Max Dinghy Size

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  • May 05, 2014 3:09 AM
    Message # 1547062
    Deleted user
    Good day there.........when cruising a good size dinghy  - 8´or 9´- would be great to have.
    Now, since if feel that davits are not a real option on a Westsail 32, what sort of dinghies do do folks carry? and where do you store them?

    thanks, I am just learning from you,

    cheers, christoph
  • May 05, 2014 4:15 PM
    Reply # 1549017 on 1547062
    Deleted user
    Good Day to you Christoph,

    I have a 8' 6" Zodiac Zoom powered by a 2.5 HP Mercury. The dinghy resides in the trunk of my car at the marina when I am at "Home Base" and on the foredeck, in it's storage bag, while under way. It also fits nicely in the pilot berth if the boat is unattended. I deflate the dinghy for passage making and my last one served me nearly 20 years.


  • May 05, 2014 4:46 PM
    Reply # 1549030 on 1547062
    Deleted user

    I have a 7 foot Fatty Knees hard dingy.  Its on chocks with the stern right up next to the mast and the bow is right even with the edge of the main hatch when open.  As far as storing its great but I find it a bit small and unstable.  The 8 foot version would be a lot better but presents problems when storing it on deck.

  • May 06, 2014 4:59 AM
    Reply # 1549206 on 1547062
    I carry an 8 foot Fatty Knees under the boom on chocks.

    The stern of the dinghy extends over the turtle covering the hatch quite a bit.   I had to have a custom dodger made that is short to make room for the dinghy.

    It is a very secure place.  The problem is that the dinghy blocks our view when under way.  The only way to see over the dinghy is on tippy toes standing at the tiller.   Doing that for 10-12 hours per day on the ICW is tiresome.  On the plus side, all that standing makes us healthier.  I painted my quick reference rules for navigation upside down on the transom of the dinghy.  That's the perfect place for them.

    When out at sea, we can relax and sit, with occasional looks around to watch for boat traffic.   I do confess though to a couple of near misses and one collision with unlighted buoys because our lookout dead ahead was inadequate.

    Everything is a trade off.  We hate the idea of carrying the dinghy on the forward deck.  That would be a safety hazard when we have to go forward in rough seas.

    On her circumnavigation, Jill Upchurch uses an inflatable that they deflate into a suitcase size package when under way.  I can't argue with how much sense that makes, but inflating/deflating it for each use sounds like a pain.

    Perhaps the best benefit of the Fatty Knees is that it is such a dream to row.  We use 7.5 foot oars.  People have asked my wife Libby if she was an Olympic rower.  

  • September 14, 2014 7:47 AM
    Reply # 3099133 on 1547062

    I use an 8 foot Avon secured inflated upside down athwart ships under the mast and tied down with 4 eye pads while on a passage. A 3 hp outboard for it is mounted on the stern pulpit Edson mount. A folding plywood dinghy floor is stowed below under the V berth mattress with the oars secured alongside the cabin top handrails. Flaking the main requires a little more effort getting around the dinghy otherwise this works well and does not impede forward visibility too much.

  • September 14, 2014 10:08 AM
    Reply # 3099206 on 1547062

    The Achilles LSI 9'6" works for us . It has a air floor and a composite transom . I can't say enough about the air floor , but I will say I won't buy anything else, but I probably won't have to as the quality on this is 1st class . It will take up to a 10 hp engine but we have a 4 hp.  Rolls up to a compact size that fits on the turtle or on deck at the bow . It's not that much work to inflate it on deck but sometimes we tow it(and it tows nice, slows us down 1/2 kt. max) . When were not using it I store it in my SUV rolling boat box . 

    Last modified: September 16, 2014 6:07 PM | Anonymous member
  • September 15, 2014 9:51 AM
    Reply # 3100019 on 1547062

    While nicely stowable, I found that rollups are just too much of a PITA to assemble/take down on deck and don't take the weight/power of higher HP outboards.  I prefer a bigger outboard than 2-4HP because a) I like to get where I'm going and b) have enough power to bore through waves on a plane.  Also, rollups (esp those with High pressure floors) are too 'flexible' & 'twisty' for my taste (my HP floor Zodiac almost folded back in on itself in a big chop).

