Max Dinghy Size

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  • June 30, 2015 8:15 AM
    Reply # 3410319 on 1547062

    It really depends on what you will be using your dink for. We spend a lot time at remote anchorages, where traveling long distances is the the norm. Be it for spearfishing, provisioning, or exploring. Often times this is done in less than ideal conditions, with high winds, seas, and adverse currents. 

    Our choice for the past 3 years has been a large and heavy 9'4" Caribe RIB with a forward storage compartment for anchor, pump, life jackets, handheld VHF, etc. We have a 15 hp Yamaha 2-stroke that will put 4 crew and gear on plane in seconds. Not to mention how much dryer you will stay. We rarely stop at marinas, even for diesel or water, so the dink transports this as well. She is our stationwagon. It even worked as a tugboat this past winter when the wind died and we had engine trouble. I deployed the dink, lashed her to the port side, and pushed her 5 miles at 3 1/2 knots as my wife steered her to a safe anchorage. As far as we or concerned, anything less would not be suitable for our needs. When you are actually out there cruising, you will notice that a large percentage of serious cruisers are equipped the same as this. 

    We stow it on deck just forward of the mast, with the aft tubes butting up against the mast pulpits. The bow rests barely on the sampson posts, but aft of the electric windlass (another piece of essencial gear). We can raise and lower the dink in a matter of minutes using a 3:1 block and tackle that we attach to the spinnaker halyard. The Yamaha is deployed using a Garhauer engine hoist that is mounted to a plate on the stainless boomkin. 

    Once we have dropped and set the hook we usually have the dink down with the outboard on in 10 minutes or less.

    We also use a 6 gallon fuel tank (with a 1 gallon spare in the forward compartment). It is not uncommon for us to travel 10, or more miles roundtrip to get to a good fishing spot.

    There are many different options. The important thing is to pick a tender that works best for your needs.


    Will & Claudette

    S/V Agua Azul

    Last modified: June 30, 2015 8:45 AM | Anonymous member
  • July 01, 2015 4:49 AM
    Reply # 3415442 on 3410319
    There are many different options. The important thing is to pick a tender that works best for your needs.

    That said, if at all possible, don't cheap out. IMO, it's one of the more vital/important 'systems' of your boat. It can either add to or take away from the pleasure of having your boat.

    An old cruiser adage comes to mind... Your boat is like your house, your dinghy is like your car.

  • July 10, 2015 3:30 PM
    Reply # 3429689 on 1547062
    Deleted user

    We had a Boat/US 9.1 RIB made by Avon that fit perfectly forward of (and around) the staysail boom sheet and just touching the bowsprit. It was fairly flat on the bottom and with small tubes, so it was out of the way. The forward hatch would even open into the overturned dinghy, which channeled a lot of air but no water. Sadly, after 19 years of use I can't find a replacement, most of the newer stuff is wide and blunt forward and won't fit as well. So we have an inflatable floor which I find is leaky and much harder to keep clean.

  • July 13, 2015 2:06 PM
    Reply # 3432284 on 1547062

    When I was living aboard, I used my dinghy very much the way Will & Claudette described using theirs, and a rib with a 15hp two stroke was the answer for me, too. A 10'2" West Marine Compact Rib 310 fits great underneath the boom on Gitane. It's stowed stern first, with the transom right up against the mast, and tube ends extend forward of it. (When the dinghy is upside down the bow presses right up against the dodger, so the bottom of the center section gets unzipped to relieve the pressure. If I recall correctly, there's no need with the dinghy right side up.) 

    Its relatively light weight makes it pretty easy to handle getting on and off the boat, and it's a great compromise between a roll up and full-on rib. After some long, lumpy hauls, I sure wished for a hull with a bit more V, and if I were still cruising I *might* choose the heavy rib route to get it. But I've used smaller ribs on other boats, and the difference in performance felt by losing just a foot of dinghy length astonished me, so if I had to go smaller to get a rib with more V to fit between the mast and dodger I'd go with this one again in a heart beat. (The regular 10' zodiac rib of ten years ago would've fit there, too, don't know about now. The compact rib model available now appears to be the same as the one I bought back then.) 

  • July 25, 2015 1:06 PM
    Reply # 3449118 on 1547062

    I just got rid of my Avon 2.8 after 25 years. Too much of a chore to handle.Last year I started building a Danny Greene "Chameleon"nesting dinghy. I used it only 2 times so far,I have more than 2000 $ in it, as it is the sailing version.Have not sailed it jet,but it rows like a charm,and looks great.I build a cradle behind the mast, to the traveler,and the 2 half's nest right side up, so I don't have to overturn them, as I do a lot of single handed sailing.  I will be 79 years old in August.The dinghy when assembled is 10.4ft.X 50" and each half is 55 pounds.I launch each half with a bridle on a halyard over the side. I get in the stern half, and use 3 half inch bolts with nuts to bolt the half's together.  If somebody is interested, Google ,Chameleon by Danny Greene he lives in Bermuda.Juergen

    Image result for Chameleon by Danny Greene

    Last modified: August 01, 2015 8:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • August 01, 2015 8:17 AM
    Reply # 3460427 on 1547062
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Juergen:  I added some links and pics -- hope you don't mind... 

    Do you have images of your boat as it is stored/secured on your Westsail? 

    if you wish you can email them to me at  and I'll post. 


    Last modified: August 01, 2015 8:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
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