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Old 12-08-2019, 05:48 PM   #1
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Looking for recommendations for a lightweight, all-purpose rigid dinghy

My wife and I are still searching for the right 50-to-60-foot boat but whatever we end up buying, chances are it will come with the typical RIB for yachts that size: 12-14 feet with a 30 or 40-horse outboard.

And chances are that the boat deck will have enough room for a second dinghy. If so, we'd like a lightweight rigid dinghy that sails, rows, and motors reasonably well. Of course we don't expect superb performance under sail, power, or oars, which is why I say "reasonably well".

We've been eyeing this: https://www.ghboats.com/our-boats/12-point-defiance/ from Gig Harbor Boat Works. At 155# in fibreglass and 130# in Kevlar, she's lightweight enough to drag up on a beach without worrying too much about falling tides. Plus she's cute.

We'll be attending the Seattle Boat Show where we expect to get a good close-up look at the PD 12, but I thought I'd ask this group for suggestions on other, similar all-purpose dinghies that might fit the bill.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:44 PM   #2
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My wife and I are still searching for the right 50-to-60-foot boat but whatever we end up buying, chances are it will come with the typical RIB for yachts that size: 12-14 feet with a 30 or 40-horse outboard.

And chances are that the boat deck will have enough room for a second dinghy. If so, we'd like a lightweight rigid dinghy that sails, rows, and motors reasonably well. Of course we don't expect superb performance under sail, power, or oars, which is why I say "reasonably well".

We've been eyeing this: https://www.ghboats.com/our-boats/12-point-defiance/ from Gig Harbor Boat Works. At 155# in fibreglass and 130# in Kevlar, she's lightweight enough to drag up on a beach without worrying too much about falling tides. Plus she's cute.

We'll be attending the Seattle Boat Show where we expect to get a good close-up look at the PD 12, but I thought I'd ask this group for suggestions on other, similar all-purpose dinghies that might fit the bill.

Thanks in advance.

Gig Harbor Boat Works manufacturer fine, small, traditional looking small boats. They are built well.

I looked at them a few years ago for a tender.

As you guessed, they sail, row and motor reasonable well. They are a little tender under sail and not thrilling,

I ended up not compromising and bought a 12 foot center console ridgid tender for going fast and a 12 foot Hobie One sailboat. I carry the tender on the boat deck and the sailboat on the pilothouse roof.

I'm not a rower and my wife prefers kayaking.

Second Wave in Gig Harbor has a used Gig Harbor dinghy for sale. They are a marine consignment shop. The dinghy has been sitting unsold for about 6 months and the owner would be ready to take a lower offer by now.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:57 AM   #3
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We used a Water Tender 10 for many years and was very happy with it. Doesn't sail, but motors and rows very nicely. Great capacity (480 Lbs) and stability due to the cathedral hull shape, planed with a 5hp and 1 (200lb) person. Vacuum molded polyethylene, super light at 105Lbs. New through many mass merchants for less than $500. WEST, Walmart, Dicks, etc.

https://mysportboats.com/Sun-Dolphin...r-9-4-p51.html

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:03 AM   #4
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Not EZ to find , but the classic aluminum Grumman dink is perfect for your desirements.

Just over 8 ft and 75 lbs. Sails very well . One joy is 2 rowers fore & aft make even heavy slop a no hassle situation.

Expect to pay about a boat buck for the sailing version.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:07 AM   #5
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Blind Owl: We had the 10’ GH Navigator model for 2 years. It was fun to sail with one person and rowed great. It didn’t motor very well with a 5hp-2stroke though. It might have been too heavy so maybe an electric would be the ticket? I did have to modify the plug that went into the center board slot. Water would shoot up through the slot at anything over 7 or 8 knots when we would tow it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments/suggestions.

If we didn't have our hearts set on being able to sail once in a while, the Water Tender might do. Looks darn near indestructible. As for the Grumman dink, no kidding they're scarce! A quick Google turned up only one, and the asking price was 3 boat bucks.

If we want to go far and/or fast, or if we need pickup-truck-type carrying capacity, we'll use the (still hypothetical) RIB. The second dinghy would mostly be for quiet, relaxed recreation: short hops, a little mild exercise, and general poking around.

If time allows, maybe we'll mosey over to Gig Harbor after the boat show, check out that 2nd hand PD 12.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:14 AM   #7
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Blind Owl: We had the 10’ GH Navigator model for 2 years. It was fun to sail with one person and rowed great. It didn’t motor very well with a 5hp-2stroke though. It might have been too heavy so maybe an electric would be the ticket? I did have to modify the plug that went into the center board slot. Water would shoot up through the slot at anything over 7 or 8 knots when we would tow it.
Yes, an electric motor would probably suit our intended use. Good to know about the c.b. slot, though I doubt we'll be towing very often. Should be easy enough to whip up a better plug if we need one.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:27 AM   #8
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'The Walker Bay 10 is designed to do all that. I've sailed on one briefly. Personally, I'd rather have a boat that one thing really well rather than being mediocre at 3 things. Go cruising for awhile and then figure out what you will really use.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:58 AM   #9
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.

