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Old 02-05-2017, 04:58 PM   #1
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Choice of dinghy for future use as tender

There are a few good threads here on the virtues of hard vs. RIBs. I have read them beginning to end and still have not formed a clear opinion one way or the other. My situation has two wrinkles. First, I won't own a trawler for another several years, maybe as many as seven more years. And second, my self-imposed budget is limited to $2500 in a market that can easily reach $25,000.

I am looking for a dinghy with a forward console (center or otherwise) and room for 3 adults. No need for speed. My goal is to have a small boat to putt around backwaters and places where I hope to eventually putt around from a big boat.

My first impression is to find an 11' Whaler that will last forever. By the time it's ready to be a tender for our future boat, it will be a comfortable old friend. A RIB could do that too, but I've read plenty of stories about limited life expectancy of inflatables. If I buy a RIB today, it seems like I might have to buy another one when it comes time to buy the bigger boat.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:10 PM   #2
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Buy the boat that you will be using and enjoy now rather than one that you might use as a tender later. Doing otherwise is like buying a big family home while you are single just so you will be prepared. Keep in mind that many trawlers are sold with a tender included in the package. Mine was.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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Buy the boat that you will be using and enjoy now rather than one that you might use as a tender later. Doing otherwise is like buying a big family home while you are single just so you will be prepared. Keep in mind that many trawlers are sold with a tender included in the package. Mine was.
Agree 100 percent. Buying and selling dinghies when your needs change is easy and quick. Don't over think this.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:38 AM   #4
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Buy a little Whaler for now. Depending on what you get as a big boat it may or may not work. But meanwhile it will be a lot of fun and easily sold if need be.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:01 AM   #5
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13' Whaler or 10.5+ Rib with proper power could open some opportunities, the Whaler would have better resale opportunities then a RIB as well.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:06 AM   #6
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Most of us can't predict the future and seven years is pretty far into the future. Your plans may change or circumstances may change them for you.


I suggest buying the best boat you can find for your budget right now. Worry about the dinghy/tender thing when you get that trawler.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:19 AM   #7
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My life has a lot of needle in the haystack stuff. Thanks for the input. All makes a lot of sense.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #8
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A whaler will retain it's value better and be easier to sell if your future. Hypalon inflatables can last a very long time but perception is more pertenant to fact when selling so you will have a hard time selling for much more than the value of the motor. 11' whalers are harder to find (at least in my area) than 13' models. If you can be patient and watch your local classifieds you can find a good deal. That said, it takes a considerable sized trawler to carry a 13' whaler and you are quite likely to end up selling it. More reason to listen to everyone else and buy what you will enjoy the most now.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:03 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. H. Whatever you buy will get you on the water. I'm in the "buy it now and enjoy it" camp. There are most probably a multitude of boats available in your area or nearby. If you purchase cheaply enough, within reason, you will minimize any losses if, in the future, you ever sell. Pretty well anything that floats and runs will fill that gap for the next 7 years. Enjoy...
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:03 AM   #10
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I've never towed a tender. I'm wanting to purchase a BW 11' or 13'. What is the limit that I can expect it to take while towing when things get rough. Lake Erie can throw six footers + in minutes during squalls. Our West Indian isn't really designed to take a hard tender onboard so that's not really an option.....
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:22 AM   #11
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Yup ......
Go on CL and find the boat you want for the next 7 years. Most people would'nt want a RIB as a real boat and most all people would want a real boat bigger than they would want a dink. Also the perfect dink for your new boat may have special requirments like length, speed or lack of same. You do'nt know those special qualities as you don't know what boat you'll have.

Just get a boat most would call a runabout. Some speed, carry 2 or 4 people safely whatever distance you intend to go and be easy to handle on a trailer. And a 16 to 24' runabout could be fairly inexpensive on CL. Surfing CL may even give you ideas about what boat to buy.

And in those 7 years you will probably learn much of what you'll need to know to operate the big boat when it comes. Or in those 7 years you may see other boaters experiencing so much grief (including expense) with their bigger boats you may decide not to get a big boat. So the little 18 - 20' runabout could be very important in your life.

