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Old 04-13-2018, 04:15 PM   #1
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Who does NOT have a Dink?

Hi All,

When we got a sailboat several years ago, we bought an inflatable... because we were new and saw everyone towing a dink behind their sailboats up here in the PNW. Now we have a Trawler (38' AOL). I am not towing that inflatable and don't want it stuffed in the slip somewhere. My wife uses the swim platform to board the boat and get off when we dock (we have a full door going through the transom), so not doing the Weaver Davit thing. We were going to put a small rigid on the upper deck, but don't yet have a mast and boom built.

She asked me today "are there Trawler people who do not have a dink"? If so do they worry about a life boat?

Dave
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:22 PM   #2
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We don't. In fact we bought a small one last year that stays in my basement and has never been used yet.
The way we cruise we do not have a real need for one at this point. We have 2 kayak that we use sometimes for ballad when at the anchor but nothing more.

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Old 04-13-2018, 04:25 PM   #3
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Everyone boats differently - we could not imagine boating without at least one dink.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:52 PM   #4
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We used one for years when we were at a mooring.
Now at a slip I don't even bring it down.
I wonder where it is?
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:18 PM   #5
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We dont have one. Stay in marinas mostly, have access to a couple of kayaks when we want to go exploring that way. Which is not often.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:25 PM   #6
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I don’t have one.....my old Caribe 9 got squeezed badly in Irma, blew out two of the three chambers. I don’t need it now, but I’ll have guests aboard going across Tampa Bay soon. I worry about not having at least something to use for a life raft. Been looking on Craigslist.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:32 PM   #7
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Are you looking at a dinghy or a life raft? Two different things. If you are looking for transportation to and from the boat when it is anchored, you will need a dinghy. If you are looking for a life raft, get one that mounts on deck in a canister and save all the space that a dinghy take up. We have a dinghy. Never have used it for transport to and from the boat. We have used it to cruise up and down our river. I would not really count on using our dinghy as a life raft in a critical situation. Better to have a real life raft for that. A dinghy may suffice in protected waters if the boat goes down though.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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The way we like to cruise would be impossible without one. I always regard the big boat as kind of like the 747 they used to transport the space shuttle.... that being the really fun vehicle.

Up there in the PNW is no exception for sure.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:05 PM   #9
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If you anchor out a lot, and have a SO on board; best have at least one method of an escape.
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:01 PM   #10
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We rarely stay at marina's so some form of transportation to land is required. We usually use the inflatable dinghy, but sometimes use the stand-up paddleboards, and sometimes just swim to/from shore.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:59 PM   #11
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Dave: I think you answered your own question. Get the mast/boom, pulley/winch or whatever style hoister you like and then keep the dinghy on the bridge.

Your question seems like more of an issue for smaller boats (sub 30') but you should have adequate space on your boat.

Even if you never use it at least you know you COULD use if the situation ever arises.

I just bought a new , small composite dinghy at a reasonable price.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:05 AM   #12
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I've got three, not counting the life raft or the Folbot. But most germane to your situation is the 9' sailboat stored on the "boat deck" which we launch with the typical trawler mast/boom arrangement, which you can see in the pic at left.

I agree with the post above: we view the big boat as a vehicle for hauling the others.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:07 AM   #13
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If you don`t have one,eventually you`ll be stuck onboard when you`d rather not.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:26 AM   #14
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We have a dinghy, stern mounted and cantilevered so not blocking use of the swim platform. IOW, there are other davit systems than Weaver/Seawise, etc. Ours happens to be a Jatco Trillogy, but there are several options.

Our dinghy was primarily a big-dog-to-shore transport system, although we also use it for exploring when at anchor. Or sometimes trips to shore places while at anchor. We're currently dog-less, but I'm guessing that won't last much longer...

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:40 AM   #15
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I have three (two hard and one inflatable), but only use one in a given year. Here in Maine you need one since there are few marinas and most of the time you will be anchored or on a mooring ball.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #16
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Dinghy

Couldn't imagine not having a dinghy. We anchor out over 95% of the time and the "dink" is our taxi and our lifeline to restaurants, shopping, and just plain exploring.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:35 AM   #17
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Ours is in the shop... Does that count? ;-) Click image for larger version

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Old 04-14-2018, 12:21 PM   #18
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From my very young days - when event-memory began aboard boats...

I was brought up with a dink always on a tow line. Some dinks were small some were runabouts. Currently we tow a fast 15' Crestliner runabout, comfortable 4 seater on back to backs with bimini snapped to windshield and 50 hp Johnson o/b. Great fun for anchoring our Tolly and then gunk holing as well as cruising the areas, visiting folks, going to restaurants and getting shore supplies when desired.

Due to all my life, having been exposed to towing dinks and runabouts, towing is second nature to me... no matter what conditions may arrive. Final emergency response that we've never used but always have in our "tool box" is cut the line and loose the towed boat. This would only be employed in the most dangerous weather/sea conditions. Bottom line in that instance - loose a dink, save lives. Dinks are very replaceable!

A tow behind is easy to deal-with/handle once you become accustomed to towing it and have required "control" items set up correctly. That includes but is not limited to:

- - > Applicable sized and positioned lines, cleats, chocks, harnesses, quick-clamps, fenders, soft non mark rub-rails and cushy nose piece [on the towed boat]... as well as completely easy to handle and quick to employ alternative side tie capability off either side when required.

These and other useful personally-inventive circumstances/conditions make it so that towing a dink or runabout fits hand and glove with handling the larger primary boat. Including any weather or sea conditions, operating in tight quarters with other boats in bays, channels or marinas and docking into slips or at fuel docks.

Happy Dink Daze! - Art
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:02 PM   #19
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If you're only going to marina hop, there's probably no need for a dink. I would not consider a dink as a suitable replacement for a lifeboat, either. If you need a lifeboat, buy a lifeboat for the purpose...don't rely on the dink to be suitable in an emergency.

In my case, I started with a 5 year old used 9.5 ft wood floor soft-bottom Achilles with 15" tubes that I could roll up in a bag and store in the laz. Powered it with a 2 hp Honda that stored easily on the FB. Worked well for years but I soon got tired of inflating/deflating when it was time to move, so I started stowing it on the swimstep or bow...depending on how soon I'd need it next. With a covered slip, it worked well and the dink is still in good shape 10 years later.

In time, I got a 15 hp OB that runs great but is a bit oversized for the dink. I also recently picked up a dink float that sits nicely in my slip next to my bow. The 2HP Honda remains at the ready on the FB if needed.

Yesterday, I was walking through Costco and saw that they are again selling the Hydro-Force Mirovia 10'10" PVC dink for under $500 in the store ($599 online). This dink is also a soft bottom fold-up but it has 17 inch tubes, an aluminum floor and is rated for 15HP. Since my slip is covered (protecting the PVC from rain and excessive UV) and my new dink float will easily accommodate this size dink, I'll be picking up a 2nd dink today...just in time for some summer fun!
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:33 PM   #20
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We have a dinghy but most of the year we don’t ever use it. We are either going from one marina to another, or we are anchoring out for a weekend in some secluded spot and are spending the entire time on the boat.

On our yearly longer trips, we use the dink a lot, primarily to get to shore to run stern ties.
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