Author Topic: Show me your little Dinghy / Tender / what have you....  (Read 63451 times)

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Offline Zen

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Show me your little Dinghy / Tender / what have you....
« on: December 29, 2005, 11:41:26 PM »
How do you experenced folks handle your lifeboat/tenders concerns...

1st why are they called tenders? ??? (they are called tenders right?) ::)

What are your opinions on lifeboats on a voyage?
How do you handle your storage?
Do you use an inflatable or ridged?
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Offline The Edge

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 02:51:06 AM »
Zen,

     Thank you for asking.  This will provide us with hours of entertainment.  Karma for you.
It's a great life if you don't weaken.

Sarah
S/V The Edge
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Offline CapnK

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2005, 06:36:44 AM »
Right now I have a Walker Bay 8 for my dink. It tows well and can get me and the CrewDogs around. Supposedly, some friends are selling me there near-new small inflateable for a low price, which would be good for longer voyages due to stowability. I don't fancy the idea of towing the WB in a storm, and the space on deck is a bit small for it. We'll be playing with that this year.

AFA a lifeboat/raft, for my vessel I would need around 60-65 cubic feet of flotation to keep her decks awash were she to fill with water. I think I am going to build that volume in, so that should the worst happen, I should be able to survive aboard or possibly even get her refloated even at sea, a la Jim Baldwins Atom.

Lin and Larry Pardey's idea for making your dinghy into your lifeboat bear serious thought. Rather than just drifting while hopefully awaiting rescue, the idea is to have a craft with which you can be proactive towards saving yourself.

All in all, for a boat this size, though, I think keeping it afloat, even if the decks are awash, is the best idea. JMO. :)
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Offline s/v Faith

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2005, 07:43:30 AM »
Quote
Zen,

     Thank you for asking.  This will provide us with hours of entertainment.  Karma for you.

Sarah is right!

  I will be providing more then my fair share of entertainment on this thread, because my forays into the realm of 'tenders' have been truly laughable.

  First, I was on a 'ball' for about 4 months, and the daily grind of borrowing the marina's paddle boat was less then no fun.....
especially when the wind kicked up or you had cargo to haul.

 Not so bad in calm weather though.

  Then I came upon a 'Deal'! on "Mr Smiles"  ;D First there was a nice hard dink for sale for $300, in the marina, but I missed that.  THe guy who bought it agreed to sell me his old one.....

  Mr Smiles is a Sandpiper 8' which has a unique reverse chine hull (it is supposed to track well when it rows, but it does not!)

  I loaded it up with the wife, and the dog and in sight of the whole Yacht club proceeded to spin in circles all the way out to the boat! I quickly understood how it got the name Mr Smiles.......  >:(  They have since re-designed the 'sandpiper 8' and the new ones look allot like the walker bay 8'

  Eventually I got where I could row it half way straight.. and towed it everywhere.  It floats, but got swamped in a squall one day and I can attest to the fact that a dingy full of water makes a very effective sea anchor!  If that had happened while running an inlet I would have had no choice but to cut her loose.

  I know it will fit on the foredeck, but it makes tacking hard, and anchor handling near to impossible.  Not to mention the fact that it weighs about #150 and is a struggle to get up on deck in the first place (even with the spin halyard).

  So I decided to look for an inflatable. 

 I found a great deal on an Avon R-280.  It would not row well, but I also found a 2hp Evenrude outboard..... but even deflated the raft would not fit in my cockpit locker!  Now 3 adults and 2 small children could sleep in either one of my cockpit lockers but not this boat!  ???

  So then I was in a WM, and they had a much smaller inflatable on sale.  It was 8', but folded down to fit in a suitcase size bag.  Cool!  So, I took the plunge, brought it home blew it up.  Sure it was a little tight but it would work.....

  ....then I tried to get the !@#$%$# thing back in the suitcase.  I got all the air out of it, but somehow it was not as small (and never again would be!).  It was returned to WM, it took up the entire trunk of my car!  :P

  So, there is another Avon Dink in the marina, an Avon Redcrest (does not have the hard transom).  It is in ok shape but not as good as what I have. (My R-280 was a 1998 model, this is like a 1980 model, but very little use.).  I make the switch, and can finally get an inflatable dink into the cockpit locker.  But it takes up the whole bottom half of the locker.  :(

  I can not picture myself wrestling this thing out after a long day underway to go ashore, but I guess it could be done.  If you were off shore for a while and then came in to a distant anchorage and slept for a day..... you might be inclined to swim ashore and find someone to help you drag this thing out of the locker and pump it up!

