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Old 09-16-2016, 06:06 PM   #1
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flat boat v inflatable dinghy

Being new to cruising and growing up on the Mississippi river
on the eastside of Iowa.
I need a small boat going down the Miss to Fl, when I'm on the hook
to get in and off the 38ft Bayliner.
So I've always been comfortable in a 12 ft flat with a 6 to 9 hp.
Are their any great advantages to the inflatable dinghy's or
great cons with the small flat?
I'd like to be able to fit a bike in the front, so I can do a little
riding and shopping when I land.
I figure I'd start with a boat and then worry about the davits or
am I doing this ass backwards.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:15 PM   #2
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It is not a bad idea they are inexpensive and will last a long time. And with the hp you mentioned they will move along well. They are usually what the towboats around here but bigger size. I thought long about buying one I didn't because for the length the carrying capacity of the typical Al. flat is pretty low. I saw one couple of days ago 12', capacity 275 lbs. That was at Academy maybe there are some wider models with more capacity. Another thing to keep in mind is, My boat is 13' beam a 12' Al flat with outboard mounted may be wider than that, if I carry it on my transom davits it will probably get banged around a bit backing into slips.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:04 PM   #3
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I prefer inflatable...

Having a 13' Boston Whaler for a tender, then using many inflatables, I do not anticipate using a traditional boat as a tender again. In addition to the undesirable (pounding) ride, it was wet and prone to damage.

With the inflatable you need to worry much less about damaging either boat when approaching the mothership. They stay together quietly at anchor when desired. You are much less likely to pinch a finger (or worse) between boats. The secondary stability of a rigid inflatable boat is nice to have, and they are easier to climb aboard from in the water. When the inflatable breaks loose in choppy water, it is much easier to approach and board or secure. If you get one with an unpainted aluminum bottom, you can go ashore on a rough shoreline and simply hose out the interior when necessary. I have never punctured a sponson on a personal or work inflatable. They are very pleasant to use for your intended mission.

I have never had a flat boat (unless my Whalers or CDory count), but I would be concerned mostly with fendering and the ride in light chop.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:58 AM   #4
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thanks
never thought about banging when docking.

Any good brands of hardbottom inflatables you would recommend?
Durable and lightweight.
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Old 09-17-2016, 06:44 AM   #5
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The aluminum skiffs are no difference in price from inflatables. But inflatable RIB s are more $$. Inflatables don't ding up your topsides. The aluminum skiffs are not as stable as an inflatable. The good thing about al is you can paint, and do maintenance from the al skiff without damaging it. Nothing like setting down a buffer on the inflatable with it still running.....

I still have my hard bottom dinghy for shore to mooring. I use a wood inflatable floor dinghy when I travel. And I'm sorry I didn't get a RIB.
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRENE View Post
Having a 13' Boston Whaler for a tender, then using many inflatables, I do not anticipate using a traditional boat as a tender again. In addition to the undesirable (pounding) ride, it was wet and prone to damage.

With the inflatable you need to worry much less about damaging either boat when approaching the mothership. They stay together quietly at anchor when desired. You are much less likely to pinch a finger (or worse) between boats. The secondary stability of a rigid inflatable boat is nice to have, and they are easier to climb aboard from in the water. When the inflatable breaks loose in choppy water, it is much easier to approach and board or secure. If you get one with an unpainted aluminum bottom, you can go ashore on a rough shoreline and simply hose out the interior when necessary. I have never punctured a sponson on a personal or work inflatable. They are very pleasant to use for your intended mission.

I have never had a flat boat (unless my Whalers or CDory count), but I would be concerned mostly with fendering and the ride in light chop.

Good Luck!
Also having had a 13' Whaler (circa 2005, 40hp Merc) as an extremely heavily used tender, I have to agree with many of the points here, but for us the negatives far outweighed the positives of capacity and comfort. God invented fenders for most of those negative issues.

We still use it to this day as the boat to take to the various island beaches here in eastern NC and it is fine in most all seas, the chop around here being well known.Maybe that is more a matter of vintage, I don't know. Many's the time we have ferried many people, who owned inflatables, to and fro anchorages and mooring fields, our boat being stabler and having more room for people (inside the boat on a bench, not getting butt wet on a tube), luggage, groceries, bicycles, day-at-the-beach gear boat parts, etc
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