The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Takacat Dinghy On Test

I’m constantly correcting people who assume that because my last three boats were monohulls I must be a multihull hater.

Why is it that these days so many people seem to jump to the conclusion that just because we own one type of boat, we must think that it’s the best and all other boats are inferior?…Sorry, I digress into one of my favourite rants.

So to make all you readers who own boats with two or three hulls happy we have just bought a cat.

A Takacat Sport T260S inflatable to be exact.

Actually, saying we bought it to keep you guys happy is complete BS.

In reality, the reason was that it’s the only inflatable we could find that, because of its very cunning removable transom, breaks down into small-enough bags to fit through the cockpit locker hatch on our new-to-us J/109.

That said, now our new tender has arrived, I have to say I’m pretty impressed and also think that the low wetted surface, and therefore decreased drag, will extend our range with the electric outboard we intend to buy once our bank account gets over its boat-expenditure-induced hissy fit.

Anyway, once we have had the chance to actually use the new tender, rather than just play with it in the garage, I will write more.

I also think this dinghy might be a very cool choice for an Adventure 40 owner, so we will think about that too as we evaluate it.

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Bill Arbaugh

We have the T300S for exactly the same reason. We didn’t want to have a dinghy on the foredeck during long trips and definitely not hanging on the davits. The takacat stows nicely, and so far has been decent with our epropulsion motor. We won’t win any dinghy races, but it does the job.

Charles Roberts

Very interested in how this works out for you. We’ve been looking at replacing our big heavy RIB with something lighter. I do wonder about how wet the takacat is with the open transom and smaller tube diameter up front. We sail all seasons in the PNW and water flowing up or spraying over can be pretty unpleasant. Looking forward to an update at the end of cruising season 🙂

Matt Marsh

This might be a tempting alternative to our Sea Eagle SE9. We bought the SE9 because it’s the cheapest, lightest, shallowest draught thing with a 4-person capacity that was readily available. It does the job, but it rows like a pig and can’t really be towed at all.
That said, towing a dinghy sucks. If a boat isn’t big enough to fit the dinghy on deck, there is definitely something to be said for picking one that folds down small enough to fit in a cockpit locker. And there’s something to be said for a dinghy small enough that one person can just carry it up above the high-tide mark on the beach.

Mark Wilson

I realise now that I saw one of the X series in March in Pollensa. It was a choppy day and it looked surprisingly dry for an inflatable without a bow or a stern. I didn’t know what it was until I saw your post. Looking forward to hearing how you got on.

Maarten & Marga Selkie

Hi Mark,

That was us you saw in Pollensa, I don’t think there was another one around at that time. You can be sure if you saw us with a big white dog playing king of the dinghy!

Marga & Maarten

Mark Wilson

Yes! I particularly noticed the ePropulsion engine. If it hadn’t been a flying visit I would have come and said hello.

Mark

Maarten & Marga Selkie

Hi Mark. The combo of the propulsion and takacat works very well for us. The outboard is also light, easy to to take on and off by 1 person, enough range and speed to get to shore. Electrical means we don’t carry petrol. But if you consider something else if want to make long trips and explore.
We are for a few weeks in Menorca in case you would still like to meet. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. We are learning a LOT of this blog and community so we are happy to share our 2cts where we can.

Mark Wilson

Hi Maarten & Marga
Sadly I am back in UK until the autumn now. Enjoy Menorca.
Best
Mark

Maarten & Marga Selkie

We have had a Takacat 300LX for almost a year now with an ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus. It has been working well.
PROs: easy to get in and out, very stable, light (one person can pull it on the beach, easy to put on deck or on davits), water drains fast through open transom.
CONs: disappointing build quality. We may have been unlucky, but some parts have unglued (hinge for the oar, one of the rubber protections) although we have just glued it back. The ropes have come off and we have replaced them. Wood in transom supporting the engine will need replacement soon.
The open front works very well, but with choppy waters with weight in front will take water easily (read 40KG dog playing titanic). Since the boat is so light, wind will have an effect on it but we have used it in 30 kts wind in protected waters without an issue.
Overall, and despite the issues with build quality, we are happy with it and would recommend it particularly if you are looking for something light, packable, stable and want to use and electric engine.