  So, I have tried a couple of the options..... can't say I have found one I am happy with yet.   :P

  I do have a 14' Coleman canoe...... Hummmmmm.  ::)

Satisfaction is wanting what you already have.

Offline Mr. Fixit

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2005, 09:24:04 AM »
I am seriously considering making a "nesting dinghy" this winter. Some very intresting designs on the net. I am leaning toward a 9' pram  design.

Offline The Edge

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2005, 09:39:28 AM »
Mr. Fixit,

     Okay, I'll bite.  What's a "nesting dinghy"?

     BTW, I like your name "Mr. Fixit".
It's a great life if you don't weaken.

Sarah
S/V The Edge
Macgregor 26X

Offline Mr. Fixit

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2005, 09:59:19 AM »
It breaks down into 2 sections for storage--one section inside the other

Offline Frank

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2005, 10:23:11 AM »
the perfect TENDER ????  Next to the biggest anchor ya can carry...the best tender ya can take is right up there.   While cruising,you use them a LOT !!!They are real important. Supply ship , water taxi , exploration vehicle , life raft , etc etc.   Hard dinghys row way better-pull up on coral beachs with less damage-cost less-tow better(unless they swamp)  inflatables store better(soft bottoms)-are more stable-make better life rafts are relatively expensive for a good one and row terribly....rigid bottom inflatables perform better-ride better(more speed less spray) are still good for a life raft but are very expensive for a good one and don't store as well. On my 26...a 9.5ft inflatable is the only way. It rolls up in the cockpit floor while offshore(less water in cockpit if pooped and handy to use if needed) is stable,a 2hp pushs it along slowly(beats rowing)and tows OK once coastal cruising. Size/storage dictates it on my lil boat
« Last Edit: December 30, 2005, 10:25:00 AM by Frank »
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Offline captedteach

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 11:37:20 AM »
I guess I have the Lincoln of dingies - at least for the lake  I can tow it behind the boat if I feel the need or just take it anywhere on the lake as my boat for the day. I've hauled sandstone for my yard in it,  Used it to carry fire wood to bonfires, I've hauled it to FL to move a Columbia 8.7 15 miles. Of course having a luxury vessel like this has its down sides - It will NOT fit on deck and its REAL heavy  - What is you ask?  A 14ft V-bottom Aluminum boat with a 15hp Johnson ( I may upgrade to a 25hp this year)  20 knots and a range of 60+ miles with the 13gal tank.  Did I mention it holds four adults and two beer coolers easily.

I also have an Ocean Kayak, a 15ft Coleman Canoe and a small inflatable with a 2hp  - the kayak stays on the boat for scooting around at the beach
Hold my beer and watch this poop

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Amorous

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 12:51:10 PM »
I don't know for sure why their called "tenders".  I always assumed that they were called that as they "tended" to the needs of the mother ship.  But of course there's also the money type definition, something about the exchange of goods, in this case from ship to shore.
I have had only two.  The first was an 8' plywood pram that came with my first "real" cruising boat, a 1934 Winthrop Warner cutter.  It was great.  Stable, rowed well even in large seas, sailed well (similiar to an Optimist).  I loved that dinghy.  I towed it though because it was kind of bulky and in the way when on the foredeck.  The first time I pulled into a lock (Troy locks on the Hudson River), the resulting turbulance moved the 20,000 lb. boat out away from the lock wall, the dinghy forward between the boat and the wall, and the boat back toward the wall.  The sound that resulted was horrendous! 
I then bought a 10' Avon inflatable with a 15 hp Johnson outboard and still have them 20 years later.  Both the dinghy and the motor are a pain in the ass.  They're way heavy, don't stow well, I can't inflate the dinghy on deck, the mahogany floorboards and transom ALWAYS need varnishing, the motor is too heavy to leave on the stern rail at sea, and I wouldn't give them up for anything.  36 kts gives you a lot of choices when anchoring awy from populated areas.  AND the kids, when they were younger could actually water ski behind it!  Try that with a pram!
BUT, I think I'm going to build one of those nesting dinghys as well, with built in flotation and lockers that will keep stuff safe when ashore.  Poor old speedy won't last forever.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2005, 12:54:54 PM by Amorous »

Offline The Edge

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2005, 01:07:26 PM »
I bought a used 7'  hard dinghy with oars for $80.  I love to row and thought I'd use that until I found something I liked more.  I still use

 that dinghy.

