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Old 04-29-2021, 11:41 AM   #1
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shopping for light weight dinghy

All,


Looking to upgrade my dinghy to a light weight (less than 400#, boat, motor and tank) with a console in the 11 to 13 ft range. Ideas?
Really prefer to NOT have a Rib, but very few choices. With a Rib, you loose too much interior space, but they don't mar you boat when you bump into it.
And, they're not very efficient... takes more HP to get them going that just a straight aluminum or plastic hull. And, they will leak. But they sure are popular.



Have looked at:


OCTender https://octenders.co.nz/
Love this boat, and demo'd a small one locally. Planes off with very little power, light weight, very high tech but EXPENSIVE. And they are just now developing one with a console, and I hate to be the first kid on the block that buys one.


www.whaly.com/en/whaly_3701.html

Probably too heavy, but a great design.



Of the RIBs
I've had an AB, great quality and support, but a tad heavy and expensive



www.highfieldboats.com
Info looks real good for a rib. Light and reasonable.


Another thought is to just by an old aluminum V hull fishing boat (Many out there in good condition cheap ($2K or less) add a console and new motor. But need to add some fender systems so I won't scratch up my boat. Had a 10ft on before and would run at 12 mph with 2 on a 6 hp motor and was roomy. Should have kept it.



Others?
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
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Highfield certainly has a good reputation, we had a couple at work that were great. Here's one perspective on one of their console models

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Old 04-29-2021, 12:09 PM   #3
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I know some people will think this is nuts but I absolutely love my mirror dinghy.

You can toughify them by adding a layer of glass and epoxy resin. You can buy many of them used that way.

I bought one that a guy started building in 1970 and never saw water. I am finishing the build now. I have named her "Patience". She has waited 51 years.

They only weigh about 100 pounds.

10 fleet 10 inches in length.

I can row it or sail it, or I put an electric motor on it. So with motor and battery and boat it comes in at a very svelte under 200 pounds
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:19 PM   #4
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I know some people will think this is nuts but I absolutely love my mirror dinghy.

You can toughify them by adding a layer of glass and epoxy resin. You can buy many of them used that way.
Though with the skyrocketing cost of plywood sheet goods it might be a lot more expensive to build than before.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #5
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Looked up the Mirror, interesting....


Is there one a tad bigger, and assume it could be motorized or sailed? Sailing would be a nice option, but would have to work around the console.
Would be nice to have the sailing option for fun.


Is there a manufacturer out there?
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #6
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Though with the skyrocketing cost of plywood sheet goods it might be a lot more expensive to build than before.
Yes, indeed. That's why I recommended used, as I bought mine. Everything was there, all wood etc. I just needed to re-do the seams with epoxy, paint and varnish it.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:24 PM   #7
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They come as a KIT, new. Which means you gotta build it.

HOWEVER I strongly recommend the USED / PREOWNED market. There are at least 71,767 of them out there used.

BTW, I never heard of anyone having a center console on any sailing dinghy.

But yes these are meant for SAILING which was a big draw for me. I love to sail.
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Old 04-29-2021, 03:49 PM   #8
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Looked up the Mirror, interesting....

...
Would be nice to have the sailing option for fun.

Got room for two boats? I carry a 10'/20hp Bullfrog and a 9' Minto with a sail rig.
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:47 AM   #9
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My cursory shopping suggests the Highfield FCT models, with "miniature" console are generally lighter than comparable-length AB console tenders... by maybe 30-ish lbs or so.

Another approach to lightening might be using something like Elco's electric outboards, 65-lbs for 5- and 9.9-hp versions, 85-lbs for the 14.4- and 20-hp versions. The I-Ion battery packs they sell -- for an arm and a leg each -- look like 55-lbs each.

Example: Highfield 360 FCT, 259-lbs. Elco 20, 85-lbs. Battery, 55-lbs. 399-lbs total.

I haven't done analysis on whether all that would really work or not, or how the electric outboard/L-Ion battery pack would compare to similar gas set-up... other than a quick glance to suggest all the fuel costs are right up front there in that battery pack. There are other battery pack makers, and some of those are sigificantly lower priced... and still a bunch of "fuel" money right up front.

When you say RIBs leak.... you mean water, or air? Our last RIB didn't leak either...

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Old 04-30-2021, 11:35 AM   #10
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Chris,


Good info... I like the Highfield.



As far as electric motors go, would need more info and references from users. I'm not sure it's prime time, yet. Elco is VERY hard to get info from, ain't gonna buy from them if I can't communicate.



Gas is really a non issue as for cost on a dinghy. The biggest advantage of electric is maintenance, which is huge if it works. My experience with the Torqeedo is poor.

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Old 04-30-2021, 01:33 PM   #11
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Yeah, I've heard Torqeedo hasn't been stellar.

Elco has been around for a bazillion years. I'd guess (without actual factoids) their outboards and just the same motors they use for other stuff with a lower unit bolted on.

Would have thought they'd answer up relatively quickly.

