Comparing Lightweight Inflatable Yacht Tenders / Dinghies for a cruising family ?

Comparing Lightweight Inflatable Yacht Tenders / Dinghies for a cruising family ?

As you know we lost our dinghy last
summer which we talked about in one of the previous episodes but now we’ve got a
few months before we set sail again and so now we really need to get the dinghy
sorted. Weight is an issue really like it probably is on most boats. We want the
maximum size for the smallest weight for the smallest cost as well of course so
that is why I am looking for them right now. Because we don’t want to have too much weight on our davits because we’ve got a 15 horsepower engine and that’s already quite heavy. Woody is
now reinforcing the actual davits now because there was a little bit of
cracking so he’s gonna reinforce it and and then we’ve got our solar panels going
on but our dinghy needs to hang off the back. I was going for the one that
everyone’s been recommending which is a Highfield ultralite during my search I
realized that there’s a quite a few other companies that do ultra light
Dinghys so tenders that are about just under three meters with aluminium hulls
solid aluminium hulls. So I found Lamina Lamina do ribs I think that’s the same
as AB and they do ribs at 43 kilograms this is a Lamina we’re looking at the
9.5 aluminium 43 kilograms takes 15 horsepower. 5 persons nearly
4,000 pounds they must be good for that These are all PVC pretty much I think. Then there’s the 3d tender they look pretty smart looking at them now they’re only 31
kilograms and that’s 290 centimetres and that goes for 1830 euros. We’ve got the Quicksilver aluminium rib which is only 1456 pounds
and it’s 2.9 and it’s 41 kilograms so I think the Highfield ultralight is 38
kilograms so that’s only three kilograms more, not so bad and it takes the 15
horsepower we’ve got a Zodiac. A zodiac 270 slightly smaller than we wanted but
that’s only 37 kilograms and that’s got an aluminium hull as well it takes 10
horsepower or you could go up to the 300 centimeter which is 1884 and that’s 43 kilograms so you’ve got 37 or 43 with those two sizes. Zodiac
compact one I looked at which has a fold-down transom it is 300 centimeters
long PVC 48 kilograms now so it’s 10 kilograms more than the Highfield it
takes 10 horsepower but the advantage of that is that you could actually pack that
away as well as having a solid hull I didn’t even know you could do that so
that’s what I found out so far so we are on the lookout now to choose our
dinghy which we want to be lasting us around our world voyage okay so thank you for everybody for
watching these videos and thank you for sharing them thanks especially to the
patrons for helping us to get the equipment to create these videos to edit
and then produce them and also to get ice creams for the children to keep them
out the way so we’ve got time to create these video blogs thanks a lot I mean you wanna do it

11 thoughts on “Comparing Lightweight Inflatable Yacht Tenders / Dinghies for a cruising family ?

  • March 14, 2019 at 10:24 am

    We love our Ribeye TL 310. Takes our 15hp and is a bit overpowered with one person in but perfect with 2 to 5 people.
    Great rib over 3m and only 43kg, Tetralon (like hyperlon but even better) so UV resistant and £2243 inc vat. UK company and great build quality.

  • March 14, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Oh Ive just contacted through Patreon’s FB link because when I last looked your comments section was disabled but it appears ok now!

    Woody I have a Raymarine Autopilot experience to share with you for your technical library. It’s when mine stuck in the ON position as we were about to cross a bar in Vic, Australia. It just wouldn’t release! Are you still interested in this for your files? If so, should I post in here?

    Gerard Wall

  • March 14, 2019 at 1:48 pm


  • March 14, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Dinghy: Zodiac are strong but I would go for a hard bottom.
    Just a comment on your earlier video:
    it is always wise to make it yourself if something is broken !
    it saves you a lot of money and you get to know your boat.
    because something always breaks if it just doesn't suit you.
    sail safely

  • March 14, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    There are a few areas (non obvious) you want to look at when looking at RIBs…
    1) How easy is it to drain the area between the hulls – the better ones drain into the boat and when you pop the hull drain, drains both (when up on plane). The bad ones have the drain outlet underwater which means you need to drain it by tipping it up and bringing it right out of the water which is a real PITA.
    2) how well reinforced is the back board of the RIB… many of them show cracks almost immediately. Wander around any marina and look at the RIBs and you will see a wide variety of how well they stand up
    3) look at the attach points and oarlocks… many of those same RIBS will have torn attach points and oarlocks that don't work.
    4) look to see that it is well re-enforced on the skid plate because you will be beaching it a lot.

