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Old 01-14-2022, 11:31 AM   #1
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Tender dinghy questions

Hello all, I'm new to the group and cruising. I would like to know what everyone thinks about a four person tender to get to dock or shore from anchorage? Brands,engines, combos.

Thanks for all information .
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:34 AM   #2
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What boat will this tender be paired with? And how do you want / expect to carry it? That will to some extent drive what is reasonable as a tender.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:38 AM   #3
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It will be paired with either a President 41 or a Mainship 34 thinking about using swim platform mount, open to ideas.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:41 AM   #4
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Ok, so that will limit your length to about 12 feet at the most, as you don't want a tender wider than the transom of the boat carrying it (for a swim platform mount or davits). And for 4 people, you're going to want as big as you can get, so you'll be looking the 11 - 12 foot range regardless of dinghy type.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:43 AM   #5
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What are your thoughts about towing the tender?
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheWolf21957 View Post
What are your thoughts about towing the tender?

It can be done, but most will try to avoid it. There are plenty of ways towing can go wrong, especially in less than perfect weather. And it can be a headache when docking or in other situations.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:46 AM   #7
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Thank you for your input it is very appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:54 AM   #8
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For ship to shore a 9 foot inflatable has served well. 4 people no problem for the short distances and a smaller OB can be used.

As for towing. I borrowed a 14 foot inflatable which had to tow. After that trip never again as extra fuel consumption was noticed due to the drag.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:57 AM   #9
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Thanks, what in your opinio6is a good quality tender brand?
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:10 PM   #10
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I see a lot of boats towing tenders up north - not so much for the run from the San Juan’s north until they get to desolation etc.

Be careful though going through tidal rapids like Dodd Narrows, as there are YouTube videos of tenders getting flipped etc.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:20 PM   #11
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I have a good quality one made in china and locally called Great Pacific, my second one. (first one sold with previous boat).
I suspect it is a copy of name brands construction.
I have owned zodiac, friends had other name brands and so far except for a lower price they all seam to last around 10 years.
https://gpboats.com/boats/
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWolf21957 View Post
Hello all, I'm new to the group and cruising. I would like to know what everyone thinks about a four person tender to get to dock or shore from anchorage? Brands,engines, combos.

You might search through earlier threads -- here and on cruisersforum.com (sister site) for ideas.

Lots will depend on how you'll carry it, inflatable or not versus RIB, how you'll power it (rowing/paddling might count), how'll you'll launch and recover it (including mounting and dismounting motor if you need to do that), how many pax, whether you want to plane or not), your climate and cover/or not (PVC versus hypalon)...

IOW, it's not just a "buy a dinghy" project; there lots of influencing factors.

Answer some of those and you'll get better input. But much has also been addressed in earlier threads, too... so reviewing those might help you focus your questions even better.

-Chris
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:42 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for all the input. Looks like I need more research.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:56 PM   #14
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Engine: I have used 2-cycle engines on my tenders due to lightness. I started with a 2.5 HP Nissan which served well for many years in a 10-foot inflatable keel inflatable boat from West Marine. After I got a lightweight RHIB that could plane, I got a 9.8 HP Nissan 2-cycle. It ran like a scalded cat with just me aboard.

Boat: Inflatable with fiberglass or AL hull would be my choise.
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:17 PM   #15
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Alaskans love aluminum Ribs. there is a reason for it.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:55 AM   #16
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For that size boat, I recommend a 9' to 10' aluminum or fiberglass RIB with at least 9.9HP. I do not care for inflatable-hull boats after using one for a year. If you are in a sunny climate, Hypalon would be a better choice than PVC for the tubes.



There are a few big brands out there like Highfield, AB, Zodiac, Achilles, Mercury, etc. that are all fine boats. There are also many smaller local brands around the US that are all probably made in the same factory in China. Look around a local marina or two and see what's popular near you.



Around here, North Atlantic Inflatables seems to be really popular as a smaller, local, Chinese-made brand. I have one and I like the boat. I also like that I worked directly with the company owner when I bought it and the price was excellent.



I power my 2020 10'6" aluminum RIB with a 2004 9.9HP, short shaft, Mercury, two stroke OB that I converted to 15HP with a carburetor upgrade (<$250 and perhaps an hour of labor at most). It scoots right along with up to 400 lbs of people on board, but won't plane with more than that. I wish I had 20HP, but not enough to spend the money. For just my wife and I, it's a great little boat to explore with. We do much more than just transport back and forth to our anchored boat with it, and we routinely take it for 10-15 mile jaunts.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:12 PM   #17
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Thanks for your input you make some good points to consider.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:29 PM   #18
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Good information above. Would think about this as follows.
How do you intend to use it? Dinghy exploring or fishing all day? Long runs carrying stores and people? In heavy surf? If so electric is out as is getting smaller and low HP petrol or human powered.
They would be fine and perhaps preferred if your intentions are short runs from a nearby anchorage or mooring field. Lighter, smaller and less expensive to buy and operate.
Size is determined by boat size. Never heard anyone complain their dinghy was to large except when it came to storage. Ease of storage depends on size of mothership. Putting a 24’ regulator on a Feadship is a nonissue but doubt but for most here it would be practical.
Personally never regretted having MORE POWER nor as big a dinghy as I could easily store on the boat. Pulling a dinghy is a total non starter. Way too limiting in where you can go and when.
Lin and Larry went RTW with a 8’ oared rigid lapstrake dinghy as full time live aboards. Seraffin was <30’. Much appeal to KISS. But it’s limiting in what you can do, see and when.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:03 PM   #19
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As others are pointing out, put some thought into exploring. Think about how likely you are to explore a significant distance in the dinghy vs moving the big boat closer first (unless exploring somewhere the big boat can't go).
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:30 AM   #20
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For us

A "good" dingy must be :
rigid
unsinkable
one or better two post for roaring

able to fix a small outboard say 4hp
sails for use in nice anchorage

some watertight compartment where store some equipment just in case


One look "perfect" for us it is the "Topper Cruzz ketch"


We had one another interesting boat but not able to use sail and to low freeboard for ...my wife (no she is not heavy !!!) but you can see with only the dog it was already loaded was from a mold made for "rescue on the Poland beach"
Annexe ou/et survie !? - Trawler long-cours
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