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Date Posted: - Friday - 04/11/08 - 2:50pm
Author: Jared
Subject: What's the Best Dinghy for a Mariner 31?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get a dinghy for use with my Mariner 31. I think I'd like to have a hard dingy that I can row and/or sail. I've been trying to figure out where the heck I'm going to put the thing. There's not a lot of space on deck. I'm currently leaning toward something like the fatty knees 7' with the sailing kit. It seems like I'd be able to tow it for short trips and tie it on the bow for longer voyages.

I know a roll up inflatable would stow smaller and carry more weight but I'd like to avoid lugging around an outboard and gasoline for the thing.

I'm hoping some of you have found solutions for having a dinghy on your Mariner 31s and 32s. Any advice?

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Replies:

[> How about a Tortiose? -- Randall, Murre, M31, - Friday - 04/11/08 - 6:58pm

Totally with you on wanting a hard dingy, but to your point, the placement of the main and the raised (i.e. split-level) coach roof really limit hard dingy stowage options.

There isn't 7 feet of length between the main and the main sheet traveler on Murre and stowing a dingy in the bows means you can't easily work the anchor.

Murre came with an inflatable, which I rowed around for the first two years. There's just no fun in it. And there ain't no way I'm owning an outboard.

One option you might consider (though it's not off the shelf) is a Bolger Tortoise. If memory serves, it's exactly 6 feet 6 inches in length and about 3 feet wide. It fits snuggly between main and main traveler, and its length and flat bottom mean its hella stable. It weighs about 50lbs, so can be hauled in by one person without tackle (at least in good conditions). Rows ok given how tiny it is. Tows ok, but is bothersomely chatty (slap, slap, slap) if left on a tether while at anchor. Its very high freeboard means it obstructs the view over the cabin, which is already pretty high.

It's very simple to build--one bevel in the whole layup--and is really tough given its just 1/4 inch ply.

She’s not ideal, but Coot’s served me well over the last three plus years.


Plans here (there’s a sail option) if you’re interested:

http://www.instantboats.com/tortoise.htm

And a couple pictures of Coot:

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QuickPost Quickpost this image to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

RR


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[> [> Coot -- Jared, - Monday - 04/14/08 - 5:24pm

Thanks for the reply. I like the fact that the tortoise fits on deck so well and it seems like it would be fun to build. My main question is the carrying capacity. Do you know how much weight you can put in there and still manage to get around? I feel like I need to be able to haul myself, a passenger, and a couple bags of groceries. From the looks of it, that load might not work in coot.


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[> [> [> Coot can carry -- Randall, - Monday - 04/14/08 - 9:07pm

You'd be surprised at her carrying capacity. She's got very high freeboard for such a tiny yacht and is what you might call full in the bows, so she can take a lot of weight.

I row Jo and I ashore with ease and including our backpacks for the day. A couple bags of groceries and a gallon or two of water more, no problem. As long as it's not too rough. In chop she will spit at you and be a bit tough to row because of her bluntness forward, but she's a work horse.

One nice thing in the design is that the seat is bow to stern, so shifting yourself fore and aft for the sake of balane is easy, and you'll notice in the photos I've installed two oarlock stations: one for when I'm by myself and one further forward for when Jo's aboard.

One drawback is that because she's so short, with two people aboard, having enough room to swing the oar can be an issue, so Jo usually sits on top of the back seat. Looks silly. Works fine.

RR


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[> Dink -- Jake, - Sunday - 04/13/08 - 2:43pm

We added davits last summer and have a 8' whitehall dink hanging from them. We also had a canvas cover made for the dink while it's on the davits to keep water out, also we could store a few items in it. I'll post a photo a soon as I can. Jake s/v Maranatha


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[> [> Dink -- Jared, - Monday - 04/14/08 - 5:34pm

Thanks for the response. I'd love to see some pictures. I'm considering davits for everyday use but since I'm hoping to do some extended cruising with offshore passages, I'd like a dinghy that I can secure on deck somehow. I wouldn't want a dinghy hanging out there in nasty conditions.

...so I guess I'm looking for a dinghy that rows well, can sail, can carry at least two adults and a bit of stuff, and can fit on deck somehow. I might have better luck finding a live jackalope.


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[> [> [> Dinghy for Mariner 31 -- John Seyna, - Wednesday - 04/16/08 - 12:43pm

Hi Jared,
Interesting, but I had the same thought for my 31 ft Mariner (Champagne). Mine is an older 31 with a tiller, but the problem is the same as you've outlined: where to put it! I acquired a 7ft Dyer Dhow dinghy (fiberglas), and after much thought, I am planning to fabricate aluminum davits and bolt to the transom. I should be able to get it high enough to avoid any rough seas. I do not want a tow behind, and there is just not enough room on deck. The dinghy needs to be able to support 2 people, so not many choices left!


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