Average dinghy lifespan?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by darr, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. darr
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Tampa, FL

    darr Open Minded

    Hello folks,

    I am looking for input on acceptable weight versus longevity for a 10 foot dinghy.

    I am not interested in dinks that spend most of the time on davits, but real world usage instead.

    I have an 8 year old 9.4 water tender that is coming apart at the seams, it has not led the most pristine lifestyle. If it still lived on its boat lift it would probably have survived much better.

    Occassionaly it gets stuck under the dock, or gets caught between the dock and who ever decides the dingy dock looks like a good place to dock their trawler, is occasionally used as the community tender etc....

    Factors to take into consideration:

    Stowability on deck (weight)

    Stowability on davits (weight)

    cargo capacity

    impact survivability (toughness)

    maintenance needs

    What is the average lifespan of a dinghy that would be condsidered a "daily driver"?

    What percentage exceed 2 decades in life span?

    Is it worth a difference in weight to achieve a life span increase?

    When not full of water I think my water tender is around 90 lbs. But I look at these plastic dinghy's as disposable. Mine is actually in better shape than many of the newer ones at the dock.

    I have the plans and the material to build a replacement, it will come in at 145 lbs.
  2. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    If you were designing the Perfict Dingy.

    I would like to see the folowing atrabuites.

    1) Rotomolded out of ABS

    2) Foam Core to make it Unsinkable

    3) 14 to 16 ft would be ideal to allow getting out to the mooring on a snotty day & WIde! Make it 6 ft wide so it will slide into the back of a pickup truck for transport

    4) It would have bot initial and Dynamic Stability with lots of deck space

    5) Lightwieght

    6) Self Bailing

    7) able to take a 25 HP outboard motor in a lockable well to prevent theft

    8) A Lockable vented Bench Seat Amidships for the 6 gal fuel tank

    9) a lockable aft bench seat for the Battery and Life Jackets

    10) a Lockable Forward Platform Dechk box for Anckor * life jackets

    11) intergrale molded pockets for LED Nav Lights

    12) Forward Sampson Post and 8 inch Stern Cleats & 8 in spring cleats & a Heavy Bow ring to lochk the dincy to the dock with a stainless steel cable lock

    13) Oar Locks and PVC Ouar racks molded into the seats to Lock in a pair of 6 ft Oars

    14) Bildge Pump for those extra wavy rides with 2,000 pounds of cargo onboard

    15) ANd if someone wants to build me one to Field Test Ill trade my Flying Trimaran Sailing Canoe for it!

    Make it look like this, without the wood as that means maintaince.

  3. darr
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Tampa, FL

    darr Open Minded

    Hi WickedGood,

    Next model year, maybe ;)
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Any good aluminum commercial work style boat will be fine.

    They are normally ugly enough to not be stolen , and heavy duty enough to be taken on a shingle beach..Lifetime , decades.

    Most row well, 1000% better than a condom dink.

    Our choice was for a Grumman sailing dink, 30 years old but Yachty not commercial heavy.

    Sails very well , so exploring can be done in silence , a plus for wildlife .

    A commercial boat will be HEAVY, but that's what gives its endurance , happily they can be had used .

  5. spear fisher
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: dania

    spear fisher New Member

    Replacement dingy

    I am considering purchasing an inflatable dingy that will fit in my hatch. Theres a company that sells the pretty cheap and offers a high pressure electric pump with a built in battery. I'm thinking that this might be the answer to all of my problems, given the fact that the dingy rolls up completely and can be connected to this pump that will automatically shut off after the boat is inflated to max capacity (8 mins total). Does anybody have experience with Saturn inflatable boats.
  6. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: South Florida USA

    keysdisease Senior Member

    I too had a 9.2 water tender for about the same amount of time. Had a 5hp tohatsu that would plane her off with 1 adult or 2 kids.

    I thought that little boat was a heck of a dink that weighed 100lbs and that could carry just about anything you could stuff into her. We swamped her underway, caught her behind a piling and ripped the bow eye out, dragged her acroos some wicked rocks and bars, and generally abused her like most people abuse a dink. Her new owner reports she's still doing duty as good as ever.

    My kids grew up on that little boat and I told them that when they were strong enough to start the tohatsu they could take it out alone. I chose that boat because I wanted something I could easily tilt up onto the swim platform of our 34 Mainship. Was one of the best choices I ever made.

    If yours is "coming apart at the seams" you could just take her apart and put her back together. Thats what we had to do after we ripped the bow eye out, was easy.

    Steve big fan of the water tender

    Attached Files:

  7. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

  8. kroberts
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: Chicago area

    kroberts Senior Member


    That's not a boat, it's floating art.

    Where does one get a plan or kit?
  9. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer


    Design is by LF Herreshoff and is featured in several of the John Gardner books on building Classic Small Boats.......
  10. darr
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Tampa, FL

    darr Open Minded

    Thanks for the reply Steve,

    I am slowly gathering up the parts to put my watertender back together.

    I have actually been quite happy with it, but now that it is not living the "good life" but instead relegated to spending more time hanging off the dock, I am looking for a better solution.

    I want to put a dink there that I can have a small solar powered bilge pump in, so I am not spending more time bailing out, than not.

    With its two compartment design, and the material, it is not a very good candidate for a thru hull, and water pickup from the two compartments would not be easy.

    I am not knockinig the Water Tender line, it just does not work for me during this time period.
  11. darr
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Tampa, FL

    darr Open Minded


    I agree, it is a pretty little dink, but I am not sure infinite would be a good description of anticipated lifespan, without a significant amount of maintenance annually.

    Besides someone would probably kick my ***, or steal it, if I left it down at the dock.

    Far too pretty of a boat for what I need from it.

    The aluminium john boats that others have mentioned would be a good choice, but the big boat's feelings would be hurt and would probably start hanging out over at the RNYC (Red Neck Yacht Club) and then the yachties at the basin would have even more to laugh at.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010

  12. roatan diver
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: miami

    roatan diver New Member

    Inflatable life span

    I've got a buddy in Puerto Rico who bought 2 inflatables. One was for himself and another was for his friend. Both have owned the boats for 4 years. My buddy takes care of his boat, washes it and keeps it uner shade when not in use. The other guy leaves his in the sun. My buddy's boat looks brand new after 4 years and the other guy's is pretty beat up. I would have to say that the lifespand of an inflatable is dependent on how well you take care of it.
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