The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Tips, Tricks & Thoughts:

tender (dinghy)

  • 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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  • Inflatable Boat Maintenance Wisdom

    I just got off the phone with a local guy who repairs inflatable boats.

    Seems like he really knows of what he speaks. I learned a few things:

    • Hypalon, the material our old Avon is made of, goes on pretty much forever, even when exposed to sun. He sees old Hypalon Avons still holding air after sixty, yes sixty, years.
    • Parts are still available for old Avon dinghies, even though the brand is out of business—bought by Zodiac and then trashed…but I’m not bitter.
    • He says he can fix pretty much anything that needs it on this old dinghy, and that when he gets done it will be functional for many more years.
    • If the floor is leaking on any flexible bottom inflatable:
      1. Wait for nightfall
      2. Take the boards out
      3. Flip the dinghy upside down
      4. Put a bright light under it
      5. Circle the little stars of light you see with chalk
      6. Flip over and patch the chalk circles

    He is going to rehab our nearly four-decade old Avon. If it goes another 20 years I’m thinking I might be done with it.

    Final tip from me: Hypalon may be a lot more expensive, but it’s worth every penny.

    More on dinghies (tenders).

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  • Season Extender

    Winter is fast approaching here in Nova Scotia, so we hauled our J/109 a week ago.

    We would be kind of bummed, except now we get more time to play with our turbocharged (sliding seats) Whitehall.

    Most years we go on rowing until early December and are back at it in March. No worries about storms because she lives lashed down on our wharf.

    Loverly attainable adventure today:

    • Row to a nearby island
    • Walk around the island on the foreshore
    • Eat great picnic halfway
    • Row home

    No chart plotter, no lithium batteries, no tech at all (other than the carbon oars) and easy to maintain…we wash her down once a year whether she needs it or not.

    There’s a lot to be said for small simple boats.

    We used our version 2.00 dinghy pullout system for the first time today. I will update this article with the improvements.

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  • Dinghy Tow Rope Q and A


    A few years ago I wrapped the dinghy’s painter round the prop while manoeuvring to anchor in a very crowded anchorage. I don’t like towing a dinghy at sea but we had only come round the corner from a lunch spot and I forget to shorten up the line. 

    My question is: would we be better off with a floating painter ?

    Member, Mark


    I didn’t have a good answer, but AAC member Rob did.

    And that got me interested in options in North America. Turns out that New England ropes makes a line specific for this use, with a polypropylene core to make it float and nylon sheath for easy handling.

    I’m no fan of towing a dinghy, but sometimes it makes sense, so I will try this rope out.

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