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Old 03-09-2015, 08:24 AM   #21
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After 25 miles in a 13 whaler you will want to shoot yourself to ease the pain! Go with an inflatable with the deepest V you can find.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:37 PM   #22
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After 25 miles in a 13 whaler you will want to shoot yourself to ease the pain! Go with an inflatable with the deepest V you can find.
I agree.

Boston Whalers are fantastic boats: very sturdy, stable and voluminous. A 13' was my first boat many years ago and I have now had another one now for many years. But, they are best used in very protected waters with minimal chop.

In anything beyond 1' waves or so planing is vey painful! Their "cathedral hull" gives them great stability but also a rough ride in a chop.
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:09 PM   #23
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25 miles in a dinghy? Don't think that's what dinghies or tenders are meant for. Then you need to go back to the mothership so there's 50 miles. Need a bit more than a 6 gallon gas tank for that.

Yes, a Whaler can be a rough ride in a big chop although the newer hull designs have a deeper vee and way more freeboard.

Go visit a dinghy dock at a busy marina and look at the condition of the blowup boats (and RIBS), then decide what your yacht deserves. A Whaler will last forever. Your kids and grandkids will paint it one day and have a jewel of a boat. Even on this forum, people talk about the Whaler they had as a kid, or the old one they still use and treasure. Can't find a single post about the blow up boat someone had as a kid or passed down the line to their grandkids.

Did this become a rant? I'm out of breath now.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:51 PM   #24
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Can't find a single post about the blow up boat someone had as a kid or passed down the line to their grandkids.
It didn't take us long to realize the beautiful little rowing/ sailing dinghy that came with our PNW boat was impractical to use as a shore/utility boat. We kept it as it sits nicely in a cradle on top of the aft cabin and it's a lot of fun to row and sail, but we realized we needed something with more capacity and stability to serve as our everyday shoreboat.

We looked at inflatables and RIBs and as talked to people we'd met who had them. We also walked the docks in our harbor to see what most people had. One of the first things we noticed was how many deflated inflatables there were. Sagging on their swimstep mounts, collapsing onto boat decks and so forth.

We also encountered a fair number of people who had tales of woe about leaking tubes or cut tubes from encounters with our rocky shorelines. We decided we didn't want to spend our money on something with a finite life. So that ruled out any sort of dinghy with fabric tubes.

We bought a Livingston. World's best dinghy? No. But it's rugged, pretty much indestructible and extremely stable. Were we in the same position today, we'd buy a Bullfrog. Mainly because it has more carrying capacity, a much higher freeboard, and a V-bottom for use at higher speeds in rougher water.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:07 PM   #25
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Marin,
We went through that same process. Also noted that the inflatables that were still in service were, unless new, dirty and many were sunburnt and discolored. Having had two inflatables in the past, one PVC and one Hypalon, I can say they are a bi**h to clean.

I have never seen a Bullfrog on the east coast. Never knew they even existed until now. Looked at their website and they sure look rugged. Certainly would have been up there with the Whaler in our decision making process.

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Old 03-10-2015, 07:24 PM   #26
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I have never seen a Bullfrog on the east coast. Never knew they even existed until now. Looked at their website and they sure look rugged. Certainly would have been up there with the Whaler in our decision making process.
Bullfrogs are made in Bellingham and I have no idea what their distrubution network is like or if they even have one. The people we know who have them went to the factory and picked them up.

It's not all roses with the Bullfrog. They are expensive and they are heavy. Our friends with the custom lobsterboat carry theirs on a set of custom davits on the stern that he designed. We know a couple of other people who carry them on their swimsteps.

In the case of the GB36 the stock swimstep was reinforced with additional braces to the hull. The dinghy is deployed and recovered with a Seawise davit so the motor weight is still transferred to the swimstep. In the case of 36' Island Gypsy, the swimstep does not appear to have been reinforced but the motor is removed from the dinghy and hung on a separate mount on the transom.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:36 PM   #27
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You might be surprised to learn that we bought our Whaler 110 Sport with a 25hp 4stroke Mercury from Costco. It was delivered through MarineMax. Quite a savings compared to retail and included a $500 Costco cash card. Don't know if that's available nationwide but worth investigating if you are considering a Whaler.

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Old 03-10-2015, 07:48 PM   #28
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Here is a shot of the Island Gypsy I mentioned with the Bullfrog mounted on the swimstep.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:50 PM   #29
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25 miles in a dinghy? Don't think that's what dinghies or tenders are meant for. Then you need to go back to the mothership so there's 50 miles. Need a bit more than a 6 gallon gas tank for that.

Yes, a Whaler can be a rough ride in a big chop although the newer hull designs have a deeper vee and way more freeboard.
We have two 13' Whalers and you're right about the ride in the older ones. They do ride hard in a chop.

We've trailered our 2010 13' Super Sport to distant lakes we wanted to explore and the ride is so much better. Last summer we hit 3 Idaho lakes in 3 days, Pend Orielle, Coeur d'Alene and Hayden Lake. '

On Pend Orielle we took it from Bayview to Sandpoint, a 63 mile round trip, in a day and did it on one 6 gallon tank. The tank ran out as we got back to Bayview, but that wasn't a problem as we have two 6-gallon tanks on board.
Here's the boat in Sand Point where we stopped for lunch.