Since I cruise alone most of the time, I consider "security issues".  I don't have the name of my boat on my dinghy so folks won't know when The Edge is unoccupied.  I also like it looking grungy - people take one look at it and figure I don't have anything worth stealing ;).

I sliced an old firehose and secured it around the edge with tie wraps and 5200.  That enhances the grungy look that I am going for ::).

When towing, I use one long rope and attach it to either side of the bow at just above water level.  The rope is then one big loop and I can adjust it for center (ease in towing, reduces drag) or to one side when I am attempting to dock ;).  I have a second rope tied from the bow center of the dinghy in case something should happen to the main rope while I am seriously towing, as in crossing the Gulf Stream.

Towing could be troublesome in a heavy rain during situations where you can't stop to bail >:(
It's a great life if you don't weaken.

Sarah
S/V The Edge
Macgregor 26X

Offline s/v Faith

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2005, 08:09:33 PM »
Mr Smiles has had 22' of goodyears's finest radiator hose (red) added around the edge......  Grunge is a good thing.  ;D
Satisfaction is wanting what you already have.

Offline starcrest

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2005, 12:34:19 AM »
a liferaft is a definite must have.along with an EPIRB with  spare batteries and emergency provisions.anything is better than nothing and if you think your boat cannot sink theres a job waiting for you on the Titanic.these things can and do happen  not just in the movies or on tv.... in only has to happen once.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2005, 01:15:17 AM by starcrest »
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Offline Dougcan

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2006, 09:21:50 PM »
Amorous is correct as to the meaning of the word "tender".  Navies use the tenders to "tend" to the mother ship and the name stuck since then.

Offline oded kishony

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2006, 06:53:29 AM »
I wonder why there isn't a product, sort of like a car's airbag, that is compact but will self inflate under given conditions inside the cabin. The idea is to keep the boat afloat and give you time to jury rig repairs.

oded kishony

Amorous

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 07:41:24 AM »
there are.  i don't have any links handy, but i know i've seen them.  i believe that they mount inside, under the hull to deck connection.  I don't remember if they are automatic but would imagine that they are either/or.  i'll do some more checking.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2006, 07:52:34 AM »
IIRC, they are very expensive.
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Amorous

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2006, 08:09:33 AM »
I think I remember that part too. ;D

Offline CapnK

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2006, 10:34:03 AM »
Just got a call from my buddy with the inflatable. It is the West Marine small version, they bought it new maybe 4 years ago, and it has been used only a few times. They are selling it to me cheap cheap cheap, which is cool, cool, cool. :;)It's like only 6' or 8' LOA when inflated, so I think it will stow fairly well. Will find out later today, when I get it back down here I'll blow it up to check for leaks and condition, and take a pic then too. Excellent! ;D
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Offline Slrman

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Re: Tenders/Lifeboat/dinghy and such
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2006, 04:34:35 PM »
Here is an article I wrote about adding stability to a hard dinghy.  This was in Sail last May, so some may have seen it.  I have hopes of seeing the check for it soon, too.  If anyone would like the original article with pictures, drop me an e-mail (slrman@att.net) and I'll shoot it off to you.

Dinghy Doings
I had purchased an 8’ hard dinghy with a 3.5 hp outboard for my O’Day 32.  The dink was rugged, unsinkable, and fit neatly between the davits on Picasso’s stern.  The only problem was it lacked the stability of an inflatable.  An unexpected trip into the waters of the marina one day convinced me to do something about this.  I thought about the inflatable tubes available from the manufacturer, but they cost almost as much as I paid for the dink, motor, and sail kit. 

Instead, I got the idea of attaching foam flotation to the sides.  I called around to several local places looking for high-density closed cell foam.  In the quantities I needed, that was more than I wanted to spend on an uncertain project.  Finally, it was suggested to me to use the “noodles” made for kids and swimming pools.  At least the price was right.  I bought six noodles and some waterproof spray cement all for under $12. 

The noodles didn’t fit very well as they were, so I sliced them lengthwise with a large razor knife and the assistance of Tom, who gave me the noodle idea.  That’s the danger of making suggestions, you can get caught up in the work. 

In photo 1, you can see how the “noodles” were stacked up along the side until I had five pieces on each side.  It was so easy I decided to carve some of the extra foam into a tapered shape to give the front sections a more streamlined shape.  See photo 2.

When the dinghy is empty, the foam is out of the water a bit.  When heavily loaded, they are slightly immersed. 

So how does it work?  Not as well as the inflatable tubes, I’m sure.  But, for ten bucks, they do very well.  At least I don’t feel like a candidate for the swim team when getting in or out of the dink.