John and Anne on Bali Hai <hollamby@...>
Hello Ian and Judy,
Sorry for my delay in replying but I have been away.
My dinghy is a Southern Pacific Shearwater 310 and it is great. It is
now five years old and looks like new despite the fact that it has
been exposed all that time to the strong Meditteranean sun.Another
plus point is that it has three airchambers which our previous AB did
not and it is therefore much less dangerous when, as happened to us in
the Tuamotus, a shark took a bite out of the fabric the size of my hand.
It is fitted with a Mercury 15hp motor with small hydrofoils on the
skeg and will do 24 knots with only my 100 kgs on board in flat water.
It also finally got up on the plane with three heavy adults and a lot
of shopping in choppy water.
It cost much less than any European RIBs when we bought it and if the
price has not gone up I would expect it to be competitive in price
even including air freight. The lightweight is great for lifting it
out onto deck. We will post a pic of it (in the SM319 album)deflated
on the aft cabin top,later today.
Their website is www.southernpacific.co.nz and their ph/fax no is or
On short passages with good forecasts it is carried on the Amel davits
which can be seen in the pic of my liferaft carrier in the Bali Hai
album. It is essential to lash it down firmly so that it is not thrown
around in a seaway. On very short passages we sometimes hoist the
dinghy and engine on the davits by using the passurelle halyard
clipped on to the davit at the engine end.On longer passages it is
carried inflated but inverted on top of the aft cabin because I am
mindful of the fact that no long time survival in a liferaft has been
recorded without a dinghy being used at the same time for stores etc.
I also recall the experience of an American family whose yacht was run
down at night in bad weather by a ship. The boy went down with the
boat but the couple and the young daughter found themselves in the sea
with their AB dinghy which popped up to the surface as the yacht
Sadly the father and daughter perished but the mother survived after
the dinghy was blown ashore in NZ. It seems that the father went into
the water to save the daughter and then was unable to get back into
the dinghy. For this reason it is suggested that it is essential to
have a rope tied to the handles either side of the hull with one or
two knots in the scope so that a person in the water has something to
pull themself into the boat.
The ship was traced in Taiwan and in the subsequent case the widow
accepted undisclosed damages in an agreed settlement. It seems that
she was on watch alone when they were run down and she claimed that it
was her practice to go around the deck every 15 minutes to make sure
all was well! We were within 30 miles of them at the time and with
very strong winds and waves there is no way I would even think about
getting out of the cockpit. The other stupid thing that came up was
that they only used their radar when within 12 miles of the coast.
One of the perils of GPS is that people set a course on their
autopilot connecting two set points which are probably being used by
every other vessel thus ensuring maximum exposure to being rundown.
Sorry not to have replied earlier, Anne and John,SM319