<Home>  <500 Auxiliary Machinery>

Added 02/17/04

Then the UPS man brought my new dingy!  It's a Savylor (made by Zodiac) 4 man with a hard floor, seats, new paddles and a monster hand pump.  I had it inflated in about 10 minutes and promptly took the Admiral out for a short ride!  Have been out oaring around tonight in the rain just for fun.  What a pleasure this little boat is to row.  It goes straight and fast and is stable.  It also has a couple of vinyl pockets and will take a 2 horse motor if I'm so inclined and can find one cheap.  The dingy complete with shipping was around $300. 



Tips in respect to inflatables:


1) Hypalon is the material of choice. Most other brand names are pvc

products with fancy names and the UV will destroy them. Count on it.


2) Look closelly at the seams where pieces of hypalon join. Interestingly,  the uglier seams are MUCH better than the pretty ones. To elaborate:

Recognizing that many purchasers don't bother to look past esthetics (unlike this esteemed group), a number of inflatable makers join the materials in their dinghys using BUTT joints for seams. They look sort of like this


   --------------------         strip covering the joint

-----------   -----------       two pieces of material held together by the covering strip


Where the two sections are butted together (that's the two lower lines

above) and then covered with a strip of material. It looks really pretty, but is NOT at all strong. You do not want to buy a dinghy where butt joints are used. They WILL fail eventually.


Instead, look for a dinghy where they have built overlapping joints. They don't look as pretty but are substantially stronger than butt joints. They look sort of like this:


      ------------------------     strip covering the joint

---------------------           1st piece of material

          ----------------------     2nd piece of material.


The resuting joint doesn't look as pretty as a butt joint does, and

therefore the ill-informed think that the butt jointed inflatable is better made. But in fact the dinghy with overlapping seams is FAR stronger and better made. Look for it on Avons for example, and many other quality inflatables. The smooth pretty joints and seams of a butt jointed inflatable are doomed to permature failure.


One other thing. Look carefully at the oar locks. Even if you think you'll never row it, you will need to row one day and when you do you want to be sure that the oars are held firmly and in proper location to row. On the subject of oars, also make sure that they stow well so that you don't end up having them break loose underway and flop around..especially under motor.



Finally look closely to be sure that the transom is over built and well

stressed. Again pretty is not the key here. The transom takes a lot of

stress and you need ot be sure it is well made. I've seen a lot of

inflatables fail at the transom. Over built is good.


The ultimate dink  http://www.nauticaintl.com/r15_36dls/r15dls.html


I used to have a 34' cutter with a large flush foredeck.    It came with an 8' hard dinghy. Too small and tippy.   Bought a 10' Inflatable (Metzler Bronco). Loved it.

Then bought a 30' sloop (after a few years without a boat).  itially nodinghy. (ugh) Bought a 9' inflatable (achilles) Good enough.

Now I have a 39' Cutter. Still have the Achilles. I'm thinking about

buying a hard bottom inflatable, either 10' or 9'. (Leaning towards 10, but some of the 9's have just as much interior room). Might change my mind and buy a 10' Fold-A-Boat instead. (comments anyone?)

I usually tow the dinghy but on last summers trip to Bermuda, we had it rolled up and tied down on the cabin top. I have a pair of davits for this boat, but they have never been installed and I'm not sure if I want to or not. She's a double ender and the Davits might not look good.


Fatty Knees 8'  dingy.  Ordered new from Eddy & Duff ;  Like it very much.


We have a 10'2" West Marine Avon RIB with 9.9 Merc and liveaboard a 41'

boat.  We have davits.


By the way, there is a discussion on inflatables at our Cruisers' Forum at The Cruising Life, if anyone would like to add their two cents.  Go to www.TheCruisingLife.com and click on Cruisers' Forum, then click on

"General" and you will see the topic "Inflatables."  This is a brand new forum and I invite you to check it out!


Barb            www.TheCruisingLife.com


Avon 10'2  15 HP Yamaha

Personally I wouldnt go any smaller in size or motor.  Anything smaller has problems plaining with any type of  load in the boat.  A year ago I swore up and down about my 9'4 zodiac with a yamaha 8 HP  After the trip to the bahamas it was the first thing I got rid of.

Out of the water and on the davits it looks a bit big but I dont care.  Hey when your out there the Dinghy is your car.  I personally like to get where I am going at a decent speed and most important of all DRY!


