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Old 08-13-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
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Right size dinghy?

Hi Guys-

With a gut full of butterflies, we're making final preps for first trip from Erie Canal to Florida. We still need a dinghy.
Our boat is only 8.5' wide so after research, chose to go with Livingston 8 (7.5') only to find they don't make them anymore. I want something to fit the swim step and finally, the question.....
Would I have problems with a Watertender 9.4 being to long?
Other suggestions?
Thanks for your time-

Eeber
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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We have a livingston 8 and love it. You could always check out craigslist. If you go new, rather than buying a cheap Wal-Mart boat, you could look at a quality North American traditional fiberglass Dinghy like Dinghy Co. Inc. offers....for just a few hundred more. It would also hold it's value much better than the plastic Watertender. Just a thought.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
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Run an ad on Craigslist seeking an 8' Livingston (assuming you want one) and I would be surprised if you didn't get a reply in less than 2 weeks.

We love ours.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:47 AM   #4
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You probably do not want a boat on your swim step sticking out past the rub rail. It may take a while but you are going to hit it one windy day.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:19 AM   #5
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You probably do not want a boat on your swim step sticking out past the rub rail. It may take a while but you are going to hit it one windy day.
Especially if you are going to run the canal. Wouldn't be too much fun trying to lock through with a dingy hanging out. There are alot of companies that make inflatable 8' dinks, we had a 7'11' dingy for years. Alot easier to handle than a hard dingy as well.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:57 AM   #6
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A million dingy threads out there I know, but for what it's worth:

I think the same rule of thumb with boats in general applies to dingies too -- it's always a compromise. When we took our East Coast trip a couple months ago I got a new dingy from Defender (a Zodiac Zoom Aero 260, 8' 6", inflatable floor, about $699 on sale at the time) and a 4hp Yamaha 2-stroke motor from an elderly guy in Clinton Connecticut through Craigslist. He was funny, had about 100 outboard motors in his garage and backyard. Runs great, sold it to me for $400. I agonized over the size choices in the Defender showroom for over an hour. The salesman was very patient and helpful. It was really helpful to see them all there in person, blown up. My final choice was smaller than I originally planned but I just self-imposed some rules that helped me make the choice. (1) we don't have a davit or a derrick, so it had to be under 100 lbs; (2) almost everything I read is that solid floors are great, but very cumbersome to set up and break down and store, so I decided on an inflatable floor. I really hate soft-bottomed dingies that feel like you're walking on a waterbed but I have to say that Zodiac's inflatable floor is very solid. It uses a higher pressure than the tubes and I think it strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and rigidity. I think the slight flexibility gives it an even better ride over chop than a solid floor. It's really the best dingy ride I've ever felt for its size and style, and we've chartered a lot of boats with dingies before we bought our big boat. (3) I wanted at least one hard seat so we didn't have to all sit on the tubes getting splashed, or on the floor, getting our butts wet. (4) finally, one last size consideration was that it had to fit on the bow (we tow ours for short hops, but store it on the bow for longer runs), and we had to be able to wrestle it onto the bow with just my wife and me, without killing ourselves. The Zodiac just fits between the flybridge rise and the bow pulpit at 8' 6". I stand it up on the dock so it's resting on the ends of the pontoons, then I lift from the dock and my wife lifts from the bow and we flip it over the rail. Not fun, but not too bad. I really wanted a dingy big enough for two couples (four people), but had to compromise away from that. Any bigger or heavier and it would be an ordeal to flip onto the bow. It rates for three people. We could squeeze four into that dingy, but it's not a pleasant ride.

So there's my two cents. We're very happy with it, it's a lot of fun, and we actually use it far more than we expected (although ironically we never used it on the actual trip from Mass to Albany since we marina-hopped the whole way). We put six miles on that dingy to a beach up the river a couple weeks ago just for fun. And the dog likes it. And now I'm adding clip-on nav lights and a running light just for kicks.

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Old 08-13-2015, 05:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas.
Today I'm thinking this- Achilles LT-2, Rollup Floor 7' 3", Gray Hypalon, 2015

Roll-up wood floor?