    Finally, don't be buying a PVC one… it won't last and what ever you do, buy some chaps for it… if the Hypalon (or PVC) gets exposed to UV, it'll rot in no time. I think the Highfield ones meet most of the requirements… I'd be going for an aluminum bottomed one.

  • March 15, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    hello, check also 'BARK' and 'Kolibri'

  • March 16, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Highly recommend a Takacat, very light and you can pack away. Check them out

  • March 17, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Hi Woody

    Here is a summary as brief as I can be on the ongoing problems I’ve had with the Raymarine Rotary Drive unit on our Autopilot system.

    The unit was originally installed new in 2013 and functioned flawlessly for a couple of years.

    Then when we were bringing our yacht from Sydney to Lakes Entrance – 450 nms we also had no problems until we were just arriving at our destination. I selected STANDBY and the wheel would not disengage! I turned the Autopilot OFF and then ON and the wheel still would not disengage. I reduced engine revs to give time to troubleshoot but whatever I did, didn’t work.

    In the end, I just forced the wheel as hard as I could and it released. I figured this would have caused damage but at least I could steer again. The next morning I took the boat out and engaged AP again and it worked fine and pressed STANDY and once again, it wouldn’t disengage. I once again resorted to brute force.

    I went to my Marine Electrician (I am not handy in this area) and he removed the rotary drive and sent it back to Raymarine (Sydney) but found out Raymarine outsources this work.

    After some time the rotary drive was returned allegedly repaired after the clutch and friction plate was replaced. The explanation given to me was that the unit was not disengaging as there was a problem with the clutch – made intuitive sense!

    On a test trip with the Marine Electrician on board the AP was recalibrated and was put into STANDBY mode (once) and it did disengage.

    On my next trip to the boat (I live in Melbourne) I went out, selected AP ON and when it came time to DISENGAGE the wheel was locked!

    Back to the Electrician and he then diagnosed that there was a problem with the clutch rotor assembly! I would have thought that the original clutch and friction plate service/repair would include the clutch rotor assembly!

    Anyway that seems to have fixed my problems but the repairs and labour approach the cost of getting a whole new Autopilot!

    My advice is that if your wheel does not disengage, either yourself or your Electrician should first check the clutch rotor assembly.

    Woody sorry for the lengthy post but you take the time to provide your insights so I felt I should share my problems with you and your followers and hopefully assist someone.

    One final point, can you imagine this happening in bad weather and tight conditions and not being able to wrench the wheel free!



  • April 15, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    In which episode did you discuss losing the dinghy? For longevity, I think that you should stick to Hypalon or a similar proprietary fabric. The Israelis have come out with a new, extremely durable fabric. Perhaps they are looking for publicity? Regardless, fabric covers are offered for inflatables (check Highfield) and would be ideal for PVC inflatables whose surface can get sticky.

  • April 16, 2019 at 12:15 am

    For the Tropics, exposure to UV almost dictates Hypalon, however you can prolong the life of PVC by buying or making "chaps" which are fitted fabric covers for the top half of the tubes. You may wish to listen to what this world cruiser has to say:
    I realize that cost is a major issue, but I'd sell my paddle board and get the safest dinghy for the kids sake. Ask fellow cruisers where one can buy inflatables at the lowest prices. Perhaps they are cheaper in the Caribbean? The Caribbean is also the best place to pick up a 2-stroke Yamaha outboard. Someday, you may have to strap your dinghy alongside and self-rescue your grounded boat.

  • April 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Hi guys, Have you decided yet? We’re looking too, only 2 of us though


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