Chinook's dingy

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opie
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Chinook's dingy

Post by opie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:13 am

Mike,
I started a new thread here to ask you and others this question. One member here once stated, that with a Mac you don't need a dingy. Would it be at all possible to do what you did this past trip without a dingy and use the Mac like below? I enjoy beaching my Mac. Could it be done in the Bahamas as well? (I am only partly serious, as your trip seems perfect as it was. I am half way through reading your trip report as of this morning.)
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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Chinook » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:30 pm

I would have to say that it would be impossible to do the trip we just made without a dinghy. We visited so many different places, and not every one included a soft sand beach for beaching the Mac. Some beaches have a small shore break which would push the big boat around. Tides are another consideration. Even with just a 2 to 4 foot tidal range in the Bahamas, it could get pretty inconvenient trying to time the tide and not get left high and dry when you'd like to be getting underway. Also, the dinghy provides a lot of flexibility to a cruise. Cruising in places like the Bahamas, we enjoy socializing with other cruisers, and the dinghy becomes our vehicle for going over to visit other boaters. It also becomes an exploration vehicle, perfect for poking into meandering salt water creeks which even the shallow draft Mac shouldn't enter. The dinghy is pretty essential when trying to tie up in those fixed dock/piling tie ups they call marina slips in the Florida/Bahama area. In the case of Georgetown, the dinghy was really important. They don't really have much of a marina there, and the tieups they do have are not recommended, since they are really exposed to the prevailing wind and swell. A dinghy is essential for getting to town. We hauled our collapsible water jugs in with us to transport water back to the boat. Also, we fueled the boat using our plastic 5 gallon jerry cans while in George Town. The dinghy is an excellent fishing boat, allowing me to go fishing without taking the Mac off anchor. Similarly, we used the dinghy to access some prime snorkeling areas which would have been unreachable with the Mac, because of the location of coral heads. If you tried a trip like this without a dinghy, you'd end up sitting on the Mac on many occasions when you'd love to be able to go ashore. I've beached our boat before, however, I much prefer to keep her floating, swinging at anchor, and using our dinghy for going ashore, running errands, socializing, exploring, fishing and snorkeling.

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Jim Bunnell » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:53 am

First, thanks for all the postings and the web site. I used it for a lot of vicarious cruising. I'd read of your previous trips and you mentioned that, in preparation for this cruise, you replaced your porta-bote with an inflatable. Given this cruising experience, how would you rate your inflatable against your previous porta-bote? Why? Will you continue to use the inflatable in your home waters with the rugged beaches? As a current porta-bote user, I've thought of switching - so your perspective would be very interesting.

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Chinook » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:28 pm

During the time we used the porta-bote as our dinghy I was an enthusiastic booster of them. It served us well for several years. I made the change mainly because of the difficulty in pulling it from the water while away from the dock. Considering the number of open water crossings the Bahama trip entailed, I didn't relish the work involved. Pulling it was necessary because the porta-bote sometimes got into trouble while being towed. We had it swamp while underway twice, both times because of following seas coming over the transom. After purchasing and using an inflatable (HP-275, a 9.5 foot high pressure floor inflatable made by Zodiac and sold by West Marine), I would cite the following advantages of the inflatable over the porta-bote:
1. Easier to assemble. We used the foot pump to blow up the inflatable, and it was quite easy to do, even on the foredeck while away from the dock. The porta-bote was very difficult to set up, both on land and even more so when out on the water.
2. Easier to stow. The inflatable is more compact, rolled up in its bag, than the porta-bote. The inflatable is easily lashed down on the foredeck, and was also easy to stow in the king berth area. The porta-bote hull had to be lashed on deck, very awkward and view obstructing up there, and the seat bundle alone took up more space than the complete inflatable, when stowed down below.
3. Easier to lift. The inflatable only weighs 53 lbs, around half the total weight of the 10 foot porta-bote, including hull and seat bundle.
4. Easier to get into and out of while on the water. We snorkeled a lot on this trip, and it was easy to slide into the water and haul back out of the water with the inflatable. We also used a boarding ladder sometimes. The porta-bote was substantially harder to get into and out of while on the water, even when using the rope ladder we have.
5. Easier to get out of at the beach. My wife tended to catch her toe on the foredeck when trying to step out of the porta-bote at the beach. No such problems with the inflatable.
6. Much easier to launch and retrieve the inflatable when away from the dock.
7. Better trailing characteristics. The inflatable tracked well and rode very lightly on the water, and caused no problems while trailing.

