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Old 01-29-2018, 04:55 PM   #21
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As my flexibility and weight became more 'mature' (and one might possibly assume something similar about the admirable admiral), over 25 years, we moved up from 8' Achilles deflatable (oars), to 8' rigid FG pram (oars and 2 HP Suzuki w/no neutral and that you had to rotate 180 deg for reverse), to 9'4" rotomoulded 'Watertender' (oars and the Suzuki), to a 10'4 Walker Bay RIB w/console w/15 HP Honda 4-stroke and the oars are a painful joke).
Love it!

Rather than endure my own education in the School of Hard Knocks, this is were I hope to benefit from the combined wisdom here. Financial wherewithal is certainly a variable, as is preference in the hard-soft thing, but I am looking at getting into the boat scene at a time when our flexibility and weight are both mature. That would seem to put a premium on things like stability, seat backs and flat bottoms.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:08 AM   #22
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If you go for the Best , a Whaler, be sure to install a balancing hoist bar.

This makes launch and recovery a rapid easy one person job if you have a hoist.

PM if you can use a SS used unit .
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:02 PM   #23
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Thanks FF, but I'm still years out from that point. And not proud of it, but I had to look up the balancing hoist bar. I can see how that would simplify the lifting operation, though I anticipate the dinghy hanging from the davits and secured at the corners. Would a balancing hoist bar still help in that approach?
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:39 PM   #24
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A console also takes away from the carrying capacity of the tender. As nice as it is to have controls and a steering wheel it makes carrying coolers and such just that much harder...
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:57 PM   #25
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A console also takes away from the carrying capacity of the tender. As nice as it is to have controls and a steering wheel it makes carrying coolers and such just that much harder...
Which is why a dinghy with a console is 2' longer than one without.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:12 PM   #26
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2' taken from the middle of the tender still makes both ends shorter than a tender 2' shorter with no console if you want to put a large cooler in it :-) Just a point to consider, not looking to argue with anyone about it, just a point to consider when selecting a tender!
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:15 AM   #27
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Whalers are great boats! I use a Blue Water Baby. 11’ but similar in hull design to Boston Whaler. I use a Merc 15hp.
.Attachment 72523Attachment 72524
I, too, have a Bluewater Baby. I visited the manufacturer in Seaford, Delaware. Contruction nearly identical to Whalers yet much lighter. My 11-foot center console with a 20hp Suzuki weighs 420 lbs. Hull design is nearly a Whaler clone. Cost much less. Planes easily and goes 21mph with two adults aboard. Happy customer!
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:10 AM   #28
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420 pounds with the 20 hp outboard? That is light! I'm in the area regularly; guess I better stop in.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:42 PM   #29
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420 pounds with the 20 hp outboard? That is light! I'm in the area regularly; guess I better stop in.
I double-checked. Off a little. The boat is 325#. The 20hp Suzuki EFI that I opted for is 106#, so a total of 431#. The boat can handle up to 25hp motors. If you stop in the Bluewater Baby facility, kindly tell Roy and Grace that John Bickford recommended their product. Nothing in it for me but sellers always like to know that their products have been recommended by previous customers.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:57 PM   #30
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Wifey B: Our smallest is 11' rib, 100 hp Textron, 4 passengers, WOT 42 knots, 693 pounds. Williams does now make a mini-jet 9', seats 3, 60 hp Rotax, WOT 33 knots, 465 pounds.

It's freaking cold here.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:53 PM   #31
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A console also takes away from the carrying capacity of the tender. As nice as it is to have controls and a steering wheel it makes carrying coolers and such just that much harder...
That's not necessarily so at all. Every console I've seen has storage space inside, or in the case of our Whaler, underneath the steering and dash board; our large soft cooler fits right there, thank you very much.

We've used a bunch of tiller dinghies on various boats we chartered, and they are perfectly fine for short hauls or now and then explorations. But after having this Whaler, I don't think we could ever go back to a tiller on a boat we owned. The console set up makes long excursions really fun and is so much more comfortable.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:58 PM   #32
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That's not necessarily so at all. Every console I've seen has storage space inside, or in the case of our Whaler, underneath the steering and dash board; our large soft cooler fits right there, thank you very much.

We've used a bunch of tiller dinghies on various boats we chartered, and they are perfectly fine for short hauls or now and then explorations. But after having this Whaler, I don't think we could ever go back to a tiller on a boat we owned. The console set up makes long excursions really fun and is so much more comfortable.
Wifey B: I've never used a tiller and not about to start now.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:20 PM   #33
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I double-checked. Off a little. The boat is 325#.
Haha, if only my off the cuff estimates were as close! I'll be sure to mention you when I stop in. Thanks Jack.

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Wifey B: Our smallest is 11' rib, 100 hp Textron, 4 passengers, WOT 42 knots, 693 pounds. Williams does now make a mini-jet 9', seats 3, 60 hp Rotax, WOT 33 knots, 465 pounds.
100 hp on an 11' boat? Wow, now that's a need for speed! Covering a lot of "ground" would definitely be nice when needed.

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We've used a bunch of tiller dinghies on various boats we chartered, and they are perfectly fine for short hauls or now and then explorations. But after having this Whaler, I don't think we could ever go back to a tiller on a boat we owned. The console set up makes long excursions really fun and is so much more comfortable.
My thoughts exactly, and add a bench or seats backs to the list of needs for me. I've spent weeks in boats with tiller outboards, but that was as a teenager.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:58 PM   #34
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After trying 4 different tenders (including the 11 ft "Sport' BW, we finally bought the Blue Water Baby. Is very stable, holds three adults (4 in very calm water) and plans effortlessy.

We love it and we put a lot of miles on our dinghies.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:49 AM   #35
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Whalers are great boats! I use a Blue Water Baby. 11’ but similar in hull design to Boston Whaler. I use a Merc 15hp.
.Attachment 72523Attachment 72524
Same here except with a 20hp Suzuki. Planes easily to about 21mph with two adults on board. Very similar to a Whaler in construction but about 150# lighter. We are extremely happy with our Bluewater Baby. Plus, way cheaper thsn a Whaler.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:21 AM   #36
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I would reverse the question , as to what is the largest boat I can carry aboard?

Host , davits , drag it aboard , whatever works makes the dink far more secure , and far less hassle.


How it survives in a dink mash at a dock , or on a rocky shore would be second question.
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