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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Thurleigh bedfordshire
    Posts
    135

    Default Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Hi all.
    Our new ( to us) boat is being launched in a few weeks and going onto a swinging morning at Suffolk yacht Harbour and we were looking to buy an inflatable dinghy to get to and fro. I have been advised that since it can get a little choppy here that an inflatable is not suitable. Any thoughts?
    Our last boat was at wolverston which was obviously less exposed. We wanted an inflatable to take with us on voyages but if it is unlikely to be suitable for SYH we will have to think again.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    21,800

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Other things being equal, an inflatable is going to be safer than a rigid one but wetter. We had a swinging mooring at Maylandsea for many years and used both an Avon and a rigid pram at various times for a trip of about 15 minutes. The pram was much more comfortable but required more coordination between us to stay safe. There is also the problem of recovering the outboard, which you wouldn't want to leave on any small dinghy.

    If you want comfort and safety, you need a substantial dinghy or dory, and probably some easy means of recovering the motor. I'm assuming that you won't be towing a hard dinghy, which is a mug's game.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cambridge/Pin Mill
    Posts
    878

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    I use a suitably sized rigid to get to the mooring for the people/gear needed then leave it there - a small inflatable is carried on board which is usually sufficient when cruising. Then you have the rigid for the full disembarkation when you get back...

    I agree that towing a hard dinghy is a mug's game
    ' The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted life span, his days spent sailing '

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    2,030

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    We too had a rigid tender originally on the Blackwater - dryer in a chop, but even so; most conditions required full waterproofs. The rigid tender (a Walker Bay) was tippy too - everyone including the kids got very practised at keeping their weight central and low. On the Blackwater the chop (wind against tide) could be nasty - even close inshore and the rigid boat definitely punched through it better than an inflatable does.
    We now have an inflatable - much more stable but as johnalison says - wetter. But if you're putting oilies on anyway that may not matter and it is an easier thing to take with you.
    What's your trip out to the mooring like?
    How long?
    How sheltered?
    How many people / how full the boat?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey
    Posts
    20,934

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    The old Avon Redcrests and Redstarts were very wet. Our current inflatable has much bigger tubes and is much dryer. (Although if you insist on full throttle into a choppy sea you still get wet...)
    Semper aliud

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Which side of the main channel is your mooring? If it's on the south (Shotley) side, be aware that the wind over tide (say F6 over spring tide) can cause 1m breaking waves in the main flow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Thurleigh bedfordshire
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Thanks for the replies.
    As yet I don’t actually know which side of the channel. I was hoping for the Levington side. There will only be two of us aboard and if we have visitors then we would go into the marina to collect them. I have to admit I did not give this much thought and assumed an inflatable would be the way to go and have only become aware that this is an issue after discussions with a neighbor on the hard whilst working on the boat this weekend. I did ask the Harbour master too and he agreed that a rigid boat would work best. I definitely do not want to tow a boat on our travels. Having both could be the answer I suppose but the expense puts me off.
    We will not be traveling too far this season as it’s our first with this boat and we unfortunately still have to work but next year the intention is to begin a little adventure staying on the boat all summer so maybe we just buy an inflatable then.
    Having said that if it’s just a case of staying dry then I think an inflatable being more stable may be the best way and just put on the wet weather gear.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Here there and everywhere
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Having used an inflatable on the Blackwater to get to my swinging mooring, (approx 250 yds), and having the outboard pack up I can honestly say the rowing one is a mugs game and bl@@dy hard work against the tide.

    Agree with an earlier post, I now have a 8ft grp with electric outboard which rows well if required and the inflatable now sits in a locker on the boat as “Plan B” in case it all goes wrong !

    Richard
    "Work is the curse of the Drinking Classes" Oscar W.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Devon
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    Definitely go rigid.
    For many years when I was based at Ramsholt I had a 10 ft GRP second hand job. Andy Seedhouse at Woodbridge is advertising its new sister at £695 which seems good value to me. Add decent fendering and some floorboards and you are off. They row ok too.
    Felixstowe Ferry BoatYard appear to have a second hand 8 ft version for £295.
    The version I had was repaired when necessary by Andy Moore ( when he was operating as a fisherman and marine contractor, before taking over the family business at FFBY). I would beef up the centre thwart if you stand on it much.
    At Ramsholt we originally had a mooring up by Kirton Creek, so about 0.75 mile trip . The 10 ft took all 4 of us large people plus our gear, and although a bit wet at times it was perfectly capable of dealing with the fairly lively wind over tide conditions in Ramsholt reach. We used a 2HP Yamaha which was perfectly adequate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    8,568

    Default Re: Tender. Inflatable or rigid

    If your boat is of moderate size try to get a mooring on the north (Levington) side of the river. Bigger boats constrained by their draft have no choice and go on the south (Shotley) side.
    Last edited by Minn; 25-02-19 at 14:42.

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