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Date Posted: - Friday - 04/11/08 - 6:58pm
Author: Randall, Murre, M31
Subject: How about a Tortiose?
In reply to: Jared 's message, "What's the Best Dinghy for a Mariner 31?" on - Friday - 04/11/08 - 2:50pm

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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RR

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Replies:

[> [> 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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