Originally Posted by Wotname
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
I downsized from a 3.4m Avon
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.