Thanks again-
Eeber
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:29 PM   #8
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We have a 9' Livingston on the swimstep of our PNW Grand Banks cabin cruiser. It's a great utility/shoreboat BUT...... I generally don't recommend them to people because of their very low freeboard. With two adults (unless they are pretty light weight) and a dog there are only a few inches of freeboard. No probblem in a protected anchorage but not what you want if the water gets choppy.

The larger models of Livingston are much better in this regard but I consider the 8' and 9' to be smooth water shoreboats only.

While our Livingston has served us well for the last 17 years, when we get the time to take longer trips farther north into BC we will leave the Livingston home and take a 10' Bullfrog instead.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeber View Post
Thanks for the ideas.
Today I'm thinking this- Achilles LT-2, Rollup Floor 7' 3", Gray Hypalon, 2015

Roll-up wood floor?

Thanks again-
Eeber
Boy, that Achilles model is awfully small. The inside space, tube-to-tube, is 1' 11" wide. Way too snug for me.

Achilles Inflatable Crafts
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:44 PM   #10
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Boy, that Achilles model is awfully small. The inside space, tube-to-tube, is 1' 11" wide. Way too snug for me.
I got a visual
Like my ol' grampa; when he got up the rocker went with him.


And IMHO a Livingston rows like Frizbee.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:24 PM   #11
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Ha! After I posted that last comment I got curious and actually measured the width of my butt. 18". I'd have 5" to spare in that dingy - well, for now, until I pack on a few more pounds. With a pfd on it might feel like sitting in a big, full-body blood pressure cuff. Like a potato shoved in the barrel of a potato launcher. Like a pineapple in the barrel of a cannon. I'd probably have to get in half-inflated and then pay somebody to inflate it the rest of the way and trap me in. Stop pumping when my eyes start to bug out. Like a...okay, I'll stop.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:05 PM   #12
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I have an old Avon with a roll up wood floor and I have a newer inflatable with a high pressure inflatable floor. I like the inflatable floor better. It saves weight and is easier to roll up.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:40 PM   #13
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13" tubes will get you soaked every time you hit a little chop. Look for 17" tubes to keep the water out of the boat.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:18 AM   #14
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"Especially if you are going to run the canal. Wouldn't be too much fun trying to lock through with a dingy hanging out."

With a single engine boat you will probably only be tieing up to one side of the boat.

The dink should be flush on that side.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
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"Especially if you are going to run the canal. Wouldn't be too much fun trying to lock through with a dingy hanging out."

With a single engine boat you will probably only be tieing up to one side of the boat.

The dink should be flush on that side.
Usually, but not always. We have had quite a few times where the lockmaster has directed us to one side or the other due to lock issues or the load of boats within the lock.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:27 AM   #16
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"Usually, but not always. We have had quite a few times where the lockmaster has directed us to one side or the other due to lock issues or the load of boats within the lock."

No question , but it would cut the hassle of being super careful at least in half.

Of course one could stand it on the transom if there was some equipment.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Eeber View Post
Thanks for the ideas.
Today I'm thinking this- Achilles LT-2, Rollup Floor 7' 3", Gray Hypalon, 2015

Roll-up wood floor?

Thanks again-
Eeber
I am a fan of the Achilles LT-2 (I have it paired with a British Seagull). It is a perfect fit for my size trawler--rolls up nicely and is stored in my engine compartment. My height is around 5'10" and I am lean/fit--no problem for me. The LT-2, however, will be small for those who have unfortunately accumulated some girth over the years or is simply a large guy. Add a spouse and supplies, and yes, your will feel awfully cramped.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:08 AM   #18
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I don't care for inflatables for some reason so I got on Craigslist and found a used 8' fatty knees, bought it yesterday. What a beautiful dink
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:51 AM   #19
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Needs a little TLC

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Old 08-25-2015, 11:22 AM   #20
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a used 8' fatty knees
I never heard of Fatty Knees but I tell ya, I grinned as soon as I saw it. Clinker style boats are great rowers, safe with kids and if you got a sail with it they are even funner.
Right on rogue!
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