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Old 03-08-2015, 12:48 PM   #1
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Dinghy Selection

My boat buying process is getting closer to completion and it looks like I will need a dinghy. Currently has an Apex 11' 6" RIB with a 20hp Nissan-being retained by owner. Boat has a 1,000lb Steelhead crane for dinghy handling.

The mission of the dinghy will be basic tender duties while cruising the PNW plus a little fishing, crabbing and 25 +/- mile day trips while mothership remains at anchor. So, will want some speed-20 kts or better.
Usually 2 people in the boat and occasionally 4.

I started looking at the Boston Whaler 13' as an option
Boston Whaler Boats | 2014 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport

The Bullfrog might be an option Yacht Tender 11.5 - Bullfrog Boats

And of course all the more commonly used RIB boats.
I've also given some thought to a basic 14-15' aluminum fishing boat.

Any pros-cons of these would be appreciated.
Thanks
Ken
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:58 PM   #2
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Bullfrogs are terrific. Best dinghy on the market as far as I'm concerned (no, we don't have one yet but good friends do and I've spent a lot of time in it). They only have one downside and that's that they are pretty heavy for their size.

We would never get an inflatable dinghy for this area unless we were to just goiing to be harbor-hoppers. Almost every boater we know who has an inflatable has at some point during the last 17 years we've been doing this kind of boating complained about their dinghies developing leaks, usually from tube damage on our rocky, barnacle-encrusted shores. It's what motivated our cruising companions to abandon their inflatable and move first to an aluminum dinghy (which turned out to be a bad idea) to the Bullfrog they have now.

Lots and lots of people love inflatables and RIBs and their reasons are valid for them. But when we needed a new dinghy for the boat we bought in 1998, we talked to people and researched it pretty thoroughly and determined that the best answer for us in this region was a hardshell dinghy with, in essence, an infinite life.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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I towed/ used a old 13' whaler for years and now tow a old 15' whaler when underway. I am sure the new (2014) is a much nicer ride than my old 13' was. I also have a dinghy with aluminum bottom kept on weaver davits that I use if I want to go ashore so I can pull it up on, or relaunch it from the beach due to the tide swings / rocks that make it impractical for my whaler . Don't know about the bullfrog but they certainly look like a great craft from what I've read I just don't know how easy they would be to relaunch from or haul up on the beach. Just my thoughts.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:40 PM   #4
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A late thought - is something like an aluminum Lund that many in SE use and do manage to beach and relaunch due to the lightweight aluminum. I know it's fun looking.....

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Old 03-08-2015, 02:39 PM   #5
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Agree with Glen in that Lund is a good option. We use a Smoker craft which is similar to a lund.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:52 PM   #6
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Back when I did some live aboard cruising used a 13 foot AL boat with 10hp very rugged and easily bleachable. No maintenance issues and could be rowed if motor quit or needed some exercise.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
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I don't like inflatables. I think the bull frog is overpriced and hyped. It has all the negatives of the inflatables and none of the advantages.
Out of your 3 choices, I would opt for the Boston Whaler. An older one with a new coat of paint (or not) and a dependable outboard brand of your choice.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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Dinghy Selection

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Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune View Post
Out of your 3 choices, I would opt for the Boston Whaler. An older one with a new coat of paint (or not) and a dependable outboard brand of your choice.

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Old 03-08-2015, 03:30 PM   #9
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We recently bought a Highfield Ocean Master RIB, aluminum hull, with 40HP Yamaha. Great boat for 2, easily holds 6. We strongly considered the BW 11' and 13', but the deciding factor was we wanted an inflatable to protect the big boat. We carry our dinghy on a deck 12' above the water. When I lift the dinghy in a wind, I didn't want a hard hull banging against my boat.

So far, we are very happy with the Highfield.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:36 PM   #10
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Aluminum , doesn't mind being Dragged up on a rocky beach 20-30K no big deal.

Whalers are best for warm water swimming and scuba , where climbing back aboard counts. They are great , but heavy!!!
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #11
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Dinghy Selection

I have the 10.5 bullfrog tender with a 15 four stroke on it. Replaced an inflatable walker bay rib that kept losing air. Love its durability although a bit heavier. I have it on Lester hydraulic Davits. It's a Sherman tank compared to my old one and has already faced down and won against some oyster beds.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #12
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Ken, I have a 2010 version of that 130SS you linked to and it may be too heavy for your 1000 lb crane. The dry weight of the boat is 640# and the 40hp motor weighs 235#. By the time you add gas, anchor, line, those fancy seats (I have those and love 'em) you're going to be pushing right up against the capacity of the crane.

BTW, we love our Whaler. I'm getting it set up for a 4-5 month long trip where we'll be towing it.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:31 PM   #13
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Thanks All-this is the type of information I was looking for to better illuminate the compromises I will make when choosing one over the other.

Ken
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:34 PM   #14
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We have a Whaler 110 Sport with a 25 Merc. Love it. We lift it with a crane rated for 800#. We optioned a full bow rail and a towing eye. We hang a large fender lengthwise alongside the mothership where we tie the Whaler. If we are at anchor and there is room, we leave the Whaler tied to the stern and floating about 50-75' behind us.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:22 PM   #15
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Does anyone out there have experience with a Livingston dinghy? They look fairly rugged and stable to me.

http://www.livingstonboats.com
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #16
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I have an 8' model that is underpowered with a 4.5 hp. I love it but would recommend at least a 10' model with max hp motor for a true SUV on the water. Very stable and durable, ours is about 30 years old.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Duck 492 View Post
Does anyone out there have experience with a Livingston dinghy? They look fairly rugged and stable to me.

Livingston Boats
We purchased a 9' Livingston over 30 years ago and it was an outstanding dinghy. Well built, stable, and a great rowboat.

In 2013, given our previous experience, we purchased a new 10' Livingston. After something in the order of 5 ownership changes, the company manufacturing Livingstons today seems to have a different take on how to build a good dinghy.

We had to rebuild the transom to accommodate the Seawise davit system even though Livingston recommends Seawise.

The 9.9 Yamaha 4 stroke short shaft recommended by Livingston cavitates if you have 400 pounds on board.

We had to reinforce the hull side in order to stow the Livingston on her side on the stern platform. Their site states that they have already reinforced the hull side for that purpose.

Wasn't our best purchase.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:43 PM   #18
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I have had a 9' livingston dinghy for about 4 years now. I am happy with it, although I did find the hull drains layout odd, the drains were installed about an inch above the bottom of the hull so it held water,they told me that had been corrected. I think mine was built during the transition of moving the fab shop from WA. to the Carolinas. But, we are happy with it after I took care of the drainage issues. It is powered by a 6 hp Mercury 4 stroke and will plane with me but not with 2 adults onboard. rugged, stable, and simple. Fits our Kato davits well
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:34 PM   #19
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We recently went through the same analytical process on dinghy selection. Our boat came with an Avon 3.5meter RIB, 25 hp 4 stroke Yamaha, console steering, Seawise Davit system. We wanted more room for fishing, crabbing and people. We ended up buying a 15' Klamath, all welded aluminum boat with windshield and 30 hp Honda that weighs in at 610 lbs. very comfortable boat with so much more usable room for our particular use. We are towing it and carry a 8'6" Achilles inflatable on board along with two kayaks.

So we will be selling our RIB as we no longer use it.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:48 AM   #20
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We've had a 9' Livingston for the last 17 years. Excellent little boat, very stable. Only drawback is the low freeboard of the 9' model when fully loaded. But it's been fine for our purposes. In a couple of years we'll be replacing it with a (towed) 10' Bullfrog.
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