The dingy survey thread sparked a thought and a question! I've seen a design for a "nester" digny, which is a dingy which breaks in two for storage and the shorter half can be "nested" in the larger half allowing an 11foot digny to fold down to a storage length of a mere 6 feet. For most usage apparently the boat is as sturdy as a regular dingy, and this design seems like a good compromise for my next dingy.

Anyone on the list have any experience with this type of design?


We ended up getting a 10'-6" Alaska Series (built by Gary King in Anchorage Alaska, www.alaskaseries.com) it has rubber skids on the bottom of the tubes and a flexible semi-rigid rubber hull as armor plate for coral or heavy rock beaches such as are found in tropics and Alaska.  It also has plenty of D rings (3") for hoisting and tethering, plus custom bow and seat bags, inflatable (very rigid) floor, but will handle a 15 hp four stroke.  We ordered a second seat and bags.  Comes with a pump and oars that really stay in the oarlocks.  All total, about 120 lbs.  We bought a 9.9 Honda, but I am inclined to up the size to 15 tomorrow.....we'll see what the price difference is.  Also got a Honda EU2000i generator to sit on the deck.  I guess I will be able to annoy some by running it.


We have an Achilles 9 1/2 ft inflatable with a 4 section wood floor, hard transom, a blow up front seat, a velcroed rear seat,& an inflated V-bottom. We use to tow it behind our 26 MK ll on a 20 ft line when we went to the Island. It towed like a dream as long as the O/B wasn't mounted on it. If the O/B was on it, it would tow WAY bow high & cause a LOT of drag. For docking, mooring, etc., we shortened the tow line to the point of actually having it's bow half way up the transom of the 26. That way, there was no worries about a fouled line on the prop,& manuvering was a snap.Our 26 O/B was in the well, not the transom. That would be a whole nother discussion. We tried putting it up on the foredeck a couple of times but it was too hard to get around it to tend to sails & anchor, etc. To get it up there, we used the spinnaker halyard to lift it. The "J" on the 26 MK ll is 10 ft, so it just fit. snuggly. We have had as much as 4 people on it . Our dingy O/B is a 4 hp Yamaha & it'll get up on a plane with just me on board. It feels like about mach 2 when it does. It's white knuckle time then.    With a "J" of 17 ft on our 45, there is plenty of room for it there. I

have found a pair of original stern davits for the 45, so we'll try that next.



I would suggest one of the nesting dinks. I currently am using a Walker

Bay 8' on my 8.7 although I have purchased the plans from www.bandbyachtdesigns.com to build the Two Paw nesting dinghy. One of

those projects I haven't quite gotten to yet. I think John on Pampero

also uses a nesting dinghy, although I'm not sure what build or model.



It's a 7'6" plyood nesting dinghy but it takes too long to assemble or dismantle.


Here is the web site for another nesting dinghy:




The El Toro sailing dinghy is a good choice. With the pram front and 8'

length it floats as  much as a 10' dink. It was designed in the 1930's by some sailors looking for a versatile design that could row well,sail well and be light enough to lift up on deck. It's a shade bigger and faster than the optimist dink. Here's a link to one of many El Toro

clubs.http://www.toad.net/~mariners/eltoro/eltoro.htm. I bought mine used for $500 With 2 suits of sails(1 brand new).










I found and down loaded plans for a stitch and glue dingy called Apple Pie at  www.boatdesign.com . It was designed by Chuck Merrell and based on a home made boat from plans drawn by a William Atkin and published in the 30's in a magazine.  He called his design the Rinky-Dink. It appears light and easy to construct. Does any one have any experience with this boat ( I don't know how long the plans have been on the net)  Its made for rowing. Do you think I could put a small (2hp) OB on the transom?

Paule Esterle - you have mentioned a couple times that you use a plywood called creozon (sp) for interior work on boats would it work for making the dingy? It is much cheaper then marine ply and I am going to paint it any way.


Wayne, I think Crezon is a trade name for MDO plywood. It doesn't  come any thinner than 3/8" (as far as I know) so it would be too heavy for a stitch-n-glue dinghy. I've looked at the Apple Pie but I think it would be too small for us.

I was wondering how thin a sheet it came in. But I think I will use
it for the 1/2 thick transom, bow and seat sections.
Wayne Sabre six


Just resending this with the el toro links working. Oh, another good point
is they are mostly built as self rescuing. They have built in floatation.
The walker bay's don't. That's why they added the tube as an extra.




Bill Birdsall