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Old 04-14-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
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Thoughts on dinghies???

Alright, need your help on a dinghy. I have a 32 ft Marine Trader with davits and a 8 ft fibrglass dinghy similar to a Walkers with a 4 hp Johnson.

When I am in it myself, I have to sit forward twoards the middle of the boat to run it. It can get a little squirrelly. H aven't had my wife in it yet, I think that with her to the front to even out the weight it might be a little better.

Question is, get used to what I have or would it be advisable to go to a larger more stable dinghy? If so what size and what style? Have heard some good comments on some small Boston Whalers?
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:26 PM   #2
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I have used an 8' BoatUS inflatable for the last 15 or so years. It does dinghy dock to mooring duty for 2-3 people. Very stable and easy to transport on boat and land. Usually just use oars but I also have a 5 hp Nissan 2 stroke for speed.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Larryskydives View Post
Alright, need your help on a dinghy. I have a 32 ft Marine Trader with davits and a 8 ft fibrglass dinghy similar to a Walkers with a 4 hp Johnson.

When I am in it myself, I have to sit forward twoards the middle of the boat to run it. It can get a little squirrelly. H aven't had my wife in it yet, I think that with her to the front to even out the weight it might be a little better.

Question is, get used to what I have or would it be advisable to go to a larger more stable dinghy? If so what size and what style? Have heard some good comments on some small Boston Whalers?
A Livinston is like a Boston Whaler, but lighter. The come in 8, 10,12,and 14foot. We have a 12 foot. Very stable.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
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Alright, need your help on a dinghy. I have a 32 ft Marine Trader with davits and a 8 ft fibrglass dinghy similar to a Walkers with a 4 hp Johnson.
I got a Walker. Great for a single rower. Not sure what other use they have. It fit neatly standing up on my stern. That was its appeal. My inflatable before it could take motor, four people and dogs. The walker would be on the bottom with that load.

Looking a livingston or hard bottom inflatable in May.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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We have a 9' Livingston. As Phil says, it's extremely stable and durable. We don't like fabric (inflatable) dinghies because they are very expensive and have a finite life.

The best dinghy on the planet as far as we're concerned is a Bullfrog.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:05 AM   #6
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Depends on how you use the dinghy of course. We have a 12' Achilles hard bottom inflatable that we are switching out for probably a 10' Livingston that will allow us to row around the bays (the Achilles has no provision for rowing) as well as to pull it up on the rocks and barnacles.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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I am a firm believer that if you have a slow cruiser, then it is a good idea to have a fast dink. Also, I like the idea of a light dink and motor. We have been using the Mercury Marine Dynamic 310 on our Island Pilots for years. It has a finished interior - weighs 100# - and goes fast with a 10HP (which weighs 84#) - so your total package is 200#. About $4,000 total. If you can't handle the weight, then there are two smaller Dynamics that take smaller motors.

In my opinion, the real advantage of a RIB is the ability to leave unattended w/o any fendering whether tied up to your boat, a friend's boat, or the dinghy dock. Also, they have great carrying ability with lots of reserve buoyancy and stability.

With two aboard, she planes off quickly - with one, she's a rocketship. With the 15 HP (more weight), my guess is she'll plane with four aboard? Never used the bigger motor, so can't really confirm.

The only reason I'd have a rigid dink would be if it could sail, too. The Walker Bay qualifies AND has an inflatable tube option that gives it the fendering ability of a true RIB. Never used one - just admired at boat shows.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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We have a WM 310 that we got cheap cheap! I like the fact that the inflatables are nearly impossible to scuttle. In this photo you might be able to make out the 6 inches of rain in it from a wicked thunderstorm. I'm pretty sure that would swamp a hard dink. I replaced the 2HP Honda egg beater with an old 8HP Evinrude.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:41 AM   #9
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Gulfstar 36 wrote about the water in his rubber duckie;

"I'm pretty sure that would swamp a hard dink"

There's only a small amount of room in a duckie to collect water .... or hold passengers and gear. Put a fuel tank in a duckie and you loose a passenger. The duckies are wider and offer more stability but an equally wide hard dink will be just as stable (like a Livingston) and hold much more, perform much much better and hold more gear/weight.

The plastic Frog is just way too heavy but if you don't need light ???

When you're off in the wilderness on a beautiful evening there's nothing like rowing about in a good rowboat. My favorite dink is a 10' Trinka.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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I'm completely satisfied with my 8' Livingston with Evinrude 4.5. Both about 1982 vintage. Stable and unsinkable, so the literature says.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:43 PM   #11
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I was just about to trade in my two inflatables when the lightweight Caribe 9.5 I had hanging on my davits broke in half......no kidding. I left the boat on the davits while driving back to Miami for the weekend. The drain plug was out, and the dinghy was tilted toward the stern so any water from the rain would drain out. I can only surmise that something must have clogged the drain during a storm, the dinghy filled up with water and couldn't take the weight. Whatever clogged the drain must have fallen out when it broke. It was a sad sight to return to.

The boat was worthless without fixing, so it cost me $450 to repair and $200 to patch the tubes. The plan was a 10 ft. Livingston but I guess I'll keep this one for a while now.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:41 PM   #12
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Hard dinghy fan here, have 2. One is a Walker Bay 8 and like you mention it is a little tippy when you are seated in the center (w/ one aboard) and steering from behind your back. I put a short extension on the outboard tiller and that makes it a little easier.

