Date: 24 March 2017. How to Pick an
preparing to cruise often put a lot of thought into their dinghy.
Selecting the right motor is also important. The tender must be able to
take the owners to and from shore safely. It needs to be a *dry ride
and have the capacity to carry not just people but stuff too. That small boat will
also haul groceries, laundry, boat parts and more to and from your
boat home and shore.
*A dry ride
means that water doesn't come up over the edges and splash the
riders in the tender. Some dinghies are known for wet bottoms. That means your
backside will be wet when you arrive at shore. Ugh.
This is Lefty's tender. She has a trolling motor as does Algae.
Selecting the best motor is important for safety and convenience.
For me as a soloist woman without a lot of strength
an electric trolling motor is the best option. I cannot pull a cord
fast enough to start an outboard. I bought the trolling motor specifically because
I can start it by merely twisting the handle.
Boaters with larger tenders and
who can afford electric start gasoline outboards are fortunate.
Though more costly they sure are nice and fun to ride in too. I
loved riding like the wind in Ted and Sarah's Little Manatee.
This is Little Manatee.
↓ It is safe, fun and fast
Ted's orange go-fast tender has
a key start -- no pulling the cord on an outboard for him. Cap'n Ted is wearing
an orange cap and is steering Little Manatee to the tuna door of
his Kadey Krogen named Manatee. Houseboat Bob is boarding Manatee.
You met these folks in the
On numerous occasions I was told
how easy it is to start a Mercury 9.9 outboard. This is especially true
when the motor is *warm. No it's not, at least not for me. It is
beyond frustrating to be told "anyone" can do it and fail.
Repeatedly. The outboard fiasco was a while back. That happened six
or seven years ago. I do not believe I've gotten stronger in the
*Warm motor: That does not refer
to ambient temperature of the air. Instead it means a motor
that has been run and is therefore warm/hot. Engines that are warmed
up generally start faster and run smoother.
Trolling motors will get you there however they are slow. Anchoring
close to the dock abates this issue.
Side Note: When
you are shopping for a boat, check to see if the engine is warm
BEFORE they start it for you. Often folks will get them going
beforehand in order to say "see how easy she starts?" to
unsuspecting buyers. Warm engines do start easier.
That said, warm outboards don't
start easy enough for me!
Kayaks and canoes offer transportation and fun for boat
girls like Rene on Sandpiper.
Eons ago my friend Ann on Steelaway had tea time aboard her boat
each Tuesday. It was a great time for the gals to get together,
solve problems, discuss grandchildren and chat while enjoying a variety of
specialty teas. There were cookies too.
I enjoyed those afternoons and have shared Ann's
Tea-Time idea with other boaters. Her legacy continues on
Seaweed whenever I have a friend over for a cuppa.
It would be fun to have a
spot of tea with Ms. Poppins...
That's me with Mary Poppins→
One thing in particular I remember is that some of
the women had to have a lift to Ann's schooner Steelaway. They
were unable to start their outboards. Instead they had to "make
arrangements" for a ride both to and from Steelaway at specific
times. That issue speaks volumes about the dynamics aboard a boat.
Providing both partners with the
freedom of an easy trip to shore is essential. An impromptu visit
to another boat for a fresh baked treat is always fun. Getting
there should not be an issue.
The Captain's reputation is at
stake! Women talk about these things, in case you wondered.
Freedom is a key component for happiness afloat.
Being able to start and run the dinghy solo is important.
Most crucial of
all, it must be easy!
If starting the outboard is not
easy for both partners a different one must be chosen.
Outboards with electric starts are
expensive. My trolling motor is slow however I can always start it.
That is the reason I bought it. The brand I chose is
Newport. The Newport is made for salt water and is not expensive. I
like mine a lot.
Fred of Island Time can easily pull start this
Given a choice, I do prefer a
go-fast dinghy such as Little Manatee's with an electric start
outboard. That's a fun ride. It was great too because of the
people. Ted and Sarah are genuinely wonderful boaters.
There are alternatives for those
without the space for a larger go-fast tender. Kayaks, canoes,
rowboats and electric trolling motors all provide transportation
without the need for a chauffeur. I have seen a young fellow
using a stand-up paddleboard to go back and forth to shore.
The paddleboard drifted behind this sailboat for a
while before it was brought back on deck.
Storage on a small sailboat is at a premium. The young guy had a
solution that worked for him. Rather than a dinghy he used a
paddleboard with a milk crate to corral his gear.
My friend Angela paddled her
kayak over for a visit one afternoon. She and her husband have a real dinghy
however the kayak is so convenient she uses it on short hops. We
had a spot of tea one afternoon aboard Seaweed.
Angela is paddling back to C-Quarters Marina. Her
sailboat is the fourth boat shown.
Having reliable transportation off the boat is
important for everyone's happiness. Many long term cruisers end up
with two dinghies. Families can have more than
Make sure both cruisers can start
whatever motor selected. Being "stuck" waiting for a ride to shore
is not fun, not even in paradise.
Do you have more than one dinghy?
And, do you have additional water toys like canoes, kayaks, paddleboards
Drying Damp Books ~
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