    While I love the idea of a shippy looking rowing dinghy (i.e. fatty knees, etc.) they are just too tender for me. I like the stability of an inflatable.

    I now have a Hypalon Apex 9' lightweight RIB (Apex A9-L). It stows with the transom butted against the mast and the bow falls just short of the Sampson posts. The reason I like the Apex is the tubes are not the larger diameter (ala Caribe) and thus not so wide you can't get around it to the foredeck.  I like it so much that I just priced a new one ($2799 in Central America) since while still serviceable it's getting along in years (10+).  It's powered by a 8hp 2 stroke Yamaha Enduro.

    Both dinghy & outboard are pretty easy to get overboard by myself via a 3-1 tackle I hang on a halyard.  And easily/safely towable even in 4-6' seas preventing it from having to be unloaded/unloaded all the time.

    Finally if you are, or plan to be in the tropics (as I am) I definitely recommend getting some sunbrella 'chaps' made. IMO a dinghy cover probably extends the life of a inflatable 2X.

    Bear in mind my requirements are set by the area I usually cruise in (Belize, Honduras, Mexico), i.e. constant 15-20 kn trade winds with normally 2-4' seas. And that's a calm day. Your mileage may vary.

    Last modified: September 15, 2014 9:57 AM | Anonymous member
  • September 15, 2014 5:40 PM
    Reply # 3100241 on 1547062

    We have a 9 foot Boston Whaler tender with a 5 hp Mecury. It is very stable for 9 foot. The transom is butted next to the mast and the bow on the Sampson post. I can launch/recover it by myself using several lines. Launch/recovery procedures still need work. Would probably be easer with blocks. I am working on it.

  • September 16, 2014 5:43 PM
    Reply # 3101083 on 1547062

    OK I will throw my hat in the ring with everyone else. I just went through this a couple of month's back. My boat came with a 7'3" hard dinghy that I was determined to make work. It fit nicely between the mast and my Garhauer Traveller and was easy to row. The PO stored it upside down under the staysail boom but I couldn't get around the fact that if there was a fire, I would not be able to escape through the forward hatch. The disadvantage with the hard dinghy was that it was heavy and even worse, unstable in anything over 10 knots. The show stopper was the weight. I couldn't get past having a bad back every time I turned around. So I looked at my available options and ended up buying a 68lb hyperlon Achilles LEX88 for $1500 that is 8'8" long and fits nicely aft of the mast. If I deflate it a little, I can see over it to those evil crab pots through the dodger and I can store my 4 taylor fenders inside it while travelling. I lower it over the side though the lifelines by hand and use my main halyard to raise it up on deck. It is easy to row and stable as all get out. It will fit 3 at a pinch and so far it has been perfect. Good luck on juggling those pros and cons but if it is maximum length you are after, then you should go with the LEX88.

  • September 17, 2014 6:14 PM
    Reply # 3101934 on 1547062

    Okay, I've got a nickel's worth of input as well.  I admired the setup on JURA, a W32 then owned by Wayne and Norma Tillett, who had previously owned the Pardey's original boat SERRAFYN.  Wayne mounted his 8" Fatty Knees upside down on teak chocks aft of the mast, which elevated the dinghy transom to clear the hatch and dodger.  

    I chose the same solution after experience with another Fatty Knees - great for rowing and roomy.  At about 100# I needed to be able to easily lift the dinghy, but the Pardey's video shows how easy it is using a four-point sling, knotted to the main halyard.  I seized the center of two ten foot lengths of 3/8" three-strand to a 2" dia ring with carabiners at each end of each "arm" which can be snapped to the four lift rings on the dinghy (two forward and two on the transom).  It's easy for two people to turn the dinghy right side up, attach the halyard and then hoist it up while one person pushes it clear of the lifelines so it can be lowered into the water.   Of course, I also had to make up a two-step ladder that I clip to jib track cars so I can easily climb down into the dinghy, but it was an easy solution.

    Yes, when motoring the dinghy is a visual obstruction, but I usually stand up aft of the boom gallows and use my foot to maneuver the tiller when I'm in restricted waters.  When clear of the marina the dinghy can be launched and towed.  At sea it doesn't pose much of a problem.   I can't imagine manhandling a RIB in such a manner!  -Tom 

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