Most of the time I have "the moose" with me for weight up front and so long as he doesn't see something in the water that he wants, we are fine. He would rather be swimming anyway...
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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21 years of faithful service from my Avon 310 RIB. Hypalon fabric and I keep it covered. Used it on 2 sail boats, and now the little DeFever.

10,000 miles of cruising, nothing special, just the east coast and the Bahamas. Hauled a lot of groceries, parts, and crew.

I’m happy with it. Now outboard motors, that’s a different story.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:26 AM   #14
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Hard dinghy fan here, have 2. One is a Walker Bay 8 and like you mention it is a little tippy when you are seated in the center (w/ one aboard) and steering from behind your back. I put a short extension on the outboard tiller and that makes it a little easier.

Most of the time I have "the moose" with me for weight up front and so long as he doesn't see something in the water that he wants, we are fine. He would rather be swimming anyway...
I like the dog!

"A little tippy". I like that. I'm 200 pounds, mine is like stepping from an angle onto a feather resting on lube grease. Other than that it's reasonably stable.

I do like how fast it rows. That's pretty cool. But my 80 pound exuberant wobbler makes the ride a little erratic. He can't always decide to stay with the boat or jump off and hunt...
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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Larryskydives, I was faced with the same question last year and our boats are about the same size and I have davits as well. I came to the conclusion that the 9 ft. Livingston would be my best bet but unfortunately no one in Canada or at least Ontario sells them and shipping from the factory plus taxes duties, etc. would have doubled the price. I spoke with the owner of Livingston at the Toronto boat show and he thought he could ship one to Michigan for me and I would pick it up there. He was to call me. Have yet to hear from him so I finally bought a 9 ft. fiberglass hard bottom inflatable (rib) with a 6 hp outboard. The hard bottom is not near as squirrelly as the soft bottom I used to have. Either are good options IMHO but I do like the Livingston as many others have expressed.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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Hey, alot of good comments and ideas. I appreciate all of the input. Still not quite sure what I will do. As of right now I will spend more time in my 8ft dinghy. The more I run it the more comfortable I will get. Turns out it is an Eli Laminates??

My boat has about an 11ft beam. Playing with the idea of maybe a 12 ft skiff. Checking weights and capacity of my davits.

Will keep you updated. Thanks again for all the comments
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #17
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When we bought our boat the only dinghy it had was the Montgomery rowing/sailing dinghy that was in a cradle on the aft cabin top. We used it as our shoreboat for about four months. It--- like all dinghies of this basic configuration--- was tippy enough to make it hard and even unsafe to get into, particularly when the water was even slightly rough, it's interior volume was quite limited, and with any sort of a load---two adults and a 50 pound dog for example--- it had too little freeboard.

In my opinion these detriments apply to all the dinghies of this type be they relatively cheap Walker Bays or top-of-the-line Trinkas. It's simply not a very stable, high-load-carrying kind of boat unless you get a real big one like 14 feet long or more.

So despite the ungainly looks we got a 9' Livingston and what a difference it made to our boating. Incredibly stable--- I can stand in the side of the boat (but not on the gunwale itself) and it remains remarkably level--- lots of interior volume for "stuff," and with suffiicent power pretty quick.

The one thing it lacks is freeboard, at least in the 9' model. The larger ones may be better in this regard but they are too large for our GB. But it makes a rock solid fishing platform, a great cargo hauler to and from the beach, and it's built hell for stout so it will probably outlast the GB.

While there is a dinghy on the market that we prefer to the Livingston for several reasons, for value for cost, durability, stability, and volume it's tough to beat a Livingston.

After our experience with our own rowing/sailing dinghy we would never recommend a similarly configured boat for a utility shoreboat. We still carry the Montgomery on the aft cabin top and it's a lot of fun for one person to sail. But in our view this type of craft is simply not suited for anything other than just messing about in.

This is in the world of hardshell dinghies. We have no use for a fabric dinghy so I'm talking strictly the traditional row/sail dinghies (Walker Bay, etc) and the "barges" (Livingston, small Boston Whaler, etc.).
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #18
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My boat has about an 11ft beam. Playing with the idea of maybe a 12 ft skiff.
If you are planning on carrying the dingy across the transom, either on the swimstep or in a set of davits, you do not want the dinghy or the motor extending out beyond the beam of your boat. A good friend had this situation for several years when he put a 12' aluminum dinghy on davits on the transom of his 12' beam boat. The motor stuck out beyond the port side of the boat and it caused all mannner of problems when docking or rafting. Very bad setup.

He subsequently got rid of that dinghy and replaced wtih a 10' dinghy with the same motor on it. Neither the boat nor the motor extend out beyond his boat's beam (it's close but it's inside the planform) and it has made his boating life so much easier now with regards to docking and rafting.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:47 PM   #19
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Good advice Marin. Nothing good happens when the dinghy extends beyond the beam of the boat. Docking presents enough challenges to a weekend warrior like me, the last thing I need is one more thing to worry about.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:46 AM   #20
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Achilles! Real hypalon fabric with a great warranty, the whole 9' inflatable weighs only 60 lbs with the high pressure air floor, and if you don't need it you just suck the air out of it and roll it up. The air floor needs a little extra pumping, but the main tubes fill with a little high speed inflator/deflator pump that clips to the battery terminals. It moves 20 cfm to a max of 3 psi and will fill an inflatable in a couple of minutes flat, and empty it just as fast. I push it with a 6 hp 4 cycle, it will plane with two and plow with three on board. When you hit the beach, you carry it up above the tide line...
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