If time allows, maybe we'll mosey over to Gig Harbor after the boat show, check out that 2nd hand PD 12.


I would call Second Wave first to make sure it's a 12. And that they still have it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:52 AM   #10
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I would call Second Wave first to make sure it's a 12. And that they still have it.
No worries, we'd definitely check first. Second Wave looks like an interesting place to poke around in.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:07 PM   #11
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No worries, we'd definitely check first. Second Wave looks like an interesting place to poke around in.

Marine consignment stores are becoming extinct. Second Wave, Lighthouse in Poulsbo and Pacific Marine Exchange are the only ones I that still exist.

They are all worth visiting.

There was a huge one in Sidney BC for a long time - Boaters Exchange. It dissapeared a few years ago.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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I have a Portland Pudgy as a second tender (up on the boat deck).

About 160 pounds with all equipment. It sails, rows and motors reasonably well, unsinkable, functions as life boat. I use a Torqeedo motor on it...
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #13
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I have a Portland Pudgy as a second tender (up on the boat deck).

About 160 pounds with all equipment. It sails, rows and motors reasonably well, unsinkable, functions as life boat. I use a Torqeedo motor on it...
Ha! That's pretty cute, and possibly a lifesaver as well. Maybe we could fit one on the swim platform, if the boat we buy has one. Or it might even fit inside the (still hypothetical) RIB or the even more hypothetical PD 12...

And we've been eyeing Torqeedo motors ever since we saw one in a YouTube video. They seem ideal for our purposes.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:35 AM   #14
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"Grumman dink, no kidding they're scarce! A quick Google turned up only one, and the asking price was 3 boat bucks."


Think of it as an investment , not a disposable like a condom boat.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:27 AM   #15
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Livingston my suggestion. Catamaran and STABLE. 8', 10, 12' and larger. Agree with comment three things compromises all. Walker dinghy practically dangerous if you try and stand up in it. Check Craigslist for your area. I have had every size including the 14' with deck in San Francisco Bay with water coming over the boat. Pictured is an 8' with 5 HP two stroke.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #16
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Livingston my suggestion. Catamaran and STABLE. 8', 10, 12' and larger. Agree with comment three things compromises all. Walker dinghy practically dangerous if you try and stand up in it. Check Craigslist for your area. I have had every size including the 14' with deck in San Francisco Bay with water coming over the boat. Pictured is an 8' with 5 HP two stroke.

I've owned a variety of Livingston tenders over the years from 8' to 12'.

They are great tenders. Light, beamy, stable, huge capacity and easy to mount on a swim step.

There are sailing versions out there in the used market.

They go pretty fast with a small outboard.

It rows ok. Hard to row them straight because of the beam and two keels.

I'm not sure if Livingston is still making boats but there are a lot of used ones out there.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:57 PM   #17
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Forget sailing without modifications, lee board, rudder, etc. They row fine but not sleek or speedy, can accommodate lots of power options. Four stroke heavier. They were being made recently I think in North Carolina but generally some around on Craigslist. The boats are SAFE because of the stability.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #18
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Hmm, I probably should have made the thread title "Looking for recommendations for a lightweight, all-purpose rigid second dinghy." Guess it's too late to change it now.

As I said in my OP, we expect to have a mid-sized, mid-powered RIB (12-14', 30-40 hp) as our primary dinghy, but the idea of having a quiet, low-key, more leisurely alternative has considerable appeal for us. I enjoy rowing and I love sailing, but haven't had the chance to do as much of either as i could wish. I also like the idea of being able to beach a dinghy without having to worry about getting back in time to catch a falling tide.

No doubt some of the catamaran types make excellent tenders: beamy, burdensome, light, and stable as a church. But if they don't row halfway decently or sail worth a darn (if at all), they wouldn't suit our intended use, i.e. to explore an anchorage or an area in relative peace and quiet while getting in a little mild exercise and having some fun. Less work to get off & on the boat, or on & off a beach. When we're in a hurry or have a long way to go, or when we need to haul a lot of cargo or passengers, we'll take the RIB. I could see us using the 2nd dinghy more often, and more readily, than the primary. But we would still want the RIB.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:52 AM   #19
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"I could see us using the 2nd dinghy more often, and more readily, than the primary."

For use at a dink dock be sure to have a way to lock the oars.

Folks are reluctant to "borrow" a B. Whaler to visit friends , but may easily grab your rowing boat .

Use a key lock the combination locks are rough in the dark.

Edson Oar Locking Device - Bronze - Jamestown Distributors

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com › ... › Oars, Oarlocks and Paddles
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:42 AM   #20
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For use at a dink dock be sure to have a way to lock the oars.

Folks are reluctant to "borrow" a B. Whaler to visit friends , but may easily grab your rowing boat .

Use a key lock the combination locks are rough in the dark.

Edson Oar Locking Device - Bronze - Jamestown Distributors

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com › ... › Oars, Oarlocks and Paddles
Theft prevention will definitely be a high priority. That Edson lock is a sturdy-looking piece of hardware...and in bronze, no less (I figure anyone seen hanging around a dinghy dock toting a hacksaw is bound to raise suspicion).
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