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Old 04-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #17
Scraping Paint
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
When we bought our boat the only dinghy it had was the Montgomery rowing/sailing dinghy that was in a cradle on the aft cabin top. We used it as our shoreboat for about four months. It--- like all dinghies of this basic configuration--- was tippy enough to make it hard and even unsafe to get into, particularly when the water was even slightly rough, it's interior volume was quite limited, and with any sort of a load---two adults and a 50 pound dog for example--- it had too little freeboard.

In my opinion these detriments apply to all the dinghies of this type be they relatively cheap Walker Bays or top-of-the-line Trinkas. It's simply not a very stable, high-load-carrying kind of boat unless you get a real big one like 14 feet long or more.

So despite the ungainly looks we got a 9' Livingston and what a difference it made to our boating. Incredibly stable--- I can stand in the side of the boat (but not on the gunwale itself) and it remains remarkably level--- lots of interior volume for "stuff," and with suffiicent power pretty quick.

The one thing it lacks is freeboard, at least in the 9' model. The larger ones may be better in this regard but they are too large for our GB. But it makes a rock solid fishing platform, a great cargo hauler to and from the beach, and it's built hell for stout so it will probably outlast the GB.

While there is a dinghy on the market that we prefer to the Livingston for several reasons, for value for cost, durability, stability, and volume it's tough to beat a Livingston.

After our experience with our own rowing/sailing dinghy we would never recommend a similarly configured boat for a utility shoreboat. We still carry the Montgomery on the aft cabin top and it's a lot of fun for one person to sail. But in our view this type of craft is simply not suited for anything other than just messing about in.

This is in the world of hardshell dinghies. We have no use for a fabric dinghy so I'm talking strictly the traditional row/sail dinghies (Walker Bay, etc) and the "barges" (Livingston, small Boston Whaler, etc.).
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