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Old 12-15-2014, 12:10 AM   #10
Scraping Paint
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
We have a 9' Livingston we bought new in 1998. We were not interested in planing, only stability and interior volume. To this end, the boat is superb. We wanted to keep the weight down so we fitted it with a 4hp, 4-stroke Yamaha. So we have zero complaints as far as what we want the boat to do and be.

But... when we get the time to take longer cruises up the coast, we will leave the Livingston home and tow a 10' Bullfrog with a 15 hp motor. Good friends have one and we think it's the best tender going in this size range.

We have no use for inlatable boats at all--- finite fabric life, limited interior volume, tubes suject to damage on our rocky, barnacle-encrusted shorelines, and other issues. That's why we opted for the Livinston when we needed a stable shoreboat for our cruiser.

But the Livingston in the smaller sizes is not the boat you want if you have to run long distances in choppy water to get supplies or in an emergency. Very low freeboard with a load in it, and its catamaran hull is not ideal for planing. The Bullfrog, in contrast, is the exact opposite.

So in summary and in our opinions, the smaller Livingstons are terrific shore boats for use in bays, anchorages, and marinas/harbors. But for a true tender/utility boat, I think there are better choices than the smaller Livingstons.

I don't know how Livinstons made by the current manufacturer compare to the ones made by the original manufacturer out here. But with the originals, if the boat was going to be carried on its side on a swimstep mount, it was critical to order the boat with the reinforced side option. Otherwise, over time the boat would start to sag and warp.
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