The optional Sport seats make a big difference in the ride.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:17 PM   #30
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Here is a shot of the Island Gypsy I mentioned with the Bullfrog mounted on the swimstep.
Looks kind of rickety to me. Don't know that I would trust that.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:36 PM   #31
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Looks kind of rickety to me. Don't know that I would trust that.
It's a very heavy-duty Weaver-davit setup. I don't know if the brackets on the swimstep and the pivoting "davits" mounted on the side of the Bullfrog were actually made by Weaver or not. But whomever made them, they are significantly heavier in materials than the Weaver Snap Davit components we use for our 9' Livingston.

So the lower side of the Bullfrog is solidly clamped to the brackets on the swimstep and the upper side of the dinghy is secured in place using rod-type standoffs, same as the Weaver system.

The rigging from the boat's boom is, I assume, used to lift the motor off it's bracket for installation on the dinghy once it's been deployed.

To be honest I can't remember how the dinghy itself is deployed and retrieved, if he has a Seawise-type winch on the port side or if he uses the boom fall to lower and raise the dinghy (which is what we do with our Livingston).

The owner and his wife have taken the boat up the Passage to SE Alaska several times so I assume his dinghy and motor storage and deployment system gets the job done fairly well.

The boat is kept next to our friend's lobsterboat so I'll have to remember to walk out there the next time we go to our boat and refresh my memory on his setup.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:49 PM   #32
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I sure like the Bullfrog and we're getting near the time when we'll also have to make a choice. The cost and weight are factors, but it looks like it will last. Theft in the Caribbean is also a concern, but there are so few there that it may be easy to track down. We also like the Livingston but the 10 ft. model with higher freeboard is also heavy.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:26 PM   #33
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Just purchased a 10 foot Bullfrog, utility tender. Tiller steering. Has not seen the water yet. Finished mounting a 15 HP, 4 stroke on it a few days ago. Put a downrigger mount on it today, and got that wired up. Looks very well built. Will let you know how it works out. It is replacing a Walker Bay Odyssey air floor, which has served us well, but limits exploring being its powered by a 2 HP. Had a Livingston before that, was a tough little boat, but I got to hate that center section. Had a Horizon after the Livingston, about the same boat, minus the center tunnel. Both survived, the abuse of getting dragged ashore.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:27 PM   #34
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I've spent some time riding around in my friend's 10' Bullfrog in smooth water and choppy. His is powered with a 15hp Honda. In choppy water at speed the ride is pretty good and the spray kicked up is not bad (I'm always riding on the middle seat). It's got a V-bottom but not a super-deep V. So the boat can pound a bit but it's not as bad as I thought it might be.

One thing I really like is that since the tubes don't hold air, they can be whatever shape one wants. So on the Bullfrog they are cut down straight on the inside instead of being round like the outside. This makes for signficantly more interior room than a similar size RIB.

My friend also had the owner of the company make him a special middle seat that is also a fuel tank. So he has good fuel capacity without having to clutter up the inside with a portable tank. I don't know if the company offers this now as an option or if my friend's is a one-off, but it's a great idea.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:46 AM   #35
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Here is a shot of the Island Gypsy I mentioned with the Bullfrog mounted on the swimstep.
So dark under the swimstep I can`t see what if anything supports that step. Mine has triangulated brace supports bolted back to the transom.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:39 AM   #36
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As I recall the swimstep is pretty solidly braced to the bottom of the transom. I believe there are four triangular braces spaced evenly the length of the swimstep. Very similar to the braces on a Grand Banks.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:50 AM   #37
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The perfect dinghy?
Too bad it was discontinued.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:02 AM   #38
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I just happened to be reading the section in Beth Leonard's "The Voyager's Handbook" that discusses dinghies. The book has quite a bit of information about different types of dinghy's, pros and cons, material differences, etc.

The section in the books and the comments here are very good information.

Later,
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:22 PM   #39
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Earlier I mentioned an acquaintance who carries a 10' Bullfrog and 15 hp motor on the swimstep of his Grand Banks 36 Europa using a Seawise Davit. I came across this photo today on one of my other computers showing the setup

The swim step is the standard GB swimstep. However he had the boatyard in our marina (Seaview North) design and fabricate the hardware necessary to support the Bullfrog and its motor. As I recall they reinforced some of the four stock swimstep supports and fabricated at least one additional support to go where the most weight was.

It's a great setup, much more user friendly than the one on the Island Gypsy I illustrated earlier since the Seawise Davit takes care of both the dinghy and motor storage in one go.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:30 PM   #40
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I have a 12' Rigid Boat and I LOVE it. It looks similar to that Bullfrog boat but better to me. It has 12 cubic feet of storage inside the tubes. It performs better than an inflatable but is rugged like the Whaler. Built in 10 gallon gas tank in the bow to put the weight where I want it. Lots of storage under the bench and console. Ultra high end Frigid Rigid cooler for seat. I have a sterio, underwater lights and bilge pump. A 30 Evinrude Etec performs awesomely.
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