Last year we built a 11.5 ft sailing/rowing dinghy in hopes that it would work as a tender instead of carrying gasoline and gasoline motor(s). RIBs are nearly impossible to row, can’t sail them, but they are very stable and carry 4 people easily.
The Dink we built is a Chesapeake Light Craft PassageMaker design that was originally sold as a nesting hull. It’s 11.5 ft LOA , rows easily, and sails well. When both parts are bolted together it only weighs ~95 lbs. Sounds great so far, eh?
Here are the down sides:
*It doesn’t truly nest. So we’re now storing 11.5ft of hull in two parts. The bigger aft part sets nicely on the aft deck, we weren’t comfortable lashing the bow section on the forward deck, so it ended up on the aft deck over the lazarette...so we can’t access the lazarette at sea without moving it.
*It is so lightly built that it bounces around pretty violently when alongside Kristy in any kind of chop. It is also under built and we had to add strength to the bulkheads where the pieces bolt together because of cracks that developed at the joint between planks and bulkheads.
*The rig is a gunter style Marconi sloop with a small jib. It takes about 45 min to rig and derig. It sails well but can’t be reefed as currently set up. With the gunter spar it would take a major overhaul to rig for reefing and it would be an involved process, not something that would be easy and quick. When rigged and not sailing the boom is in the way of rowing.
*It will carry 4 adults, but doing that and sailing would be impossible, I think.
We bought a Torqeedo electric outboard which pushes her along adequately, but it isn’t built tough enough for daily use in salt water.
i guess we will have to go back to the RIB and gas outboard. Hoping someone out there has experience with a great nesting dinghy that’s truly built for use as a cruising tender. There are a couple others that look better than the CLC PassageMaker but probably have many of the same issues.
Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Kent & Iris