The porta-bote's strong points of good rowing characteristics and more durable hull when landing on rough beach can't begin to overcome the above listed advantages of the inflatable, in my view.

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by mastreb » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:51 pm

Excellent advice, and why I love this site!

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Jim Bunnell » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:52 am

Thanks for the considered reply - So, anyone want to buy a porta-bote? :wink:

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Cassi97 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:18 am

What do you find as the easiest way to retrieve the dingy? Storing the inflated dingy upside down on the foredeck doesn't cause any sailing (jib) or anchor accessiblity problems?

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Chinook » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:40 am

When pulling the inflatable out while away from the dock, I first removed the seat and put it in the cockpit. Then, while still in the water, I deflated the keel tube and the high pressure floor. I could then stand on a pontoon and climb up onto the foredeck (another plus; can't do that with the porta-bote). Up on deck, it was easy to pull the inflatable up, out of the water and set it on the foredeck, with the forward end placed up against the pulpit railings. I never tried traveling with the dinghy still inflated. It's just too easy to deflate, bag up and stow. Once deflated, it rolls up easily in its storage bag, and can either be lashed down on the foredeck or taken down into the cabin, where it's easily stowed in the king berth area, which we use for gear stowage. When it's stowed on the foredeck, it doesn't interfere at all with sailing, but it does restrict opening of the forward hatch.

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Catigale » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:33 pm

Ive towed my 100# Watertender in heavy seas using my swim ladder as towbar

Image

Keywords Watertender 9.4 towbar ladder tender tow

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by DaveB » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:07 pm

Hope that was in a protective Bay, or the Capt'n was 4 sheets to the wind powering accross Buzzards Bay to Cuttyhunk in the smoothest waters the Bay has seen in a year. :D :)
Dave
Catigale wrote:Ive towed my 100# Watertender in heavy seas using my swim ladder as towbar

Image

Keywords Watertender 9.4 towbar ladder tender tow

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Catigale » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:19 am

Optimism follows me everywhere... :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

Thats actually C'hunk in the background, with the little depression Churches' Beach...

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Inquisitor » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:13 am

Chinook wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:28 pm
During the time we used the porta-bote as our dinghy I was an enthusiastic booster of them. It served us well for several years. I made the change mainly because of the difficulty in pulling it from the water while away from the dock. Considering the number of open water crossings the Bahama trip entailed, I didn't relish the work involved. Pulling it was necessary because the porta-bote sometimes got into trouble while being towed. We had it swamp while underway twice, both times because of following seas coming over the transom. After purchasing and using an inflatable (HP-275, a 9.5 foot high pressure floor inflatable made by Zodiac and sold by West Marine), I would cite the following advantages of the inflatable over the porta-bote:
1. Easier to assemble. We used the foot pump to blow up the inflatable, and it was quite easy to do, even on the foredeck while away from the dock. The porta-bote was very difficult to set up, both on land and even more so when out on the water.
2. Easier to stow. The inflatable is more compact, rolled up in its bag, than the porta-bote. The inflatable is easily lashed down on the foredeck, and was also easy to stow in the king berth area. The porta-bote hull had to be lashed on deck, very awkward and view obstructing up there, and the seat bundle alone took up more space than the complete inflatable, when stowed down below.
3. Easier to lift. The inflatable only weighs 53 lbs, around half the total weight of the 10 foot porta-bote, including hull and seat bundle.
4. Easier to get into and out of while on the water. We snorkeled a lot on this trip, and it was easy to slide into the water and haul back out of the water with the inflatable. We also used a boarding ladder sometimes. The porta-bote was substantially harder to get into and out of while on the water, even when using the rope ladder we have.
5. Easier to get out of at the beach. My wife tended to catch her toe on the foredeck when trying to step out of the porta-bote at the beach. No such problems with the inflatable.
6. Much easier to launch and retrieve the inflatable when away from the dock.
7. Better trailing characteristics. The inflatable tracked well and rode very lightly on the water, and caused no problems while trailing.

The porta-bote's strong points of good rowing characteristics and more durable hull when landing on rough beach can't begin to overcome the above listed advantages of the inflatable, in my view.
Sorry to resurrect such an old topic... oldy but a goody. Thanks Chinook - Its always a pleasure to read your comments. Always constructive, if not positive tone, with no expert attitude... even though your vast experience clearly gives you that right IMO. I am starting to consider a dingy and this whole thread put it in the definite category. Several questions come to mind...

