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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    8,297

    Default Inflatable boat-rollers...any experience? Are they effective, vulnerable, inferior?

    Note to Lakesailor: It's raining today, and I'm a long way from the boat, so please don't say "JUST GO SAILING!" This is just an enquiring day-dream.

    Those inflatable rollers, which look like gigantic fenders. I'm thinking they'd be handy for weekends away, when I land miles from my launching trolley.

    Plus, en route, I could secure them in under-deck compartments where their buoyancy might hold off foundering, after collisions. Or explosions.

    And, if I persuade SWMBO to squeeze under a boom-bivouac in a calm harbour on a mild night, I could rig the rollers as 'sponsons' for extra stability.

    So, has anyone used them, for any purpose? I'm wondering if they're a nice idea which doesn't really work in practice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    28,185

    Default

    We were using inflatable boat rollers to launch and recover my Dads speedboat in the 60s. Worked a treat.
    'East Coast Pilot' at www.eastcoastpilot.com 4th Edition now available......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    747

    Default

    Yes - I had two and used them as you describe. If you're on you're own, it's slow going getting up the beach because you have to keep moving the one popping out the stern around to the bow but the boat is very easy to move on them.
    I had a 13 foot plywood cruising dinghy at the time.
    Neil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Surrey & boat in Dorset. Both have pubs
    Posts
    3,340

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post
    We were using inflatable boat rollers to launch and recover my Dads speedboat in the 60s. Worked a treat.
    My dads ones always seemed to leak but the idea was good. Hopefully newer ones are designed for stony beaches!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    8,297

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neil_s View Post
    Yes - I had two and used them as you describe.
    Thanks gents. I now recall asking this question, rather recently, and getting possibly these very same answers! I will invest.

    Hadn't noticed your leaky entry when I wrote that, Boathook! But I'm still optimistic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    34,606

    Default

    I bought a couple to use as fenders on Kindred Spirit. I could only fit four normal fenders in the cockpit locker, which was fine in a marina but seemed a bit deficient if I had ever got her down to the West Country as planned and wanted to go alongside rugged harbour walls etc. I sewed a kind of sleeve for one of them out of an old sail, both as something to tie the lines to (I managed to work in the existing tack and clew rings) and to try to stop them being punctured. They seemed good against pressure (I jumped up and down on one, and I am far from light-weight) but I don't know how robust they really would have been against the aforementioned stone walls. They were lots cheaper than purpose-made inflatable fenders though.

    Pete

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