I didn't find gas a big cost, just a big PITA. It got better with the EFI outboard, but that motor wasn't without issues too... in our case, very possibly from lack of use.

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Old 04-30-2021, 01:43 PM   #12
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I am running an electric trolling motor on my dinghy. I love it. But I don't need to go fast. I am a big fan of electric motors with battery power, using the SUN to charge and not using gasoline.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:02 PM   #13
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I don't want to speak for Seevee, but I'm guessing if he wants a bigger dinghy with a console that he wants something that will plane. I can't imagine the point of a 400lb dinghy with a console that only goes 4 or 5 knots.


One year in we love our new Highfield 340 so far, it rides much better and is much better built than our old Caribe Light, which was also a good tender, but not as nice as the Highfield. It can be ordered with a small console, though ours does not have one. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have a little micro skiff flats boat custom built. Unfortunately all of them are too long and narrow for our big boat without going custom.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:10 PM   #14
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The Ankona 14' Native SUV with a 25 hp tiller would be pretty much my dream boat.


Native SUV 14 & 17 — Ankona Boats
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:16 PM   #15
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I don't want to speak for Seevee, but I'm guessing if he wants a bigger dinghy with a console that he wants something that will plane. I can't imagine the point of a 400lb dinghy with a console that only goes 4 or 5 knots.


One year in we love our new Highfield 340 so far, it rides much better and is much better built than our old Caribe Light, which was also a good tender, but not as nice as the Highfield. It can be ordered with a small console, though ours does not have one. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have a little micro skiff flats boat custom built. Unfortunately all of them are too long and narrow for our big boat without going custom.

Doug,


Yes, speed is a must. Already have a slow one. And must had a seat with a back for comfy. Want to go on runs of 5 to 10 miles if needed, and spend several hours exploring. And, get the biggest one that will fit, probabaly in the 12ft + range. Want to be able to strap my tandem bike to it when running into shore to explore.


Yes, the Highfield (for a RIB) looks pretty good.



For another thread, also would like a really light weight tandem kayak or paddle board with seats, for exercize. My partner doesn't go solo. Have a great tandem hobie but just too heavy and awkward to travel with.


Have thought seriously of getting an aluminum small fishing or jon boat with the V hull, similar to the attached. There's hundreds of them around, cheap and in good shape. Add the console, and a good motor, and some fenders.



Had one I should have kept. Would cruise fast with very little power. I'm surprised that's there are not a lot of similar boats out there for a dink.
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Old 05-01-2021, 11:21 AM   #16
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Doug,


Yes, speed is a must. Already have a slow one. And must had a seat with a back for comfy. Want to go on runs of 5 to 10 miles if needed, and spend several hours exploring. And, get the biggest one that will fit, probabaly in the 12ft + range. Want to be able to strap my tandem bike to it when running into shore to explore.


Yes, the Highfield (for a RIB) looks pretty good.



For another thread, also would like a really light weight tandem kayak or paddle board with seats, for exercize. My partner doesn't go solo. Have a great tandem hobie but just too heavy and awkward to travel with.


Have thought seriously of getting an aluminum small fishing or jon boat with the V hull, similar to the attached. There's hundreds of them around, cheap and in good shape. Add the console, and a good motor, and some fenders.



Had one I should have kept. Would cruise fast with very little power. I'm surprised that's there are not a lot of similar boats out there for a dink.

I've looked at v bow tinnys as well, they have a lot of advantages over RIBs and my buddy has one that I really like. Only disadvantage I see is that they won't carry as much of a load as RIB will. When we get our two young adult sons, 90 lb dog and beach gear into the dink it is a lot of weight. Our RIB will still barely plane with that much load in it, and rides pretty stable.


The other thing that concerns me about a tinny is getting back into it from deep water. We do a lot of free diving and I think it would be harder to get over the side without tipping it.
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Old 05-01-2021, 02:41 PM   #17
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Tinny with these

https://boatcollar.com.au/

All the advantages of a rib but without the deflation, delamination
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:47 AM   #18
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Tinny with these

https://boatcollar.com.au/

All the advantages of a rib but without the deflation, delamination

Looked at their web side and while it says what it can do, there's no pix or description of what it is or how to install. Wrote them to find out, but looks like it would do the job.... whatever it is.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:51 AM   #19
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Doug,


You make a good point about weight, however, that's not an issue for me. But getting back into it after swimming would be. Might need a ladder of sorts over the bow or stern to keep from tipping it. Need to think about that....


But overall, the tinny performance and load volume is way better than a Rib.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:57 AM   #20
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I really like aluminum hulled RIBs. You get very light weight, yet the rigidity of a RIB. I also really like the lateral stability of a rib, making for very easy on/off/ Plus it's a giant fender so no need to carry more, deploy and stow, etc. I prefer an unpainted Al hull. A painted hull will blister. It's just a matter of time, so for me that rules out Highfield. AB is my preference, but they are awfully expensive.
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