Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Dinghy choices?

John Clark

Hi Steve,
  Gosh there are a lot of new Amel owners right now!  I also just bought my SM 37 in December and am still learning...  I am in St. Maarten right now and also just bought a new dinghy.  My thoughts on dinghy:

Vent de Soleil (VDS) came with a small Zodiac with a soft inflatable floor.   I think it is a 6-7 ft.  She also came with two outboards,  a 4 hp Yamaha and a 2.5hp Suzuki.    All serviceable and OK when in calm water.  Slow but OK.  

After we started sailing and anchoring out, the shortcomings of the dinghy became apparent.  Soft bottom will not go up on a plane, so you are pushing a barge, and the low HP engines while reliable were just not able to push a loaded dinghy (three people or loaded with provisions) through swells without everything getting wet.  It would take about 40 minutes to get from Budget Marine to the outer anchorage at Simpson Bay. 

  I got a really, really good deal at Budget Marine in St. Maarten on a new AB Mares RIB with a center console and 20hp Tohatsu outboard.  She handles three people and provisions with authority and gets up on a plane with ease, cutting thru the waves rather than plowing.    I am very happy with the tender.  I opted for a center console tender because I liked it and planned to be island hopping in the Caribbean for a while where I could tow it instead of mounting on deck.  I have not seen any issues towing the tender, but have been doing very easy day or two day sails.   I am comfortable going in good weather from one island to the next towing, but would definitely want a more secure set up for bad weather or long distance.  I will probably sell the center console tender later as we make out way west and go for some sort of RIB that can be inverted on deck.  But for now we have a cool tender.

If you are on the Amel FB page you will see the conversation Bill Rouse and I are having about mounting the dinghy while making a passage.   The old dinghy was stored on the aft cabin roof, with the outboards on the rail.  The 20HP seems a tad big for the rail(and at the moment I am retaining both dinghies and all three motors) so I am working to place the 20hp in the lazarette and cradle the new RIB on cabin roof fwd of the main mast.  We are fabricating a very simple low profile cradle for the dinghy.  A bit of a hassle caused by the center console setup.

The davits that came with the boat seem flimsy to me and are attached tot he thin part of the transom, so i won't use them for anything heavy.  Even the previous owners did not use them.  They are shiny though.   :)

I too am waiting for an Emek arch...Riza told me it is supposed to be shipping in a week.  I opted to leave out the davit option because I am still unsure of what my long term dinghy selection will be.  Are you receiving your arch in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale?

Regards,   John

John Clark
Vent de Soleil SM 37
Great Bay St. Maarten

On Apr 18, 2017 6:15 PM, "steve_morrison@... [amelyachtowners]" <> wrote:

When we bought SM380 this fall, it was in need of a new dinghy, and as we prepare to move aboard in mid June, the time has come to make some decisions.  We are a family of four (girls 8&10) and plan to spend at least the next season in the Caribbean if not two seasons there before pushing through into the Pacific.  Riza promises that our aft arch will ship soon and so we will have aft davits onto which to pull up in the evenings at anchor.  I am looking at the AB Lamina series 10AL or 10UL.  

My question is this - what are some of you using?  How big, how small, and how heavy.  Also, where do you stow it underway, and how - in a cradle, upside down, deflated...?  What are some of your experiences and what do you think are the most important considerations.  

Thanks for your time,

Steve Morrison

SM 380 TouRai

Brunswick, Georgia

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