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Old 01-28-2018, 09:34 PM   #1
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How small is too small?

After looking at a lot of pros and cons about different types of tenders, I want a Boston Whaler. I had one as a kid and I am prepared to deal with the down sides of a heavy, hard side dinghy. It will ferry two of us from anchorages to beach or dinghy dock, and serve as exploration platform in calm conditions. It will hang from davits off the back of a 40ish foot trawler.

Is a 9 foot Whaler too small?
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:46 PM   #2
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No and Yes. Just depends on how you use it.


I had an 8 roll up with 2hp outboard. All I needed was to get two people from an-anchored boat to shore. It served me well.

Now I have a 12 With a 60hp outboard. Now I need a dingy that can travel 20 mph with 4 people in more open water.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:07 PM   #3
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Headed, it would be for me. I have two 13' Whalers, one a 1981 the other 2010. If those would be too big for you, Whaler does/did make an 11' that looks just like that 9'ers big brother.


That 9' looks like it won't carry much in the way of coolers, groceries, friends, etc., so if that's what you plan to do with it, look for a bigger one.


What does the capacity plate say for that 9'?
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HeadedToTexas View Post
After looking at a lot of pros and cons about different types of tenders, I want a Boston Whaler. I had one as a kid and I am prepared to deal with the down sides of a heavy, hard side dinghy. It will ferry two of us from anchorages to beach or dinghy dock, and serve as exploration platform in calm conditions. It will hang from davits off the back of a 40ish foot trawler.

Is a 9 foot Whaler too small?
Challenge may be finding a decent 9' Whaler since they don't build them anymore.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:44 AM   #5
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Whalers are great boats! I use a Blue Water Baby. 11 but similar in hull design to Boston Whaler. I use a Merc 15hp.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:12 AM   #6
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For a similar sized vessel that is lighter, softer alongside, carries more, has more versitile seating, and probably less money... a good RHIB would be my choice over the Whaler.

If I was going to have a hard tender for its virtues, I would go bigger and tow if I had to.

Plus .....Whalers are nice boats, but dont just ger sold on their name.... lots of nice boats out there.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:26 AM   #7
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A Whaler of the same length has much more interior volume than a RIB. Early on we briefly considered switching from our 13 and looked at every RIB at the Miami boat show.
Kept the Whaler, and eternally glad we did. We spent the majority of time at anchor or on a mooring when we were cruising full time. Frequently we served as water taxi for folks with smaller interior tenders to shuttle people, luggage and equipment.

As for the 9, that's completely up to the individual(s) who will be using it. We know plenty of people who get by with small dinghies.

We used our Whaler for much more than just getting to shore, and in fact used it extensively when the big boat was in a marina.

As the old saying goes, all boats are compromises but it seems the OP understands them.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:22 AM   #8
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My logic on the 9 instead the larger 11 is that the dinghy will spend a lot of time on the davits and real estate is limited back there on virtually every boat in our budget. Two feet makes a big difference not only when trying to stay out of way on davits, but also when standing on the scales. The 9 is significantly less heavy than the 11.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:17 AM   #9
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You keep heaping on limitations and seem sold on the Whaler.

That often happens with "petty" boats with a big name, tough to see just how limiting they may be.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:26 AM   #10
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Not the first time I've been a victim of my own rationalization! Us humans each being unique combinations of biology and experience, trial and error is often the only way to be sure. From what I read and watch, there are lots of cruiser types, especially on sailboats, that get by just fine with tiny dinghies. Guess I'm just trying to explore the consequences.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedToTexas View Post
After looking at a lot of pros and cons about different types of tenders, I want a Boston Whaler. I had one as a kid and I am prepared to deal with the down sides of a heavy, hard side dinghy. It will ferry two of us from anchorages to beach or dinghy dock, and serve as exploration platform in calm conditions. It will hang from davits off the back of a 40ish foot trawler.

Is a 9 foot Whaler too small?
My boat came to me with a BW 9' with a 6hp Evinrude, all on the original davits, suspended over the swimgrid.

