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Old 06-11-2020, 02:52   #76
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I have a slightly different viewpoint.

The weight is more important than size - of both the dinghy and the engine.

IME, dinghies get damaged and the lighter the dinghy, the easier it is to care for. Likewise the engine.

The OP does not have a lot of options regarding length, she is limited to something between 6 and 8 feet. Once away from areas where dinghy docks are common, the dinghy has to be carried once on shore. In areas with large tidal ranges, the dinghy has to carried a long way at times. They get heavy fast!

I have only cruised on small yachts (28 to 31 feet) so have only used small dinghies but I have found that the weight is a deciding factor for me.

And I have never needed an engine greater than 2 hp. Handling a 2 hp engine in a bumpy anchorage in way easier than a heavier engine.

Go small and light and enjoy life .
Small and light sure makes life easier, where both dink and outboard are concerned.

I downsized from a 3.4m Avon console RIB with remote steered 25hp to a 3.1m Avon Lite folding RIB with first 8hp, now 3.5hp tiller steered outboard and I wouldn't go back.

The new one is much, much less seaworthy (I used to use the bigger one in open sea, and blast across the Solent from Cowes instead of taking the ferry), but the big one was a bear to handle and could not be kept any way except in davits, which is not good on long ocean passages. It was a constant problem.

I'm much happier now. I can keep the Lite dink deflated and folded up in its bag on the foredeck, or inflated in davits, as I like. I have been quite surprised that it is so easy to deflate and store that I rarely use the davits. It's light enough for me to launch off the foredeck single handed. The 3.5 Mercury is light enough to handle without a crane.

But forget longer "dinghy safaris" or river explorations like I used to do with the old one, or ferry replacement duty. Everything is a tradeoff.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:31   #77
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

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Originally Posted by Sailing Ohm View Post
This is bad advice.
Any kayak is for protected waters and/or for fun in my mind. I routinely have to help kayakers get back to their boats with either gear or provisions. Itís actually pretty annoying. Either they get help from those of us with real dinghies or they end up sleeping on the beach or at a bench.

What if you want company? Are you seriously never going to have to bring someone over?
There simply is no way you can get to your boat in a kayak against 3í waves with 2 sec period and 20kt wind while still keeping your gear or provisions dry...thatís if you make it. Iím a frequent and adept Ďpaddlerí and decent sculler but I realize there are limitations to what is safe and practical.
There is also simply no way you can bring any amount of items totally larger than a plane carry on bag. Where are you going to put it? Sailboats often need large/heavy items brought back and forth.
If you are in a very sheltered area and also have a proper dinghy a kayak could be a good addition.

That is your opinion, based on your set of experiences. My experiences have been different and include both dinghies and kayaks. For starters, if you have anchored in 3' chop and have large things to carry, well, don't do that! Find a better harbor or use a marina. A dinghy does not need to be a ship that can concur all imagined challenges. The OP is not planning to circumnavigate or explore all latitudes.



It is not bad advice. It is just not your advice, which I accept as valid.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:27   #78
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
That is your opinion, based on your set of experiences. My experiences have been different and include both dinghies and kayaks. For starters, if you have anchored in 3' chop and have large things to carry, well, don't do that! Find a better harbor or use a marina. A dinghy does not need to be a ship that can concur all imagined challenges. The OP is not planning to circumnavigate or explore all latitudes.



It is not bad advice. It is just not your advice, which I accept as valid.

Problem solved! Just get a slip at the marina!
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:48   #79
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

This seems like a nice little deal.
HydroForce Caspian Pro 9'3" Inflatable Boat
for only $433 and a 17 inch tube dia.
wonder what I'm not seeing here.
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:25   #80
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

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Now Iím curious: how many people have a sailing dinghy and actually use sail as their primary propulsion? I would think between lack of wind and heeling with supplies aboard when there is wind, sailing wouldnít be so practical. But it is much cooler.
While definitely a fun option for any sailor and even more for a motor boater, this option is quite useless to function as a support dinghy to mother ship. The lack of wind, drag and complexity in setting up and down isnít a service practical solution for the day to day cruiserís operations.
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Old 06-11-2020, 18:13   #81
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

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Now Iím curious: how many people have a sailing dinghy and actually use sail as their primary propulsion? I would think between lack of wind and heeling with supplies aboard when there is wind, sailing wouldnít be so practical. But it is much cooler.
I had a sail for my 9' dinghy, and whenever the family wasn't going, I'd sail. Nothing like going for a daily grocery run by sail while the kids are having their nap. Used it to troll for fish in the Sea of Cortez as well. It's real fun to have, and I'll definitely have one again if given the chance.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:27   #82
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Re: Dinghies - How small is too small?

My old fiberglass dink came with a sail, mast, centerboard and rudder....for 9', it could scoot. I didn't often use the sail though. Sailing that dink was pretty much a one man affair. Interestingly, it had a "displacement" type hull and 2 hp was about as big an engine you could put on there. For funsies, I strapped twin 2 hp on the back, but all I did was produce a big hole in the water.
My Achilles inflatable had the wood floors held in place by aluminum stringers. A big engine on the back ( 15 hp) tended to want to buckle those floors up. A smaller (8 hp) not so much.

The Amazon dink posted above appears to be a stellar compromise. It certainly has an attractive price point, with most inflatables, easily twice that, if not more.

Out of all the dinks suggested here, that easily checks all the boxes imo.
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