outboard, which I think was not discussed here before. All of them come with a manual recoil starting system, which may not be easy to operate by a woman. I recently sailed with a very athletic lady friend who was not able to start my 6 hp Tohatsu.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:30   #60
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

https://octenders.co.nz/products-oc270/
I think this would fit the bill.
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