I had been using a soft bottom inflatable, Achilles SE11, with a Merc 15. Trying to keep an open mind, I tried both out on the davits and on the water.
The whaler outweighed the Achilles, the Merc outweighed the Evinrude, so about even for total weight on the davits.

The Whaler has such low freeboard, it was not capable of going for groceries with two on board, as everything would get in the way, wet, blown away, you get the picture. The Achilles with high freeboard had none of those issues.

To get more speed, I tried the 15 Merc on the whaler. Scary!
I sold the whaler and the Evinrude.

I eventually moved up to a RIB, first a Caribe 10 with a Yamaha 20, tiller steered. That was a good combination, not too long for my transom, but heavier, so I had to spend a little on strengthening the attachment of the davits to the Boat.
My next move up was to my present Caribe 12DL, centre console with a 40 Honda. This one solves all dinghy problems and still is happy on the davits.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:26 AM   #12
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We recently bought a new tender. For us we wanted as large as we could comfortably carry on the hydraulic swim platform. Decided on a 12ft.


Once again, for us we wanted a comfortable ride getting up on plane, ability to carry guests. Our usage of a tender is to often cruise 8-10 miles from where the boat is located. We explore a lot, go out to eat on the tender, etc.


Operative perspective is "For us".


I think the answer is what fits you usage of the tender?


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Old 01-29-2018, 11:58 AM   #13
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Koliver...my thoughts exactly on a 9 foot Whaler.

A USCG friend of mine bought a 13 Whaler jet boat a few years back, neither of us were impressed, he sold it after the first season.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:11 PM   #14
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Searching for a Livingston 9 if anyone has leads or one for sale. PM me!
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:23 PM   #15
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Koliver...my thoughts exactly on a 9 foot Whaler.
There's a reason Whaler discontinued the 9'.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:25 PM   #16
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The Whaler has such low freeboard, it was not capable of going for groceries with two on board, as everything would get in the way, wet, blown away, you get the picture. The Achilles with high freeboard had none of those issues.
That's the feedback I am looking for. If the 9 is too small to be practical, and soaking everything inside with just two people aboard is not practical, then the 9 is too small.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:40 PM   #17
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I had a 12ft MFG skiff, only held 3 people but lots of interior room (collected 2-3X as much rainwater), was wet, etc.

the worst thing was it was so close to my beam measurement, it caught lots of dock items.

thats why I went with a 10 foot rib. Faster, lighter, carrys 4 people and luggage for 2 for a long weekend, more expensive than cheap skiffs if you go hypalon, doeznt catch dock items.... works for me.

some snowbird trip I might try towing a 16 to 24 foot center console, but the RHIB will still hang from the davits.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:35 PM   #18
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the worst thing was it was so close to my beam measurement, it caught lots of dock items.
Kind of suspected that could happen with a tender pushing the edges of one's stern. Thinking that's the up side of a 9 foot tender. The 11 weighs like twice as much. Everything is a compromise...
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:52 PM   #19
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The Whaler has such low freeboard, it was not capable of going for groceries with two on board, as everything would get in the way, wet, blown away, you get the picture. The Achilles with high freeboard had none of those issues.
My buddy had a 9' BW and the freeboard was minimal causing a wet ride for 2 adults in anything but calm water. The 11 is a much better dink with more real estate and freeboard.

I have a 9.5 Achilles that fits 2-3, is much drier, more practical, lighter and faster than the 9 BW. I'm hoping to upgrade to an 11' Whaler when practical, but in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy my 9.5 Achilles.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:20 PM   #20
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Pay attention to the posted load and HP limits on the boat. While you really can cheat and carry more, you really should carry less.

As my flexibility and weight became more 'mature' (and one might possibly assume something similar about the admirable admiral), over 25 years, we moved up from 8' Achilles deflatable (oars), to 8' rigid FG pram (oars and 2 HP Suzuki w/no neutral and that you had to rotate 180 deg for reverse), to 9'4" rotomoulded 'Watertender' (oars and the Suzuki), to a 10'4 Walker Bay RIB w/console w/15 HP Honda 4-stroke and the oars are a painful joke).

While I regret the weight and clumsiness of the Walker Bay and its engine, I really like the capaciousness, the speed, and reverse.
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