Another thought is that you needn't limit your boat inventory to one boat w a dink. I have canoes, outboards, rowboats and kayaks. Many people have quite a few boats beyond a trawler and it's dink. My username was previously "Manyboats".
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:29 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that many dinghy docks restrict boat length to 12 ft. Of course, like most things in life, it is rarely enforced and mostly ignored. But then again, most dinghy docks request that you use at least 6 ft of painter, and we know how often that courtesy is extended.

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Old 02-06-2017, 10:49 AM   #13
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I've never towed a tender. I'm wanting to purchase a BW 11' or 13'. What is the limit that I can expect it to take while towing when things get rough. Lake Erie can throw six footers + in minutes during squalls. Our West Indian isn't really designed to take a hard tender onboard so that's not really an option.....
Don't expect to tow a dingy in six foot waves. If you can't fit a hard dinghy onboard, an inflatable is your only choice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #14
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WesK,
One could w the right rig I'm think'in. If the dinghy had a drouge of course it would be harder to tow. But it may not plunge ahead on the face of a wave. And would be much less likely to broach. But if the mothership was running fairly parallel to the seas .. and they were breaking. Hmmmm. But it depends on many variables.

What would be the chance of rigging up a radio control that could deploy a drouge or cause an OB to lower it's prop into the water (untilt)? Or start a bilge pump? A battery could be the ballast and w a small pump it could run a long time. With enough control devices and some ballast in the bilge a dink could possibly ride out some rough stuff.

Then there's the disposable boat concept. Buy an old 12' skiff for $100, throw some ballast in and see how it goes. I thought of that but I'd want an engine on it and up goes the cost.

So WesK you're probably at least 95% right.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:41 PM   #15
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If I wasn't sure about a lot of things and didn't want a lot of money tied up....the 12 or14 foot Carolina skiffs offer a lot for what they are.

One in a bit of rough shape goes for a song and depending on power will hold resale too....because it's way lower up front cost and a little cosmetic work goes a long way when selling.


The other nice feature is the longer bow platform on Carolina skiffs. Fitted with a tall lip at the rear edge and a tightly fitted cover, it will shed water pretty well.... so towing in a blow is possible...but don't expect to hold course and speed like nothing is happening.

But anything can happen in a squall, including bad things to the mothership. Whenever caught in severe squall, you are rolling the dice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:07 PM   #16
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Check this one out! These come in different sizes. Great boat and less expensive than inflatables!



Rigid Boats
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #17
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I grew up with a Whaler Newport 17, but have been without since adulthood struck. Aways wanted one of their small models. As we are living in the trailer world away from water, small makes a lot of sense. Even more as thoughts of the big boat life took hold.

That said, the reality that this 7 year boat does not have much bearing on the eventual tender for our big boat makes a lot of sense. Time and patience are on our side.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:58 PM   #18
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We have two 13' Whalers, a 2010 in WA and a 1981 in AZ. The newer one handles waves much better, the ride is softer and drier, and tows at the end of a 50' line at 10kts like a dream. It has a console, comes standard with a 40hp Merc and handles 4 adults well.


I've read the posts above about buying disposable boats for low bucks to see if you like them and there's probably some validity to that, but let me suggest that a cheap, throwaway boat is not going to perform like a "regular" boat would.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:08 PM   #19
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Heavy heavy heavy.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:04 AM   #20
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I would personally never spend money on a Whaler.....not a bad boat....but more legend than substance.. Back in the day, compared to most small boats....maybe.

A Carolina skiff is not a throwaway boat any more than a Whaler....it just isn't a fluff boat, they were originally marketed as much as work boats as fluff boats. Some models have been fluffed up more like Whalers and taken care of all will last just as long...

I know there are quite a few BW lovers on here, but I have seen a lot of skiffs work side by side for a long time....

The difference is just a different philosophy. Like maintaining a work boat finish or a yacht finish. What does each cost? And....what is practical for you needs?
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