Matthew Clark

Perfect timing, we are shopping for a lighter, easier to stow option and have narrowed it down to Takacat and True Kit. Anyone out there have experience with True Kit and/or pros and cons of each?

https://truekit.net/en-us

Maarten & Marga Selkie

Sailing Fair Isle has a Triekit. http://sailingfairisle.com/dinghy.html

Alastair Currie

This is interesting as I bought an old Avon Redcrest (superb quality) because it fitted in my cockpit locker (centre cockpit, shallow locker). I miss my larger, solid transom dinghy because it could carry an additional 2 persons and could take a bigger outboard. The larger dinghy and the Takacat have much larger diameter tubes than the Avon Redcrest. While the Avon is almost as tough as a Perkins engine, the small tubes do mean a wet bahochie (Scot’s for bum) more often than not. I don’t want to store a dinghy on the foredeck or davits because it is ugly, in addition to the weight, windage and wave risks. I will certainly look into this further.

Stephen Nosal

for those of you who have Takacats – did you get the PVC or Hypalon models?

Thomas Riffault

I almost got one but i found a nice used dinghy with hard bottom for under 500. That was a no brainer for us. I know it won’t last forever. I will be interested to have honest feed back.

Steve Smith

I’ve owned a Takacat 260S since 2018, got it for it’s light weight & stability as I’m getting on a bit…use either a Honda 2.3 air cooled or a 34lb thrust Trolling motor for propulsion, myself & she who must be obeyed can easily haul it onto the deck of our catamaran & I’m pretty happy with this setup. It rows okay except in a decent chop & can take a fair load, I bought the cover for it, you need to try & limit the amount of sun exposure…also your feet will get wet due to the open transom..but they usually get wet when you jump out anyway..we use those floppy style buckets to put supplies in & stop getting wet. I’ve had 2 small leaks in the 5 yrs…on the rear top tube area & front edge of the floor, being pvc, easily fixed. I’ve heard reports about the glued joints coming apart but mine has been ok, using the sun cover & regular light cleaning is probably the key to longevity..We’re happy with it & should get a few more years out of it..

James Greenwald

Have the 380S with a 15HP crazy fast and fun.

JIM HILDENBRAND

Hi John, I’ve also bought the 300x. I have an Island Packet 370. Sure like your advice on:
1. how best to inflate on deck. I will be anchoring much, so I need to figure out the best way on arrival to inflate on deck. I’m thinking inflating sideways across the cabin top to half inflated, hoist overboard and put the flooring in and then pump up the remainder while in the water? How have you mastered this process in the J109?
2. Best way to hoist overboard and onboard(to stow) . Use the transom O-bolt to lift via a spare halyard seems best, so far? Lifting by the rings under the bow floor seems unstable, will the flooring slip out?! It’s only 60lbs!
3.I have a stern Arch w HydroVane, I’d like??to hoist it up on the arch for short sails vs tow, how best to hoist the bow and stern? The HV can take the stress, but it would stow cock-eyed? I need to have good chafe protection , but thoughts on hoist for short sailing?

Appreciate your advice!
Jim

JIM HILDENBRAND

Well, I experimented today at the best way to assemble and hoist the Takacat 300 on my sailboat, an Island packet 370.
this is what worked for me:

  1. move the boom over to one side and tie it down to create open & safe working space on the cabin top
  2. move traveller to same side as the boom is tied down
  3. assemble the Dingy crosswise across the deck. Important to have transom inboard and its bow over the lifelines
  4. Assemble transom and inflate
  5. hoist with a spare halyard. Hoist using the O-bolt on the transom,its seems to be the strongest point
  6. hoist dingy, I used an electric winch handle. Transom up and bow down on lifelines
  7. i untied the boom and used traveller to kick the dingy over the lifelines
  8. drop in water

these are just my lessons learned,,,the hard way,,,of course!