(1) Do you still have the same glowing remarks for type and model you have?
(2) I have many tents, sleeping bags, hammocks that don't quite fit "easily" back into their bags. When they say "stowed dimensions"... are those realistic for one older person to get back into while on a pitching deck or simply the size it comes machine pressed from the factory?
(3) Since 9 years have gone by does anyone have any other model recommendations? Chinook's is now $1400 and has so-so reviews even on West Marine. The 1-star ratings were numerous and scary. Reading Internet "top-10" (taken with a large dose of salt) lists many with good reviews and Amazon shows several that are less than a $1K and sound like they have the same size, materials, thicknesses, etc. Are there brands to look for or stay away from?
(4) I have an old 6hp 2 stroke. If they say the "max" hp is 10... are they really saying that is the recommended and my old 6 would be too small? That alone would save me $2500+.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by NiceAft » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:13 am

I have a fourteen year old Achilles inflatable that is the twin to Chinook's Zodiac. I went to the Annapolis boat show to purchase a Zodiac, and left with the Achilles. Mostly because of $$$$. I also liked the idea of Hypalon. Zodiac makes a good craft; I just felt they charged a lot more for the name.


As to your small outboard for the inflatable; think about how you are going to lift it into the dinghy. That motor must weigh about 40lbs. My Mercury 4 stroke 6hp weighs over fifty pounds. My Achilles is rated for 8 hp; the fellow who sold it to me said to mount a 6hp instead. He felt an 8 weighs so much more, that it would be difficult to lift. The 6 can get up on plane with two people and no luggage.

I often wonder, if I was to take an extended trip, how I would safely transfer the motor to the dinghy, or should I just pull the dinghy with the motor on the transom? I'd hate for Davey Jones to need to get a larger locker.
Ray ~~_/)~~

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:44 am

NiceAft wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:13 am
I have a fourteen year old Achilles inflatable that is the twin to Chinook's Zodiac. I went to the Annapolis boat show to purchase a Zodiac, and left with the Achilles. Mostly because of $$$$. I also liked the idea of Hypalon. Zodiac makes a good craft; I just felt they charged a lot more for the name.

As to your small outboard for the inflatable; think about how you are going to lift it into the dinghy. That motor must weigh about 40lbs. My Mercury 4 stroke 6hp weighs over fifty pounds. My Achilles is rated for 8 hp; the fellow who sold it to me said to mount a 6hp instead. He felt an 8 weighs so much more, that it would be difficult to lift. The 6 can get up on plane with two people and no luggage.

I often wonder, if I was to take an extended trip, how I would safely transfer the motor to the dinghy, or should I just pull the dinghy with the motor on the transom? I'd hate for Davey Jones to need to get a larger locker.
You bring up some important points and I'm just coming around to getting one and haven't thought and researched everything through. I'm not going to need it summer '21, but thinking long term. But, I'm not getting any younger and your points become even more important. :?

I want to do a Bahama's trip down the road.
  • Want to be able pack it up like Chinook describes for the crossovers, but all I've seen are pushing 90+ lbs even with air-floors. I'm just not seeing how I'm going to man-handle that around on-deck and push overboard... or blow up on the water... much less deflating and returning to the deck.
  • Figuring I need to do something with boom do MOB type launch???
  • Use same rig to lower motor also???
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

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Re: Chinook's dingy

Post by NiceAft » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:31 am

I’m 71. I spent over forty years in furniture delivery. I am in excellent shape; still lift weights, and I won’t attempt to lift a 55 lb motor to a floating dinghy unless it is secured to a dock.

My 9’ Achilles weighs 75lbs. Inflating it on deck would not be hard, I believe. Launching it over the side should not be too difficult. Deflating it at the stern, pulling it along side and hoisting it back aboard will take dexterity. I would rather tow the inflatable. With towing a dinghy, there is always a chance of it being swamped. With an inflatable, it stays afloat.

If you can wait to purchase, going to a large boat show can offer the best price. Especially if you wait until the last day of the show, and do some haggling :wink:

One other thing. Try and find an inflatable with an inflatable keel.

Her shirt states “Every captain want’s a nauti girl” We are married over 46 years :)
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Ray ~~_/)~~

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